Matt Crafton No. 88 Menards/Tide Chevrolet Preview: Kroger 200 at Martinsville

Sandusky, Oh. (October 20, 2010) – Matt Crafton heads into Martinsville with the longest top-ten finish streak of any driver in the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. With eleven consecutive top-tens, six of which have been top-five finishes, Crafton is heading to the 0.526-mile paperclip with momentum and confidence – so much so that he and his team think they can close out the season with five more and a chance to win at each of the remaining races on the schedule.

How confident are you and the team for the final five races of the season? “We are as confident as we’ve ever been. We’ve run incredibly well since the start of the summer and every time we unload we know we are going to be running somewhere up front. We have five really good racetracks for us coming up and we think we can go to each race and have a chance to win. It says something about the strength of this team to have eleven straight top tens, especially after the start we had to this season, but if all we have to show for these next five races is five more top tens we’re going to be a little disappointed. We want to be running up front, in the top five, with a chance to win and we think we can do it.”

How does your strategy differ in the fall when it’s a 200-lap race versus the spring in a 250-lapper? “It used to be that with the harder tire you wanted to pit as soon as your fuel window opened and that would be it. Now the tires are a little softer and they give up just a little so new tires are an advantage. I think you’ll see some cautions that will keep the field bunched up and a lot of people on the lead lap, so you won’t want to pit too late if you make a second stop but if you do make a second stop it won’t kill your chances to win like it would have a few years ago.”
American Muscle

With the shorter race does that make it even more intense out on the track, knowing you have 50 less laps to work through traffic and get to the front? “It’s always intense at Martinsville. We’re so close to each other and there’s really no room to get away from anyone. We are all trying to get down to the bottom. We are all dealing with someone right on the back bumper. On the restarts you’ll have someone three inches off your door. It all depends where you’re running on how the shorter race plays out. If you’re leading you’re glad it’s shorter because the last lap can’t get there quick enough. If you’re working your way through the field or even if your in second place you might wish you had those extra 50 laps to make something happen.”

Tide on for the ride at Martinsville: Procter and Gamble’s Tide detergent will be on board the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet for the second and final time of the 2010 season at Martinsville. Crafton finished third at Pocono with the bright orange Tide hood earlier in the season and knows the “Tide Ride” driven by former Sprint Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip has seen victory lane at Martinsville, a feat he hopes to match on Saturday.

Martinsville On-track:

Friday October 22 10:00-11:20 AM NCWTS Practice

1:10-2:00 PM NCWTS Final Practice

4:40 PM NCWTS Qualifying

Saturday October 23 1:00 PM NCWTS Kroger 200 (200 laps/105.2 miles; Live, SPEED/MRN Radio/Sirius

NASCAR Radio Channel 128)

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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