Crafton skirts his way to a sixth-place finish in Kentucky

Matt Crafton and the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards team entered the eighth race on the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule at Kentucky Speedway looking for redemption following a season-worst 26th-place finish at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill. Crafton endured a "wicked loose" Toyota Tundra and a broken side skirt, which plagued the handling of the Menard's yellow machine in the opening laps. The ThorSport Racing driver was able to persevere and rebounded in style with a sixth-place finish in Thursday night's UNOH 225. The solid effort was the 2013 reigning series champions' 11th top-10 finish at Kentucky Speedway, the most of any other driver in the series.

Starting 11th, Crafton was quickly plagued with issues when the side skirt on the left side of his Tundra sheared off in the opening laps, bringing out the first caution of the night for debris on the backstretch. Although the unfortunate circumstance dramatically hurt the down force and handling on the No. 88 machine, it didn't hurt Crafton's position on the race track and his drive to find victory lane for the third time this season.

 

Continuing to search for the edge he needed to drive to the front, Crafton eventually came down pit road on lap 61 under caution to repair the side skirt on his ThorSport Racing machine. Unfortunately, the handling didn't improve, and Crafton was scored a race-low 15th just past the half-way mark in the 150-lap event. Crew chief Carl Joiner made one last attempt to improve on the Tundra when the fifth caution flag was displayed on lap 100. Crafton came down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Restarting sixth on lap 103, the Tulare, California native raced between fourth and eighth in the closing laps to cross the stripe sixth behind race winner Kyle Busch.

 

Thorsport PR

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Steven B. Wilson

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