Hmiel wins at Las Vegas: #15-Shane Hmiel caught up to #30-Todd Bodine and took the lead with just over a lap remaining, doing a bump and run, to win Saturday night's Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. Bodine finished second and #62-Steve Park was third. #23-Johnny Benson finished fourth and #4-Bobby Hamilton fifth. Pole-winner #5-Mike Skinner was sixth. It was Hmiel's first win in the series. Hamilton maintains the points leader over #46-Dennis Setzer.
See results at: ThatsRacin.com TruckSeries.com MotorsportsOne NASCAR.com.(9-26-2004)
New Crew Chief for Seig: Shane Sieg is hoping a new crew chief will help slow his skid in the Craftsman Truck Series points standings. Jerry Pitts, who has been crew chief for #38-Brandon Whitt, will assume those duties at Sieg's #07, while Sieg's old crew chief Doug Howe moves to Ken Weaver's team.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-24-2004)
Skinner wins pole at Las Vegas: #5-Mike Skinner set a track qualifying record of 165.320mph to grab the pole Saturday for the Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck race set to start less than three hours after qualifying ended. Skinner, who won his first truck pole in eight years, beat the old mark of 163.112mph set by David Starr in October 2002. Skinner noted that while he hasn't been on a truck pole since October 1996 at the former Sears Point Raceway, he has competed in only 31 truck races since. It was his 16th career truck pole. #46-Dennis Setzer qualified second on Saturday at 163.959 mph, followed by rookie #17-David Reutimann, #16-Jack Sprague, #21-Hank Parker Jr. Points leader, #4-Bobby Hamilton will start 8th. The top nine qualifiers all beat Starr's old record. The race was the first of a pair of nighttime races featuring two different sanctioning bodies. Champ Cars were to take the track after the trucks.(ThatsRacin.com), missing the race were #63-Chris Wimmer and #0-Loni Richardson. ThatsRacin.com Truckseries.com MotorsportsOne NASCAR.com.(9-25-2004)
#30 Toyota to promotes National Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Las Vegas: The Germain/Arnold Racing team and Toyota Racing Development are working together to promote October as breast cancer awareness month. In collaboration with the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) program, NBCAM's logo and pink ribbon, will be displayed prominently on the #30 Toyota at the Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 25.
"Given the growing popularity of NASCAR with women, the Germain/Arnold Racing team is proud play a role in raising awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection "stated team co-owner Don Arnold. This weekend marks the third race that the Germain/Arnold Racing team's Toyota Tundra will participate in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In their first race, September 9th, the Germain/Arnold Racing team and driver Todd Bodine finished fourth in the Kroger 200 at the Richmond International Raceway. The team looks forward to another strong finish on Saturday.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women and one in eight women will develop it in her lifetime. In 2004, an estimated 1,450 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. According to the most recent data, breast cancer death rates in women declined by 2.3 percent per year during 1990-2000 . Significant progress in mammography technology is helping physicians to diagnose the disease earlier and new treatment options are providing more comfortable treatments and improved outcomes. "It is important for all women age 40 and above to get a mammogram annually and to take charge of their breast health," said Susan Nathanson, National Coordinator for NBCAM.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is dedicated to increasing awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer through a nationwide campaign. The NBCAM Board of Sponsors is comprised of 16 national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working in partnership to raise awareness and provide access to breast cancer screening services. This year marks 20 years of NBCAM, which is dedicated to educating women about breast cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment. Since its inception, NBCAM has been funded by an unrestricted educational grant from AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation.(Germain/Arnold Racing PR)(9-24-2004)
Skinner to run the #5 starting at Las Vegas: Mike Skinner, who joined Bill Davis Racing for the NCTS race at Richmond (Sept. 9), will be debuting a new number on his Tundra at Las Vegas. Skinner, who has used #42 since the start of the season, will now be driving the #5 Toyota Tundra. He will use that number for the remainder of the season. MORE ON #5 -- “I liked the #42, but I also like the #5,” says Skinner. “I’ve had a lot of success racing with the #5. “I won a couple of championships driving cars with the #5 on them -- a dirt track title in Susanville (Calif.) and a Late Model championship at Caraway (NC) Speedway. So, I’ve had some success with that number. Hopefully, I’ll have that number until the end of my career.”(Mike Skinner site)(9-24-2004)
Brandon Whitt only rookie Truck driver in NASCAR 2005: Brandon Whitt and the #38 Werner Ladder/Cure Autism Now Ford F-150 are "in the game." Whitt, a native of El Cajon, Calif., is the only rookie driver in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series who is included in the world's top-selling racing game. EA Sports has just released its latest edition of NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup. For the first time in the history of this popular video game, it includes the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Only nine Craftsman Truck Series drivers and their respective trucks made the game, including Whitt and the #38 Werner Ladder/CAN Ford. NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup, developed by EA Tiburon, released on August 31st for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, and the Nintendo GameCubeT. The game is rated "E" for (Everyone) by the ESRB. In addition to NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup, a new, standalone NASCAR PC title is being designed expressly for simulation racing
fans. The NASCAR PC title is being developed at EA Tiburon. Utilizing an 18 month development cycle, the game is scheduled to ship in early 2005.(Williams Company)(9-24-2004)
Patton to drive for Fiddle Back at Vegas:J.R. Patton, the 2003 NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series rookie of the year, will make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in Sin City Saturday night for the Las Vegas 350. Patton, who celebrated his 21st birthday last week, will drive the #66 Fiddle Back Racing Ford for the event. "This has been a long time coming," Patton said. "I've been racing since I was 9 years old in sprint cars, late models and go-karts against some of the biggest names in the sport, like Kevin Harvick, Ken Schrader, and Kasey Kahne. To finally get an opportunity to race in the best racing series in the country, though…Man, I haven't been able to wipe the grin off my face since I first set foot in the Fiddle Back Racing office. This is huge for me and I want to thank the guys at Fiddle Back for giving me this chance."
Like many young racers, Patton was desperate to find an opportunity to race competitively in NASCAR. One night, he and his dad stayed up all night going through all the racing websites he could find, sending e-mails to those teams, hoping for a response. About a week later, he got one. Of all the e-mails I sent out, I only received one response and from Diamond III LLC (www.diamond3.net) in St. Louis," said Patton. "After that," he continued, "Lloyd Wideman, the president of Diamond III LLC, gave me a call and we immediately began working on finding a team. My dad and I really felt they could help me and we haven't been disappointed."
"Fiddle Back Racing is very excited about JR driving the #66 truck this weekend in Las Vegas," stated Brian Jones, PR and marketing manager at Fiddle Back. "JR has been working in the shop for the past couple of weeks and has shown he is very knowledgeable of the racing business. I believe JR is a great choice to try to put a full time ride together for in 2005, I believe JR and David (Ragan, driver of the #67) would make good teammates," stated team owner Tom Eldredge.(Fiddleback Racing PR)(9-23-2004)
NEWS & NOTES LAS VEGAS:
Title race tightens for fall finish … You might say Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) has been waiting for his rivals to catch up, and that’s exactly what they’ve done over the past two races. Hamilton, who enjoyed a 96-point lead after last month’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, is up by just 30 over Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet). Carl Edwards (No. 99 Superchips Ford) is 39 behind in third. In fact, the top six are separated by 188 points in a battle that figures to go down to the wire as it did in 2003. Since winning Aug. 16 at Nashville Superspeedway, Hamilton has finished 12th, 26th and 15th – his longest stretch without a top 10 since joining the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series fulltime in 2003.
Etc. … Last weekend’s event at New Hampshire International Speedway marked the first time in 2004 that three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champions have finished among the top 10 in the same race. Travis Kvapil (No. 24 Toyota Tundra Toyota) won with Sprague second and Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) 10th. … Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford) was in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to attend the 2004 “Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award” dinner hosted by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Lisa Karnes, daughter of Circle Bar Racing owner Tom Mitchell, accompanied Crawford. The event recognizes employers who provide exceptional support to their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. … Edwards figures to get equal amounts of racing and flying time this week as he competes in the Las Vegas 350 and Sunday’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway. Edwards will qualify the Roush Racing No. 99 Ford on Friday, fly west for Saturday’s LVMS event then return to Dover for Sunday’s race. … Jack Roush is the only active owner to win two NASCAR Craftsman Truck races in Las Vegas. Joe Ruttman won in 1997; Greg Biffle in 1999. Rick Hendrick also has two victories with Sprague. … Ruttman led the fewest laps by any winner – three. … Every Las Vegas winner has finished fifth or higher in that season’s championship standings. None, however, has won the title. Four – Ruttman, Sprague, Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) and Biffle – have finished second. … Todd Bodine (No. 30 Germain-Arnold Toyota) won the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Sam’s Town 300. He’ll be making his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck start at LVMS … NASCAR West Series veteran Brandon Miller is slated to drive the Ultra Motorsports No. 2 Team ASE/Carquest Dodge this week. Ricky Bogart, a veteran of the same series, will take the controls of the ThorSport No. 13 Washington Mutual Chevrolet.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Three have victories at Las Vegas … Sprague, Musgrave and David Starr (No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet) count a combined four victories at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Sprague (1998) and Starr (2002) won from the Bud Pole. Also, Sprague wrapped up his first championship with a second place finish in the 1997 edition of the Las Vegas 350. He has never finished worse than fifth in six Las Vegas appearances. Sprague’s $310,200 is the most money won by any series driver at a single track.
“We are going to go at these last seven races as if we need to win every single one of them. Forget points racing. We are on a mission now.” – Matt Crafton, No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, fourth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck championship standings.
“We didn’t make a whole lot of laps out there in March but when you’re a rookie, any time you get additional experience can only help you.” – Shane Sieg, No. 07 Auto-Air Colors Chevrolet, who competed earlier this year in the NASCAR Busch Series Sam’s Town 300.
“Everyone asks how you can concentrate on a race while in Vegas. There are a lot of things to do and see. It’s a fun town but when we come to race, we come to race.” – Shane Hmiel, No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet, a top-10 finisher in four of his last six series starts.
“When you have a bad couple of weeks, all it takes is one good race to feel better. It takes only one bad race to make you feel bad.” – Raybestos Rookie of the Year leader David Reutimann, No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota, who followed up a 30th-place finish at Richmond with a fifth at New Hampshire International Speedway.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The Las Vegas 350 has been scheduled at three distances – 175 laps (1996-97), 167 laps (1998-99) and the current 146 laps (2001-present). The 1998 race was extended two laps by caution for the only green-white-checker finish at LVMS.
What: Las Vegas 350 (Race No. 19 of 25).
Where: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nev.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25.
Track layout: 1.5-mile paved.
Race length: 350 kilometers/219 miles/146 laps.
Posted awards: $476,706.
TV: SPEED Channel, 10 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Brendan Gaughan.
2003 polesitter: Brendan Gaughan.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Saturday – Practice 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Qualifying 3:30 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.
Miller in Ultra Motorsports #2 ASE Dodge for Las Vegas: California native Brandon Miller will drive the #2 ASE Dodge in Las Vegas this weekend. Miller secured the seat after testing well in Homestead. Brandon practiced and qualified the #55 Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet Busch car for Robby Gordon Motorsports earllier this year at Nashville and Kentucky.(9-22-2004)
Kvapil wins at Loudon: #24-Travis Kvapil won the Sylvania 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway, his 2nd win of 2004 and the 2nd ever for Toyota. Finishing 2nd for the 29th time in his career [thanks to Speed's Ray Dunlap for that tidbit] was #16-Jack Sprague, followed by #23-Johnny Benson, #99-Carl Edwards and #17-David Reutimann. Points leader #4-Bobby Hamilton finished 15th and lost some his points lead. Where did the Truckwackers end up?
#2-Jamie McMurray started 6th, 28th [ran out of gas late]
#47-Ricky Craven 9th, 31st
#99-Carl Edwards 10th, 4th [not really a wacker]
#30-Todd Bodine 15th, 34th
#52-Ken Schrader 18th, 12th
#13-Jimmy Spencer 28th, 18th
See race results at: ThatsRacin.com Truckseries.com MotorsportsOne NASCAR.com.(9-18-2004)
Sprague wins pole at New Hampshire: #16-Jack Sprague won the pole for the Sylvania 200 at NHIS with a fast lap of 128.515. The rest of the top five are: #62-Steve Park, #24-Travis Kvapil, #75-David Starr and #17-David Reutimann. The best starting Ford is #99-Carl Edwards who will start 10th. Points leader, #4-Bobby Hamilton will start 23rd.
Park lost an engine in practice and will have to give up the 2nd starting position spot and fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag Saturday [if the race doesn't get rained out]. #07-Shane Sieg and #22-Bill Lester used provisionals. Two drivers made the race via race attempts: #29-Deborah Renshaw and #0-Loni Richardson. Missing the race was #95-Travis Powell.
Cup drivers also running the Truck Series race:
#2-Jamie McMurray starts 6th
#47-Ricky Craven 9th
#99-Carl Edwards 10th
#30-Todd Bodine 15th
#52-Ken Schrader 18th
#13-Jimmy Spencer 28th
Qualifying Results/Starting Lineup at: ThatsRacin.com Truckseries.com - lineup NASCAR.com.(9-17-2004)
Ultra Motorsports Crew Shave Heads in Support: Ken Bainbridge Sr. is a man who fears little. Decades of building competitive race cars out of raw metal, steel and sweat have toughened the Amherst, NY native's constitution. Obstacles and impediments that derail the mortal man hold no sway over the veteran racer. Even when diagnosed with extreme small cell cancer at the beginning of this year and faced with what could be his ultimate demise, Bainbridge Sr. did not blink. He forged ahead with his business and went on with his life, teaching others his craft and contributing so much to the sport he loves. However for a man who fears little there was one thing he feared most. "My dad went through some radiation over the past few weeks and his hair started falling out," recounts Kenny Bainbridge Jr., the gears and transmission specialist for Ultra Motorsports. "He was pretty upset about it. I made a promise to him when he was diagnosed with cancer that if he ever lost his hair then I would shave my head. He didn't believe me. When Jeff Miles found out that I was going to shave my head then he agreed to do it and he recruited others on the team to do the same to show support."
When the smoke from the clippers cleared and the follicles were settled a courageous group of seven Ultra Motorsports crew members were transformed into a stylish band of onion heads. Bainbridge, Jr. was joined by Kyle Lewis, Scott Crispin, and Mike McCarville from the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge crew and by Miles, Bobby Koski and Geofrado "Fonzie" Alfonzo of the Mopar Dodge. What started as one man's fear ended up as a fashion statement and a strong show of support and concern from a loving son and caring teammates. Bainbridge Jr. also had a deep respect for his father's accomplishments both on and off the track. Lessons learned are not always about racing but about a deeper and more meaningful complex subject, life itself. See full story at the Ultra Motorsports site.(9-15-2004)
2nd Orleans Racing truck for Lynch at Vegas: Scott Lynch will drive the #61 Orleans Dodge in the Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sept. 25, Orleans Racing officials announced Sept. 15. Orleans Racing, which is located in Las Vegas, also will field the #62 Orleans Dodge driven by Steve Park at the team's hometown event. Lynch, 24, drives the #08 Yerf-Dog Dodge for Orleans Racing in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series. He has two starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, both for Orleans Racing. He finished 12th at Las Vegas and Homestead last year. Lynch joined Orleans Racing last year as a rookie in what was then known as the NASCAR Winston West Series. He won the series
championship and rookie-of-the-year honors. As a result, he was invited to join Tommy Baldwin's Hungry Driver's Program in the NASCAR Busch Series. His first of three Busch Series starts in 2004 came in May at Richmond where he finished 39th after an accident. Orleans Racing's West Series team members will serve as the crew for the #61 entry. Robert Strmiska, 22, is the crew chief. It will be his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race as crew chief. His previous truck experience came as the truck chief and tire changer on the #62. (Orleans Racing PR)(9-15-2004)
Hamilton and Harris team up: Bobby Hamilton Racing announces the forming of an alliance with HT Motorsports #59 Dodge team for the remainder of the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, effective immediately. The HT Motorsports Dodge will be run out of the BHR race shop in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee and drivers will be named for the remaining eight events. Jim Harris is still listed as the owner, and Hamilton will be hands-on consulting with Harris to bring the program up to its full potential. "Jim and I are working very closely together to get his program turned back around in the points championship this season," Hamilton said of the alliance. "Our goal is to have strong finishes for the rest of this year and get the truck higher in the points. In turn it will help our current program at BHR. We can use their truck for test feedback and engineering things we want to try. Anytime you can use technology from other teams it only helps. We're looking into the future here, but for now we'll take it one race at a time and make this best for everyone involved." Jim Harris stated, "I am very glad that Bobby and the people at BHR are willing to help make the #59 a better race team. BHR's #4 and #18 trucks position in the points race prove that they can produce a winning product. We look forward to working with Bobby and improving our position for the future of HT Motorsports."
This weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway Andy Houston, who claimed his first NCTS victory on the 1.058-mile oval, has been named as the driver for the Dodge. The BHR alliance team will be naming drivers to the truck for the remaining events. "Jim Harris and I have always been really good friends," Houston said. "Anytime I can help him out, I am more than happy to do that. It gets me back behind the wheel of a truck and more time under my belt."
"I grew up watching Bobby race with my dad in the NASCAR Busch Series," Houston continued. "I have a lot of respect for Bobby, especially this year and what he has been able to accomplish. Both of his teams have been the teams to beat week after week. If any of that success rolls over into the Harris Trucking Dodge, then it will benefit all the parties involved."(BHR PR)(9-15-2004)
Spencer in the #13; Connor as crew chief: Jimmy Spencer will defend his 2003 victory in Saturday's Sylvania 200 presented by Lowe's when he reunites at New Hampshire International Speedway with crew chief Dennis Connor. Spencer, who won last year when both he and Connor worked for owner Jim Smith at Ultra Motorsports [#2 Dodge], will drive owner Duke Thorson's ThorSport Racing #13 Menards/Microtel Inn & Suites Chevrolet this weekend. Spencer jumped at the opportunity to join Connor, who recently came to ThorSport after a brief stint on the sidelines after he and Smith parted ways earlier this season.(NASCAR.com)(9-15-2004)
#93 Crew Chief Penalized: Randolph C. (Randy) Andersen, crew chief for the #93 Chevrolet driven by Wayne Edwards in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, has been fined $3,000 by NASCAR for a rule infraction that occurred this past week at Richmond International Raceway. Andersen was found in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (truck, truck parts, components and/or equipment used in the event that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rule Book, because of carburetor venturies that exceeded the specified size. The violation was found during the event’s initial inspection process last Thursday (Sept. 9).(NASCAR PR)(9-15-2004)
Spencer not happy with BANG owner: In the latest development in the increasingly odd saga of NASCAR Craftsman Trucks series team owner Alex Meshkin, driver Jimmy Spencer says he has given Meshkin a month to fulfill an agreement to buy Spencer's race shop in Mooresville, NC. Spencer says he and Meshkin signed a lease/purchase agreement last year allowing Meshkin to run his new Bang Racing team out of a building Spencer once used to house his race cars. Though Spencer says Meshkin has been making his lease payments on time, he now insists that Meshkin must complete the agreement to buy his shop before an October deadline. If Meshkin doesn't meet the deadline, Spencer says, "I'll lock the (expletive deleted) place up."
Meshkin, however, doesn't believe he is required to adhere to Spencer's deadline. Meshkin says he has a signed contract allowing him to wait until Dec. 31 to purchase the shop. He dismisses Spencer's comment as "just Jimmy Spencer trying to stir the pot." Spencer compares Meshkin to a "spoiled kid" who came into NASCAR overconfident that he would be able to revolutionize the sport with an Internet-style business plan — not realizing, Spencer says, that NASCAR doesn't work like other businesses. Plus, Spencer says, "His ego's bigger than the state of North Carolina." Although there is growing skepticism in the garage area of Meshkin's financial backing and motives, Spencer says he believes Meshkin is genuinely serious about racing but squandered a "golden" opportunity by mistreating people who worked for him. Meshkin insists Spencer and others in the garage who have been critical of him are only doing so because they are "afraid of our approach and the possibility of our success." Spencer says that if Toyota, as expected, ends up completely pulling its support of Meshkin after this season, Meshkin will struggle to get support from another manufacturer. And without extensive factory support, it's nearly impossible to field a competitive team in NASCAR. "He had the golden egg from the goose, and he's lost that," Spencer says. "Can he get it back? No." Meshkin insists he won't have any problem finding a new manufacturer to partner with next season, when he plans to take Kvapil to the Busch Series. He also says partnering with an American manufacturer in the future might help him obtain sponsorship from corporations who were hesitant to sponsor a team that races Japanese trucks. The mess with Meshkin has reflected poorly on Toyota, but Spencer — who drew criticism earlier this year when be brought up the Pearl Harbor attack in response to a question about Toyota's involvement in NASCAR — still expects them to succeed. "I think Toyota has made some rookie mistakes," Spencer says. "They will prevail. They will contend for the (trucks series) championship. And they will be in Nextel Cup."(in part from the USA Today)(9-13-2004)
Congrats Hank Parker, Jr., driver of the Innovative Motorsports #21 AirVest Toyota, and wife Wendy welcomed the birth of their second child, Madison Hope Parker. Baby Madison was born on Saturday, September 11th at 11:05 a.m. Eastern Time, and weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces.(PR)(9-13-2004)
New Crew Chief for Whitt? hearing the #38 Werner Ladder/Cure Autism Now Ford team and crew chief Jerry Pitts have parted ways. Supposedly Richie Letendre will serve as the interim crew chief for driver Brandon Whitt. The team is talking with potential replacements.(9-13-2004)
Park's Plans? during an interview on XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 144 [and 145 on raceday] mentioned he would have a big announcement at New Hamphsire. Park will also race in the modified race at NHIS. Park drives in the Truck Series full time in the #62 Orleans Dodge. There have been some rumors of Park running the #31 Whelen car in some Busch Series races. UPDATE: been told that while Park will drive the Joe Brady Racing/Whelen #00 Featherlite Modified car at NHIS on Friday, 9/17, he are no plans to put Park in the #31 Whelen Busch Series car.(9-13-2004)
Musgrave wins at Richmond: Cautions ended any hope for #2-Jamie McMurray's first NASCAR Truck Series victory. A caution on Lap 198 of the scheduled 200 at Richmond International Raceway cut short McMurray's late-race run on leader #1-Ted Musgrave. Then during the two-lap "overtime" period, #15-Shane Hmiel and #6-Matt Crafton – running in the top-10 at the time – wrecked on Lap 207 forcing the race to end under caution and ensuring Musgrave's win in the Kroger 200. Under a rule change adapted earlier this season, only one attempt at a green-white-checkered is allowed in each of NASCAR's top three series – Nextel Cup, Busch and Trucks. #47-Tony Stewart, who won the past two Truck races at Richmond, finished third, #30-Todd Bodine was fourth in Germain-Arnold Motorsports' debut in the series and #99-Carl Edwards completed the top-five. Series points leader #4-Bobby Hamilton, involved on Lap 4 wreck, finished 26th and now leads #46-Dennis Setzer by 57 points and third place Edwards by 76. After the race, Crafton and his Truck owner, Cup driver Kevin Harvick, got into a heated exchange with Hmiel in the garage area regarding the next-to-last lap wreck that forced the race to end under caution. The race was slowed an event-record 11 times by caution for 58 laps. There were four lead changes among three different drivers.
For race results see: ThatsRacin.com Truckseries.com Motorsports One NASCAR.com.(9-9-2004)
McMurray wins pole at Richmond: Jamie McMurray, running Ultra Smith's #2 ASE Dodge for he first time, won the pole for the Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway with a speed of 125.436mph, beating is CTS teammate, #1-Ted Musgrave who will start 2nd after running a lap of 125.191. #30-Todd Bodine, in the first race for the Germain/Arnold Racing team in their Toyota will start 3rd, followed by #17-David Reutimann and #16-Jack Sprague. Points leader, #4-Bobby Hamilton will start 24th. A few Cup drivers in the race will start as follows: #09-Jimmy Spencer, 6th; #47-Tony Stewart, 10th; #52-Ken Schrader, 14th. 10 drivers failed to qualify.
For qualifying results/starting lineup, see: ThatsRacin.com Truckseries.com NASCAR.com.(9-9-2004)
BANG Racing loses Toyota support? UPDATE 6 Toyota stays with #24, Skinner to Bill Davis: hearing that Toyota has pulled their supprt of BANG Racing after the race at Bristol, supposedly BANG is talking to Chevy and Dodge about taking over support.(8-27-2004) UPDATE - Yep: Toyota officials confirmed Monday they have withdrawn factory support from Bang Racing, which fields the Toyota Tundras of drivers Mike Skinner and Travis Kvapil in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "We have exercised our right to terminate our 'Support Agreement' with Bang Racing and notified Bang after the Bristol race," said Toyota spokeswoman Diana DeJoseph. "We do not discuss the details of any of our team contracts or on-going discussions. Bang Racing's contract is no exception." This season Bang was one of four factory supported teams -- Innovative Motorsports, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Bill Davis Racing are the others -- that began Toyota's first season in the Truck series. Bang also has Toyota's only series win this season, when Kvapil won the July race at Michigan in the No. 24 Tundra. Kvapil is currently fifth in points, and teammate Mike Skinner is 10th in the No. 42 Tundra. A Bang Racing spokesperson said the team was working on a press release Monday afternoon, but did say the team planned to compete at the series' next race Sept. 9 at Richmond, Va. Bang Racing was founded by owner Alex Meshkin in 2003 and competing in its first Truck series season. Meshkin, an Internet entrepreneur and marketing businessman, teamed with long-time NASCAR crew chief and Fox Sports analyst Larry McReynolds to form the two-truck organization. McReynolds, however, left the organization in July.(ThatsRacin.com) AND Bang Racing officials are considering litigation to resolve its dispute with Toyota, the team said Monday afternoon after the manufacturer terminated its support agreement. Diana DeJoseph, Toyota's senior motorsports public relations administrator, confirmed Monday that the manufacturer as ended its contract with Bang Racing and its two drivers, Travis Kvapil and Mike Skinner.
"What we can say at this point is that we have exercised our right to terminate our support agreement with Bang Racing," DeJoseph said. "We notified Bang after the Bristol race." But Bang Racing, through a statement, disputed Toyota's position. "According to Bang Racing's sponsorship and support agreement with Toyota, Bang was and continues to be entitled to receive full factory support for our two Tundra teams," said the statement, attributed only to the team. "Bang is currently in discussions with litigation counsel regarding the legal ramifications of TRD/Toyota's position." Jennifer Jaudon, media relations manager for Bang Racing, said the team plans to race in the Kroger 200 at Richmond on Sept. 9. "We'll work through it," Jaudon said. "Our plans are still to be at Richmond. Alex is moving forward with everything." Jaudon, like DeJoseph, wouldn't comment on why Toyota took this action. And while the team plans to be in Richmond, it is unclear whether Kvapil and Skinner will be driving Toyotas. Asked if Bang Racing can continue to use Toyota products, DeJoseph said, "Well, no, we terminated our support agreement. Getting into the details of that isn't something we can do."
Bang's statement, however, indicates that the team wants to continue using Toyotas. Whether Bang can could be up to the judicial system.(NASCAR.com)(8-30-2004) UPDATE 2: An Internet report cited Toyota officials as saying that the manufacturer's support agreement was contingent on participation by former NASCAR crew chief Larry McReynolds, now a broadcaster for Fox. McReynolds left Bang Racing in July and said Tuesday that he was legally precluded from discussing the situation regarding Toyota. But McReynolds did say that philosophical differences with Meshkin, 23, led to his departure. "I'll just say that the business practice of Alex Meshkin wasn't right. I just couldn't and wouldn't fight it anymore," McReynolds said. "I worked 25 years to gain respect in this business. I wasn't about to let this kid throw that out the window in one year's time. There's been 50 owners who have come through this sport and haven't made it. Alex Meshkin is No. 51. I feel very bad (for Kvapil) because I'm the one who sat with him for 4 hours last year and convinced him to drive for Bang Racing."(Wisconsin State Journal - NOTE, looks like they removed the link from the site from some reason, no luck using their search feature)(9-2-2004) UPDATE 3 - even more: The future of Bang Racing, which fields Toyota Tundras for drivers Mike Skinner and Travis Kvapil, remains clouded heading toward the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' next event, Sept. 9 at Richmond, Va.
Earlier this week, Toyota officials announced they were ending their factory support of the Bang operation, effective immediately. Bang responded with threatened litigation, claiming its support agreement remained intact through the end of the 2004 season.
On Thursday, Angie Skinner, Mike Skinner's wife, responded to a reporter's question as to whether Skinner would run in the Richmond race by saying: "We don't know if we're going to Richmond. Alex (Meshkin, team owner) won't return our phone calls." Notified of Skinner's response, Bang Racing spokeswoman Jennifer Jaudon sent the following statement via email: "Bang Racing and Toyota are currently in private negotiations. No comment can be made to anyone until next week when details are finalized between those two entities. Both drivers will be at Richmond racing Toyota Tundras."(ThatsRacin.com), hearing BANG, if they show at RIR will run one truck, the #24 and Travis Kvapil. UPDATE 4: hearing that #42 driver, Mike Skinner is no longer with Bang Racing effective immediately and will no longer drive for Bang Racing. Bill Davis Racing together with Toyota will field an entry for Skinner for the remaining nine Truck Series races. BANG RACING will finish the year with the #24 Tundra and Travis Kvapil. Supposedly Toyota and BANG will go their seperate ways after the 2004 season(9-3-2004) UPDATE 5: also hearing the entire crew from Skinner's #42 team will go along with Bill Davis to Bill Davis Racing.(9-5-2004) UPDATE 6: Bang Racing and Toyota jointly announced today that Bang Racing will remain with Toyota for the balance of the 2004 season. Toyota will continue support of Bang Racing's #24 Line-X team with driver Travis Kvapil. As Bang Racing prepares for its full-time entrance in the NASCAR Busch Series for 2005 with Kvapil, Mike Skinner will join Bill Davis Racing after indicating his desire to remain a successful competitor in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
"This has been an incredible first year in NASCAR," said Alex Meshkin, CEO and owner of Bang Racing. "As a new team with a new manufacturer, it was and is an honor and a privilege to provide outstanding on- and off-the-track performances for Toyota and Line-X. Our achievements have been etched in NASCAR and Toyota history, but most importantly, they have been etched into the hearts and minds of every Bang Racing member," said Meshkin. "Our successful record this season is proof of our dedication and teamwork. However, my plans have never wavered from the beginning of the season when we made clear our intentions to enter into NASCAR's other premier series. Our team and current sponsors are looking forward to advancing Travis Kvapil's career -- his talent and accomplishments since entering the truck series are proof that he has a very bright future ahead."
"Bang Racing gave the Toyota Tundra its first win this season at Michigan,” said Jim Aust, president of Toyota Racing Development, Inc. “The team also provided Toyota a strong entrance into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with superlative performances at both the season-opener at Daytona and at Atlanta. We wish Bang Racing and Travis continued success for the balance of 2004 and beyond."
"We love the Craftsman Truck Series and the people and the teams," Meshkin said. "We have made many friends there, and depending upon the relationship we create with a new manufacturer, we hope to continue to run the #24 truck next year with them. Our goal is to continue our dominating force in 2004 with Toyota and compete for the championship with Travis for our sponsors, Line-X and eBay. In the weeks ahead, we look forward to developing a relationship with a new manufacturer, and wish Toyota and Mike Skinner much success in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2005."(BANG Racing PR)(9-9-2004)
Have you ever wanted to be on a cereal box? Honey Nut Cheerios will be giving someone that opportunity and
encouraging people to live a healthier lifestyle in the process. The "heart healthy" person who can best answer the question, "How I
Lowered My Cholesterol" will appear on a special-edition Honey Nut Cheerios box, which will be unveiled in February at Daytona. Search entrants will submit stories that detail how they have lowered their cholesterol and made a commitment to a healthier lifestyle at www.honeynutcheerios.com. "Making choices to live a healthier lifestyle requires the same gritty determination and strong discipline that you need to compete in NASCAR races," said Bill Lester, the driver of the #22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, who will also be supplying heart health tips on the back of a Honey Nut Cheerios box this fall. "I am honored to be part of this program, and to help give one person out there the same thrill that I had."(Alan Taylor PR)(9-9-2004)
Meshkin talks: Bang Racing owner Alex Meshkin told MRN Radio Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody Wednesday that his team will compete at Richmond Friday night, in a Toyota Tundra.
“It’s unfortunate that anything was said,” said Meshkin of last week’s announcement by Toyota Racing Development that it would drop support of his two-truck team, effective immediately. “We have been negotiating these issues with TRD over the last 60 to 90 days, and those talks were ongoing.”
Meshkin confirmed that a major factor in Toyota’s decision was the July departure of Larry McReynolds. “Our agreement (with TRD) was contingent on Larry’s involvement,” he said. “That information had been confidential until last week, but it was a part of the deal.
Unfortunately, the relationship was not going in the right direction. There were issues between Larry and myself, and quite frankly, there were issues between Larry and some members of the team. Eventually, it became clear to everyone that it was just not working out.”
Meshkin downplayed McReynolds’involvement with the team, saying, “he was not involved in the day-to-day operation of Bang Racing. He’s a busy man with a number of different commitments, and those commitments made it impossible for him to be as involved with the team as perhaps we would have liked.”
He said disagreement over the payment of bills was a factor in McReynolds’ decision to leave the team, saying, “it’s possible that I
pay my bills slower than some teams. Certainly not as slow as 120 days, which is common in the business world, but probably not in 30 days in all cases, either.
The NCTS teamowner also criticized recent negative comments attributed to McReynolds. “I’m not sure where Larry’s attitude shift came from," said Meshkin. "Just a few weeks ago, he wrote an article saying how proud he was of Bang Racing after our win in Michigan. Apparently, that has changed, and I’m not sure why. I have never said anything negative about Larry McReynolds, and have certainly never said anything that would damage his ability to do business in this sport.”
The Bang Racing owner said he has negotiated a deal with TRD that will put driver Travis Kvapil in a Toyota Tundra for the remainder of the 2004 season. He confirmed, however, that former series champion Mike Skinner has left Bang Racing. “Mike Skinner will be racing elsewhere for the remainder of the season, with backing from Toyota,” he said. “Bang Racing will function as a one-truck team for the remainder of the season, with all our effort being focused on Travis Kvapil.”
He confirmed that Bang will field a NASCAR Busch Series team for Kvapil in 2005, but said the door is still open for some sort of Truck Series effort. He refused to comment on whether that effort would involve Toyota. Meshkin said an official announcement of his team’s plans will be made Thursday.(MRN Radio Sirius Speedway)(9-9-2004)
Co-Pilott to Sponsor Johnny Sauter in Richmond Truck Event: Co-Pilott Motorsports Marketing will be the primary sponsor aboard Johnny Sauter's Edge Performance Chevrolet Silverado for the Kroger 200 Richmond NASCAR Truck Series event. Co-Pilott president Mike Held explains, "It's a way for our company to give something back to the companies that have been such great Co-Pilott clients. We've been fortunate enough to work with some world class companies like SONY, Menards, Turtle Wax and Mag-Lite and they've been very good to us, so we thought this would be an interesting way to say thanks, perhaps show them victory lane again. In addition, we get a chance to help out a promising young driver who has a bright future in NASCAR racing." Richmond will be Edge Performance's second event in the Truck Series this year. Edge is owned by Sauter, Cary Agajanian and Mike Curb, the same trio that visited victory lane last year in the Richmond NASCAR Busch Series event. Last month at the Indianapolis Raceway Park Truck Series event, Sauter led the most laps and appeared headed for victory when a late race caution bunched the field with less than 10 laps remaining. Sauter finished second in a wild last lap filled with contact among the top four trucks as they raced to the checkered flag.(Co-Pilott Motorsports Marketing PR)(9-8-2004)
Square-D to leave NASCAR and the #4? UPDATE 2: hearing a memo was sent out to Schneider Electric workers and distributors, in part: After almost nine years of NASCAR Sponsorship, Schneider Electric, sponsor of the Square D Craftsman Truck Series Racing Team has elected to end its sponsorship of Bobby Hamilton Racing driving the #4 Square D truck at the end of the 2004 season. Square-D feels the best time to exit is while Hamilton and his team are 'at the top of their racing game'. Hamilton is currently first in the overall standings with nine of races to go concluding the season on November 19, 2004 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway Ford 200. For more information on the Square D Craftsman Truck Series, visit www.squaredracing.com and about Hamilton and his team at bobbyhamiltonracing.com. UPDATE: After almost nine years of NASCAR Sponsorship, Schneider Electric, sponsor of the No. 4 Square D Dodge driven by current points leader Bobby Hamilton in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has elected to end its sponsorship of the BHR entry at the end of 2004. "I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Square D for the past four years and hate to see them leave the sport," Hamilton said. "They have been a tremendous company to work with and several key people have really made their racing program one of the best out there right now. The employees really followed the Craftsman Truck Series and kept up with our races each week. I hope they continue to do that in the future. We wish them the best."(BHR PR)(9-3-2004) UPDATE 2: Hamilton said if he can't find a replacement sponsor for the truck he fields out of his Mt. Juliet shop, ''I'll go drive for somebody else.'' Hamilton quickly added that he doesn't expect that to happen. He said he's confident he can find a new sponsor to replace departing Schneider Electric and its familiar Square D logo. ''I've already got some good leads,'' Hamilton said. Hamilton also fields the Dodge trucks driven by Chad Chaffin and Chase Montgomery. They have their own sponsors and will not be affected by the Schneider situation.(Tennessean)(9-8-2004)
Andy Houston released from Ultra Motorsports UPDATE 2 McMurray at RIR: Andy Houston has been released as the driver of the Ultra Motorsports prepared #2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge. Houston, a 33 year-old native of Hickory, NC had three top-ten finishes in 16 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts this season. "Andy Houston is a great guy and a really good racer but it was time to make a change," said Jim Smith, owner of Ultra Motorsports. "Andy came in last year and helped move this team in a positive direction after we had a driver change. He helped the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge keep its momentum at the end of last year and all of us had high hopes for this year. Unfortunately, for all of us, we are not where we want to be from a competition standpoint and it is time to move forward." Ultra Motorsports has not yet named a replacement for Houston but will do so leading up to the Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday September 9th.(Ultra Motorsports site)(8-28-2004) UPDATE: hearing Jamie McMurray may be in the #2 Dodge at Richmond.(9-1-2004) UPDATE 2 Jamie McMurray will be pulling double duty this weekend in Richmond as he will pilot the #2 Dodge in Thursday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race before climbing behind the wheel of the #42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge for Saturday night's Rock & Roll 400.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(9-7-2004)
Germain/Arnold Racing/Todd Bodine to debut at RIR: The Toyota Tundra Team of Germain / Arnold Racing with veteran NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Todd Bodine is looking forward to their first foray into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "I'm really proud of the team and what they've accomplished in such a short period of time. Everyone's worked extremely hard. They deserve a lot of credit!", stated Bob Germain, team co-owner about the operation. The #30 team recently completed a two-day test in Chicago and was very pleased with the results. "I can't believe just how hard these guys work and the attention to the little details that improve our Toyota Tundra's times on the track", exclaimed Steve Germain president of Germain Motor Company, about the test. "This is truly a TEAM sport and we have a young and extremely talented team. I'm excited about going to Richmond."
"The Toyota Tundra handled like a dream. I was able to keep the Tundra at full throttle completely around the track," said Todd Bodine about the performance of the Toyota Tundra. With 9 races remaining on the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, the team is excited about the potential of a good competitive showing in 2004.
"The entire staff of TRD have been extremely helpful in assisting the team, from Toyota's V.P. and Truck Series Program Manager Pat Wall down, including engineers, shop employees, and secretaries," stated team co-owner Don Arnold about looking forward to Richmond and the remainder of the season. The Germain / Arnold Racing #30 Toyota Tundra will take to the track for Thursday night's battle at Richmond International Raceway's, Kroger 200.(Germain/Arnold Racing PR)(9-7-2004)
Craven to make Truck debut at NHIS: Ricky Craven will make his first start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the Sylvania 200 Presented by Lowe's on Saturday, September 18 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Craven will drive the #47 ACXIOM Chevrolet Silverado Celebrity All-Star Team entry fielded by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports. The truck will feature a LeAnn Rimes themed paint scheme promoting the October 12 release of her new album "This Woman". Craven is the fourth of seven drivers paired with a musical celebrity to promote the Chevrolet Silverado brand's increased commitment to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program. Craven will face some tough competition in the Sylvania 200 Presented by Lowe's. In the past eight Craftsman Truck Series races held at New Hampshire International Speedway, there has yet to be a repeat winner.(NHIS PR)(9-7-2004)
RIR Truck Race gets a sponsor: Kroger, one of the nation's largest grocery retailers, announced it will be the title sponsor of the upcoming NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Richmond International Raceway. The Kroger 200 will run Thursday night, September 9 as part of a double header with the inaugural Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) Series. Kroger, which sponsored the 2000 and 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events at Richmond International Raceway, is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kroger, which has more than 65 retail stores in the commonwealth of Virginia, partners with Richmond International Raceway as the track celebrates the running of their 10th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. The Kroger 200 is set to run "under the lights" with the green flag drop scheduled for 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, September 9. Race tickets, which are only $30, include the inaugural short track event for the Crown Royal IROC Series, which is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and information, fans can call 1-866-455-RACE or visit www.rir.com.(RIR PR)(9-7-2004)
Chick Motorsports gets a sponsor, to run 5 races:Taylor Cable will become the primary sponsor for the #74 Chevy Silverado of Team Chick Motorsports. Driver Eric Jones will compete in five of the twelve remaining Craftsman Truck Series events. Team Chick Motorsports is a Kansas City based organization competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The team is owned by the Chick Family and managed by Steve Chick, Jr. Eric Jones is an accomplished racer with a background including over 200 KART victories, eight top 18 finishes in the NCTS with a high of sixth, and six starts in the NASCAR Busch series. Jones remarked, "We have got really good Chevrolet trucks and Tri-Star builds us some killer engines, all we needed was a little boost to get out there and run a number of events. I can't think of a better company than Taylor to be associated with. Their great products are well known in other forms of racing and hopefully we can bring them some exposure with NASCAR fans." Taylor Cable is a manufacturer of automotive wiring products for race and street applications. In business for over 80 years, they have one of the most complete wiring and wiring accessory inventories in the world.(Team Chick Motorsports PR)(9-7-2004)
BANG Racing's Owner Speaks: Claire B. Lang XM Satellite NASCAR Radio reached Alex Meshkin owner of Bang Racing....some clips from the telephone on-air conversation on XM:
Meshkin told CBL: " Well, you know, a lot's happened since the Bristol race. A lot of rumors came out through the press, a statement
was made by Toyota. You know, we've been in a lot of discussions, and, we're finalizing something where we're going to be racing in Richmond, and we will be racing Toyotas."
Claire: Alex, I know there are certain rumors, for example... like not paying bills, that bills had not been paid. What are you doing
currently, are you in negotiations with Toyota? What are you doing about the matter, what can you talk about?
Alex: Well first to address the whole bills statement, no I haven't disappeared, I'm sitting in the race shop right now, as I tend to do
just about every day that I'm not traveling, and you know, we're a start up team. Time to time, you might get a little further behind
than you'd like, but all within, you know, corporate standards, I would say we pay our bills, quicker than I'd say I've ever paid bills
in a business. It just, this industry, looks at things a lot differently than corporate America does.
Claire:.... Will we definitely see more of Alex in this sport?
Alex: We'll be racing in Richmond, I can tell you we will be racing in 2005, we will be in the Busch Series.
Claire: In the Busch Series?
Alex: Yes. [pause] Not to say we won't be in the Craftsman Truck Series, but we will definitely be in the Busch Series.
Claire: Are you still talking to Toyota? - Legal action, is there something legal going on?
Alex: Um, you know, I think we, we've gotten beyond the legal side, and we were in more, business discussions, and had some more
productive talks this week, you know, we will be announced something officially next week. As I said, we will be racing in Richmond.
Claire: And you the driver..... Travis Kvapil, or can you say it at this point?
Alex: Well you know, we're going to look to make more of an official announcement this week, but everyone knows Travis, you know, he's going to be a Nextel Cup driver sooner than later, he's got a lot of talent, and the next stepping stone, one of the places he can go is the Busch Series. We wanna be able to be there as his team. He's an amazing talent.
Claire: Do you have a sponsor for that?
Alex: Yes, some of our sponsors are moving up with us, and we're bringing a couple new companies in too.
Claire: Is this frustrating for you to go through all of this, to have people talking here while you're there?
Alex: Of course it's frustrating, you know, we've put a lot of effort this year into fielding two very competitive trucks. We thought we'd
have a shot at the championship with both trucks. You know, we're sitting fifth with Travis, and he's definitely within striking
distance. And you know to have this kind of controversy in your first year is always a struggle. But we're a close organization, we have a lot of great people here that stood behind the company, and we're going to move forward, and we're going to be stronger than ever. We're generating a lot of interest, a lot of new sponsors with our approach to marketing, and we've done a good job for our existing sponsors. You know, we have a very happy group including Line-X, the primary sponsor of Travis's truck, they've stuck behind us and will continue to do so.
Alex: Well you know, we're really looking forward to the last part of this year. You know, to have Travis in the 24 truck, and having the
team, that we think is the best out there, to be to go to Richmond, and we hope we'll have a shot at winning the race. We know we're going to be highly competitive we hope for the rest of the year. And hopefully we can bring Travis a championship and he can be 2003 and 2004 Craftsman Truck Series Champion.
Claire: Can you do that without manufacturer support?
Alex: [pause] I think it would be difficult if he didn't have manufacturers support. But as I said we'll be making a joint press announcement with Toyota next week. And I think we'll be running for the championship.(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 144)(9-5-2004)
Beattie to attempt Richmond race: Kyle Beattie will attempt his first NASCAR race in the Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway. "This is a great opportunity for me to try to fullfill my lifelong dream to race in Nascar," Beattie said, " I'm excited and nervous about my first time racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, but I feel confident that I can prove myself on the race track." Kyle went on to thank Richardson Racing for giving him and the rest of Beattie Racing this chance. The team is looking for a sponsor, more info at beattieracing.com.(9-5-2004)
McFarland in the #59 at RIR: 2003 NASCAR Dodge Weekly National Champion Mark McFarland will be behind the wheel of the # 59 HT Motorsports NASCAR Craftsman race truck at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday, September 9th. McFarland has made several starts in 2004 for the Jim Harris owned entry. McFarland is from Winchester(VA), so this will give him the opportunity to race close to home. Additional Notes: Excavation continues for the new HT Motorsports Race Shop, which will be constructed next to Arrington Enterprises, where Joey Arrington prepares the powerful engines utilized by many of the top Dodge teams. Jim Harris hopes to have the team relocated in time to begin preparations for the 2005 season. Lou Larosa and the Patrick Henry Community College Coming Alive Program continue to support the engine program for HT Motorsports. Arrington announced recently that there has been 100% placement for the first graduating class. HT Motorsports, Arrington Enterprises, Patrick Henry Community College, and Henry County will soon combine resources to launch the Virginia Motorsports Technical Center, which will be housed under the same roof as the new HT Motorsports Race Shop.(HT Motorsports PR)(9-5-2004)
Richmond News and Notes:
Etc. … Following a 12th-place finish at Bristol, Hamilton leads Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet) by 99 points. Nine races remain on the 2004 schedule … Ken Schrader (No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet) won his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Bud Pole at Bristol. He is the fourth competitor to win both a pole and a race on all three of NASCAR’s national touring series. The others are Greg Biffle, Terry Labonte and Jimmy Spencer. … Bristol winner Carl Edwards (No. 99 Super Chips Ford) ended the series’ streak of different short-track winners at 10. Edwards previously won in August 2003 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. … Shane Hmiel (No. 15 Earl Small’s Harley-Davidson Chevrolet) led the O’Reilly 200 at halfway and finished second to match his best series performance. The event was the 14th of the 2004 season in which the halfway leader hasn’t won. Hamilton at Kentucky Speedway and Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) at The Milwaukee Mile are the only winners to overcome what’s beginning to look like a mid-race jinx. … Andy Houston was released from the No. 2 Team ASE/Carquest Dodge following last week’s event. Ultra Motorsports has not yet named a replacement driver. The team has 17 series victories, the most recent by Spencer at New Hampshire International Speedway last September. … Bill Lester’s No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota will carry a special Hire*A*Hero logo at Richmond International Raceway. The promotion, which focuses on members of the military transitioning back into civilian life, spotlights employment opportunities at 1,400 Toyota and Lexus dealerships and the company’s corporate and manufacturing facilities. … Craftsman’s bonus for winning from the pole, unclaimed since Musgrave’s June 25 victory in Milwaukee, is worth $16,000 at Richmond. Fast Facts
What: Kroger 200 (Race No. 17 of 25).
Where: Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Va.
When: 8:45 p.m. ET, Thursday, Sept. 9.
Track layout: .75-mile paved speedway.
Race length: 200 laps/150 miles.
Posted awards: $398,013.
TV: SPEED Channel, 8:45 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Tony Stewart.
2003 polesitter: Time trials not held (Travis Kvapil via Rulebook).
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday, Practice 10:00 a.m. until 11:55 a.m. Qualifying 2:05 p.m. Trucks impounded following qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(9-5-2004)
Miller in the #08 at Richmond: SS Racing readies for their 2nd Craftsman Truck Series start of 2004 at Richmond International Raceway. The team will be sponsored by Indianapolis based ASILIMITED Building Enclosure Specialists.
Butch Miller will pilot the #08 ASILIMITED Silverado in the Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway September 09, 2004. This will be Miller's 110th career start in the truck series, compiling 1 win, 23 top 5's and 50 top 10's. "We had a great start for this team at IRP" says Miller. "We qualified 27th and finished 24th in one of the most competitive fields I have seen since I began in the Truck Series." Currently SS Racing is running (3) teams in the ASA Series including the #06 ditech.com/GMAC Chevy through an alliance with NEXTEL Cup powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports and driven by open wheel star Kyle Krisiloff. The other cars are being driven by Miller, Davin Scites and John Dalziel. To keep pace with this exciting team throughout the 2004 season and beyond, visit our website www.ssracingonline.com.(9-5-2004)
BANG to Busch? during Tuesday's Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on Speed Channel, Speed's Truck Series broadcaster, Ray Dunlap was discussing BANG Racing's split with Toyota, and mentioned BANG Racing and driver Travis Kvapil could end up in the Busch Series driving a Chevy. BANG Racing's other driver, Mike Skinner would probably stay in the Truck Series with Toyota and another team.(9-1-2004)