NCWTS: Crafton Finishes Fifth at Dover to Retain Camping World Truck Points Lead

RaceChaser Staff NASCAR, Northeast 0 Comments

DOVER, Del. — official team release — Ronda Greer photo —

Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Rip It/Menards Toyota Tundra, recovered from a pit road penalty late in Friday’s Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway to finish fifth, the ThorSport Racing driver’s fourth top-five finish in 15 starts at the one-mile concrete oval.

Starting third, Crafton maintained a top-five position through the races first 100 laps, bringing his Toyota Tundra to pit road at laps 34 and 75, respectively, for four tires and fuel. As the laps started winding down, pit strategy started to play out for the 32-truck field. While some trucks opted to make their final pit stop under the lap 106 caution, crew chief Carl “Junior” Joiner decided to keep the Menards driver out on track, and Crafton would lead the field for the sixth time this season from laps 107 to 109, until losing the lead to eventual race winner, Tyler Reddick.

Crafton, scored second, made his final pit stop of the day at lap 137, for four tires and fuel. Unfortunately, the NCWTS point leader would suffer a pit road penalty for “too fast exiting,” and be forced to start from the tail end of the longest line, in the 14th position for the lap 142 restart.

By lap 144, the defending series champion was scored seventh and with only 10 laps remaining, Crafton had worked his way into the fifth position, which is where he crossed the stripe at lap 200.

The solid run was Crafton’s fifth top-five of season and allowed the ThorSport Racing driver to retain the NCWTS point lead following the sixth race of the season.

“Track position was everything,” Crafton said. “I messed up and sped on pit road and gave it away. I felt if we wouldn’t have sped on pit road, we would have had a shot at the thing – driver error for sure. It’s frustrating. You can’t pass. You just try to get everything you can, when you can.”

“I hate it for these guys, for me making mistakes like that. We’ll go get em’ at Texas.”

Crafton’s next NCWTS outing will be the WinStar World Casino 400 from Texas Motor Speedway on June 5.

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