Sandusky, Oh. (October 26, 2010) -- Matt Crafton heads to Talladega riding a 12-race top-ten streak, but for each of those 12 races, Crafton's ultimate destiny at the finish was the result of his efforts and the efforts of his team on pit road. At...
Sandusky, Oh. (October 26, 2010) -- Matt Crafton heads to Talladega riding a 12-race top-ten streak, but for each of those 12 races, Crafton's ultimate destiny at the finish was the result of his efforts and the efforts of his team on pit road. At Talladega, Crafton certainly has a chance to wind up in victory lane and it will take as much effort on behalf of the driver and pit crew as anywhere else on the schedule. But if he wants to win -- or even just to stretch his top-ten streak to 13 races -- he will need help from his competitors. Crafton worked the draft well in Daytona in February, well enough to finish fifth, and he did it all without help from his ThorSport Racing teammates Johnny Sauter and Landon Cassill, both of whom were eliminated in a lap one crash. Should Crafton and Sauter stay out of the trouble that so often happens at Talladega, he thinks he can better his Daytona finish by four positions.
Does your finish at Daytona offer you any sort of advantage at Talladega? "Not really, but that's the nature of restrictor-plate racing. We had a great run at Daytona, but we had a real good run at Talladega last year too and didn't get the finish to show for it. We had the lead down the backstretch and into turn three on the last lap and we ended up tenth. A lot of it is circumstance and what happens around you. For some reason we've always been able to stay out of the majority of the trouble there, so hopefully we can do it again this time and make it to the end. If we do that we'll have as good a chance as anyone to come out of there with a win."
How difficult is it to put together a plan with your teammate Johnny Sauter and stick to it throughout the race so you're in position to win on the last lap? "We talked about a plan and we're both going to do everything we can to stick to it. I think you're definitely going to need some help to win this race, just like the Billy Ballew teammates did last year. We might get separated at some point but if we're both around with 10 or 15 laps to go we're going to find a way to get hooked up and go to the front."
Are you anxious heading into Talladega or is this a race you look forward to? "I love the actual racing at Talladega and being at Talladega. But there's also a part of you that is a little anxious going there because so much of what happens there is outside of your control."
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? "When I was in seventh grade a bunch of my friends dared me to dress up as an Indian girl. Well, all it took was for them to dare me and I did it. I put on the black wig and Indian dress and the whole thing. I don't know if it was my absolute favorite costume, but it was definitely the most memorable. None of them could believe I had enough guts to do it."
Matt's Talladega truck: Matt will drive ThorSport Racing Chassis No. 24 at Talladega; it's the same truck he drove at Daytona (started second, finished seventh) and Talladega (started seventh, finished tenth) in 2009 and the same truck he piloted to a fifth-place finish at Daytona in February.