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Aug 18, 2014 - 07:08 PM
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2014 Bristol: Johnny Sauter NASCAR Truck Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Aug 18, 2014 - 07:06 PM
2014 Bristol: Johnny Sauter NASCAR Truck Race Preview

Sitting second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver point standings, Matt Crafton visits Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (BMS) searching for his first win at "The World's Fastest Half Mile". Crafton is no stranger to short track success, as his first win of 2014 came on the half-mile paperclip of Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in April. His first of two career short track triumphs came in 2011 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, which was his second career NCWTS victory.


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Much like his 2014 season, the Great Lakes Wood Floors/Menards driver has been a model of consistency at "Thunder Valley". In four of the last five races at BMS, Crafton has posted top-10 finishes, and has completed 99.7% of the laps attempted in his 11 career starts. Crafton has excelled at all three short track races this season, posting a third-place finish at Iowa, ninth at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, and a win at Martinsville. Leading into the 13th event on the NCWTS schedule, the defending champion has moved within nine points of the leader and has tallied four top-10 finishes in the last five races.

Sounding off - Matt Crafton:
"Bristol definitely is the coliseum of racing; it's a very cool racetrack. There's no other track on the schedule that races the way Bristol does. We've been close to winning there a few times, and with as many second-place finishes as we've had this season, we're ready to get back to victory lane. We've been good on short tracks this year, especially winning at Martinsville, so we're ready to unload a fast Menards Toyota Tundra and stay up front all night, because track position will be key."

Crafton's Bristol Stats:
• 11 starts
• 2212 of 2219 laps completed (99.7%)
• 0 laps led
• Two top-five finishes
• Six top-10 finishes
• Best start: 5th (2003)
• Best finish: 2nd (2009)
• Avg. start: 17.2
• Avg. finish: 10.7
• According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
o Fourth in Laps in the Top 15: 1013
o Third in Fastest Laps Run: 52
o 12th in Driver Rating: 83.4
o 16th in Average Running Position: 14.737

Matt Crafton 2014:
• After a second-place finish in the Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Crafton is second in the NCWTS driver point standings, nine points behind ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter
• 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 six top-five and eight top-10 finishes
• Has led 230 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 1767 of 1848 laps attempted (95.6%)
• According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
o First in Laps in the Top-15: 1612
o Second in Average Running Position: 7.286
o Third in Driver Rating: 102.7
o Third in Laps Led: 223
o Fourth in Fastest Laps Run:120

Crafton's Career Truck Series Stats:
• 328 starts since 2000
• Five wins
• 69 top-five finishes
• 183 top-10 finishes
• Seven poles
• 51,261 laps completed
• 850 laps led
• Average start: 13.5
• Average finish: 12.0

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