Crafton looking forward to Charlotte truck race

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Updated: 5/16/2013 2:40 pm

"I need to get back to racing, so I can get some rest," Crafton jokingly said. "I'm always excited to go to the racetrack. But usually you go to the racetrack and you don't get much sleep, because you're worried about everything the night before the race. You think about everything. This week, I'm excited to get to the racetrack, so I can get some sleep."

Crafton currently holds a 13-point lead over second-place and ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter, who won the first two races this season (Daytona and Martinsville).

Sauter held a 12-point advantage over Crafton after Kansas, but Sauter's No. 98 team was hit with heavy penalties from NASCAR for an unapproved fuel cell discovered in his truck during opening-day inspection at that 1.5-mile racetrack. Sauter and team owner Mike Curb were both docked 25 points. Crew chief Joe Shear was suspended for four races, fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

Rookie Jeb Burton also trails Crafton by 13 points, but Sauter is second in the standings by virtue of his victories.

Charlotte is the fifth event on the series schedule this year.

"I'm super-excited about this Charlotte race, even more than I usually am," Crafton said. "With all the momentum that the team's carrying into this race, I know the guys are still on cloud nine from the Kansas win, and I'm up there with them, from the win and having our child."

Crafton scored his first truck win in May 2008 at Charlotte. Kansas marked his third career victory.

Thirty-eight teams are on the entry list for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski are those Sprint Cup Series regulars entered. Busch won this race in 2010 and '11 but did compete in last year's event.

Series: NASCAR Camping World. Date: Friday, May 17. Race: North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Site: Charlotte Motor Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time: 8 p.m. ET. Laps: 134. Miles: 201. 2012 Winner: Justin Lofton. Television: Speed. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.

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