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Toyota NCWTS Kansas Matt Crafton Notes & Quotes

TOYOTA NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
Matt Crafton — Notes & Quotes
Kansas Speedway – May 8, 2014

MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Goof-off/Menards Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
Are you looking forward to getting back on the race track here at Kansas?
“It’s definitely been a little while since we’ve been on the race track. I look forward to always coming to Kansas. It’s a very, very cool race track. I just learned something a little while ago — I was doing a radio show — I will be one of the only drivers who has run all 14 Truck races here. Again, they made me feel old. It’s crazy, 37 years old and you’re feeling old. It’s always really good racing here. They’ve never had a back to back winner here at Kansas so I’ve got the monkey on my back this weekend to be able to try to do it and be a two-time winner here.”

Do you know where the team stacks up compared to others after only two races?
“I think we’re going to be and we shouldn’t miss a stride really. Just going to Martinsville and at the end of last year, I would say the last five or six races — I’m not saying we put it in cruise control, but we didn’t get to race quite as hard as we wanted to. I knew we had a lot of speed in our trucks, but I had to race really, really smart and couldn’t put myself in any bad positions. Everybody kept giving us a bad time at the end of last year — you guys are just going to top-10 us to death. We were just trying to win the championship. Then we went into this season with guns loaded and just kind of felt good to prove a point and know that we can win races when we need to. We feel like we’re going to be strong and I know there’s going to be a lot of other strong teams. I know (Ryan) Blaney and I know both my teammates, Johnny (Sauter) and Jeb (Burton), they’re going to be good as well. All the KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) Tundras are going to be very good. I know there’s going to be a lot of very good trucks again.”

How do you expect the new trucks to handle at Kansas?
“I don’t know how exactly it’s going to handle in traffic. The first time we’ve ever had our Menards Toyota Tundra on a mile-and-a-half was a week or two weeks ago when we had a two-day test in Charlotte. They didn’t drive that much different by themselves so I haven’t been in traffic with them to see how they handle, but I don’t see that they’re going to be that much different. We have three of them built to be able to run mile-and-a-halves, but at the same time we don’t know exactly what we’re looking for in our wind tunnel numbers. It will be very interesting.”

What makes Kansas so difficult for rookie drivers?
“I’m not sure, it’s definitely a tricky race track. You look at it as just an average mile-and-a-half race track, but I was just giving some of the rookie field laps around the race track and off turn four is very, very, very tough to get off of. It’s tough to get your stuff handling through one and two and be that good in three and four as well. Just getting balance overall in the race track is very tricky.”

How do you expect the race track to change from day to night in the race?
“I have no idea from day to night. The only backup that we have is we have Frank Kimmel in the Menards ARCA car last year and he raced it under the lights at the end of the season and he won the race. I don’t know what the track is going to do to be totally honest. I’m sure it will get more grip. Is it going to get free or is it going to tighten up? We don’t know to be totally honest. We have a little bit, but we’re not going to share all that with everybody what it’s going to do. Just having all three teams to help each other is definitely going to be very, very key. Last year during the day it got very slippery and the groove started moving around so hopefully the groove will widen out tomorrow night as well and we can get a second and third groove going.”

What does it mean to have Camping World extend their sponsorship of the series?
“It’s huge for me and for all the owners, for every one of the crew guys and for everybody involved in the Camping World Truck Series — it’s very cool. I know when I read it that morning I was ecstatic over it just to know that Camping World and the Camping World Truck Series is going to be around for a long time to come. I know it was a big breath of fresh air for NASCAR too — they have to sign two series sponsors and they got one of them out of the way and Camping World is stepping up so that is very good.”

What is your opinion of the progress of Darrell Wallace Jr.?
“He’s (Darrell Wallace Jr.) done very, very good. Darrell has been very fast and I say that each and every race he’s learned. The beginning of the year he had speed and he made mistakes and there at the end of the year he definitely was finishing races where he was running. I’m sure this year they are going to be one of the teams to run for the championship as well.”



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

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