Unexpected “flap” in practice forces repairs to Matt Crafton’s Ford


MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA - OCTOBER 25: Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Black Label Bacon/Menards Ford, practices for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2019 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The weekend started on a positive note for Matt Crafton, who was seventh fastest in Friday’s opening NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice and quickest in best 10 consecutive lap average in the second session.

But Happy Hour also brought a mishap that sent Crafton’s No. 88 Ford back to the garage for repairs.

“First practice, we fired off OK, and we made some pretty big wholesale changes at the start of the second practice, and it was actually really good,” Crafton said. “We made two more runs, and they forgot to put the hood pins in.

“The hood flew open and wrapped around the front windshield, caved the roof in, so we spent the rest of practice working on that to get it back out.”

At least Crafton had a chance to exact some payback from his team.

“It’s a brand new truck–I’m saying that with a smile, because the guys have worked their butts off, and any time they bring a new truck to the track, they harass me any time I put a mark on a brand new truck,” Crafton said. “It’s like ‘Look what you did to our brand new truck.’

“So, at the end of the practice, I tried to lighten their spirits a bit. I said, ‘Hey, if nothing else, guys, you screwed this truck up before I did.’”

Greg Engle