Drivers were complaining of handling issues during NASCAR Truck Series practice at Talladega; Matt Crafton is here to help, that way he’s not caught in their crash
Matt Crafton details setup advice for his competitors at Talladega Superspeedway
This weekend, NASCAR heads to Talladega Superspeedway. First up, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Another year has passed. Specifically, another year has passed since the repave of the high-speed, high-banked 2.66-mile race track. Each year, handling will become more important.
Following the first practice session, drivers have discovered that.
“I just race it like it’s any other Talladega,” Matt Crafton refers to the NASCAR Playoffs at stake in talks with FOX. “You gotta be lucky at the end of the day.”
“It’s about just rolling the dice really. I mean, if your lane goes or if you don’t get caught in the big one [then] you’ll be alright.”
“There’s not a whole lot we can do. Just put yourself in the right position, each and every time.”
NASCAR Setup: Toe
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is engaged in two practice sessions today at Talladega Superspeedway. Many drivers are diagnosing darty race trucks.
Darty at 200 mph, is never a good thing. It means the truck kind of takes off in one direction or the other and the driver is constantly pulling it back in line.
Toe is the direction of the front wheels. If both front wheels are pointed directly straight, the truck is going to be a fast as possible in a straight line. However, setting the NASCAR truck up that way also takes away stability.
The way to fix it is to point the front wheels away from each other by and 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch. That small change will make a world of differance in the stability and handling of a race car.
In most cases on an oval, NASCAR teams leave the left front pointing directly straight. Then, they’ll toe out just the right front wheel. So, the left front is straight and the right front is pointed to the right by a 1/16 or 1/8 of an inch.
Darty in practice is one thing. Darty in a three wide pack come race day, causes the big one. Or causes several big ones. Matt Crafton isn’t looking forward to that and he doesn’t want anything to do with that.
Instead, two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion driver Matt Crafton is here to offer setup advice to his fellow competitors…
“A lot of them don’t work with adjusting the toe. Me and my crew chief always laugh. They have the toe straight up,” veteran driver Matt Crafton details. “That’s where they’re going to be most efficient, driving straight.”
“But, when they repaved this place, there’s some terrible seams on the race track. It makes them darty, really bad,” Crafton continued.
“I always try to tell everybody that. They’re like, ‘Why you telling everybody that?’ I say, ‘Because you’re going to be racing with them. You’re going to be stuck in packs with them, two feet off each other. They’ll wreck you.’ ”
“I’m hoping they’re listening to me now. Just knock the toe out on them. Just a little bit and they’ll drive a lot better.”
Matt Crafton was 7th on the board in the opening round of practice at Talladega Superspeedway. The NASCAR Truck Series is set to qualify later this afternoon.