They always say that you’ll have ups and downs in racing, but most times they don’t come in the same weekend. However, for Matt Crafton who competed in both the Lucas Oil 200 and the Menards 200 this weekend, that was the case.
[media-credit id=26 align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]On Friday afternoon, Crafton drove his No. 88 Menards/Chevrolet to a third place finish in the Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway in the Camping World Truck Series.
“At the beginning of the race, I couldn’t fire off and I was really, really loose,” Crafton said. “But at the end of the run, we’d be one of the best trucks on the race track.”
Crafton qualified 10th, worked his way through the field fighting loose conditions to his sixth top-10 in 11 races at Dover to take over the points lead.
“It’s great to be the points leader,” Crafton continued. “We just need to keeping doing what we’re doing and running top five every week and having these top three finishes and throw a couple of wins off and see where we are at Homestead.”
Then on Sunday, Crafton competed in the ARCA Series Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway, where he finished 17th after having a left front tire blow.
“I joked with Bud at the end of the race that maybe we’ve gotten all of our bad luck out of the way for the year with this race,” Crafton said with a smile. “This was a pretty good car, it was tight in the middle, but nothing to worry me about the tires. The irony is, that car was running fantastic after the tire blew and I came in. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough cautions to give us the Lucky Dog twice to put us back on the lead lap.”
Crafton started the day 24th after the field was lined up based on owner points, though worked his way to the top five by lap 63. At that time, he chose to pit for tires, which set him back to the 20th position. Crafton, however, worked his way back to the lead in 14 laps before the left front blew at lap 135.
“It’s fun to get a chance to come back and race in the ARCA Racing Series as part of my partnership with Menards,” he continued. “I would have loved to pull out a win for my sponsor today. We had the strategy and team to do it. The Menards 200 is a great celebration of what Menards does with their stores in this area. It was great to see Frank Kimmel running well in his Menards car as well for a while there. We’re looking forward to racing again in Indianapolis at the ARCA Racing Series. Thanks also to Frank and his team for fielding this car for us.”
The next Camping World Truck Series race for Crafton is next Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Crafton’s had success at Charlotte as he won the race in 2008.
The next ARCA Racing Series race for Crafton is the Ansell Protective Gloves 200 at Lucas Oil Speedway on July 28th.