The indirect tensile creep and failure test at low temperatures (ITLT) was selected by SHRP to control thermal cracking performance within the SUPERPAVE mixture design and analysis system. Fundamental viscoelastic properties and fracture parameters obtained from the test are used in the SUPERPAVE thermal cracking model to predict thermal cracking performance (cracking as a function of time) of asphalt pavements of variable thicknesses in different temperature regimes. This approach gives pavement and mixture designers the capability of determining not only that one mixture is better than another, but also quantifies how much better one mixture is than another in terms of its cracking performance. The background and principles used to identify this test method are presented in this paper along with the results of analytical and laboratory work conducted to identify specific test procedures. Comparisons between cracking predicted using ITLT test results and observed cracking in over 35 test sections in the United States and Canada have indicated that this test is suitable for control of thermal cracking of asphalt mixtures.