Matt Crafton drove his way into the NASCAR history books in 2014, becoming the first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) back-to-back champion, winning titles in 2013 and 2014. In a season that was characterized by success, 2014 marked the first time in Crafton’s 15-year career in the NGOTS to win more than one race in a season, prevailing at Martinsville (VA) Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The Tulare, California native extended his NGOTS record for consecutive starts to 338, recorded 13 top-five finishes, more than any other season in the NGOTS, and led a career-high 298 laps in 11 races.
Crafton began his racing career in go-karts, mini sprints and midgets before following his father, Danny Crafton, who had his own legacy on the West Coast, into late models. When Danny was injured with three races left in the 1996 season, he selected his son as his substitute. Crafton’s performance in those races led Danny to hang up his helmet and step out of his familiar No. 46 to allow his son to take over. The younger Crafton rewarded his family’s faith in 2000 by winning four races en route to the prestigious NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series championship.
Following Crafton’s championship in the 2000 Featherlite Southwest Series, ThorSport Racing named him the driver of the No. 88 truck for the 2000 season finale at Auto Club Speedway, beginning the series’ longest-running driver-team relationship. Crafton became a fixture in the NGOTS, finishing in the top-10 in the standings in 14 of the last 15 seasons.
The Menards driver enters his 19th full-time season in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2019 with ThorSport Racing. In 434 career starts, Crafton has amassed 14 wins, 13 poles, and 2,529 laps led en route to 111 top-five and 258 top-10 finishes.