January 2006 Truck Series News Archive
- Winners of a race in Cup, Busch and Truck Series races: see my Misc Stats page for this and many others.
- Richardson in the #1 Dodge UPDATE: R3 (Robert Richardson Racing) has unveiled the sponsors of the #1 Dodge Ram for the 2006 Truck Series Season. Benchmark Mortgage through their 'Win Your Mortgage' sweepstakes will serve as primary sponsor on the truck with Resistol as one of the team's associate sponsors. Robert Richardson, a 23-year old native of McKinney, Texas, will pilot the truck for the entire 25-race season as he battles for Rookie of the Year honors. Beginning on February 1, 2006, race fans can log onto www.winyourmortgage.com to enter for a chance to have their mortgage paid for a year. R3 will also carry associate sponsorship from Resistol in 2006. "We are very fortunate to have teamed up with Benchmark Mortgage and Resistol for the 2006 season," said Richardson, driver of the #1 WinYourMortgage.com Dodge. "The 'Win Your Mortgage' sweepstakes is going to be pretty exciting for the race fans that will have the chance to have their mortgage paid for an entire year." R3 will make their first start of 2006 along with the rest of the NCTS competitors on February 17 at the Daytona International Speedway.( TruckSeries.com)(1-26-2006)
UPDATE: Richardson is guaranteed of making the field in the season opener at Daytona Feb. 17. His family bought
controlling interest in Ultra Motorsports, the team that won the championship last year with Ted Musgrave. The points the #1
Dodge earned last season assure Richardson of making the field [for the 1st four races anyway].(Dallas Morning
- Team ASE Partners with Musgrave: Germain Racing and The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) are pleased to announce their partnership for the upcoming Truck Series race season. TEAM ASE will be the primary sponsor of the #9 Germain Racing Toyota, driven by defending Truck Series Champion, Ted Musgrave. "As one of the original sponsors of the NCTS series, Team ASE is excited to partner with Germain Racing, who clearly demonstrated their intent to win during the 2005 Season, along with the opportunity to stay with Ted Musgrave," said Ron Weiner, ASE President. "Ted represents the best ideals of NASCAR, ASE, and Germain Motor Company and we're proud to have the opportunity for him to carry the ASE banner for 2006."(Truck Series)(1-30-2006)
- McCumbee to #06 for MRD Motorsports: Truck team owner, Dave Malcomson announced today that rookie driver Chad McCumbee will pilot his MRD Motorsports #06 Chevy in an effort to capture the 2006 NCTS Rookie of the Year Award. Malcomson is looking to secure primary sponsorship for the full 2006 Truck Series season. It is a task that he hopes will be aided by his addition of McCumbee and their pursuit of the 2006 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award.(Team MRD )(1-30-2006)
- CLR Racing and Whitt team up for ARCA 200: CLR Racing crew chief, Joey Cudmore, has announced that Brandon Whitt will be the driver of the #57 CLR Ford for the ARCA 200 at Daytona on February 11. Whitt, who last season drove the #38 for Red Horse Racing in the Truck Series, is scheduled to drive for CLR as part of an ongoing driver development program put together by this team. For more information visit: Team CLR.(1-30-2006)
- Steven Wallace to Run Seven Truck Series Events: Along with ARCA and Busch Series starts, it was reported that Steve Wallace (son of Rusty Wallace) is also set to run seven Truck Series races. No word on team, truck # or what races? (Marshalltown Times Republic )(1-28-2006)
- Murphy to #07 for Green Light Racing in 2006: Green Light Racing has announced that rookie driver, Sean Murphy, will be manning the #07 Chevy Silverado Truck for the racing organization. Backed by team sponsor Murvest Fine Foods, a manufacturer and distributor of specialty food products for the cruise line industry, Murphy will compete in a minimum of seven races and will once again be competing for Rookie of the Year honors in 2006. Green Light Racing is owned and operated by racing veteran Bobby Dotter. The Chevy Silverado Truck team has successfully fielded both the #07 and #08 trucks full-time in the Truck Series for several years. (Bobby Hamilton Jr. is scheduled to drive the #08 at Daytona.) For additional information on Green Light Racing and Sean Murphy, please visit Greenlightracing.com.(1-28-2006)
- Reutimann and #17 Still Looking for Sponsorship: David Reutimann plans to run the full Truck Series even though his team, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, doesn't have sponsorship for 2006. NTN Bearings, which sponsored Reutimann's #17 Toyota truck the past two years, announced at the end of last season it was pulling out. "There wasn't a whole lot of time to get a new sponsor lined up," Reutimann said Thursday. "The kind of money it takes to run these things now, you're not going to find on short notice." Reutimann said it's possible the team may have to sell sponsorship packages for set numbers of races and carry different paint and decal packages throughout the year. Waltrip's team used that approach with its second truck last season. The truck series rookie of the year in 2004, Reutimann earned his first victory last season at Nashville and ran as high as fifth in the standings before a late swoon left him 13th. The fact he's driving a Toyota, which was clearly the strongest brand on the circuit at the end of last year, gives him at least an outside chance of running for the championship this year. "If we can be consistent like we did at one point last year, we'll be good," Reutimann said. (Tampa Tribune)(1-27-2006)
- Boys & Girls Club to Honor Darrell Waltrip: Rusty Wallace, Michael Waltrip, Ken Schrader and football great Terry Bradshaw are a few of the sports figures that will be on hand to "roast" NASCAR racing legend Darrell Waltrip at the 17th annual Steak & Burger Dinner, a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Franklin/Williamson County in Tennessee. Other roasters include Mike Helton, president of NASCAR; local celebrities David Hill, CEO of FOX Sports; Rudy Kalis, of WSMV; George Plaster, of WGFX The Zone; and entertainer T. Graham Brown along with several surprises. Set for Tuesday, March 14th at the Embassy Suites Hotel Grand Ballroom in the Cool Springs area of Franklin (TN). The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. "I am truly looking forward to being skewered by some of my 'good' friends," said Darrell Waltrip. "I have always been a big fan and supporter of our Boys & Girls Club, and when they approached me about the roast, I immediately told them that I was in! I can't think of a better cause than to help raise money for the children of our community." Tickets for the dinner are $100 each and may be obtained by calling the Boys & Girls Club at 615-794-4800 or going online to www.bgcfwc.org. Two premium seats to the event will be auctioned to the highest bidder via the Boys & Girls website only. The seats are at the table with Darrell Waltrip, Michael Waltrip, Terry Bradshaw, Mike Helton and David Hill. The bidding is now ongoing and will close on Wednesday, March 8th. Additionally, a silent auction in the lobby of the hotel will feature many NASCAR items, sports related items as well as music-related items.(Waltrip Racing PR)(1-25-2006)
- DeLoach to lead Red Horse Racing Team in 2006: Tom DeLoach has taken over the day-to-day management duties of Red Horse Racing LLC, effective immediately, the team announced this week. David Starr drives the #38 Toyota Tundra on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for Red Horse. DeLoach, majority owner of the team, takes over from general manager Marty Gaunt, who will remain an owner as he pursues other opportunities within the sport. Jeff Hammond is also an owner of the team. “An opportunity presented itself to Marty but, while his input and consultation will remain valuable to us, makes it impossible for him to be our general manager as well,” DeLoach said. “We will certainly continue to rely on him but we needed someone who could devote all of their time to running the day-to-day operations.” DeLoach came to motorsports from the Mobil Oil Corporation, where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and later President of Global Midstream. As worldwide coordinator of Mobil’s motorsports operations, DeLoach gained a unique knowledge of the racing world and gained insight into NASCAR racing. Hammond has been in motorsports his entire adult life, and is currently a lead television analyst for FOX Sports, FX and SPEED channel.(Williams Company)(1-23-2006)
- Hunter's Hope Foundation Races in 2006 with Stout: Confirmation came this week that The Hunter's Hope Foundation, based in Buffalo, NY, will continue it's association with the #91Truck Series team of JC Stout. Stout, who headquarters his Stellar-Quest Racing Team in the Buffalo region, first carried the Hunter's Hope logo into Loudon, NH last September. The Hunter's Hope Foundation was founded by Pro Football Hall of Fame member and former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife Jill in 1997 after their son was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy. Calling for more newborn screenings in all states to significantly increase the odds of a leukodystrophy-stricken infant's survival has been a focus of the foundation since it's inception. Not all states routinely screen for the same number of diseases, potentially leading to undiagnosed illnesses that if
identified early enough, could be treated and possibly cured. While young Hunter Kelly lost his valiant fight last August, the Kelly family continues to forge a path of research and development in this field. "I've had the opportunity to talk to and meet families devastated by Krabbe Disease. They are wonderful everyday people who have lost loved ones senselessly", Stout said. "I hope by joining forces we can help others avoid such grief", he continued. Race team PR Director Michelle Maines added, "It is our mission to aid the foundation in it's education campaign by means of the excellent exposure possibilities within the Truck Series." "This union continues our team's support of our community and those in it." The Stellar-Quest Racing Team enters their fourth year of competition in the series in 2006. Racing a limited schedule due to lack of significant sponsorship, the team plans to hit the track in April at Gateway International Speedway in St. Louis, MO. For more information, please contact the Hunter's Hope Foundation at huntershope.org or jcstout.com.(1-20-2006)
- Musgrave will represent Truck Series in this Year's IROC: Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) officials announced today the driver field and race event schedule for the 2006 Crown Royal IROC Series. The four-race invitational all-star series, which matches 12 drivers from different disciplines of auto racing in equally prepared cars, will open its historic 30th season February 17 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). Five-time Crown Royal IROC Series and 2005 champion Mark Martin will look to capture consecutive series crowns for the first time since Dale Earnhardt accomplished the feat in the 1999-2000 seasons. Martin won three in row from 1996-1998 and owns an IROC-record 13 checkered flags. The 2006 driver field will consist of representation from seven major racing series, including six drivers that captured their respective series championship in 2005.
The drivers are: Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth; 2005 Busch champ Martin Truex Jr., 2005 Truck Champ Ted Musgrave; Steve Kinser from WoO; ARCA Champ Frank Kimmel, Sam Hornish, Jr. and Scott Sharp from the IRL, and road racers Max Papis along with Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor [who will split duties, two races each];(Alan Taylor Communications/IROC Racing PR), driver capsules, schedule and more on my 2006 IROC Page.(1-17-2006)
- Bill Davis Racing Confirms 2006 Truck Team Lineup: Bill Davis, president of Bill Davis Racing, confirmed Monday the driver and crew chief combinations of his three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entries for the 2006 season. Mike Skinner will return as driver of the #5 Toyota Tundra with veteran Crew Chief Jeff Hensley calling the shots. Bill Lester will return for his third season as driver of the #22 Toyota Tundra, and Doug Wolcott will return for his sophomore season as the crew chief. Johnny Benson will again pilot the # 23 Toyota Tundra in 2006 with veteran crew chief Rick Ren returning atop the pit box. (Truckseries.com)(1-16-2006)
- Con-Way sponsorship for a team, which one? UPDATE 2 #60 Team: hearing Con-Way Transportation is signing a new sponsorship deal with a truck team within the next day or so, no word on the team, but Con-Way did sponsor #59-Robert Pressley at Texas last June.(1-12-2006)
UPDATE: been told that #60-Jack Sprague and the Wyler Racing team got the Con-Way sponsorship.(1-16-2006)
UPDATE 2: Con-Way Transportation Services announced that they will be the primary sponsor on the #60 Wyler Racing Toyota for the 2006 race season in the Craftsman Truck Series. The company is a leading provider of less-than-truckload, truckload, expedite, truckload brokerage, airfreight forwarding and retail distribution services to commercial and industrial businesses in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico. "Con-Way's entry into racing by our association with the Wyler organization and their driver, Jack Sprague (jacksprague.com), is an exciting new way to extend the Con-Way brand into the marketplace," said David S. McClimon, president of Con-Way. "The Con-Way 60 truck will be campaigned by a first class racing organization and offer significant branding, customer entertainment and employee appreciation opportunities." Sprague holds the most records in the history of the Craftsman Truck Series and is the only three-time Truck Series Champion - 1997,1999 and 2001. His records include winning the most poles- 28 total, the most top-five and top-10 finishes, miles completed, miles led and most races finished on the lead lap and is second on the all-time win list with 25 trips to victory lane. For more information on Con-Way visit con-way.com.(Integrity Sports Marketing PR)(1-18-2006)
- Lagasse to run some ARCA races: In addition his driving duties in the #04 BHR truck, Scott Lagasse will also compete in the ARCA RE/MAX Series as part of a driver development program for Dodge Motorsports. Under the program, the #4 Cunningham Motorsports ARCA RE/MAX Series entry will field Dodges powered with a combination of Evernham Motorsports and Ganassi Racing engines. Under the direction of Eddie Sharp, the team will utilize the driving talent of AJ Foyt IV, Scott Lagasse Jr. and Chase Miller. Besides serving as general manager of the #4 Cunningham Motorsports team, Sharp will also serve as co-crew chief. For full story visit ARCA Racing.(1-16-2006)
UPDATE: Hearing that Scott Lagasse is on the entry list as the driver of the #4 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge for the ARCA race in Daytona. (ARCA PR)(1-20-2006)
- Kerry Earnhardt to the #13: Kerry Earnhardt has been signed on as driver of the #13 ThorSport Racing Chevy for the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. Earnhardt made two NCTS starts in 2005, earning the pole at Daytona in his series debut. He will join current ThorSport Racing driver Matt Crafton, who will continue his duties behind the wheel of the team's #88 Menards
Chevy. Earnhardt will start his duties immediately, as he joins the team in time this weekend's Preseason Thunder test sessions at Daytona International Speedway. "We're proud to have Kerry as a part of the team for 2006 and beyond," said ThorSport Racing team owner Duke Thorson. "We had Kerry up at the shop a couple of weeks ago and he met all of the guys and they all hit it off very well.
We're excited to have him on board and we look forward to coming out of the box strong."
"I'm excited to have him as a teammate," said Earnhardt's ThorSport teammate Matt Crafton. "It's going to be a lot of fun to see what he can do in a good ride for a full season." Shane Tesch will remain as the crew chief of the #13 Chevy. Sponsors for the effort will be announced at a later date.(Thorsport PR)(1-13-2006)
- Carl Long in the #28 for Daytona: Carl Long will participate in the three-day Craftsman Truck Series test session at Daytona Int'l Speedway beginning Friday, January 13th, through the 15th. Long will be testing the Jim Rosenblum and Bob Rahilly-owned #28 FDNY Racing Chevrolet in preparation for the Daytona Truck Series 250 in February.(Carl Long site)(1-13-2006)
- Almirola full-time Trucks in 2006 #75 team: Joe Gibbs Racing's Aric Almirola, a Hispanic native of Tampa, Fla., will move into the Craftsman Truck Series after a successful stint in Late Models through the team diversity driver development program. The 21-year-old has two top-10s in three truck starts this year. "He's done a great job," J.D. Gibbs said. "You saw the same kind of spark in him you saw in Denny running Late Models, winning stuff everywhere."Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-7-2005)
UPDATE - Almirola To The #75? team Catchfence.com is reporting that Aric Almirola may end up in the #75 Spears Chevy for the 2006 Truck Series season. The deal could be a joint effort between Spears Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing.(1-4-2006)
UPDATE 2: Headline on Spears Racing website confirms Almirola to the #75.Spears Racing.(1-6-2005)
UPDATE 3: Tampa native Aric Almirola, a member of Joe Gibbs Racing's diversity program who made his NASCAR truck series debut last season with two top-10s in four races, will drive Spears Motorsports' #75 Chevrolet in the series, his grandfather, Sam Rodriguez, confirmed.(St. Petersburg Times)(1-11-2006)
UPDATE 4: Aric Almirola, development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, has been named the driver the #75 Spears Manufacturing Chevy fielded by Spears Motorsports for the 2006 season. The 21 year-old driver from Tampa, FL will run for the Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year title in the Chevrolet factory supported Silverado under the guidance of veteran crew chief Dave McCarty. Almirola, in his third season for the Joe Gibbs/Reggie White Drive for Diversity Program, competed regionally in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series in 2004 and 2005 capturing 10 victories in late model competition. In 2005, Almirola made four NCTS starts scoring two top-10 finishes.(GM PR)(1-13-2006)
- Kraig Kinser to Run Full Truck Series in #47: An innovative, multi-year partnership between MB2 Motorsports and Morgan-Dollar Motorsports will put Kraig Kinser behind the wheel of the #47 Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The 21-year-old Indiana native will run for 2006 NCTS Rookie of the Year honors under the tutelage of championship-winning crew chief Randy Goss. "This is a tremendous opportunity for me," Kinser said. "Morgan-Dollar Motorsports is clearly the class of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Some great drivers have driven the #47 the past two seasons and have had great races and finishes. I know I will be in the best equipment out there. "Having Dennis Setzer as a teammate and working with a crew chief like Randy Goss is the perfect situation for me as a rookie. I am looking forward to having their experience to learn from throughout the season," added Kinser. "This is a tremendous opportunity for our organization," said David Dollar, team owner. "Kraig is unquestionably one of the rising young talents in NASCAR. Establishing a partnership with MB2, one of the most respected and well managed teams in the NEXTEL Cup garage, continues the philosophy that is the driving force of our team. We want to continue to be the leader for the Chevrolet Silverado brand in the NCTS and set the standard to which others aspire to achieve. Having a relationship with MB2 provides us with access to additional resources and tools necessary to continue to make our Silverados the trucks to beat in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series." MB2 Motorsports fields the full-time Chevrolet Monte Carlo rides of Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition. "We have been impressed with what we have seen so far from Kraig," said Jay Frye, MB2's CEO and general manager. "Our ability to work in partnership with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports is going to be a big key to the success Kraig has in building his NASCAR career. Their organization is top-notch and they continue to demonstrate why they are the premier team in the NCTS. We are excited about this partnership and are looking forward to a great season for Kraig."(GM Racing News)(1-12-2006)
- Daimler Chrysler, Bill Davis Racing Lawsuit Underway: A multimillion-dollar breach of contract lawsuit between Daimler Chrysler and Bill Davis Racing is expected to get under way in U.S. District Court in Detroit. Daimler Chrysler says Bill Davis Racing, based in North Carolina, violated the terms of a six-year contract in 2003 by passing confidential information to Toyota. The suit says Davis was helping the Japanese automaker develop a prototype Tundra truck for NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. At the time, Davis was under contract to prepare DaimlerChrysler vehicles for the NASCAR Winston Cup series, now the Nextel Cup series. After terminating the contract and suing Davis, DaimlerChrysler says it learned that Davis had signed a contract in February 2003 to provide a car to General Motors for the Winston Cup series. DaimlerChrysler is seeking $6.5 million in damages and an injunction to prevent Davis from divulging confidential automotive data acquired from DaimlerChrysler. Davis has denied the charges, counter-sued and is seeking $8.5 million to $9.8 million from DaimlerChrysler for breach of contract. Davis intends to run two Dodges in the Nextel Cup series this year with drivers Michael Waltrip and Dave Blaney. In the truck series, he will run three Toyota Tundras with drivers Johnny Benson, Mike Skinner and Bill Lester. (Detroit Free Press)(1-16-2006)
- An Interview with Ted Musgrave: Ted Musgrave talks about his new ride in the Germain Racing/Toyota #9, Ultra Motorsports, and how he plans to defend his title. For complete interview - see the Ted Musgrave interview page.
- Whitt to test #40 for Key Motorsports in Daytona: Key Motorsports announced that NCTS regular Brandon Whitt will test the #40 truck this week in Daytona. NASCAR veteran Lance Hooper will serve up top of the pit box as the crew chief for Key Motorsports in the 2006 season. Key Motorsports recently relocated to Mooresville, NC, and after extensive renovations, the shop is up and running at full capacity. Several key employees have been hired on and the team is set for the 2006 season. "We are very thankful to Brandon that he was available to help us out by testing our truck this week." stated Curtis Key, team owner. "We are looking forward to a driver announcement soon for the 2006 season," he added.(Key Motorsports)(1-12-2006)
- 40 Teams Expected at Truck Series Testing: The foundation for the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will be poured this week with three days of testing for the Feb. 17 Daytona 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Teams intending to participate in this season's first of 25 races are scheduled to test from Friday, Jan. 13 through Sunday, Jan. 15. The test follows this week's first of two rounds of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing for the Daytona 500. All sessions begin at 9 a.m. and end at 5pm., weather permitting. Each includes a lunch break from noon until 1pm. Media covering this week's sessions will have interview opportunities after each day's on-track activities and during lunch.
Drivers attending this week's session include Ted Musgrave (#9 Germain Motor Company Toyota), Dennis Setzer (#46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet), Todd Bodine (#30 Germain Motor Company Toyota), Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet), Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota), defending Daytona 250 winner Bobby Hamilton (#18 Fastenal Dodge), Jack Sprague (#60 Wyler Racing Toyota), David Starr (#38 Red Horse Racing Toyota), Matt Crafton (#88 Menards Chevrolet) and Johnny Benson (#23 Bill Davis Racing Toyota). Also scheduled to participate are David Reutimann (#17 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Toyota), Terry Cook (#10 Power Stroke Diesel by International), 2003 Daytona 250 winner Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford), Bill Lester (#22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota), Brendan Gaughan (#77 Orleans Dodge) and 2002 Daytona 250 winner Robert Pressley (Harris Trucking Dodge).
Anticipated Raybestos Rookie of the Year contenders Aric Almirola (#75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet), Erin Crocker (#98 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge), Erik Darnell (#99 Roush Racing Ford), Kraig Kinser (#47 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet), Kyle Krisiloff (#15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet), Joey Miller (#12 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Toyota) and Boston Reid (#25 Woodard-Sharp Racing Dodge) also are scheduled to test.
SPEED will air a 30-minute testing highlight show at 7pm/et on Jan. 15.
Fan Fest offers fans Q&A with drivers, entertainment … On Friday (and each Tuesday thereafter) during NASCAR Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder at Daytona, fans have the opportunity for an afternoon and evening of fun at Daytona International Speedway's NEXTEL FANZONE. This week's Fan Fest will feature NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver question and answer sessions, bands, show cars, pit-stop demonstrations, a silent auction and displays. The cost is $15 for each Fan Fest. Fans also can watch each day's test session for free, beginning at 9am/et.
· Jan. 10: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Fan Fest
· Jan 13: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Fan Fest
· Jan. 17: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Fan Fest
· Jan. 21: NASCAR Busch Series Fan Fest
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Scheduled Interviews
Friday, Jan. 13
Lunch-Ron Hornaday Jr., Noon-12:20pm.; Todd Bodine, Ted Musgrave, 12:30-12:50pm.
Afternoon-Erin Crocker, Erik Darnell, Aric Almirola (approximately 5:15pm.)
Saturday, Jan. 14
Lunch-Dennis Setzer, Kraig Kinser, Noon-12:20pm.; Bobby Hamilton, Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Timothy Peters, 12:30-12:50
Afternoon-Kyle Krisiloff, Joey Miller and Boston Reid (approximately 5:15pm.)
Sunday, Jan. 15
Lunch-Jack Sprague, Noon-12:20pm.; Mike Skinner, 12:30:12:50pm.
Afternoon-TBD (approximately 5:15pm.)
Session 2: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams participating in the Feb. 17 Daytona 250.
What: Preseason testing for the 2006 Daytona 250.
Where: Daytona International Speedway.
Track Layout: 2.5-mile tri-oval superspeedway.
When: Friday, Jan. 13 through Sunday, Jan. 15.
Times: 9am until 5pm. Includes one-hour lunch break from noon until 1pm.
Who: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams intending to compete in the Feb. 17 Daytona 250. Approximately 40 teams are expected to participate.
TV: Test highlights shown at 7:00pm/et Jan. 15 on SPEED.
- Ford statement concerning Ulra Motorsports: Ford Racing released a statement citing disappointment in the closing of Ultra Motorsports. According to Greg Specht, performance operations manager with Ford Racing Technology, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team and the manufacturer disagreed over whether the team would field a one- or two-truck operation. "All of us at Ford Racing are surprised and disappointed to hear that Ultra Motorsports decided to close its shop last Friday. We understood they were having some sponsorship difficulties, but we were prepared to support them based on the agreement that we were working out with Jim Smith. Contrary to published reports, we were planning to support their efforts as a manufacturer. When we first started speaking with Jim last year, the plan was for them to have a two-truck operation, and we were prepared to support that level of operation. When it became clear that there would be only one truck for this year, we did propose to cut that support back proportionally to help them with a one-truck operation. Our support for the Ultra Motorsports program was going to be equal to our other factory-backed teams in the series. At no time did we ever plan on cutting support for them completely, but we are not a team sponsor. We provide manufacturer support in ways that a traditional sponsor would not, and we were very willing to provide that support for this year."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-11-2006)
- UPDATE: Smith Responds to Rumors About Ultra Motorsports Closing: Veteran Truck Series team owner Jim Smith, who closed his Ultra Motorsports team last week, today addressed the reasons surrounding the organization's shut down. "The reason we decided to shut down had absolutely nothing to do with Ford," said Smith, in responding to rumors that had the manufacturer had not produced a promised deal for the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. "Ford was more than gracious in their offer to back us for the 2006 season. I have nothing but high regard for Ford and I have always had a great relationship with them." A reduction in support for Truck Series teams by Dodge left Smith searching to partner with a new manufacturer for the 2006 season. Ford, which backed Smith's Ultra Motorsports from 1995-2000, stepped up to the plate and was set to be on board for the 2006 campaign. When the closing of Ultra Motorsports was announced last week, Ford was unjustly accused of the team's demise according to Smith. "Nothing could be further from the truth," said Smith. "We had to assess our entire program after Dodge decided to allocate its resources elsewhere for 2006. When we looked at the big picture, the numbers just didn't add up. It's a shame we had to close our doors, but we're extremely proud of the record Ultra Motorsports compiled over the years. Like they say, all good things must come to an end and for us, this is the end." (Ultra Motorsports PR)(1-11-2006)
- Musgrave says he is close to a new ride UPDATE 2 to Germain Racing: Defending Craftsman Truck Series champion Ted Musgrave, who was a victim of Ultra Motorsports' shutdown last week [see below], might not be out of work too long. Musgrave told the daily "Sirius Speedway" show on Sirius Satellite Radio that he was getting ready to sign a "jaw-dropping" deal to remain in the Truck Series and that it could be done as early as Monday night or Tuesday morning.(NASCAR.com)(1-9-2006)
UPDATE: hearing it could be with Germain Racing, who field Toyoya's for #30-Todd Bodine and the #9 team, driven by a few drivers in 2005. No word if it would be for the #9 or a third team...if this is true.(1-10-2006)
UPDATE 2: Germain Racing announced the signing of 2005 Truck Series Champ, Ted Musgrave. Musgrave, will be driving the Germain Motor Company Toyota Tundra for the 2006 season. After a number of offers, Musgrave felt Germain Racing was the perfect fit.
"It has been nuts this past week, finding out that Ultra was shutting its doors" said Ted Musgrave. "My phone was ringing off the hook this week. I called Mike Hillman, Sr. to see what was going on and all of the pieces just fit together. There was no delay and here I am. I am very excited to be part of the Germain Racing team." Germain Racings' GM, Mike Hillman, Sr. along with owners Rick, Bob and Steve
Germain made the decision to go with Musgrave as their second full-time Tundra driver. "A lot of thought went into our decision, and we felt that Ted could bring a lot to our organization," said Mike Hillman, Sr. "To have the reining NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion as a teammate to Todd, we felt would make our organization even stronger." #30-Todd Bodine is excited to have Musgrave on board for the season. "You could not pick a better driver to be my teammate", said Todd Bodine. "Ted is a winner and a fierce competitor who wants to win as much as I do. He will fit right in with our race team." Tom Ackerman will be Musgrave's new crew chief for the upcoming season. Musgrave will join his new team at this weekends Craftsman Truck Series test session at Daytona International Speedway.
With the addition of Ted Musgrave to the Germain Racing Team, Toyota Motorsports will have an exceptionally strong stable of drivers to beat for 2006. "We are excited to have the defending series champion driving Tundra this year with Germain Racing," said Pat Wall Vic President of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Program Manger for TRD. "Ted Musgrave and Todd Bodine will form an outstanding team. Adding Ted, a series cham1pion and experienced veteran to the Tundra roster makes the Toyota line-up even stronger for 2006."(Germain Racing PR)(1-10-2006)
- Hamilton Jr. gets Truck ride UPDATE 2: Bobby Hamilton Jr. picked up a new ride on Monday. Hamilton Jr. has worked out a deal with his father, Bobby Hamilton Sr., to drive the full season in the Craftsman Truck Series. Hamilton Jr. drove the #32 Tide Chevy for Cal Wells in the Nextel Cup Series in 2004 and 2005, before his release. Hamilton Jr. said he still expects to run several Cup races in 2006.(Insiderracing.com)(1-10-2006)
UPDATE: hearing this story is not completely true and that BHR will be announcing details soon concerning Bobby Jr. and his 2006 plans.(1-10-2006)
AND: Hamilton Jr. yesterday said he has arranged to race this season in trucks fielded by his father's Bobby Hamilton Racing. Hamilton Sr. will have a busy year. The 2004 truck series champion will drive a full schedule while fielding trucks for his son, Timothy Peters and Scott Lagasse. Peters raced for BHR last year, while Lagasse will be a rookie. Hamilton Jr. said that in addition to running the full truck schedule he plans to race some at Music City Motorplex. He also owns and operates a restaurant in Springfield, TN.(Tennessean)(1-10-2006)
UPDATE 2: Green Light Racing is announcing it will join forces with Bobby Hamilton Jr. for a one-race deal at the Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 17th. Hamilton will pilot the #08 Dodge. Hamilton Jr. has five NCTS starts and has made the most of his limited time in the series. He has two top-five finishes and has led in three of his NCTS starts for a total of 135 laps in truck series competition, narrowly missing wins at Darlington and Nashville.(BHR PR)
AND 2: Bobby Hamilton Racing says that Bobby Hamilton Jr. will run the Daytona Craftsman Truck race for Bobby Dotter Racing in the #08 truck and then will run a limited schedule in the truck series for Bobby Hamilton Racing 2 in the #8 truck.(Insiderracing.com)(1-10-2006)
- Richardson plans to compete full season: Robert Richardson will attempt to run the full truck series schedule and contend for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors throughout the 25-race schedule. Richardson, a 24-year old native of McKinney, Texas competed in three Truck Series events at the end of the 2005 season behind the wheel of a Chevrolet fielded by Billy Ballew Motorsports. Buddy 'Red Dog' Barnes has been brought into the Richardson Racing organization for 2006 to serve as crew chief on Richardson's #35 Dodge trucks. The first obstacle for the team comes with the two-day test session at the Daytona International Speedway on January 13 and 14 where Richardson must prove to NASCAR that he is ready to compete with 35 other drivers in the tight draft pack of trucks at the Daytona International Speedway. Richardson will take his laps at the Daytona test under the observance of NASCAR officials and barring any incidents expects to be able to compete in the entire Truck Series season. "We really have a lot riding on this Daytona test session," said Richardson. "We have secured sponsorship for the entire season which we plan to announce later this month, but of course that means we need to start the season at Daytona. The focus for Richardson Racing at this week's Daytona test session is simple, they plan to enable Richardson to learn the 2.5-mile superspeedway both in the race truck as well as in the draft and get clearance from NASCAR to compete in the February 17 event. Richardson will be competing in a Dodge Ram race truck purchased from Ultra Motorsports along with Arrington Engines under the hood.(Truckseries.com)(1-10-2006)
- Wood and Compton to run at Daytona/California: Jon Wood will return to the Craftsman Truck Series at Daytona and California to help get the new Wood Brothers/JTG Racing program up to speed. He will be joined by Busch Series teammate Stacy Compton, whose crew chief on the #57 Ford is Robert Yates Racing crew chief Ernie Cope. Wood and Compton will hand off truck driving to rookies Bobby East and Marcus Ambrose later in the season.(Sporting News)(1-9-2006)
- Patton, MB Motorsports Join Forces for 2006 season: MB Motorsports announced J.R. Patton, 22, will drive the #63 Ford for duration of the 2006 Truck Series season. "This is a new year for everyone and we have a lot positive things working for us right now," said the New Mexico native. "Teaming up with MB Motorsports and (team owner and crew chief) Mike Mittler is a great opportunity for me. Mike's reputation and expertise in the Craftsman Truck Series is second to none. Every driver dreams of an opportunity to work with a team like this." J.R. is a fine young man and a good driver," said Mittler. "We are excited to have him back as a part of the MB Motorsports family and are looking forward to a full season run." While still technically an NCTS rookie, Patton has raced in the Truck Series prior to this season, running seven races with the now-defunct Fiddle Back Racing. His highest finish during that stretch was a 15th-place effort at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mittler, whose 35 years in racing includes an ASA championship with NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace in 1983, said Patton's signing isn't the only good news to come out of the MB Motorsports headquarters this week. "We are firming up some details on a couple deals and we will make an announcement in the next couple of days."(MB Motorsports PR)(1-8-2006)
- Ultra Motorsports closes shop, 2005 Champ looking for work: 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Ted Musgrave is agressively seeking a new ride in the Truck Series after learning that Ultra Motorsports will close its doors for good. Team Owner Jim Smith has decided to shut down his operation after a successful ten-year tenure in the series he helped pioneer.(Truckseries.com), kind of odd after the big announcememt switching to Ford in 2006.
MORE: Although Dodge had pulled its support from team owner Jimmy Smith, the journeyman owner who was one of the initial founders of the series, had hoped to put a deal together with Ford. But nothing materialized. After weighing all the options Smith and his generals decided to shut the doors. Ted Musgrave received the news while at the shop in Mooresville, NC. "It's strange," Musgrave says. "Everyone is working hard, and you're setting up the car to go to Daytona. But the deal just didn't materialize. Jimmy said, 'I'm sorry. I'm not going to take any money out of my own pocket to do this any more.' Now that we won the championship he (Smith) feels fulfilled. He's like 'what do we have to prove now? Nothing.' But I still have three more years of racing and that's I want to do. I have three years in me before I consider being a crew chief or a spotter or whatever." As Musgrave says, there's never really a good time to get a pink slip, but with the truck series less than a week away from testing at Daytona and five weeks from the season opener, most teams already have drivers in place for 2006. "In my defense at least I've won the championship and have a champion's provisional to make every race," Musgrave says. "That will be attractive to a lot of owners, especially start-up teams. I want to explore all my options. It's a bad time because everyone is ready to test. I have to move quickly, but I don't want to make a mistake either. I'll be at Daytona one way or another." And whatever team ends up with Musgrave will be one lucky organization.(Sporting News)(1-6-2006)
UPDATE: Musgrave is rumored to be speaking with several teams about the upcoming season including Billy Ballew Motorsports, which will field the #15 entry for rookie Kyle Krisiloff.(RacingOne)(1-7-2006)
- Book: Champion! The Ron Hornaday Jr Story: Robin Ervin announced the release of her book 'Champion! The Ron Hornaday Jr Story', which has just been published by iuniverse, Inc. More info about the book and how to buy it on my Racing Bookstore page.(1-6-2006)
- Ambrose resigned to slow start in US: Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #20 Wood Bros./JTG Racing Ford, will ease into the Craftsman Truck Series in the US this year and may have to sit out the first three races. The series opens at Daytona, Florida, on February 16 but Ambrose said he might be forced to wait until Race 4 at Martinsville, Virginia, on April 1 for his debut with the Wood Brothers team because of license restrictions. Ambrose would ideally spend this year proving he is worthy of full promotion to the premier NASCAR series in 2007. "This year is a real transition year for me and they (the team) recognize that," said Ambrose. "Obviously I'm a professional driver and I want to try to win races. "But I also recognize that it's not going to be that easy to start, so my direct goal over there is really to establish myself as a quality driver." The Tasmanian was unable to spend much time adjusting to new vehicles and banked oval tracks because of his Supercar commitments with Stone Brothers Racing in 2005. But in limited runs Ambrose impressed team observers quickly enough for them to sign him to a four-year deal. The Age(1-6-2005)
- K&K Motorsports with Turner, to run full schedule in 2006: Team Indiana Racing, based in Indianapolis, has announced it will be competing in the Truck Series for the 2006 season. Turner will be one of many candidates running for the Rookie of the Year title. The Indiana Army National Guard, CVS Pharmacy, M/I Homes, BatteriesAreUs, Royal Spas, AOL and Impact Racing will provide support for the team. Each company partner with K&K Motorsports-Team Indiana Racing is either based or has a large corporate identity and business within the state of Indiana, making it the only full-time Truck Series team to be headquartered in Indiana. Also adding a twist is that each over-the-wall pit crew member is currently an active member of the Indiana Army National Guard. Citizens of the state will also have an opportunity to participate in the team, by registering with the HITS-Hoosier Integrated Truck Sponsorship-program. For a nominal fee, residents can add their name to the truck and support the efforts of the team throughout the season, also being eligible for special race packages and other team giveaways.K&K Motorsports-Team Indiana Racing will make its Truck Series debut at the Truck Series 250 at the Daytona International Speedway on February 17. For further information visit korthmotorsports.com(1-5-2005)
- Extreme Makeover: NASCAR Style:The Truck Series has raced on to the scene of ABC TV's hit show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to give some special help to Ty Pennington and the rest of the Extreme Team. Through Sears involvement in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and its title sponsorship of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Sears worked with ABC and NASCAR to bring the opportunity for a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team to participate in the show. Scheduled to air on ABC on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 8:00pm/et, the episode chronicles the effort of the Circle Bar Racing Team. "You'll have to tune in to see it. The way the world is now a days, it was awesome to be part of something that was helping a family who really needed it," said Bob Moore, parts manager for Circle Bar Racing. "It was incredible to see what the Extreme Team does. I know that the family had to be in a lot of pain over what happened, but I bet they have smiles on their faces (when they see the results). We can't wait to see the show," Moore continued. When Pennington and the Extreme Team saw the challenge they realized a NASCAR team could solve the problem. So the #14 Circle Bar Racing Ford team from Concord, N.C., (whose driver is Rick Crawford) was summoned to help. "When we learned about this family's situation, we knew they needed tough, reliable tools and they needed them fast," said Scott Howard, manager of sponsorship and sales promotion for Sears.
NASCAR teams and officials trust Craftsman tools and put their quality to the test each weekend in the most demanding environment at the race track. Having the #14 Circle Bar Racing Ford race team, a team that depends on speed and tough Craftsman tools every week, get involved made complete sense.(Craftsman PR)(1-5-2006)
- Bristol moves to Schrader? Catchfence.com is reporting that Chris Bristol who was a part of Joe Gibbs Racing diversity program has moved over to Ken Schrader Racing.(1-4-2006)
- Lagasse in #04 for 2006: Development driver, Scott Lagasse Jr., is set to drive the Dodge Motorsports sponsored #04 in 2006 for Bobby Hamilton Racing and run for Rookie of the Year. Lagasse, however, is not scheduled to start until after Daytona. No word yet on who will be driving the #04 at Daytona. (BHR PR)(1-3-2006)
- New crew chief for East UPDATE: been told that Gary Cogswell will be the crew chief for Bobby East and second Wood Brothers/JTG Racing team.(1-3-2006)
UPDATE: East will run the #21 Ford, with Marcos Ambrose running the #20 with John Monsam as the crew chief, both will run for rookie of the year.(1-3-2006)
- #91 team plans for 2006: J.C. Stout will drive the #91 Stellar-Quest Racing Team Chevy on a part-time basis in the Truck Series pending sponsorship. Donald Stout is the owner and the crew chief is Steve Mollnow. We have no primary sponsorship at this time.
If sponsorship is not found Stout would be available for other teams.(Stellar-Quest Racing Team)(1-3-2006)
- Rice named crew chief of #33: Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) has named Chris Rice crew chief of the #33 Truck Series
team [was #6 in 2005] and two-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday for the 2006 season. Previously Rice served as crew chief for Busch Series driver Stacy Compton at ST Motorsports. Prior to 2005, Rice was crew chief at Bill Davis Racing and worked with Elliott Sadler on a late model team from 1993-1996. Winning at his hometown track, Rice led Sadler and the team to the 1995 South Boston Speedway Track Championship. Veteran driver, Ron Hornaday will return in 2006 driving #33 truck led by Rice. Hornaday finished fourth in the #6 in the 2005 championship point standings, and earned his second career Truck Series Most Popular Driver award.(KHI PR), no word on what former crew chief Wally Rogers plans are.(1-2-2006)
- Peters back in 2006...but... hearing Timothy Peters, who drove for Bobby Hamilton Racing in 2005, will be driving a Dodge Motorsports Dodge in 2006, Baileys will supposedly not return as a primary sponsor. No word if this will be with BHR or another team.(1-2-2006)
UPDATE:Have been told that Peters will be returning to the Dodge sponsored #4 with Bobby Hamilton Racing in 2006. (1-3-2006)
- 2006 Truck Series Schedule Announced:
The 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule was announced today, a 25-race slate beginning at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Feb. 17 and ending on Friday, Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The schedule consists of 25 events for the fourth consecutive season and includes a Saturday, Oct. 7 inaugural race at Talladega Superspeedway which, at 2.66 miles in length, will become the largest track on which the series has competed. The race also marks the first time the series has appeared in the state of Alabama. The remainder of the schedule closely parallels that of 2005 with one exception. Next season, Mansfield Motorsports Speedway’s race will be held on Saturday, May 27. It will now follow, rather than precede, the Friday, May 19 race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway that is held in combination with the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
The series’ 12th season will see competitors visit 22 tracks in 19 states. Three tracks – Atlanta Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway – will host a pair of events as they did in 2005.
Fifteen events will be held on the same weekend/track in combination with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Two additional races will be paired with the NASCAR Busch Series. Tripleheader weekends – NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – will take place at nine tracks in 2006.
2006 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES SCHEDULE
Feb. 17......Daytona International Speedway
Feb. 24......California Speedway
March 17...Atlanta Motor Speedway
April 1.......Martinsville Speedway
April 29.....Gateway International Raceway
May 19......Lowe’s Motor Speedway
May 27......Mansfield Motorsports Speedway
June 2.......Dover International Speedway
June 9.......Texas Motor Speedway
June 17.....Michigan International Speedway
June 23.....The Milwaukee Mile
July 1........Kansas Speedway
July 8........Kentucky Speedway
July 15......Memphis Motorsports Park
Aug. 4.......Indianapolis Raceway Park
Aug. 12.....Nashville Superspeedway
Aug. 23.....Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept. 16....New Hampshire International Speedway
Sept. 23....Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Oct. 7.......Talladega Superspeedway
Oct. 21.....Martinsville Speedway
Oct. 28.....Atlanta Motor Speedway
Nov. 3.......Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 10.....Phoenix International Raceway
Nov. 17.....Homestead-Miami Speedway
- New Logo for 2006: The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will carry a new look into its 2006 season following the successful completion of its 10 Years Tough campaign celebrating highlights of the series’ first decade. A redesigned series logo will be utilized in all series advertising, marketing and promotional materials in print and broadcast media. The design builds on and enhances the logo carried by the series in 2004 and utilizes the same Craftsman red color that has identified the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since 1996 – the first year of Craftsman’s title sponsorship of the series for American-manufactured pickup trucks. Craftsman was the presenting sponsor in 1995, the series’ first season. Craftsman earlier this year announced extension of that sponsorship for another five years through the 2010 season.(NASCAR)(12-13-2005)