NASCAR driver set to make his USAC Midget debut


They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but that hasn't stopped one NASCAR driver from giving something new a try.

Recently it was announced that two-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton would begin driving in the USAC Midget Series.

RELATED: NASCAR champ signs on to race in USAC midget action

Crafton and Jack Irving, the director of team and support services at Toyota Racing Development discussed the topic, but Crafton thought it was just that -- a discussion.


"We were just sitting down, having dinner one night a couple of months ago and thought it would be a great idea for me to drive a midget," Crafton said.

"I didn't think it was too crazy when (Irving) brought it up," Crafton added. "At that point, it was just casual conversation."

But casual conversation turned to reality and now Crafton will indeed be racing in a midget this weekend. Just about a week and a half ago, Crafton found himself in a midget for the first time.

He is set to make his debut in the Junior Knepper 55 in Du Quoin, IL at the Southern Illinois Center on Saturday, according to NBC Sports. If he does well, there's a chance Toyota will want him at the Chili Bowl Nationals next month.


"I'd love to give (the Chili Bowl) a shot in the future, but we'll see," Crafton said. "I'm going out to DuQuoin to have fun, that's the main goal."

Prior to the 2017 season, Crafton took some time to really work on dirt track racing. He and his father rebuilt a modified dirt car and Crafton took it out racing between Truck Series races.

RELATED: Two-time champion decides to stay with his team

He noticed the difference right away after a second place finish at Volusia Speedway Park in February. A few months later in July, he got his lone Truck Series win of the year at Eldora in the Eldora Dirt Derby.


"I wouldn't say the Eldora win propelled any of this, but it's definitely opened up some more doors," Crafton said. "Now, everyone realizes how much I enjoy it and how much of a racer I am and that I love to race."

His love for racing definitely hasn't gone unnoticed. Now it's time to see if that love translates to success while trying something new.