Matt Crafton might not have had the best truck in the field at Pocono Raceway last Saturday afternoon, however, he did what was necessary to pad his points lead – to 52 points over Jeb Burton – and keep his hopes alive to challenge a series record. In the race, Crafton finished eighth for his 11th consecutive top-10 finish to start the season, the fourth-longest such streak in the series.
Could this be a positive sign for things to come when the series reaches its finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November? Ron Hornaday Jr., holds the all-time record for most consecutive top-10 finishes beginning a season at 19 in 1996. It just so happens that was the year the Palmdale, Calif. competitor won the first of his four series titles.
Crafton, also a native Californian from Tulare, has a career-best finish of second place in the final standings in 2009. During that season, Crafton finished the year with 21 top-10 finishes in 25 events. The current streak is the longest of his career to start the year.
Mike Skinner, from Ontario, Calif., won his lone series title in 1995, but he is third all-time with 13 straight top-10s in 2007 – a season in which he finished second in the final standings.
Jack Sprague started the 1998 season with 12 consecutive top-10 finishes en route to a runner-up finish in the final standings. If Crafton can keep his streak intact on Aug. 17 at Michigan International Speedway, the driver of the No. 88 ThorSport Toyota will tie the Spring Lake, Mich. native for third-place all-time on the list.