AVONDALE, AZ – Matt Crafton hasn’t won this season. He didn’t win at all last season either. His winless streak heading into the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway stands at 57.
Furthermore, Crafton hasn’t scored a top five finish in his last 13 starts on the year. Despite that, he’s going to be racing in Miami next Friday night for a shot at a championship.
Crafton, finished sixth in his No. 88 Ford in Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at the ISM Raceway in Phoenix which proved to be good enough to advance him to his third Championship 4 appearance in four years.
He did so by scoring enough stage points to get by. Crafton, finished third in the first stage and second in Stage 2. That netted him 17 additional points on Friday.
The driver he was chasing for the fourth and final spot to Homestead was Austin Hill. The Hattori Racing Enterprises driver started on the pole but never led a lap all night. His Truck was handling badly. Hill, finished seventh in Stage 1 and sixth in Stage 2. That awarded him nine points.
Still, Crafton had eight more points scored in terms of stage points than Hill. The final margin between the two in the end?
Crafton, will race for a championship in an era that rewards wins while Hill won’t. Hill, has three wins in 2019 including one of which in the playoffs. He had five top 10 finishes over his last seven starts on the season. Crafton, hasn’t had a top five since Texas in early June. He hasn’t won a race since Eldora on July 19, 2017.
Still, Crafton will look for another championship. He’ll have to do so against three Chevrolet drivers as Stewart Friesen, Brett Moffitt and Ross Chastain joins Crafton in the Final 4 in Homestead. All three of them are Chevy drivers.