Crafton making slow progress back to the top

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 17: Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 17, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Matt Crafton is a two-time truck series champion and perennial race favorite, but even he concedes 2018 was one of the toughest years of his 19 fulltime seasons in the series. He didn’t win a race for the first time in seven seasons.

This year, Crafton and his ThorSport Motorsports team are motivated to right the ship and through the opening eight races seem to be doing so. Crafton has seven top-10 finishes through the opening eight races – actually he’s only finished worse than eighth place one time. He won the pole positions at the two races leading into Texas (at Kansas and at Charlotte) and he’s ranked fifth in the championship.

He’s won twice at Texas (2014 and 2015) and earned three pole positions. Crafton said, he’s ready to right this ship.

“I was real pissed off last year with the way we ran,’’ Crafton said. “Last year was definitely one of the most frustrating seasons I’ve had in my career. I can honestly say I was angry every week.’’

This year, however, Crafton allowed, “It’s been better. We haven’t been great, but it’s been better.’’