Crafton, who also coaches action sports superstar Travis Pastrana as he transitions into NASCAR, has 252 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Additionally, the Truck Series veteran has finished in the top-five in the championship point standings the last three seasons and in third place in 2011. This weekend Crafton will be on hand to help Truex as he makes his first start at Darlington Raceway – the track that is “Too Tough to Tame”.
RYAN TRUEX QUOTES
ON MATT CRAFTON: “The biggest thing with Matt is having someone up on the spotter stand that knows what it is like behind the wheel. He can give me a driver’s opinion on what I could be doing different to make the car go fast and be more consistent. He has a lot of experience on all these tracks we race and he can help me with the best way around. I trust Matt a lot, because I know he knows what he is talking about and he has done all this stuff before. We get along great, and the past couple weeks he has been a great help. The past two weeks he’s been a huge help for me on the track during practice and the race.”
ON DARLINGTON: “I have never raced at Darlington before. I have only watched my brother race there. It looks like a place where you really need to take care of your race car. Things seem to happen really quick there and you can get yourself into the wall pretty easily. It’s one of those places where you need to learn all the lines to be good. I am going to have to lean a lot on my brother and Matt Crafton for advice and knowledge. I will also do simulation races on iRacing this week to practice and get ready for this weeks race at Darlington.”
ON MOMENTUM AND CONFIDENCE: “Having momentum and confidence in yourself helps a lot when you show up at the race track. Nashville was a big help for my confidence and momentum for the team because we ran strong and had a good car at the end of the race. We didn’t get the finish that we wanted, but we ran strong. I felt like we had some momentum going into Richmond. I felt like Jerry Baxter (crew chief), the crew and I have started to gel and have good communication with one another. That momentum and confidence in each other led us to a good finish last weekend. I think the momentum we have now is going to help us this weekend in Darlington. Last week really gave the entire team confidence. We all know we have the cars to run up front. I think momentum is a big part of racing, and I think we have some on our side now.”
NOTES OF INTEREST
· Michael Waltrip Racing, Gary and Blake Bechtel and Travis Pastrana own Pastrana-Waltrip Racing that fields Toyota Camrys out of the MWR shop in Cornelius, N.C. The Bechtels’ have owned cars in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series since 1990. The Morgan Hill, Calif. residents’ teams have visited victory lane 10 times in the Nationwide Series.
· With his eighth-place finish last Friday night at Richmond, Truex became the first rookie to capture a top-10 finish in the 2011 Nationwide Series season.
· Truex will sign autographs at the Michael Waltrip Racing merchandise hauler on Friday from 1:30 – 2 p.m.
· Truex is the only teenager to win back-to-back K&N Pro Series East titles (2009 & 2010), and he is the first driver to bring a championship to Michael Waltrip Racing.