Phoenix: Matt Crafton race report

Crafton Extends Top-10 Streak with Fourth in Phoenix Avondale, Ariz. (November 12, 2010) -- Matt Crafton racked up his 15th consecutive top-ten finish with a solid fourth-place run in the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race...

Crafton Extends Top-10 Streak with Fourth in Phoenix

Avondale, Ariz. (November 12, 2010) -- Matt Crafton racked up his 15th consecutive top-ten finish with a solid fourth-place run in the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. Crafton started outside the front row after qualifying second, stayed near the front all night long -- avoiding an accident involving the defending series champion Ron Hornaday on the way -- and guided the No. 88 Menards/Australian Gold Chevrolet to his tenth top-five finish of the season.

Crafton led both practice sessions on Thursday which gave him added confidence going into the race, but a change in track conditions led to a change in the truck's handling that kept him from contending for the win.

"We kept getting on the splitter and that kept us from getting up there and racing for the win," Crafton said. "After yesterday I really thought we had the truck to win the race. We're obviously happy to be up in the top five but this team should be up there winning races and we thought we had a great shot to get one tonight so we're a little disappointed too. But it's great to come out of here with both ThorSport trucks finishing three-four (teammate Johnny Sauter finished third). I can't wait to get down to Homestead and close out the season with a win down there."

Crafton narrowly avoided disaster on lap 115 when Austin Dillon and Hornaday got together in turn one directly in front of him.

"I saw the 3 (Dillon) down on the inside and he got loose and had to chase it up the track and he got into the 33 (Hornaday)," Crafton said. "Thankfully they both slid up the track and I pointed it to the bottom and drove past. It could have been a real mess if I was up on the outside of the 51 (Aric Almirola)."

Crafton solidified his fourth position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings; he's now 93 points ahead of fifth-place Austin Dillon. Crafton trails his ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter, who is third in the standings, by 109 points. Over the second half of the season, starting with the 12th race of the season at O'Reilly Raceway Park, Crafton's average finish is 5.8 and he has moved from seventh to fourth in the standings.

Next up Crafton and the No. 88 Menards/SealBest Chevrolet is the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday November 19.

-source: tsr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr. , Matt Crafton , Johnny Sauter , Aric Almirola , Austin Dillon