Bell wins Truck Series Race at Gateway: #4-Christopher Bell won a memorable Drivin' For Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday night, holding off #41-Ben Rhodes following a restart two laps from the finish. The win was the 50th team win for Kyle Busch Motorsports. #19-Daniel Hemric, #21-Johnny Sauter, #51-Erik Jones, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #11-German Quiroga, #24-Kaz Grala, #33-Ben Kennedy, and #17-Timothy Peters followed in the top-10.
Rhodes started from the pole after rain forced NASCAR to set the field based on the 2016 rulebook. He led 4 laps throughout the night.
There were 9 cautions for 44 laps and 8 lead changes among 6 leaders. There were also three red flag periods for extended cleanup following on-track incidents. The final red flag occurred with just over 5 laps remaining when #05-John Wes Townley and #23-Spencer Gallagher wrecked. The two exited their vehicles, and Townley confronted Gallagher. Safety workers failed to intervene as they exchanged their displeasure with one another, displaying potentially penalty-worthy behavior.
After all of the yellow flags slowed the event, the average speed was 89.021mph.
Complete results are on the Gateway race results page (pdf).(6-25-2016)
Gateway Race Fast Facts:
Christopher Bell won the 3rd Annual Drivin' for Linemen 200, his second victory in 16 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2016. It is also Bell's first victory on asphalt. His first career win came at the Eldora Speedway dirt track, last year.
With the victory, Kyle Busch Motorsports ties Roush Fenway Racing for the all-time series wins lead, with 50 victories.
Ben Rhodes (second) scored his career-best finish. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2016.
Daniel Hemric (third) posted his second top-10 finish in two races at Gateway Motorsports Park.
William Byron # leads the point standings by 1 points over Matt Crafton.
Driver standings following Gateway:
1) #9-William Byron #, 226
2) #88-Matt Crafton, 225, -1
3) #17-Timothy Peters, 221, -5
4) #19-Daniel Hemric, 216, -10
5) #21-Johnny Sauter, 204, -22
6) #8-John Hunter Nemechek, 192, -34
7) #33-Ben Kennedy, 192 -34
8) #29-Tyler Reddick, 191, -35
9) #4-Christopher Bell #, 185, -41
10) #41-Ben Rhodes, #, 181, -45
See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(6-25-2016)
Owner Standings following Gateway are posted (pdf).(6-25-2016)
Rhodes on pole at Gateway: #41-Ben Rhodes will start from the pole for the Drivin' For Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park after rain knocked out qualifying. The field was set based on combined practice speeds. Rhodes paced both sessions. He will be followed by: #21-Johnny Sauter, #9-William Byron, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #11-German Quiroga, #81-Ryan Truex, #29-Tyler Reddick, #00-Cole Custer, #4-Christopher Bell, and #13-Cameron Hayley.
All entered trucks made the event. See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(6-25-2016)
Townley, Gallagher have altercation following crash: John Wes Townley and Spencer Gallagher wrecked, then wrestled and finally threw a number of punches in Saturday night's Drivin for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park.Townley was the aggressor, coming down the track after he and Gallagher exited their respective wrecked trucks on Lap 154, grabbing Gallagher in a headlock and threw him to the ground. They clinched and tossed each other around several times, falling to the pavement again, and then Townley appeared to land at least five punches to Gallagher's head, while Gallagher appeared to landed just one punch in retaliation. None of the safety workers interceded, prompting a lengthy delay before a NASCAR official arrived on scene and broke up the pair. The race was red flagged for a third time so that the track could be cleaned up. Both drivers were taken to the infield care center to be examined for injuries - in separate ambulances. (NBC Sports)(6-26-2016)
NEMCO team fails post race in Iowa UPDATE: After finishing 12th, John Hunter Nemechek failed post-race inspection with his #8 NEMCO Chevy found to be too low in the right rear. Any penalties will be announced next week.(Motorsport)(6-19-2016)
UPDATE: The #8 team crew chief Gere Kennon has been fined $6,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31; team has been assessed with loss of 10 championship owner and 10 championship driver points. Caleb Holman, driver of the #75 has been fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. for exiting the Truck and approached the racing surface or apron before being attended to by track safety team.(NASCAR)
See the Iowa Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf)(6-22-2016)
Byron wins Truck Series Race at Iowa: #9-William Byron won his second consecutive race, his third of the season, on Saturday night in the Speediatrics 200 at Iowa Speedway. #00-Cole Custer finished second, with #13-Cameron Hayley, #41-Ben Rhodes, #29-Tyler Reddick, #51-Daniel Suarez, #33-Ben Kennedy, #88-Matt Crafton, #4-Christopher Bell, and #21-Johnny Sauter closing out the top-10.
Pole sitter #8-John Hunter Nemechek led 53 laps and finished 12th.
There were 5 cautions for 39 laps and 4 lead changes among 4 leaders.
The average speed was 92.702mph.
Complete results are on the Iowa race results page (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Iowa Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-18-2016)
Penalties following Texas UPDATE: Following post-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway, the #11 truck was found to have "lug nut(s) not properly installed," leading to crew chief Scott Zipadelli being fined $5,000, suspended from all NASCAR Series Championship Points Events through June 22, and placed on NASCAR
probation through Dec. 31. The #23 truck received a warning following qualifying inspection due to truck trailing arm U-bolts and U-bolt mounting saddles that did not conform to specified rule book drawings.(NASCAR))
UPDATE: Butch Hylton is serving as crew chief on the #11 in Iowa. (6-18-2016)
Cleanup begins at ThorSport, as they plan to stay in Ohio UPDATE: David Pepper tries to laugh, tries to make sense of the fire that damaged about a third of ThorSport Racing's shop on Monday, decimated its fab department and destroyed three of its Camping World Series trucks. The basement is under about 5 feet of water, and the shop floor is under about a foot of water. Nineteen fire units from four Ohio communities converged on the Sandusky shop Monday. The last crew didn't leave until more than 16 hours after the initial call. No one was injured. Pepper admits the four-truck team faces many challenges in the coming days and months, but they will be at Iowa Speedway this weekend planning to win with either two-time series champ and current points leader Matt Crafton, Cameron Hayley, Rico Abreu or Ben Rhodes. When they arrive at Iowa, they'll be greeted by fellow competitors offering assistance. Pepper said about five teams will bring equipment to help the team get through the weekend and beyond.
"Multiple different race teams, not only our Toyota partners, have reached out offering trucks and transporters and shop space and pull-down (rig) time,'' Pepper said. "The outpouring of concern for us as competitors, it is nothing less than overwhelming. I want to tell everyone thank you.''
The team cannot work in the building because of the damage. "We are a race team without a home,'' Pepper said. Their home Tuesday was the parking lot of a nearby Kroger grocery store. All four teams were there with their haulers and the trucks they'll race this weekend. Pepper said local restaurants have helped, bringing the team food and drinks. He noted one woman no one knew brought the team cookies.For all that was lost, some items were rescued. Firefighters helped save the four haulers by allowing the team to drive those out. Three of those haulers had a truck in it. Firefighters also pushed 12 trucks out of the shop to ThorSport Racing employees. The employees then pushed the trucks into the grass near the shop, leading Pepper to joke the scene looked like a "ThorSport yard sale.'' Those trucks will not return to the shop anytime soon.
Pepper said the team is looking for a place to work. The plan is to stay in Sandusky. Although teams in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area offered space in their shop for the team to work, Pepper said team officials didn't want to uproot their employees from their homes. One option for the team is to relocate to the old Kroger location the grocery store recently left for its current spot near the shop. Pepper said he hopes that in six months they can be working in about half the race shop but there's much that must be done. Smoke damage, along with the water and fire damage will take time to repair. Some walls buckled after an excavator ripped a side of the building down so firefighters could combat the blaze, which had gone through the wall to the roof. Yet, as they do that, Pepper and the rest of the organization can't escape the realty of their situation.
"I was just over with the restoration company looking at the offices ... it looks like a bomb went off,'' Pepper said. "It's devastating. We got all of our trophies out front that have to be cleaned. Some of the stuff, like victory lane flags. I don't know if we can ever save those. You can never replace them.''(NBC Sports)(6-15-2016)
UPDATE:ThorSport Racing General Manager David Pepper spoke to the media at Iowa Speedway regarding the fire damage and moving forward:
"We have a plan. We're scattered across a couple of buildings in the community. The community really rallied behind us. Pegasus Trailer company (Pegasus Race Trailers) is letting us use about 40 percent of their shop. Another gentleman has offered up his race shop that's down the street from there, so we're putting some things in there - putting some surface plates in. We've got the water out of the building, temporary lighting back up, we're already starting the rebuilding and renovation process to try to clean up what happened. Painting bodies at another location, so we're kind of scattered all over Sandusky (Ohio) and a lot of people in the community have helped and the NASCAR community - just bringing us pieces and parts on multiple trailers here to get to this race - but we have a plan and we're here. No one was hurt and we're going to be racing."
"We plan to compete on schedule. All four trucks will be at every race. Obviously, I don't know to answer on schedule - we'll be at every race."
"We can make up timelines - we'd like to be in there in six weeks, 10 weeks - until we get all these folks that have to make sure the building is safe and we can move back in. The one thing I can promise you, Duke and Rhonda Thorson (owners) had a breakfast catered in for their team and Duke stood up in front of all of us and (expressed) his appreciation for all of us and what we had to do and told us, 'Hey, you keep going, we go to the races, we go to win every week and we're going to rebuild. We're going to rebuild it better than it was before and we'll be stronger for it.' We will be back in that building. I joked we had about 5,000 people a couple years ago in the community at the grand opening. I'm hoping we have about 5,000 at the grand-reopening. I just don't know when that date is."(Toyota Racing)(6-18-2016)
MB lands new sponsor for multiple races: Dirty Hand Tools, which sells a complete line of log splitters, chain saws, pumps, tillers, snow blowers, mowers and agricultural implements, has partnered with MB Motorsports for multiple races during the remainder of the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Dirty Hand Tools will sponsor the #63 MB Motorsports Chevy Silverado at the upcoming races at Iowa Speedway, Gateway Motorsports Park, Eldora Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway. Dirty Hand Tools. DHT products are available at Lowe's, Home Depot, Menards, Bomgaars, Big R and many other fine retailers nationwide.(MB Motorsports)(6-15-2016)
Scott ready for debut: After a month of preparation, Derek Scott Jr. will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut Saturday night in the Speediatrics 200 at Iowa Speedway. Scott, 16 has partnered with Mooresville, North Carolina's Young's Motorsports to drive the #02 West Strong / Crossroads Concrete Chevy Silverado at the 0.875-mile short track in the eighth race of the season. Andrew Abbott will continue to serve as crew chief. Scott, 16, hails from Franklin, Texas and began his racing career by achieving numerous go-kart wins and titles. What's even more cool about Scott's anticipated debut is the people he'll be surrounded by. Not only will Young be there to support the teenager in his first truck race of the season, but retired NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver and five-time winner Rick Crawford will serve as a mentor and coach this weekend.(Young's Motorsports)(6-15-2016)
Tifft sidelined with injury UPDATE: Matt Tifft's scheduled double-duty weekend at Iowa Speedway has been derailed by injury. Tifft was scheduled to drive the #11 Toyota Tundra for Red Horse Racing in Saturday night's Speediatrics 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Iowa, and the #18 Toyota-backed Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in Sunday's Xfinity Series American Ethanol E15 250. Multiple sources say Tifft is battling a disc problem in his back, and will not compete in either of this weekend's events. He will be replaced in Sunday's Xfinity race by veteran Sam Hornish, Jr., making in his first NASCAR start of the 2016 campaign. No replacement has been confirmed for Saturday night's Truck race. Tifft, a native of Hinckley, Ohio, has run six of 13 races this season on the Xfinity Series, with back-to-back eighth-place finishes in his last two starts at Talladega and Dover. He has also made three Truck Series starts in 2016, with a best showing of fifth at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Godfather Motorsports)(6-14-2016)
UPDATE: Driver German Quiroga will return to Red Horse Racing again at Iowa Speedway and Gateway Motorsports Park. Quiroga will sub for Matt Tifft at Iowa and pilot the #11 Toyota Tundra as scheduled at Gateway. In addition to finishing in eighth place at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season, Quiroga piloted the No. 77 Toyota Tundra for Red Horse Racing in 2013 and 2014, recording five top-five finishes, 16 top-10s and one pole position.(Red Horse Racing)(6-15-2016)
Faith Motorsports, Harmon team up for Iowa race: According to the Faith Motorsports Facebook page, the team will partner with Mike Harmon Racing for the race at Iowa Speedway. "Our Iowa truck is getting ready and will be hitting the road next week for the long trip. We will be working with Mike Harmon Racing at Iowa Speedway. Mike has given us endless knowledge for the Iowa race and we hope to be able to take that and turn it into a solid finish." The team entered the race at Martinsville Speedway in April.(6-9-2016)
UPDATE: Shawn Magee Design (SMD), a design firm specializing in branding, print, web and motorsports design, will serve as the primary sponsor for Donnie Levister and the #74 Chevy team at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, June 18th. Faith Motorsports is teaming up with NASCAR veteran, Mike Harmon for the race in Iowa. Founded in 2005, Shawn Magee Design offers creative solutions for large and small businesses.(See an image of the truck on the #74 Team Paint Schemes page)(Shawn Magee Design)(6-15-2016)
ThorSport shop catches fire UPDATE 6: Fire gutted the Ohio home of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team early this morning. It happened overnight at ThorSport Racing on Campbell Street in Sandusky, OH. Video shows flames shooting from the roof of the team's 100,000 square foot facility. According to the Sandusky Register, multiple fire departments are on the scene. The extent of the damage was not immediately clear.(NBC4i)(6-13-2016)
UPDATE: A fire broke out early Monday morning at the ThorSport Racing shop in Sandusky, Ohio. The Sandusky Register reported that multiple fire departments were called to the 100,000-square foot race shop. A team official confirmed to NBC Sports that no employees were injured. The team official said fire crews still were working to extinguish the fire at 7 a.m. ET. The four-truck team - the longest tenured in the Camping World Truck Series - raced last Friday at Texas Motor Speedway with two-time series champion and current points leader Matt Crafton, Rico Abreu, Ben Rhodes and Cameron Hayley. The series races this weekend at Iowa Speedway. A team official said the organization plans to compete this weekend.(NBC Sports)(6-13-2016)
UPDATE 2: Shortly after midnight on Monday morning, a fire broke out in the basement of the ThorSport Racing shop, located in Sandusky, Ohio. At this time, we can confirm that no one was injured. We are currently working with the fire department and local officials to contain the blaze, and assess the damage. We do not expect this to impact the team's competition schedule. Our next race is at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Saturday, June 18. Further details will be forthcoming.(ThorSport Racing)(6-13-2016)
UPDATE 3: Photos of the fire damage can be found on Sandusky Register photographer, Jilly Burns' Twitter page, as well as photos and videos on the Sandusky Scanner Live Facebook page.(6-13-2016)
UPDATE 4: Hotspots are still burning at ThorSport Racing after a fire gutted a large portion of the building overnight. Perkins fire Chief Keith Wohlever said the fire was well under control at about 12:30 p.m. on Monday - but a small amount of smoke was still rising from the structure, and some pockets were still burning. The Ohio State Fire Marshal has been on scene since about 9 a.m. this morning, and crews were already working to salvage items from the building. A large excavator could be seen removing debris from the area, including toolboxes and car lifts.
"It doesn't appear to be suspicious (in origin), but with this kind of dollar loss, we want to be diligent in (our investigation)," Wohlever said.
According to ThorSport Racing Team Manager David Pepper, the portion of the building destroyed by the fire housed the company's car fabrication shop.
Bystander Simon Stout said he spotted personnel removing two partially-constructed racing vehicles from the rubble on Monday morning. Even so, the team doesn't suspect the fire will impact any of their upcoming races. Said Pepper: "We're going to get the fire put out and assess where we're at. In four days, we're going to go to Iowa and race like we always do."
While he was unable to comment on how or if the fire would affect ThorSport's future plans or current location, he did thank first responders, and the community for their support. "There has been an outpouring of support already this morning. I can't thank the people in the community enough," Pepper said.
Details on the fire's cause and the total monetary loss will be provided by the Ohio State Fire Marshal in the coming days.(Sandusky Register)(6-13-2016)
UPDATE 5: As some crews battled a fire in one portion of ThorSport Racing's shop early Monday morning, other firefighters went inside the building and saved the team's Camping World Trucks and other equipment. Capt. Jim Johnson of the Perkins Township Fire Department in Sandusky, Ohio, provided new information about how 12 Trucks or chassis were saved in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports. Three more Trucks were saved when the haulers they were in were evacuated. A team spokesperson said three Trucks were destroyed in the fire and one was under water in the basement - where the fire originated. He told NBC Sports that while some units battled the fire, he sent crews into a portion of the building not threatened to push the team's Trucks out of the shop. Johnson said this took place around 3 a.m., about three hours after the first units arrived. "I had the manpower, so I was able to get about six guys at a time sent in and they would push the Trucks to the door and then the ThorSport employees would grab it where there was no smoke and push it down the ramp and to the grass," Johnson told NBC Sports. A spokesperson for Kyle Busch Motorsports, a fellow Toyota team, stated that they had reached out to ThorSport Racing officials and offered whatever assistance is needed from parts and pieces to a place to work. A Toyota spokesperson told NBC Sports that many teams, including those from competing manufacturers, were offering their assistance to ThorSport Racing.(NBC Sports)(6-13-2016)
UPDATE 6: ThorSport Racing crewmen spent Tuesday working in various parking lots on the street that once housed a glistening, 100,000-square-foot shop of a championship-winning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team based in Sandusky, Ohio. The shop is unusable, with about 40 percent destroyed from fire and the rest with smoke and water damage, according to team general manager David Pepper. A couple of crewmen doing wiring on one of the team's race trucks smelled smoke in the building shortly after midnight Monday and found the fire, which would eventually take more than 16 hours to put out with 14 fire trucks and four ladder trucks responding. Firemen also helped push race trucks out, allowing the team to salvage 15 of the 18 race trucks in its fleet, Pepper said. The fabrication shop and the suspension shop were destroyed, and the paint shop and the machine shop, where they would make parts and pieces for the trucks, are all unusable. Offices and areas where the teams would work on mostly completed trucks to set up for races were not a total loss. Any piece for the race trucks that would be considered potentially compromised cannot be used to race, Pepper said. Pepper said he hopes the team can return to some areas of the shop in four to six weeks, but it will take possibly 18 months to rebuild. The team is looking for a temporary home, and it has gotten an incredible response from the Sandusky community and the racing community, who have offered help, including shop space, Pepper said. Some teams will bring parts and pieces the team needs for this weekend but the teams are ready to race, Pepper said. The cause of the fire and an estimate of damages will be determined by the Ohio Fire Marshal, which will conduct an investigation. The shop, completed in 2011, is part of a complex owned by team owners Duke and Rhonda Thorson family, which operate coatings company ThorWorks Industries.(ESPN)(6-14-2016)
New sponsor for Kennedy: Ben Kennedy and GMS Racing are pleased to welcome Wheelwell to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). Wheelwell joins JACOB Companies and Weber Grills as a primary sponsor of Kennedy and the #33 ChevySilverado for the 2016 season. The 24-year-old driver will pilot the Wheelwell Chevrolet in the Speediatrics 200 on June 18 at Iowa Speedway. Wheelwell is a platform that brings together automotive enthusiasts, service professionals and brands in a uniquely visual way that enables consumers to find the very best products for their cars. From users building their dream track machine to average car owners simply looking to improve the performance of their ride, the Wheelwell community is there to guide the way. The San Francisco-based company has users from over 162 countries and is one of the fastest growing automotive communities in the world.(GMS Racing)(6-14-2016)
Richmond joins JRM, Custer: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) veteran Marcus Richmond will take over crew chief duties for the #00 Haas Automation Chevy Silverado and driver Cole Custer for the remainder of the 2016 season, JR Motorsports announced today. Richmond replaces Joe Shear Jr., who resigned earlier in the month. Richmond has 205 starts as a crew chief in NCWTS competition, with nine victories, and led Ty Dillon to a runner-up finish in the 2013 championship standings. He comes to JRM from previous stints at Richard Childress Racing, Red Horse Racing, and most recently, GMS Racing, where he wrenched Johnny Sauter to a victory at Daytona International Speedway earlier this season. In addition to the nine victories, Richmond's trucks have recorded 48 top-five and 94 top-10 finishes as well as nine poles. Custer, the 18-year-old Californian, currently sits 14th in points after seven races, with one top five and a pair of top 10s. Custer owns two NCWTS victories in 26 starts, including his first in 2014 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in which he became the youngest driver to win a NCWTS race. Richmond will begin his duties on the pit box this weekend at Iowa Speedway.(JR Motorsports)(6-14-2016)
AND: Shear joined Johnny Sauter, replacing Richmond as crew chief, on the #21 Chevy at GMS Racing.(6-14-2016)
Texas Roadhouse namesake of Martinsville fall race: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway on October 29 has a new name. The race is now the Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions. "Alpha Energy Solutions has enjoyed a great partnership with Texas Roadhouse for several years across multiple states," said Gerry Lewis, Director of Sales for Alpha Energy Solutions. "During the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 weekend at Martinsville Speedway in April, we stayed next to the construction site of a new Texas Roadhouse in Roanoke that will be opening soon. We had such a great experience at Martinsville Speedway, so we decided to approach Texas Roadhouse to join us for the fall race. We are thrilled to share the excitement the Texas Roadhouse 200 Presented by Alpha Energy Solutions will add to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series chase for the championship." Texas Roadhouse is an casual dining chain that with 485 restaurants in 49 states.(Martinsville Speedway)(6-13-2016)
Byron wins Truck Series Race at Texas: #9-William Byron won the Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday after passing #88-Matt Crafton with less than five laps remaining. The win was Byron's second win of the season. Crafton led 133 laps, and finished second. #21-Johnny Sauter, started from the pole, and finished third. #33-Ben Kennedy, #29, Tyler Reddick, #17-Timothy Peters, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #11-German Quiroga, #98-Rico Abreu, and #19-Daniel Hemric.
There were 4 cautions for 22 laps and 11 lead changes among 4 leaders.
The average speed was 134.919mph.
Complete results are on the Texas race results page (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Texas Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-10-2016)
No Drivers Council in trucks despite Crafton's hope: A year ago at Texas Motor Speedway, two-time Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton stated he believed all three of NASCAR's national touring series should have a Drivers' Council. Crafton's statement came a month after the Sprint Cup Series' first council formed. "(NASCAR's) constantly making rule changes and trying to make the sport better and sometimes we as drivers feel things whenever they make a rule change, and I think they need to hear it sometimes," said Crafton at the time. "Not in a bad way or good way, but we need to be able to talk to them for sure." Crafton, in his 16th full-time season in the Truck series, now says he hasn't heard any rumblings about the formation of similar Drivers Councils for the lower-tier series. "I haven't had any talks about it," Crafton told NBC Sports in his team's hauler Thursday.
"I wish they would; they would talk to us. There's not a whole lot of drivers in this series that they're probably going to listen to, because they haven't been here long enough to listen to them."
The Sprint Cup Drivers Council currently is comprised of nine drivers, including five past champions and defending series champion Kyle Busch. In the Truck series, Crafton is the only champion from the last 10 seasons actively driving in the series. Last year's champion, Erik Jones, is driving full time in the Xfinity Series. Crafton said a hypothetical Drivers Council for the truck series would be comprised of series veterans.Veterans of Crafton's caliber are sparse among the 20 drivers who have run all six races in 2016. Of those 20, Crafton is one of five drivers who have competed in every race over the past two seasons (22 races in 2014, 23 races in 2015). That includes, Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters, Ben Kennedy and Tyler Young. John Wes Townley, who won his first Truck race last year, has missed only four races since 2012. Drivers such as John Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer, both multiple race winners, likely would have attempted full-time seasons if not for NASCAR's age limits for tracks larger than 1.25-miles.
If he officially were able to convene with his fellow veterans and a couple of younger drivers with NASCAR, Crafton knows at least one topic he'd like to discuss."Differences in how (the trucks) drove in traffic five years ago and how they drive in traffic now," Crafton said "I'd like to talk about some of that stuff with them and see if we can make the racing even better than what it is already."(NBC Sports)(6-10-2016)
Despite strong start, Truex forced to the sidelines: Not since winning back-to-back championships in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2009 and 2010 has Ryan Truex had the opportunity to compete fulltime in a NASCAR national series ride. It looked like that would change this season when a last-minute deal came together for Truex to compete in the Truck Series with Hattori Racing Enterprises. Despite a second-place finish in the series opener at Daytona and his sixth-place rank in the series standings, Truex will miss the next two Truck races as HRE is partnering with Rette Jones Racing to put Jesse Little behind the wheel of the #81 Toyota. "It's disappointing knowing I'm in the top-eight right now, which would get me in the Chase. This is probably the best team I've had in my career on the national level, really the only time I've had the chance to run the first quarter of a season and show what I can do." Although Truex, the 24-year-old younger brother of Sprint Cup Series star Martin Truex Jr., is expecting to sit out this weekend at Texas and next week at Iowa, he will remain with the Hattori organization. The plan now is for Truex to return to the No. 81 for the June 25 race at Gateway International Raceway and tentatively run the majority of the remainder of the season. Truex said he gave some thought to at least getting in a start-and-park Truck ride this week just to maintain his eligibility for the Chase, but nothing materialized that he was able to put together at the last minute.(Motorsport)(6-9-2016)
Quiroga returns to action:German Quiroga returns to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for his first race in 19 months - Friday's Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. The 36-year-old Mexican made his last NCWTS start in the 2014 season finale at Homestead for RHR (11/14/14). That season, he finished sixth in the series standings on the strength of three top fives and 10 top 10s in 22 starts. For his career, Quiroga has five top fives - including two runner-up finishes - and 17 top 10s in 50 starts. He won the NASCAR Mexico Series championship as a 31-year-old in 2011 when he recorded three wins, 11 top fives and 12 top 10s in 14 starts.(NASCAR)(6-8-2016)
Active Pest Control to sponsor 2017 Atlanta truck race: McDonough, Georgia-based Active Pest Control will sponsor the March 4 Active Pest Control 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race during Atlanta Motor Speedway's 2017 NASCAR weekend. The race will be the tail end of an XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series same-day doubleheader unique to Atlanta. Active Pest Control is one of Henry County's largest employers and was recently named to the National Pest Management Association Top 100 pest control companies nationwide. Family-owned since its inception in 1985, Active Pest Control is a full-service pest control, termite, wildfire removal and exclusion, attic insulation and crawlspace encapsulation company serving more than 40,000 customers daily in both Georgia and Houston, Texas.The Active Pest Control 200 will be the second of three NASCAR national touring series races during the weekend. Active Pest Control sponsored the Friday qualifying day at Atlanta's 2016 NASCAR Weekend and steps up in 2017 as a first-time race sponsor.(Atlanta Motor Speedway)(6-8-2016)
Graduation, new crew chief await Custer in Texas: With June 9 marking Cole Custer's graduation from California's Tesoro High School, TMS President Eddie Gossage will present Custer with his diploma during NCWTS driver introductions on Friday. Dave McCarty, JRM's NCWTS shop foreman, will serve as interim crew chief for the #00 this weekend. McCarty, has nearly 200 races under his belt as a crew chief among NASCAR's three national series.(JRM)(6-8-2016)