Truck Series Drivers Team Up For Sebring Run

IMSA Wire: Four drivers entered in this weekend’s IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race at Sebring International Raceway are new to Sebring. But, NASCAR fans know them well.
Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes and Myatt Snider. All four are ThorSport Racing drivers in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. They will make their debut with Ford Performance and Multimatic Motorsports for Friday’s Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 at Sebring.
The opportunity comes as part of Ford Performance’s NASCAR Driver Development Program, which was first announced in 2017. The program gives road course experience to NASCAR drivers, as well as learning to work together, bond and depend on each other as teammates.
“We’ve been thrilled with the program so far and the experience it is getting to some of our NASCAR development drivers,” said Mark Rushbrook, the Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “The 2018 season was the first year we tried it, and outside of Austin Cindric, we had three other drivers in NASCAR Xfinity with little or no road course experience.
This will be the first start in the Pilot Challenge for each of the four drivers and they sure picked one of the toughest tracks to make their debut, as Sebring has long been known for its bumpy and physically demanding surface.

Matt Crafton

the veteran of the group and the first driver to ever win back-to-back Truck Series titles (2013 and 2014), knows that road course skills are crucial to have in NASCAR.

“You have to be good on all types of tracks to compete for a NASCAR championship, and this opportunity with Ford Performance and Multimatic Motorsports, to race a Mustang GT4, will give us the valuable road course experience we need as we get ready to race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park later this year,” Crafton said. “I love road course racing, and I have a blast doing it, so I’m really looking forward to the added seat time, and the challenge of racing in a new series, and on a new track.”
Crafton will be co-driving the No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4. Current Gander Outdoors truck series points leader Grant Enfinger will join Crafton.
“I hear Sebring is a challenge because the track is tight, and there’s a lot of congestion, but it will be a great opportunity to hone in on my road course racing skills for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, later this year,” said Enfinger, the 2015 ARCA Racing Series Champion. “Just getting seat time, and making laps in a competitive car, with a competitive team, with the backing of Ford Performance, is imperative as I continue to develop my road course racing skills.”
In the No. 15 Ford Mustang GT4 will be Snider, the 2018 Truck Series Rookie of the Year, and Rhodes, who won the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship and Rookie of the Year.

Testing

“Last autumn I got to test with Multimatic in a Mustang GT4,” Snider explained. “I had a blast wheeling the stallion around Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, and ever since then I’ve been itching for a taste of IMSA racing. So, I’m happy to be racing Sebring this weekend in a Ford Performance MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Mustang. Myself and Ben Rhodes have been working hard at getting ourselves up to par to go compete this weekend, so overall, I’m very excited to get going for my first IMSA race.”
“IMSA is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time; so I have to give a huge thank you to Ford Performance and Multimatic for this opportunity,” Rhodes added. “Sebring is such a historic venue, and it’s pretty awesome to make my first start there. It’s going to be a fun challenge, and will hopefully make me a better road course racer.”
The first on-track action the NASCAR drivers will see will be on Wednesday morning and early afternoon as part of a promoter test day. On the official schedule, three practices for the Pilot Challenge are slated for Thursday before qualifying that evening at 5:55 p.m. ET.
Stephen Conley

If it races, I'll write about it, talk about it or shoot it with a camera.

I began pursuing a career in motorsports journalism immediately after attending college at Kent State University. I have hosted multiple Motorsports talk shows, worked in Country Music radio, and now i spend every day on the air in the morning with 1300 and 100.9 WMVO and in the afternoons watching the roadways around Central Ohio for 93.7 WQIO.

The excitement and the fans make everything I put out there worth while, it's been an exciting 15 years having covered everything from the Daytona 500 to the Rolex 24 and you can find me at pretty much any event run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

What I like to bring is a look behind the scenes, a look at what and who makes the sport grow. From the guy that welds pieces back at the shop to the host in the tv booth.

Everyone has a story and I like to tell it. My main focus here at TPF is looking at the men and women behind the microphone and cameras.

My life long goal is to become a member of MRN or PRN Radio and bring the races to you. I hope that what I share now is enjoyable and gives you a unique look in to the world of motorsports.

See you at a track soon

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