MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 ChiChi’s/Menards Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
What is your outlook for this weekend at Pocono Raceway?
“Just go into this race like we do each and every race. Just try to go and lead laps and put ourselves in position to win. We haven’t really honestly looked at points. The only time we ever look at points is when people talk to us about it and that’s been our mentality the last two years, but me and (Carl Joiner) Jr. live and die by. I always like coming here, it’s a lot of fun to race at this race track and I know the trucks always put on a really good show at the end of the race. It gets really, really wild so hopefully we can put on a good one tomorrow.”
Can you talk about the points battle between yourself, Tyler Reddick and Erik Jones?
“Just like I said a little while ago, I don’t look at points. We just go and race each race and like I said just look at the following race and just race it and try to lead laps and win the race and at that point if you win the race you get max points. That’s just our mentality. It’s been the first year we points raced for the first championship, last year me and (Carl Joiner) Jr. made the promise to each other that we weren’t going to points race last year and we didn’t. We got to Homestead and we looked at it and, ‘Okay, we’re here.’ We knew where we were because that’s what your guys job is to bring it up to us each and every week. That’s just something we go and just try to focus on.”
What was the most you took out of the race at Eldora Raceway?
“Eldora was a lot of fun. Definitely didn’t end up as well as we ran all day. Just had a bad call on a restart. We were running third and they said we were fourth on the lineup and just got – the outside line was not the preferred line once you got back because everybody did the slide-job and they just slid up into me and I was just a sitting duck at that point.”
What would it mean to get a win in tomorrow’s NCWTS race at Pocono Raceway in your 350th career start?
“Oh it’s really cool. Somebody brought that up to me a little while ago. Had to bring up how old I was running 350 Truck races. That’s what the PR department is supposed to do. It would be very cool to get Toyota and Duke and Rhonda Thorson and Triad — one of the really cool things is Triad this year we thought we were 99 race wins but we actually had 99 going into Daytona and I won them their 100th race at Atlanta and now I think we’re on our 103rd win for Triad so that was a very cool milestone that we passed there for Triad.”
Do you like racing at Pocono Raceway?
“I think I’ve gotten worse ever since the first time I came here and we finished third and I’ve kind of gotten worse each and every time, but I haven’t really gotten worse it’s just wild at the end. I think we had a top-five truck here last year and just had a bad restart and I got hung on the bottom of a four-wide deal and I had to checkup getting into the tunnel turn and lost a ton of spots. I had a really bad finish there. I love racing here, it’s a lot of fun to go around this place. It’s super fast and it’s a momentum thing. The Trucks have so much drag and they don’t have as much power as the Cup cars. Each and every time that we come here I smile every lap.”
What are your thoughts of some of the Sprint Cup Series drivers running in tomorrow NCWTS race?
“I didn’t know they were racing. It’s really cool to see the Cup guys come run the Truck Series. I wish more of them would. It always helps the Camping World Truck Series to get some of the Cup guys down here and for the regular Truck guys like myself we love to go race against them because they’re great race car drivers. They get to do it a lot more than we do. We get 23 races a year. Kyle (Busch) and Kevin (Harvick) and Austin (Dillon) and all of those guys get to run the Nationwide races and Cup races. They’re definitely very good at what they do because they get so much seat time and it’s very good for the series and I wish they ran more of them.”
How much pressure do you feel to win another championship after having won the last two years?
“You just look at them each and every week as one race and just go out and lead the most laps. I answered that a little while ago but like I said I’m just repeating it. We go out and race each race and go out to win and don’t worry about points and if we win the race we get max points and if not we didn’t. That’s just the way me and (Carl Joiner) Jr., my crew chief, our mentality is.”
Do you feel 60 laps is too short of a race here at Pocono Raceway?
“Yeah, it’s too short for sure. I wish it was a little bit longer. Hopefully I don’t fall out of the seat and get tired in that 60 laps. I would love for it to be 100 laps because like I said there would be a little bit more strategy and you’d definitely see a little bit better race for sure.”