FORT WORTH, Texas - Some well-timed caution periods and a great late-race restart helped Matt Crafton overcome handling woes and earn 12th finishing position in the Silverado 350 NASCAR Truck Series event at the Texas Motor Speedway Saturday, ...
FORT WORTH, Texas - Some well-timed caution periods and a great late-race restart helped Matt Crafton overcome handling woes and earn 12th finishing position in the Silverado 350 NASCAR Truck Series event at the Texas Motor Speedway Saturday, October 11. Brendan Gaughan won the event, his fourth straight victory at the 1.5-mile oval.
"I can't believe we finished 12th," Crafton said. "Probably should have been 20th...or worse. The guys never gave up. Every time we pitted, they made the truck a little better. We got some help with when the cautions came, and then we jumped on them on that last restart and got to 12th. It's hard to be happy with anything but a top-10, but to get a 12th today was something else."
Crafton started 14th in the 36-truck field. He charged to ninth early before making a pit stop after 16 of 146 laps were completed. After the initial pit stop, designed to get Crafton ahead of many of his competitors on fuel, the Menards/Enzyme Magic Chevrolet Silverado developed a handling problem which slowed Crafton dramatically versus the competition.
"It was handful after that first pit stop," Crafton said. "I was hanging on and hoping for a caution in the worst way. We ended up getting lapped twice, but by the time the caution came out, most of the other guys had made green flag pit stops. We were ninth, even though we were two laps down, by the time we finally got that caution. That saved us from a much worse finish."
Crafton raced the rest of the event between 11th and 15th positions. He was 14th as the field took the green flag for the final time with 19 laps remaining. As the pack compacted into a three-wide formation in the second turn, Crafton moved to the outside, found a hole and shot through to 11th place. He yielded that position in the final laps, but held the rest of the field at bay to earn the 12th spot at the checkered flag.
The performance helped Crafton maintain 11th position in the series point standings. He trails 10th-place Chad Chaffin by 23 points with three races remaining.
The circuit continues with an October 18 event in Martinsville, Va.