ThorSport Racing driver Matt Crafton had some things to say after finishing seventh at North Wilkesboro Speedway. He took exception to the way “kids” drove at the historic NASCAR short track.
Crafton met with media members on pit road after securing his fourth top-10 finish of the season. He talked extensively about the moves made by his team throughout the race and then he voiced his frustrations with his fellow Craftsman Truck Series drivers.
“That thing was really, really good on that long run, but I knew all the kids would start running over each other and just wrecking each other,” Crafton said, transcript courtesy of Ford Performance. “They just don’t use their brains. They’ve never had to work on anything. They have no respect for anything and they just drive through everything.”
Crafton Had a Run-In With Carson Hocevar
There were multiple drivers that drew Crafton’s ire during the Truck Series race that featured 12 cautions — 10 for on-track incidents. One, in particular, was Niece Motorsports driver Carson Hocevar.
The driver and the No. 88 and the driver of the No. 42 had multiple run-ins at one point in the short track race. Hocevar repeatedly hit Crafton from behind, which prompted a back-and-forth between the two drivers on pit road after the race.
“Like the kid in the 42. He never tried to pass me,” Crafton added. “He just drove in the back of me five laps in a row down in one and two. He’s a great little race car driver, but he can just be an idiot sometimes. One day I’ll return the favor. I’m like an old elephant that has a hell of a memory.”
Hocevar provided his own side of the story during his media bullpen. He said that he “gets” why Crafton was frustrated with him because he kept hitting him off of Turn 2. Hocevar then said that he was frustrated with the veteran driver because Crafton “wasn’t running the race track.”
Both Drivers Delivered Solid Finishes
Hocevar and Crafton had their run-ins on the race track, and they made contact multiple times over the course of five laps. However, they still finished the race with strong performances while other drivers headed to the garage and the infield care center.
Crafton crossed the finish line seventh overall, which continued another consistent season for the veteran. He left North Wilkesboro Speedway seventh in the standings, which keeps him above the playoff cut line.
Hocevar, for comparison, captured his second consecutive top-five finish. Though he already has a secure spot in the playoffs by virtue of a win at Texas Motor Speedway, which he captured under caution.
This is critical for Niece Motorsports considering that Hocevar is currently 11th in the playoff standings amid a season in which he has failed to finish three events while finishing outside of the top 10 in three others. This would have put him below the cutline with six races remaining in the regular season.