Crafton has Truck Series championship in mind at Phoenix
Avondale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The championships in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series won't be decided until the following weekend at Homestead- Miami Speedway, but the title in the Camping World Truck Series could be determined on Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway.
Matt Crafton presently holds a 46-point lead over second-place and defending truck champion James Buescher. Ty Dillon is only one point behind Buescher after winning last week at Texas. Crafton finished 10th there after he dealt with an ill-handling truck for most of the race.
If Crafton can win at Phoenix or hold a point lead of 49 or more over his closest competitor at the conclusion of this 150-mile race then he will clinch the championship here.
Crafton has recorded eight top-10 finishes in 12 truck starts at Phoenix. His best finish at this track is third, which came in 2004.
"We'll unload at Phoenix prepared to win the race, and that's all we'll look at, but at the same time, we'll keep trying to make smart decisions," Crafton said.
This will be the second time truck teams have competed at Phoenix since it was reconfigured in 2011. The series raced here the last weekend in February during the '11 season, prior to the reconfiguration.
Crafton had completed every lap in his first 11 truck races at Phoenix. But just past the halfway point in last year's event at this track, which was held in November, Crafton wrecked into the wall after he made contact with Parker Kligerman. He spent nine laps behind the wall for repairs and ended up finishing 20th.
"The old track was always a big favorite of mine, because I knew it like the back of my hand," Crafton said. "But that's kind of funny because the new racetrack isn't a ton different."
Crafton's No. 88 ThorSport Racing team could clinch the owners' championship at Phoenix as well. The No. 88 enters this race with a 32-point lead over the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports team. Kyle Busch finished 28th at Texas after he suffered engine failure late in the event. Erik Jones is driving the No. 51 truck at Phoenix.
Thirty-six teams are on the entry list for the Lucas Oil 150.
Series: NASCAR Camping World. Date: Friday, Nov. 8. Race: Lucas Oil 150. Site: Phoenix International Raceway. Track: 1-mile oval. Start time: 8 p.m. ET. Laps: 150. Miles: 150. 2012 Winner: Brian Scott. Television: FOX Sports 1. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.
11/07 23:30:39 ET