Sandusky, Oh. (November 2, 2010) -- After a tough ending to the race there in June, Matt Crafton is ready to head back to Texas Motor Speedway to right the ship. Crafton and his ThorSport Racing team have excelled on the 1.5-mile superspeedways...
Sandusky, Oh. (November 2, 2010) -- After a tough ending to the race there in June, Matt Crafton is ready to head back to Texas Motor Speedway to right the ship. Crafton and his ThorSport Racing team have excelled on the 1.5-mile superspeedways over the course of the past five seasons, but Crafton left Texas with a disappointing 18th-place finish after getting caught up in a crash with less than ten laps to go. The disappointment has long been forgotten and Crafton has returned to his trademark consistency, racking up 13 consecutive top-ten finishes, including a fourth-place in last Saturday's event at Talladega Superspeedway, and he has climbed to fourth in the series championship standings.
Is there any score to settle with the track heading back to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend? "No not really. We've run really good there over the years and we're confident going back there that we'll be just as good as we have been in the past this weekend. We tried some things there in the spring and we were a little bit off. We made some adjustments and we were as fast, or faster, than the leaders and then we got crashed. It's just part of racing and we've put that out of our minds. We're going back with the plan of qualifying up front, running up front, and being a contender for the win. That's always our goal, so it's not like we have to rethink what we're doing to try to settle the score or anything like that."
Have you changed your approach to the late-season races now that you're battling for a top five position in the points? "Not at all. We're here to win races and run up front. If we're doing that, then the points will take care of themselves. We aren't here to race the 3 truck (Austin Dillon) for points, we're here to win. If we can't win, we want to be second, and if we can't be second we want to be third. If he tries something strategy-wise that's different than what we're doing and gets off sequence we'll keep an eye on it and monitor it but we aren't going to change what we're doing just because they try something."
How hard is a fast lap at Texas? "Physically it's not hard. It's not like running a fast lap at Bristol or Darlington where you really have to fight to get the truck around the track. Mentally it can be pretty difficult. You have to get it into your mind that you're going to drive the truck down into the corner and not lift. When you're in traffic and the air is bouncing you around you can't hold it wide open so it's about how long you can stay on the gas and how soon you can get back to the gas. As you're putting laps on the tires that's going to change how the truck is handling too. We'll work on that in practice, trying to get our setup so we can run wide open or as close to wide open as we can for as long as we can."
Crafton at Texas: Matt will make his 20th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. In his previous 19 starts, he's earned three top-fives (fifth, June 2005 and second in both 2009 races), and nine top-ten finishes. He has started among the top three in each of the past three races; he started from the pole last November and outside the front row earlier this season. His average start is 17.4 and his average finish is 11.6. He has completed 2,941 of a possible 3,002 competition laps (98.0%); he's led three different races for a total of 33 laps including 26 in this race last season.
Matt's Texas Truck: Matt will drive ThorSport Racing Chassis No. 32 this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. He has driven this chassis earlier this season at Nashville (sxith), Kansas, Michigan, Pocono (third), and Chicagoland (seventh).