Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 9/21/14
SANDUSKY, Ohio – For a race-winning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver and a former NASCAR touring division champion, Matt Crafton is about as low-key as you can get — when he’s outside the race vehicle… But when he takes the green flag at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway for Sunday’s NCWTS Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine, Crafton will take sole possession of the Truck Series’ all-time record for consecutive starts, with 297. And you can believe that has him more excited as the clock ticks toward the moment he’ll fire-up his No. 88 Ideal Door / Menards Toyota. “It’s awesome and I’m definitely pumped-up to do it,” said Crafton, who back during Speedweeks at Daytona said he’d only thought about the record ‘a couple times.’ “But believe me, it’s something that’s very cool, to be able to say that I’m in there, among that group of record holders in the Camping World Truck Series.” The ironic thing is that Crafton actually replaced the man he’s surpassing this weekend for the Truck Series’ consecutive starts streak, Terry Cook. Cook made 93 consecutive starts as ThorSport Racing’s inaugural driver before Crafton jumped into the No. 88 for the final race of the 2000 season. Crafton’s gone on to make 296 consecutive starts, all of them for ThorSport with the exception of the 25-race 2004 season, when Crafton raced at KHI. “The coolest thing, obviously is to thank (owners) Duke and Rhonda Thorson for always believing in me,” Crafton said, “They’ve stuck with me and have been so loyal to me, giving me the opportunity to be there for all those races, and to have the equipment and the team behind me to have the shot to own this record, outright. “And in this business, that means way more to me, at the end of the day. And don’t forget that this season is Menards’ 11th season with me, and I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I’ve been to represent them, and how enjoyable that’s been.” And that brings Crafton to this week, when his team led by crew chief Carl “Junior” Joiner hits Rockingham a solid third in the championship standings, coming off ThorSport’s third one-two finish of its career, last weekend at Martinsville. Johnny Sauter and Crafton have finished in that order in each of those one-twos, and despite the opportunity Sauter has to create a piece of outright NASCAR history if he’s able to win his third consecutive Truck Series race to start this season, Crafton’s only focused on breaking his own 38-race winless streak. “I don’t believe in momentum, but Rockingham is an awesome place, it’s gonna be a darned good race and I’m looking forward to going there,” Crafton said. “We had a very, very good truck there, last year and if we can just keep all this momentum going, we’re going to be fine. “I know I had a blast there last year and it’s one I’ve had circled on my calendar and I’m pumped to get there.” A year ago, Crafton started eighth and led 40 of the 200 laps before finishing third, behind visiting Sprint Cup driver Kasey Kahne and defending Truck Series champion James Buescher. At The Rock a year ago, Sauter finished right behind Crafton, who feels like the Martinsville race, in which tire management became a key, could’ve been decent preparation for Rockingham’s abrasive surface. “I feel like Martinsville was a great test session for Rockingham — exactly,” Crafton said. “I feel like Rockingham will be very similar to Martinsville. You’ll be able to go hard at the beginning of a run, but then you’ll pay for it at the end of the run… Or you can go easy, take care of your stuff and be there at the end of a run.” That’s the exact strategy Crafton and Joiner used last weekend to finish second to Sauter. Their third teammate, Todd Bodine in the No. 13 SealMaster Toyota, almost made it a historic ThorSport one-two-three before Kevin Harvick spun him out of a sure top-10 run late in the race. The season’s third race, on the one-mile high-banked oval in the North Carolina sand hills, gets the green flag at 2 p.m. ET Sunday. Live television begins at 1:30 p.m. with “The Set-up” pre-race show on SPEED Channel, followed by the race broadcast. MRN Radio has live coverage, also beginning at 1:30 p.m.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

Report: Jermaine O'Neal 'intrigued' about joining Mavs

Report: Robert Griffin III likely to return to Redskins

Izzo criticizes coaches, players after embarrassing loss

Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Is Rampage Jackson heading back to the UFC?

WATCH: DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles after win

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

NASCAR News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.