Crafton Fights Slick Track and Heat to Score Fifth-Place at Gateway Madison, Ill. (July 17, 2010) -- With his in-cockpit cooling system giving him problems on the hottest raceday of the season, it would have been understandable if Matt Crafton...
Crafton Fights Slick Track and Heat to Score Fifth-Place at Gateway
Madison, Ill. (July 17, 2010) -- With his in-cockpit cooling system giving him problems on the hottest raceday of the season, it would have been understandable if Matt Crafton let the extreme temperatures derail his chances for a top-five finish in Saturday's delayed CampingWorld.com 200 at Gateway International Raceway. But Crafton stayed strong, and when the coolbox unit kicked on over the final 50 laps it gave Crafton an added boost to race up to fifth at the finish in the No. 88 Menards/Ideal Door Chevrolet.
"The cool box wasn't working for most of the day and it was miserable in the truck," Crafton said. "It came back on in the second half of race and after that I felt like a million bucks. It was just so hot out there today. I'm sure a lot of drivers were dealing with the same issues we were."
Crafton was forced to race up through the field late after taking four tires on the final pit stop, when many of the lead teams took two.
"I thought we had a second or third place truck but we kinda got snookered on pit strategy there at the end," Crafton said. "We came down and took four tires and most everyone else took two so we had to work our way back up to the front. If we had a little more time I think we could have made up a few more spots. But that's two good weeks in row for us. I keep telling everyone we're not out of this championship yet and runs like we've had the past two weeks prove it. It's a great way to start off this summer stretch with some momentum."
Crafton now jumps to eighth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings, 297 points behind leader Todd Bodine and just 38 points behind Mike Skinner in fifth.
Next up for Crafton and the ThorSport Racing No. 88 Menards/SealBest Chevrolet is the AAA Insurance 200 next Friday night at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.