NASCAR Trucks

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2019 Season in review: Matt Crafton

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Matt Crafton

CREW CHIEF: Carl Joiner

TEAM: ThorSport Racing

POINTS: First (third NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship in last seven seasons)

WINS: Zero (has not won since Eldora in 2017)

LAPS LED: 44

TOP 5s: 7

TOP 10s: 18

POLES: Three (Kansas, Charlotte, Talladega)

WHAT WENT RIGHT: While so much attention was focused on drivers like Ross Chastain, Austin Hill, Brett Moffitt, Stewart Friesen and Johnny Sauter, Crafton went about his season with diligence and determination. Even though he still hasn’t won a race in nearly 2 ½ years, he did what he needed to do to finish second in the season finale at Miami and earn just enough points to capture his third Trucks title in seven years. … Had the best single-season starting average of his Truck career (7.3).

WHAT WENT WRONG: Crafton proved you don’t always need to win races to win championships (it certainly helps, though). But the fact he hasn’t won in his last 58 starts is disconcerting. Still, he had an overall solid year, even if he didn’t get much attention until the final race of the season.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2020: Now that he’s tied Jack Sprague for second on the all-time Trucks championship list (three titles apiece), look for Crafton – who will turn 44 next June 11 – to try and pick things up a few more notches to challenge and try to catch the all-time Trucks leader, Ron Hornaday Jr., and his four championships.

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Truck Series practice report from Dover

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Johnny Sauter was fastest in the final of two Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice sessions Thursday at Dover International Speedway.

Sauter posted a top speed of 156.958 mph around the 1-mile track. Sauter has won the last two Truck Series races at Dover.

The top five was completed by Brett Moffitt (156.508 mph), Stewart Friesen (156.223), Harrison Burton (156.033) and Jesse Little (155.072).

Burton recorded the most laps in the session with 60.

Sheldon Creed had the best 10-lap average at 152.136 mph.

Click here for the practice report.

First practice

Raphael Lessard was fastest in the first practice session.

Lessard covered the 1-mile concrete oval at a speed of 154.999 mph.

Moffitt was second-fastest (154.540 mph), followed by Austin Hill (154.222), Sauter (154.222) and Todd Gilliland (153.984).

Sixth through 10th were Friesen (153.840 mph), Burton (153.427), Matt Crafton 9153.381), Ross Chastain (153.218) and Grant Enfinger (152.886).

The two practice sessions were the first on-track action for the Trucks since the Vankor 350 race on March 29 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Qualifying is Friday, followed by the JEGS 200 race.

Click here for the full first practice speed chart.

Follow @JerryBonkowski