Timothy Peters and Johnny Sauter, who is Crafton's teammate at ThorSport Racing, are tied for the lead in the point standings, while Crafton and Ryan Blaney are both four points behind Peters and Sauter.
Crafton won the truck championship by a 40-point margin last year. During the 22-race season, Crafton scored 19 top-10 finishes but had only one victory, which came at Kansas. His Kansas win gave him the points lead, and he kept it for the remainder of the season.
"Kansas gave our team huge momentum last year," said Crafton, who drives the No. 88 Menards-sponsored Toyota Tundra for ThorSport. "That just took our momentum to a whole new level. After that, we went to Dover and finished second to Kyle [Busch], so we just had a really, really good beginning to our summer stretch."
Teams practiced at Kansas on Thursday. Crafton had the fourth fastest lap in the first session at 174.769 mph and was ninth on the charts in the second and final session at 174.222 mph. Blaney posted the quickest lap overall in practice at 176.148 mph.
The Truck Series has been racing at Kansas once each season since this 1.5- mile track was built in 2001, but this will be the first time this event is held at nighttime here. Teams aren't quite sure what race conditions will be like at night.
"Last year during the day, it got very slippery and the groove started moving around, so hopefully the groove will widen out at night as well, and we can get a second and third groove going," Crafton said.
Crafton is the only driver who has competed in each of the previous 13 truck races at Kansas. There have been 13 different race winners in the series here.
"They've never had a back-to-back winner here at Kansas, so I've got the monkey on my back this weekend to be able to try to do it and be a two-time winner here," he said.
Thirty-one teams are on the entry list for the SFP 250.
Series: NASCAR Camping World. Date: Friday, May 9. Race: SFP 250. Site: Kansas Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET. Laps: 167. Miles: 250. 2013 Winner: Matt Crafton. Television: FOX Sports 1. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.