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Jul 29, 2014 - 04:55 PM
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2014 Pocono: Matt Crafton NASCAR Truck Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 29, 2014 - 04:48 PM
2014 Pocono: Matt Crafton NASCAR Truck Race Preview

For the third time this year, Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Rip It Energy Fuel/Menards Toyota Tundra, is on the outside looking in on the chase for the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver championship heading into Saturday's Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The defending series champion now sits second, a mere two markers behind Ryan Blaney heading into the 11th race on the 2014 NCWTS schedule. As one of only two drivers to complete 100 percent of laps attempted at the "Tricky Triangle," Crafton leads all NCWTS drivers with the most top-10 finishes (four) in the series' four starts at the 2.5-mile track. "Mr. Consistency" is looking to capitalize on his solid record at the Long Pond, Pa. track, and get back where he belongs - at the top of the point standings following Saturday's 60-lap shootout.


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Sounding off - Matt Crafton:
"Flat racetracks really suit my driving style, because you can move around and find speed. Even though Pocono has three distinctively different corners, and you have to compromise what you're doing to the truck to suit it all the way around the racetrack, the flattest corner is the most critical. Turn 1 is really a typical oval-track corner, though you really have to have your truck working well because you carry so much speed off that long frontstretch. The Tunnel Turn is important because you carry a lot of speed through there and it can get your attention in a hurry -- especially running in traffic.But Turn 3 is the big one, because you can't overdrive the corner, you can't get the truck bound up or too loose because that will cost you too much momentum getting down that long frontstretch, and over a run that can really cost you."

Crafton's Pocono Stats:
• Four starts
• One of only two NCWTS drivers to complete 100% of laps attempted (212)
• 0 laps led
• Two top-five finishes
• Leads all NCWTS drivers with the most top-10's (four)
• Average start: 12.2
• Average finish: 5.8
• Best start: ninth (2012 & 2013)
• Best finish: third (2010)
• According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
• First in Laps in the Top-15: 198 (93.4%)
• Fifth in Average Running Position: 8.70
• Sixth in Driver Rating: 95.6
NCWTS Results at Pocono:
Date Start Finish Laps Status Led
7/31/2010 18 3 55/55 Running 0
8/7/2011 13 8 53/53 Running 0
8/4/2012 9 4 50/50 Running 0
8/3/2013 9 8 54/54 Running 0

Matt Crafton 2014:
• After an eighth-place finish in the Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, Crafton ranks second in the NCWTS driver point standings, four points behind leader Ryan Blaney
• Has been victorious twice - Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
• The first season in 14 years in the NCWTS that the ThorSport Racing driver has won multiple races in one season
• Has posted five top-five and seven top-10 finishes
• Has led 222 laps
• Recorded a season-best second-place start three times; Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
• Has completed 1603 of 1684 laps attempted (95.2%)
• According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
o First in Laps in the Top-15: 1548
o Second in Average Running Position: 7.316
o Third in Driver Rating: 103.8
o Third in Laps Led: 222
o Fourth in Fastest Laps Run:119
Crafton's Career Truck Series Stats:
• 326 starts since 2000
• Five wins
• 68 top-five finishes
• 182 top-10 finishes
• Seven poles
• 51,097 laps completed
• 842 laps led
• Average start: 13.5
• Average finish: 12.0

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