Dirt work pays off, Matt Crafton wins at Eldora

Matt Crafton has broken a 27-race winless streak, crossing the line in first place at Eldora to park his car in victory lane.

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Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 5th Annual Dirt Derby 150 at Eldora Speedway on July 19, 2017 in Rossburg, Ohio.

When Matt Crafton was preparing for the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, there were two races that stood above others in his mind.

Daytona and Eldora Speedway.

He had never won at either track, until Wednesday when Crafton parked the No. 88 Menards car in victory lane in Ohio.

Dirt work pays off, Matt Crafton wins at Eldora

Before the season started, Crafton bought his own dirt modified car.

“I drove for other people’s cars for the last few years, and it’s been hit or miss,” Crafton told Kickin The Tires. “You never know what you’re getting into. But this winter I found a car, and I knew it was a good car. It won a race last year.”

Then Crafton did what he had to do.

Him and his dad spent the winter building the modified in a 40×50-foot shop in his dad’s back yard.

“We worked for the last two months, tore it all the way apart, put it all back together and we had a blast,” Crafton added.

Crafton would compete in Volusia’s DIRTCar Nationals during Daytona Speedweeks, practicing the craft that is dirt racing.

He would go on to finish second in the final night of the modified event, and it proved to launch him into some momentum away from the pavement.

Crafton’s win at Eldora on Wednesday broke a 27-race winless streak, stretching back to his win at Charlotte in May of 2016.

He made his winning pass with 20 laps to go, getting by Stewart Friesen to take the lead.

Friesen, who had maybe the fastest car on the track all night, took second place. Chase Briscoe, Grant Enfinger, and John Hunter Nemecheck would round out the top five.

Playoff Outlook

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Playoff Standings

Position Driver Wins Points Cut
1 Christoher Bell 3 471
2 John Hunter Nemechek 2 354
3 Johnny Sauter 1 478
4 Matt Crafton 1 427
5 Kaz Grala 1 272
6 Chase Briscoe 0 431 95
7 Grant Enfinger 0 356 20
8 Ben Rhodes 0 337 1
Playoff Cutoff
9 Ryan Truex 0 336 -1
10 Noah Gragson 0 329 -8
11 Austin Cindric 0 292 -45
12 Justin Haley 0 258 -79

Races Remaining before the Playoffs: 5
Upcoming Schedule
July 29: 
Pocono Raceway
August 12: Michigan International Speedway
August 16: Bristol Motor Speedway
September 3: Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
September 15: Chicagoland Speedway
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