Next weekend for Matt Crafton just got a little busier as he will attempt to qualify and race in the ARCA Racing Series’ Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway in Ohio. The race will be held on Sunday May 15th, less than 24 hours after Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway.
This isn’t the first time that Crafton has attempted doing this as he has done it the past two years. Two years ago, he flew from Charlotte to Toledo to qualify a car for Paul Menard to race. Last year, he flew in again from Charlotte, qualifying the car seventh and finishing fifth.
Crafton, who currently sits third in Truck points, will be driving the No. 88 Messina Wildlife Management/Menards Ford Fusion for the ARCA race, which will be prepared by Kimmel Racing. The opportunity to do this came forth as a result of the overall Menards Racing program in ARCA and the business relationship that they have with Crafton in the Camping World Truck Series.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Toledo – it’s a great racetrack with great fans,” Crafton said in the press release. “The track is awesome and I really like racing it. Pit strategy is huge at this track, since the tires fall off early and the rookies will be looking to their crew chiefs to really learn. We’ve learned a lot about tires this year in the Truck Series on repaved surfaces and different tires, so I’m interested in seeing what these Hoosier tires do next week.”
For Crafton, he is going into this race with one thing on his mind – winning.
“It’s great to race in the ARCA Racing Series, because this is just plain fun,” he said. “I’m going to race to win, I’d be ridiculous not to say that and there is some great competition in ARCA. Trucks this year is pretty cut-throat – every team and every driver has to be on their game 150% of the time to get a win and even get in the top ten. I’m proud of the momentum we’ve had so far, and it’s a great time for Ohio-based racing. Toledo Speedway shines a spotlight on Midwest racing at its finest, and I think it’s going to spotlight some really great talent there.”
The Tulare, California native is no stranger to Ohio as he is regularly in Sandusky, Ohio to check on his truck team.
“I come check in on my guys and my No. 88 fleet of trucks, meet with Bud (Haefele), crew chief, and get setups done with the team,” he said in the press release. “My owners, Duke and Rhonda Thorson, believe in Ohio for racing and know it’s a place where we can focus on the sport without a lot of chatter or noise from other teams. It’s good chi overall, keeps the guys motivated.”