Since the early portion of the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season and up until this point, Matt Crafton has had some frustrating races. See, Crafton has 14 career Truck Series victories in 416 career starts. He also has landed inside the top 10 in 246 of those races. But, among his last 49 starts, Crafton has just one trip to victory lane. To further this point, that win came last July in Eldora, a dirt track.
Crafton, was never known as a dirt racer but he added an extra importance to the new annual stop on the Truck Series schedule. He got focused and tried dirt races in other series’ to try to improve his chances on the Ohio short track. It paid off by virtue of a win in 2017.
But, since early on in the season of 2016, that’s Crafton’s only win. In that year, he won in back-to-back races at Dover and Charlotte. He was looking like he would fight for another championship. Instead, he has that one victory in his last 49 starts and heads to Saturday night’s Eaton 200 (8:30 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) with a 21 race winless streak.
Last weekend in Iowa, he appeared to be well on his way to just his fourth top five finish of the season in his No. 88 Ford. Unfortunately, he blew a left front tire and crashed in Turn 1 in the closing laps. He’d finish 26th as a result for his fourth finish outside the top 15 in nine tries.
Now, he’s looking to end his streak this weekend on a track that he’s typically struggled at. The Gateway Motorsports Park hasn’t been kind to Crafton over the years. In 14 career starts on the St. Louis area track, Crafton has just two top five finishes to his credit. In fact, out of the last four years there, he’s had three finishes of 21st or worst.
Numbers say that his No. 88 Ford will likely struggle again this weekend. There are several other drivers that have momentum on their side to go along with solid finishes in their careers at Gateway. That’s why a top 10 finish for Crafton this weekend will go a long way to getting back some momentum.