Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fast Facts: 2014 Camping World Truck Series Champion Matt Crafton

credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/
Robert Laberge
2014 Camping World Truck Series champ Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra for ThorSport Racing, raced for 12 seasons in the series before winning his first championship – now he has two in a row. Learn more about this California-born driver in this updated Truck Series championship edition – originally published in Dec. 2013 – of Fast Facts.
  • Matthew Crafton was born June 11, 1976 in Tulare, California. He began racing go-karts at age 7, progressing to midgets by age 15 after winning regional and national championships. In 1996, he moved up to the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series for the season’s final three races, subbing for his father, Danny, who was injured; the younger Crafton won the series’ title in 2000. In 1998, Crafton took part in the Winter Heat Series on ESPN, racing against, among others, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Ron Hornaday Jr. and 2014 Cup Series champ Kevin Harvick.
  • In 2000, Crafton also made his Truck Series debut in the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana with ThorSport, qualifying 17th and finishing ninth. After three full-time seasons with the team, he joined Kevin Harvick Incorporated in 2004, but was released at the end of the season in spite of a fifth-place finish in points and 17 top 10s. He rejoined ThorSport in 2005.
  • Crafton earned his first Truck Series pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2005, followed by his first victory in 2008 at Charlotte.
  • In 2013, Crafton scored one win and 19 top 10 finishes in 22 Truck Series races on his way to the championship. In 2014, he earned two wins and 17 top 10 finishes in 22 races to win his second-straight title.
  • Crafton made his Nationwide Series debut in 2013, racing three times for Richard Childress Racing in the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet Camaro; he finished with three top 10 finishes, including two third-place finishes at the two races at Kentucky Speedway. He raced once in the series in 2014, finishing 12th at Las Vegas in March.
  • Find out more about Crafton at his website, mattcrafton.com