Busch, Crafton Share Charlotte ConnectionMatt Crafton won his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. So did Kyle Busch. The two enter Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 with the same – albeit slightly different – agendas.
Each wants a victory.
Crafton, however, might be willing to sacrifice the trophy in exchange for maintaining or adding to his series points lead. For Busch, a four-time Charlotte truck winner but not NCWTS points eligible, it’s all about the "W." Thus, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Crafton’s No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota go fender-to-fender with Busch’s No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Tundra.
Busch owns a significant statistical advantage – over Crafton and everyone else in the field. His 129.2 Driver Rating includes series bests of average finish (3.6), laps led (335), number of fastest laps (205), and percentage of laps in the top 15 (88.9).
Crafton’s Driver Rating (96.4) is fifth best and includes most green flag passes (307) and most quality passes (254) and most top-10 finishes (seven).
Busch and Crafton aren’t the only Charlotte winners in the field. Justin Lofton won the race a year ago while Ron Hornaday Jr. is a two-time winner (2007, ’09). The four-time series champion ranks second to Busch in Driver Rating (113.2) and has finished among the top five in six of eight Charlotte races.
Busch, Crafton and Hornaday have won seven of the past eight Charlotte races.
Second Last Year, Keselowski Ready For ‘Do-Over’Close, but no trophy and no record.
That was the story a year ago at Charlotte Motor Speedway for Brad Keselowski. Bidding to become the 24th competitor to win in all three of NASCAR’s national series, Keselowski lost the lead to Justin Lofton on the North Carolina Education Lottery 200’s final restart and finished second.
It also kept Keselowski and his father, Bob, from becoming the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ first son-father winners.
Keselowski, who’s finished second three times in NCWTS competition, gets his next do-over Friday night. Brad Keselowski Racing will enter three Fords, for Keselowski, Ross Chastain and Ryan Blaney.
Blaney, the series’ youngest winner a year ago at age 18, is running for the championship. He ranks fourth, 21 points behind leader Matt Crafton. Chastain is competing for BKR on a limited basis.
At 20, Keselowski got his chance in the series with his family’s team. BKR exists to identify future stars, he said.
"Giving back and reinvesting in our sport is critical," Keselowski said. "Someone [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] gave me a chance to prove myself and I feel it’s the only thing to do to give a young driver a chance in good equipment."
Townley, Red Horse Participate In NASCAR Day GivingFriday’s 10th Annual NASCAR Day wraps up this year’s "Ten Days of Giving" tour that included a May 8 stop in Atlanta. NCWTS competitor John Wes Townley, a Watkinsville, Ga., native, participated in the event before heading for Charlotte with his No. 7 Red Horse Racing Toyota team.
The team presented the George Washington Carver Boys & Girls Club with a new TV for their gaming room. Townley did a question-and-answer session and spent time playing the NASCAR game on the Wii with the kids.
"It means a lot to come out here and give back to my local community," Townley said. "This sport has given me so much. It's always been my dream to drive and if I can give back, it's really an honor.
"I have three younger siblings, so I've been around kids for a while."
Camping World, the Official Outdoor and RV Retailer of NASCAR, has joined the cause this year and will make the limited-edition pin, designed by NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist Sam Bass, available now until May 17 at Camping World SuperCenters nationwide for a $10 donation to The NASCAR Foundation.