Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner, Jr.
Driver Point Standings: 7th
Owner Point Standings: 9th
Spotter: Stevie Reeves
News and Notes:
- This Week’s No. 88 Great Lakes/Menards Ford F-150… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 66 for Thursday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway. This chassis, which was built new in 2018, has made two starts this season (Texas Motor Speedway – finishing fifth, and Chicagoland Speedway – finishing 11th). Additionally, this chassis was renumbered chassis No. “26” by crew chief Carl “Junior” Joiner for good luck. Junior’s lucky number is 26, he celebrated his birthday Tuesday, June 26, and his grandfather drove car No. 26.
- Bluegrass State Stats… Matt Crafton has made 19 starts at Kentucky Speedway since 2001. The ThorSport Racing driver’s success includes one win (2015), two poles (2012 and 2015), and 79 laps led en route to five top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. Furthermore, among active series driver’s, Crafton has the most starts, the most top-five finishes, the most top-10 finishes, has completed more laps (2675), and has more lead lap finishes (13) than any driver entered in the 21st annual event at the 1.5-mile track.
- Intermediate Track Stats… No current NCWTS driver is better at intermediate-sized (1.5 or 1.54-mile) tracks than Crafton. In 149 starts, the ThorSport Racing driver has nine wins, eight poles and has led 1,210 laps en route to 14 runner-up finishes, 48 top-five and 91 top-10 finishes.
- Take me back – Kentucky, 2017…. Starting fourth, Crafton suffered from damage to the right side of his Menards machine early, after contact with his teammates. Multiple trips down pit road during the 150-lap event help aid in the handling, and Crafton who still showed speed throughout the event was able to salvage a top-10 finish, finishing eighth.
- Race Rewind – Chicago… The Menards driver started eighth, finished 12th in Stage 1, and sixth in Stage 2, but a late-race pit strategy call relegated the No. 88 Ford F-150 to an 11th-place finish in the “Windy City.”
- 2018 Stats… In 11 starts this season, Crafton has led 35 laps en route to three top-five, and four top-10 finishes. The Menards driver has a season-best start of second (Atlanta & Martinsville), and a season-best finish of second (Dover).
- Veteran-Size Stats… Crafton holds the record for consecutive starts (418) in the NCWTS. Among his success in the past 17 seasons, the two-time champion has earned 13 poles and led 2,491 laps en route to 14 wins, 105 top-five, and 246 top-10 finishes.
- Catch Crafton at Kentucky… Crafton will join his fellow ThorSport Racing teammate, Grant Enfinger, at the Ford Stage in the midway at Kentucky Speedway, Thursday, July 12, at 3 p.m. ET.
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Chatting with Matt Crafton…
“Kentucky Speedway and I have had a love-hate relationship, to be quite honest – it’s been really good to us at times, and really bad for us too. With the new asphalt on it, there is a difference in the corners. Turns 1 and 2 are wide-open, with a bunch of banking, and Turns 3 and 4 are virtually flat compared to 1 and 2. So, it’s a huge juggling act to try and get the balance of the vehicle right.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!