Matt Crafton Prepares For Atlanta

Matt Crafton

Team Information:

Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner

Manufacturer: Toyota

Engine: Triad Racing Technologies

2016 NCWTS Driver Point Standings: 13th

2016 NCWTS Owner Point Standings: 16th

Sounding Off – Matt Crafton:Atlanta has historically been one of your favorite race tracks. What is it about the track that you enjoy racing on?“Atlanta is by far, hands down, my favorite race track that we go to, so I hate that this is the last race we’ll see on this pavement. I love Atlanta. You get so much tire fall-off from the beginning of a run, to the end. It’s incredible. You can run around there for the first two laps wide open, and then after that, when you get 15-20 laps into it, your hanging on for dear life, and screaming you need tires. Then, you still have to go another 20 laps after that. Atlanta definitely separates the field, for sure. It’s a lot about tire management. Last year we had such a fast Menards Toyota Tundra – led the most laps and just got caught-up in someone else’s mess. I’m confident we can pick up where we left off in 2016.”

Now that we’ve completed the first race of the 2017 NCWTS season with the new race format, how do you feel it will impact the race in Atlanta this weekend?“Honestly, I liked the stages, it made it exciting for the fans. I can’t say that it really affected the outcome of the race in the truck series though – our races are shorter anyway, and we’re racing hard from green flag to checkered flag. Daytona proved that it was important to finish strong in each stage though, and get those bonus points. We dropped back to stay out of trouble, and focused on the race win. We looked like we were in a good position to capitalize on that strategy until it didn’t anymore, but that’s plate racing. Now we just need to win a race and we’re back in the mix.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 56 for Saturday’s Active Pest Control 200 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway (AMS). This chassis made its debut at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet in 2016, and Crafton piloted it to a 10th-place finish in the season finale at Homestead (Fl.) Miami Speedway (2016) after leading 10 laps.

  • All About Atlanta… 2015 AMS winner, Matt Crafton, has the most starts (15), has completed the most laps (1863), is tied with Kyle Busch for the most top-10 finishes (8), and has the most lead lap finishes (11) of any other active series driver at the 1.54-mile track.

  • Intermediate Track Success… No current NCWTS driver is better at Intermediate tracks than Crafton. Dating back to 2014, Crafton has finished in the top-10 in 23 of the last 26 races at ovals measuring 1.5 or 1.54 miles. Included in that stretch are seven wins, and six runner-up finishes.

  • Take Me Back – Atlanta, 2016: The Menards driver led the field three times for a race-high 76 laps in the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event at AMS, but finished 30th due to a late-race accident on lap 113 of 130.

  • Changes for 2017… Atlanta will feature three stages (Stage 1 – 40 laps, Stage 2 – 40 laps, Final Stage – 50 laps), with approximately a five-minute break in between.

  • Rearview Mirror – Daytona… Making his 17th career start at Daytona (Fl.) International Speedway, Crafton started seventh, led the field once for one lap and finished 14th, due to a last lap crash in the 100-lap event.

Crafton’s Atlanta Motor Speedway Stats:

  • Starts: 15, since 2004

  • Wins: 1 (2015)

  • Poles: 1 (2016)

  • Top-Five Finishes: 4

  • Top-10 Finishes: 10

  • Laps Completed: 1863 of 1963 (94.9%)

  • Laps Led: 171

  • Average start: 14.1

  • Average finish: 12.7

Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:

  • 385 starts since 2000

  • 13 wins

  • 97 top-five finishes

  • 226 top-10 finishes

  • 12 poles

  • 59,399 laps completed

  • 2145 laps led

  • Average start: 12.7

  • Average finish: 11.5

Race Information:
Date: Saturday, March 4
Time: 4:30pm ET
Track: 1.54-mile

Distance: 130 laps/200.2 miles


About Ideal Door:

IDEAL Door is a leader in residential and commercial garage doors and is a preferred brand among consumers, architects, specifiers and building professionals. For more information visit:


About Menards:

A family-owned and run company started in 1958, Menards currently operates 305 stores located in 14 Midwestern states.  Menards is known throughout the home improvement industry as the low price leader; it’s no wonder their famous slogan – “SAVE BIG MONEY” – is so widely known and easy to remember.  Menards does things right – the company’s strength and success can be seen in the well-stocked and maintained stores, the lowest prices in town, and the way Guests are always treated like family. For more information

About ThorSport Racing:

ThorSport Racing, based in Sandusky, Ohio, is the longest-tenured NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. The team has competed in the NCWTS since 1996, and enters it’s 22nd consecutive season. In 2017 ThorSport Racing will run the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra driven by two-time NCWTS drivers’ champion Matt Crafton, the No. 13 JEGS/RIDE TV Toyota Tundra driven by Cody Coughlin, the No. 27 Toyota Tundra driven by Ben Rhodes, and the No. 98 RIDE TV/Champion Power Equipment/Jive Communications Toyota Tundra driven by Grant Enfinger. For more information visit 


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