Matt Crafton is a well respected veteran driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series so when he talks people tend to listen. Crafton will be one of the drivers battling for control of the Truck series championship at 'Dega.Some call it the most exciting racing in NASCAR. Well, that's for the fans
This week his press statements on racing at Talladega Superspeedway cut to the heart on why fans love Talladega and why drivers hate restrictor-plate racing. Crafton says he knows that fans love races like those at Talladega but for drivers it's a different story.
"Restrictor-plate racing for the fans is exciting, but as a driver, you're just stuck," Crafton said. "It doesn't matter how hard you push the pedal or what you do as a driver, you can't do anything - you are just stuck in the middle of a pack of trucks."
If you polled drivers away from sponsors, officials, and the glaring eye of the media you probably would find a large number of drivers that feel the same way as Crafton when it comes to restrictor-plate racing. Racing with a restrictor-plate limits what a driver can do according to the driver of the No. 88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota Tundra. Crafton says that style of racing offers driver zero control.
"At a mile-and-a-half track a driver can make a difference, but at a place like Talladega, it is what it is," Crafton said. "You are just waiting for someone to make a mistake that you are going to get caught up in - you have zero control. Racing at Talladega is just like going out and buying a lottery ticket -- you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. There's just no telling -- but you've got to play the game."
Don't Count Crafton Out!
Don't count Crafton out when you're picking a Talladega winner in the Truck Series Race. The veteran driver is in a points battle for the series championship and is not planning on laying back just because he's not a bit fan of restrictor-plate racing. Crafton says that his team will continue doing what they do.
"We've just got to keep on doing what we've been doing," Crafton said. "Which is racing to win each and every week -- being aggressive when we can be -- but above all, being smart."Crafton has raced at Talladega eight times in the Truck Series and has one top-five finish and three top-ten finishes. He has an average finishing position of 15.5 at Talladega Superspeedway.