Crafton Soars To Keystone Light Pole At Michigan

Jacob Seelman Featured, Trucks 0 Comments

Matt Crafton celebrates with the Keystone Light Pole Award Saturday at Michigan Int’l Speedway. (NASCAR photo)

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Saturday morning, Matt Crafton proved he hasn’t lost his touch on the high-speed downforce tracks of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, capturing the Keystone Light Pole Award during qualifying at Michigan Int’l Speedway.

Crafton posted a lap of 39.076 seconds (184.256 mph) in the final knockout round, garnering his 13th career pole. It was his first of the season and third at Michigan, following similar efforts in 2011 and 2015.

The No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra is looking for its second win of the season, after Crafton took down his first win of the year last month on the dirt at Eldora Speedway. Crafton has never won at Michigan.

An all-veteran front row will see defending Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter line up alongside Crafton on the front row, after Sauter posted the second-fastest lap of 39.140 seconds (183.955 mph) in the No. 21 Karl Chevrolet Chevrolet Silverado.

Sauter is also looking for his second win of the season, having won at Dover earlier in the spring, but unlike Crafton he does have a win at Michigan, with his last win for ThorSport Racing coming at the two-mile oval in 2014.

Friday practice leader John Hunter-Nemechek will start third (39.175/183.791), followed by a pair of rookies in Chase Briscoe and Noah Gragson.

In fact, a total of five rookies trailed the veterans in the top three, with Grant Enfinger, Justin Haley and Austin Cindric timing in sixth through eighth, respectively.

Darrell Wallace Jr., making his return to the Truck Series; Kyle Busch; Ryan Truex and Kaz Grala completed the first six rows and all made it to the final round of qualifying.

Christopher Bell, who will leave Michigan after the Truck race and head to Knoxville Raceway to compete in the finale of the 5-hour Energy Knoxville Nationals, was the first truck that failed to advance to the final round.

Bell posted a best lap of 39.714 seconds (181.296 mph) in his No. 4 JBL/SiriusXM Toyota and will start 13th.

Other notable names that struggled in the opening knockout round were Ben Rhodes (14th), Stewart Friesen (16th), Joe Nemechek (23rd) and Jordan Anderson (26th).

With only 30 trucks entered, all drivers made the race.

The LTi Printing 200 kicks off at 1 p.m. ET, live on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Full qualifying results can be viewed on the next page…

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