NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Veterans, Johnny Sauter And Matt Crafton Differ On Long-Term Cost Saving Planby Benjamin Sanders November 16, 2017
With NASCAR Championship Weekend looming, veterans, Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton are divided on the path the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series should take moving forward in regard to cost saving.
It is no secret that the ever-increasing cost of owning and operating a race team is taking its toll, not just on NASCAR but on all of racing. This season, Red Horse Racing closed and after this weekend, so will Brad Keselowski Racing. NASCAR has been working hard to find a long-term solution instead of a band-aid over the wound.
Johnny Sauter and his GMS Racing team have been testing an Ilmor crate motor, much like what is run in the ARCA Racing Series, and he has nothing but good things to say about it.
“Yeah, I think it’s a great option,” Sauter said. “I think at the end of the day, I applaud NASCAR and Ilmor and everybody that’s worked on this thing, and I’m not blowing smoke here, but they’ve done a good job.”
The 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion has been testing all across the country and thoroughly believes this measure is a progressive one.
“We’ve done a lot of testing with it at mile‑and‑a‑half to superspeedways to short tracks now, and at the end of the day, it’s going to save people money, and that’s what the series needs is a cheaper way to be able to go to the racetrack,” Sauter said. “I feel good about what they’ve built and how they’re going to go about it.”
Meanwhile, rival Matt Crafton believes instituting a crate motor will deter current manufacturer presence and prevent other potential manufacturers who sell full-size trucks, like Dodge and Nissan, from entering the series.
“It’s very concerning for the sport,” Crafton said. “What was the old saying back in the day? Win on Sunday; sell on Monday. If we don’t have those manufacturers and all those manufacturers aren’t sponsoring the racetracks and aren’t sponsoring race venues and aren’t sponsoring race teams and supporting race teams, if all those people go away who is going to make all that happen.”
Despite dealing with short fields, Crafton is not worried about the future of the series, but he would like to see a couple of things differ from the status quo.
“If you look at so many of the Truck Series people that have moved to the XFINITY Series,” Crafton said. “Why did they move to the XFINITY Series? Are they moving up or are they moving to where there are better purses? You’ve got the same tire bill and the same motor. I would like to take just the purses and flip the purses for a year.”
The ThorSport Racing driver also wants the series to revert to its roots and add more short tracks and road courses to the schedule.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more short tracks,” Crafton said. “There is a lot of great short tracks we can go to. Road courses. Why do we have one road course? We have to have a special built truck just to go to one road course. We should go to another road course and whenever we go to that road course race in Canada we have, every year, better than 100,000 people.”
Sauter disagrees, but he ultimately acknowledges he doesn’t have a background in finance.
“Short track racing, everybody says that’s the way to go and that’s going to save people money, but it’s just not as easy as everybody thinks it is, well, just do this or just do that,” Sauter said. “Things are complicated, so for me to sit here and tell you how to save money, that would be pretty hard.”
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com