Crafton assured Truck Series title with Homestead start

Homestead, FL ( - Matt Crafton has a relatively easy task ahead of him to win the championship in the Camping World Truck Series.

All Crafton needs to do to clinch the title is start Friday night's 200-mile race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He holds a 46-point lead over Ty Dillon. James Buescher, who won the series championship last year, is 50 points behind the leader and out of contention.

Crafton is expected to set a new record as the longest-tenured driver in the history of the series to claim his first title. He holds the record for most consecutive truck starts, currently at 315. His streak began at the start of the 2001 season.

"I figured as long as I got to the racetrack I'll be alright, but I have considered sleeping in a rental car out here," Crafton jokingly said during a press conference on Thursday at Homestead. "I feel pretty comfortable with it. I have 30-something other trucks that are going to be out there that will have my back. Ty would still have to win the race if I didn't show up. So I feel alright."

ThorSport Racing announced on Thursday that Crafton has signed a multi-year contract extension with the team. Menards will continue to sponsor his No. 88 Toyota in 2014. It will be Crafton's 10th consecutive season driving for the team.

"Matt's consistency and competitiveness at a very high level epitomizes what ThorSport is all about," team owner Duke Thorson said. "We're pleased to keep Matt and Menards together moving into the future and look forward to their continued success."

ThorSport also revealed that Crafton's teammate, Johnny Sauter, has renew his agreement with the team.

Crafton has a chance to set another record in the series as well. If he finishes on the lead lap at Homestead, he will become the first driver to complete every lap of competition during the season.

There's one other record that can be set at Homestead. If Crafton's No. 88 team can finish ahead of the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports team in this race, then ThorSport would become the first team to lead the owner point standings during the entire season. Sauter led in points for the first three races until Crafton took over the top spot when he won the April 20 event at Kansas. Sauter started the season with victories at Daytona and Martinsville.

Last year, Crafton finished sixth in points and did not win a race during the season. Kansas is his only victory this year.

"Going into 2014, there's no doubt that I feel we can go do it back-to-back if everything goes right," he said.

No driver has won consecutive championships in the 19-year history of the series.

Forty teams are on the entry list for Ford EcoBoost 300.

Series: NASCAR Camping World. Date: Friday, Nov. 15. Race: Ford EcoBoost 200. Site: Homestead-Miami Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time: 8 p.m. ET. Laps: 134. Miles: 201. 2012 Winner: Cale Gale. Television: FOX Sports 1. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.