The ThorSport Racing team started out strong at Texas Motor Speedway, winning Stages 1 and 2 in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race. But after Johnny Sauter wrecked early on and Ben Rhodes had a transmission failure, only Matt Crafton and Grant Enfinger had a realistic shot of winning the race for the team.
Matt Crafton was the highest of the ThorSport finishers. falling 0.963 seconds short to eventual race winner Greg Biffle. Crafton started 10th and stayed in the top-10 for most of the night.
In Stage 1, Crafton worked his way up to finish fifth in the first stage and eighth in the second stage. He remained relatively quiet in the third stage, avoiding all the wrecks which put him up front for a late race restart with 10 to go, starting on the second row.
Crafton, who has been winless for almost two years, was chasing down Greg Biffle in the closing laps in hopes of snapping his winless streak. However, the No. 88 Menards Ford F-150 would have to wait for another race to break the winless drought.
“Just trying to get to his (Greg Biffle) rear bumper,” Crafton told MRN Radio in his post-race interview. “With four to go, getting down into Turn 1, I just got really tight and didn’t make up the difference. Maybe I should have waited until one to go. It’s just so aero-dependent, track position just sucks. I wanted that 50 grand bad.”
It was Crafton’s six top five of the 2019 season.
His teammate, Grant Enfinger, also finished in the top five by placing his No. 98 in the fourth position. Enfinger finished third and fourth in both stages and led two times for 44 laps.
“We kept getting the raw deal under caution,” Enfinger said describing his race. “I still haven’t figured that out, everyone makes mistakes I guess. I saw a yellow flag come out one of those times and I slowed down, everybody went around us. Just frustration, because we gave them everything we got. Got an incredibly fast Protect The Harvest ThorSport Racing Ford F-150. Definitely capable of winning this race tonight, just didn’t have the track position when we needed it. Don’t know if we could have done anything different. I got into some hairy spots. Got our air taken off, got pushed around a little bit but was able to save the truck and survive a wild night here, but I feel like we really gave away a chance to win.”
The fourth place finish was Enfinger’s fifth top five of the year.
Johnny Sauter won Stage 1 but was caught up in a wreck during Stage 2 which took him out of contention to win. Sauter earned a disappointing 13th place finish after starting on the outside pole.
Ben Rhodes had a pretty similar night winning Stage 2, but a transmission failure plagued the No. 99 Carolina Nut Company Ford F-150 to a 21st place finish.