April 2003 CTS Archive


  • Carpenter Group Racing Response to Rose’s suspension, he will appeal: Howard Carpenter, owner of Carpenter Group Racing – which has fielded the #57 Dodge Ram in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with Brian Rose behind the wheel ­ has issued the following statement regarding the suspension by NASCAR of Brian Rose:
    “NASCAR has certain procedural obligations to which every member agrees as a condition of NASCAR membership. Brian, while attempting to meet these obligations, did indeed make a procedural misstep. We believe NASCAR acted in a manner that is consistent with their policies and rules in issuing the suspension. Brian is appealing the suspension as outlined in the NCTS rulebook under Section 12-1. We believe that NASCAR will give fair consideration to Brian¹s appeal and will look objectively at the events surrounding the suspension. Brian¹s goal is to have the suspension lifted and his racing privileges reinstated as soon as NASCAR feels is prudent. Brian has shown tremendous passion for racing in the NCTS. His will and racing talents have been tested this year as he has moved into the position of racing the ‘old-fashioned’ way: with very little money, limited equipment, and part-time crew. Even so, his two starts this season have resulted in a 14th-place finish at Darlington Raceway and a 24th at Martinsville Speedway, both admirable finishes on any budget. As the matter is being appealed, we will refrain from issuing any comments regarding the nature of the infraction.”(Carpenter Group Racing PR)(4-29-2003)
  • Truck drivers to go Karting: Ten of the Series’ toughest drivers will tackle the 12-turn road course at Victory Lane Indoor Karting Center in Charlotte on Wed., May 14 as part of the “Craftsman Go-Kart Challenge.” The drivers will be dueling for bragging rights, in hopes of becoming the first-ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver to visit the winner’s circle in the racing hotbed of Charlotte. Dennis Setzer, Rick Crawford, Carl Edwards, Brendan Gaughan, Tina Gordon, Bobby Hamilton, Travis Kvapil, Jason Leffler, David Starr and Jon Wood are the drivers scheduled to compete. But who wins the race won’t necessarily be determined by the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver piloting the go-kart. To throw a wrench into the plan, each driver will be paired with a member of the local media as well as a sponsor executive in an hour-long endurance go-kart race. Each team member will race the kart for 10-minute intervals before handing off the wheel to a teammate. The winner will be the team with the best-combined overall time. Awards also will be presented to the driver with the quickest lap time during the event. Fans are encouraged to come to Victory Lane Karting Center Wed., May 14, between 4-7 p.m. to cheer on their favorite NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver. Fans attending can win various prizes, including a Craftsman tool box signed by the drivers and four tickets to the inaugural Hardee’s 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Fri., May 16. Victory Lane Indoor Karting Center is located at the Intersection of I-85 and I-77, exit Statesville Avenue at 2330 Tipton Drive, Suite 100. Experience Charlotte’s first and only Indoor Competition Karting Facility, which includes 54,000 square feet of PURE ADRENALINE.. Driving suits and helmets are provided to drivers 16 years and older.. For more information please visit www.377FAST.com or call 704-377FAST(3278).(PR)(4-28-2003)
  • Waltrip’s Looking to run full time in 2004: If he has his way, Michael Waltrip’s budding racing operation will compete in the complete Craftsman Truck Series next season. Waltrip said his older brother Darrell’s successful outing in the Advance Auto Parts 250 at Martinsville Speedway provided the final incentive for him to seek enough sponsorship to field a driver next season in the Truck Series. Darrell Waltrip drove a #17 Tide Chevy in the debut outing of Leroy’s Boys Racing, which honors the pair’s late father. “I was real proud for him and real proud of my team for providing him with such a great truck to race,” Michael Waltrip said. “We’re very interested in trying to run a full Truck Series season in 2004 with our team, to provide someone with an opportunity to run for a championship.” Waltrip, whose Michael Waltrip Racing also competes in a select schedule of NASCAR Busch Series races, said his brother’s racing aspirations would dovetail well with a full program for another driver. “I think a nice complement to that (full schedule) would be Darrell running in a second truck,” Michael said. “That would be for as many races as he wants or as many as (wife) Stevie would let him — so we’ll have to see what develops.” Darrell Waltrip will drive the #17 truck, which Leroy’s Boys purchased from Hendrick Motorsports, in August at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Michael’s Busch Series crew chief Bobby Kennedy and veteran mechanic Buddy “Red Dog” Barnes lead Leroy’s Boys’ truck effort.(NASCAR.com)(4-24-2003)
  • New Crew Chief for the #29: The K-Automotive Racing Team announced today that veteran NASCAR crew chief Rick Ren will assume that position with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry beginning with the next series event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at Charlotte, NC, Friday, May 16. Ren will take over calling the shots from on top of the pit box for driver Terry Cook and the #29 Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford team while team owner and crew chief Bob Keselowski transitions to a General Manager role at the team’s Lake Orion, MI headquarters. “This is a really great opportunity for me,” said Ren, a 28-year racing veteran who most recently guided the #60 Addington Racing NCTS entry for the past five seasons. “Everyone in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series garage knows what a top-flight team the Keselowski’s have. Terry Cook is a proven winner in this series taking four wins last year alone and the team sponsor, Power Stroke Diesel, is one of the best in the Truck Series. I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”  Keselowski, who took ill earlier this season, will continue to be involved with the team’s raceday effort from his managerial role. The position will allow the 51-year-old NASCAR veteran driver and crew chief stay active with his race team while he returns to full health. “This is a great solution for everyone involved,” said Kay Keselowski, Bob’s wife and spotter for the team. “We’ve been racing against Rick Ren for years and he’s always one of the guys you have to plan on trying to beat. It will be nice to have him on our side for a change. Having Rick here will also allow Bob to concentrate on getting back to full strength physically and still have an active hand in running our family race team. Being at the race shop will be the best medicine for Bob. Everyone is looking forward to the day when we can have Bob back at the racetrack fulltime.”(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-23-2003)
  • Lester testing at Atlanta: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Bill Lester is testing the #8 Dodge truck at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 23, and Thursday, April 24. The test sessions will be open to media and closed to the public.(AMS PR)(4-23-2003)
  • Testing at Texas: hearing Chevy trucks are at Texas for a two day test from 2:00 – 10:00pm on Monday/Tuesday, April 21st/22nd.(4-21-2003)
    UPDATE: Six NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Chevrolet teams are testing at Texas Motor Speedway Monday and Tuesday from 1:00 – 9:00pm in preparation for the June 6 O’Reilly 400k: #75-David Starr, #46-Dennis Setzer, #16-Travis Kvapil, #3-Shawna Robinson, #03-Eric Jones and #?-Ken Weaver, Weaver Motorsports.(TMS PR)(4-22-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Six Chevrolet NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams focused on aerodynamics during two days and evenings of testing Monday and Tuesday at Texas Motor Speedway in preparation for the O’Reilly 400k on Friday night, June 6. Two-time 2003 race winner Dennis Setzer was among the participants along with David Starr, Travis Kvapil, Shawna Robinson, Eric Jones and Ken Weaver.. Intermittent showers interrupted Tuesday’s activities. The main focus of the test sessions was gathering data using the new 2003 nose configuration on the Chevrolet Silverados. Unofficial speeds were in the 180 mph range. The information collected during the sessions will be put to use in the O’Reilly 400k and also at the next series race, the Hardee’s 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway May 16. Former NASCAR Winston Cup driver Robinson was testing the Team Texas Silverado for owner Mike Starr. “I’m just happy to be here.. Obviously Mike knows the race track well.. We are just here testing and doing the best that we can do.” Jones and Weaver rounded out the testers. Jones is the new driver for #03-EJP Racing and was using the Texas test to get comfortable with the team. Local driver Weaver, from Duncanville, Texas, was getting seat time in the 1-800-4-A-Phone Chevy. Weaver was driving Trucks used last year by the Joe Gibbs team and driver Coy Gibbs. Tickets for the O’Reilly 400 are available daily at the speedway ticket office, by calling (817) 215-8500, online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com and at Ticketmaster locations.(TMS PR)(4-23-2003)
  • Testing at Kentucky: hearing Dodge teams have a two day test at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday/Friday, April 24th/25th.(4-21-2003)
  • #62 Crew Chief Gets Married: Shane Wilson, crew chief for the #62 Orleans Dodge of Brendan Gaughan, tied the knot Friday night with marketing-extraordinaire Dana Hall. In a beautiful sunflower-themed wedding intended for poolside, but moved inside due to a thunderous downpour, Shane and Dana exchanged personal vows in front of numerous family and friends at the Gaughan’s SuncoastHotel and Casino, in Las Vegas.(PR)(4-21-2003)
  • Testing at nashville: hearing Ford is holding a test session for the Truck Series at Nashville Superspeedway on Monday/Tuesday, April 27th/28th.(4-21-2003)
  • Truck Testing at Lowe’s: the Truck Series will hold testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Monday/Tuesday, April 27th/28th from 9:00am – 5:00pm/et.(4-21-2003)
  • More Changes at Team Racing: As the Advanced Auto Parts 250 rolled in at Martinsville Speedway, in Martinsville, VA, Team Racing was in search of a new crew chief for TJ Bell, driver of the #86 Speed Motorsports Management Group / Defiant Clothing Chevy. It became evident to Phil Bonifield, owner of Team Racing, that Jamie Aube was the right choice.(Team Racing PR)(4-18-2003)
  • Leffler busy: Although Jason Leffler is competing in 25 Truck Series events as the driver of the No. 2 Dodge, he is set for an ambitious 15-race open wheel schedule that is peppered with a healthy mix of USAC Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown races. Leffler’s first 2003 open-wheel test will be this weekend at Madera (Calif.) Speedway in the Fred Gerhardt Classic, which features the Midgets today and the Sprint cars Saturday. He will compete again in the Sprint car division next weekend at the Mopar Twin 25’s at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-18-2003)
  • Long to attempt Lowe’s: Thee Dixon, owner of Mansion Motorsports, plans to enter a truck for Carl Long to drive in the Hardee’s 200 Truck Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May. Norman Negre will be the crew chief. The team is working on acquiring sponsorship for the race.(Carl Long Racing site)(4-17-2003)
  • ARCA Driver to run five or more races: Willie Green, a part-time ARCA RE/MAX driver for several years, and Capitol City Motor Sports President Greg Sarff [#38 Truck] announced Monday at Kentucky Speedway that Green will race at least five NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races this season, including the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway July 12. Green has never raced at any level above ARCA and has yet to test one of the two trucks his team currently owns. Green and Sarff were at the track Monday testing their ARCA cars along with more than a dozen other ARCA drivers for The Channel 5-205 on May 10, the Kentucky Speedway season opener. “I’ve never raced a truck, and I’m sure there’s a learning curve,” Green said. “But I don’t know how the competition can be tougher than ARCA.” Sarff said the team is still waiting for a primary sponsor for the Craftsman Series. He said Green would definitely race at Kentucky, Michigan, California, Phoenix and Homestead. They will begin testing after the ARCA race, and by then Sarff said the team, based in Columbus, should have four trucks. “Green, who is a full-time transportation director for Covington city schools, said he would happy continuing to race ARCA, a lower division, or Craftsman.(Cincinnati Post)(4-16-2003)
  • Team EJP hires a driver: Eric Jones has been hired to drive the #03 Team EJP Racing Chevy. Jones comes from a strong family who has supported his racing interests since the age of eight when he began Kart racing. Hey has recently run in ARCA. Since that first stock car race, Eric has continued to apply his talents by competing in selected ARCA, Busch, and Truck Series races. The team hopes to secure funding to race the majority of the races this season. Plans are to run the entire schedule in 2004. In 2002, At The Helm Motorsports worked with Team EJP Racing as they ran a limited schedule. This 2003 season, the team took a new approach by naming the At The Helm Motorsports Marketing and Design Team as the exclusive company to head up the sponsor search and promotions for Team EJP Racing and all potential sponsors. The team expects to soon announce the signing of our major sponsor. The father/son combination of Peter and Steve Prescott continue the racing tradition through their ownership of the Truck Series’ Team EJP Racing, the #03 Chevy. After driving a limited schedule in the 2000 season, Steve stepped down as the driver. He remains active in running the race team and, at the track, serves as the team spotter.(Team EJP Racing PR)(4-15-2003)
  • Scott Racing announces schedule: Scott Racing and NASCAR driver, Jarod Robie, will compete in their first ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Richmond International Raceway. Plans are to also run at South Boston Speedway Martinsville and possibly Homestead-Miami.(Scott Racing site)(4-15-2003)
  • Team Chick to debut in June: #11-Team Chick and Arron Daniel will be making their 2003 debut at Texas in June. The plan is to run eight races, depending on sponsorship.(Team Chick Motorsports)(4-15-2003)
  • NASCAR Fines Two Crew Chiefs: NASCAR officials announced two Truck Series crew chiefs have been fined, due to rule infractions last week at Martinsville Speedway prior to the Advance Auto Parts 250. David F. Bridgeman, crew chief of the #27 Chevy, has been fined $2,500 under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-W (improperly attached weight). The infraction occurred during the event™s first practice session.
    Lonnie L. Troxell, crew chief of the #93 Chevy, has been fined $2,500 under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-W (improperly attached weight). The infraction occurred during qualifying. In both instances, the improperly attached weight fell off the trucks while they were on the race track.(NASCAR PR)(4-15-2003)
  • Joe Ruttman to race at Martinsville? UPDATE: hearing Joe Ruttman has been tapped as a relief driver for Ted Musgrave this weekend, and recently tested with the team. Musgrave is recovering from minor sugery but will supposedly start the race and Ruttman will stand by.(4-11-2003)
    UPDATES: from Truckseries.com: There is a rumor floating around that Joe Ruttman may be called upon to sub for Ted Musgrave in the #1 Mopar Dodge. Ruttman is here, and he has spent considerable time in the Ultra Motorsports pits. When asked what his plans are for the weekend, he smiled and said “I am just here checking things out.” AND a quote from Musgrave: “My plan is to go down into turn one, turn right and take out Bobby, and hope the ricochet catches Travis. No, we don’t have to prove anything here. This team runs strong everywhere they go. Last year we got taken out by a lapped truck, but this place doesn’t owe me anything special. It owes everyone who races here something throughout the years. But as you get older and as you get nearer the end of your career, you really start to cherish each race you get to run here. If it comes down to the last lap, and it is me and Darrell running for the win, I think the washing machine will be in the spin cycle and there will be some bubbles on the wall. If I was racing my mother in a wheel chair, and she was in my way for the win, I wouldn’t give her any special treatment. She’d get spun out just the same if I have to!” – hmm, doesn’t sound like he has any plans on getting out of the truck AND Trackside Live! has asked Ted Musgrave if there is any truth to the rumor floating around that he will be using relief help here at Martinsville this weekend. “No,” was his one word response.
    from Tedmusgrave.com: We went to Daytona last week to hang out at the house and get some landscaping done while Britt was at the trainers in Ocala getting ready for the World Show. The guys had a Dodge test scheduled for monday and tuesday at Greenville-Pickens, Joe Ruttman is a Dodge test driver so Ted said let him run the #1 that way we culd stay till tuesday afternoon and pick Britt up. The test rained out both days and Ted was in the shop wednesday morning at 8:00am. Any speculation on him getting out of the truck tomorrow is purely wishful..He is getting tired of answering stupid questions though.(4-12-2003)
  • Some DW news UPDATE 2: The Martinsville race on April 12 will be the first of two Craftsman Truck Series appearances by Fox TV analyst Darrell Waltrip as a driver. Broadcast partner Larry McReynolds will be Waltrip’s spotter, and Jeff Hammond, who turned the wrenches during part of Waltrip’s Cup career, will be the crew chief. … Fox’s frequent assertion that Hammond was Waltrip’s crew chief for three championships is incorrect, by the way. In 1981, Tim Brewer was Waltrip’s crew chief. In 1982, the duties were shared among Brewer, Hammond and Mike Hill. Hammond was the crew chief for Waltrip’s third title in 1985. You can look it up, as they say.(Gaston Gazette)
    UPDATE: Tim Brewer was no longer with the team in 1982 and Jeff Hammond was the crew chief. Also on the truck, Hammond is NOT the Crew Chief, Bobby Kennedy is the Crew Chief, Hammond is the “Interperator”.(4-4-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip will join Rick Allen, Dorsey Schroeder and Barry Dodson in the booth for this weekend’s Craftsman Truck Series event in Martinsville. Waltrip has a vested interest in the race, as older brother Darrell – a three-time Winston Cup champion – will be racing a DEI-powered truck owned by Michael and crewed by Michael’s NASCAR Busch Series crew. SPEED Channel will bring race fans a unique view to DW’s return, as the truck will be equipped with in-car cameras and the racing legend will be wired for sound for the entire race. In addition, fellow FOX broadcasters Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond also will be a part of the SPEED broadcast, with McReynolds acting as Waltrip’s spotter and Hammond observing from the pits.(Speed Channel PR)(4-8-2003)
    UPDATE 3: from a DW chat “No, we don’t really have any intentions of doing anything else with the Tide truck. Michael might run it. It’s going to be Tide at Martinsville, and at Indy, it’s going to be Give Kids The World which is a program down in Orlando that Tide is involved in for sick kids. We’re going to run that paint job at Indy. But there is another race back in Martinsville. There are a couple other races that Michael talked about racing, like New Hampshire or somewhere like that. I’d love to go to Phoenix.(FoxSports)(4-11-2003)

    Video from a cam at the Michael Waltrip site

  • Setzer repeats at Martinsville: #46-Dennis Setzer won’t likely doubt the advice of his crew chief again. Wanting new tires and adjustments to his No. 46 Chevrolet, Setzer instead stayed on the track and out front late in Saturday’s Advance Auto Parts 250 with the prompting from crew chief Danny Gill. The pit strategy allowed Setzer to claim a 0.927-second win over #1-Ted Musgrave at Martinsville Speedway. It was Setzer’s second consecutive NASCAR Truck series win this season, second consecutive at Martinsville and ninth of his career. Setzer’s victory was also the 100th by Chevrolet in the series – the most of any manufacturer. Chevrolet drivers have won 100 of the 196 races held since the series started in 1995. #6-Kevin Harvick, who came from a lap down after a penalty for pitting outside his box, finished third. #99-Carl Edwards’ fourth-place finish was his career best, while series points leader #4-Bobby Hamilton rounded out the top five. Some other noteable finishes: #17-Darrell Waltrip was 7th, #33-Andy Petree was 10th and #52-Ken Schrader was 14th. The race was slowed 11 times by caution for 59 laps. There were eight lead changes among five drivers, with #18-Chad Chaffin leading the most laps (80).(ThatsRacin.com)
    For results see ThatsRacin.com, MotorsportsOne, NASCAR.com or Truckseries.com.(4-12-2003)
  • Musgrave on the pole at Martinsville: #1-Ted Musgrave won the pole at Martinsville Speedway for the Advance Auto Parts 250 with a speed of 91.297mph, outside pole goes to #4-Bobby Hamilton. NASCAR team owner #33-Andy Petree will start 4th, Cup drivers #52-Ken Schrader will start 9th and #6-Kevin Harvick will start 13th. Former Cup driver and 3-time champ and Fox broadcaster, #17-Darrell Waltrip will start 12th. Missing the race was #31-Tina Gordon. #16-Travis Kvapil was third fastest and #46-Dennis Setzer, fifth. It’s Musgrave’s second pole of the season, second consecutive pole and seventh of his career. Petree will have to start from the rear of the field Saturday after his team changed engines in his #33 Chevrolet later Friday afternoon.(ThatsRacin.com)
    See Lineup at ThatsRacin.com, Truck Series.com or NASCAR.com.(4-11-2003)
  • #29 Owner Keselowski Hospitalized UPDATE 3 getting out: Veteran NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver and crew chief Bob Keselowski was transported by ambulance to Crittenton Hospital in Rochester, MI late Wednesday afternoon with an undisclosed illness. Keselowski and his K-Automotive team were wrapping up a daylong test in the Detroit area when the 51-year-old Keselowski was stricken just past 5:00pm/et. Keselowski was later transported by ambulance to William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI around midnight were he was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit. Additional details will be released as they become available.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-3-2003)
    UPDATE: Bob Keselowski, a veteran NASCAR Craftsman Truck driver and crew chief, remained in intensive care Thursday at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak after suffering a suspected heart attack. Keselowski, who lives in Rochester Hills, collapsed as his K-Automotive Motorsports team wrapped up a lengthy test session Wednesday at the Ford Proving Grounds in Dearborn. Keselowski, 51, is crew chief on the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford driven by Terry Cook of Toledo. Keselowski’s wife, Kay, who owns the race truck, was at her husband’s side Thursday. They run K-Automotive from their shop in Lake Orion. “Bob had been in good health before he collapsed,” a team spokesman said. “We are just waiting on the results of more tests.”(Detroit Free Press), more info on the team, see their site: www.teamkeselowski.com or www.terrycook.com.(4-4-2003)
    UPDATE 2: The condition of veteran NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver and crew chief Bob Keselowski was listed at stable Monday morning at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. “The prognosis looks really good for Bob and he is improving rapidly every day,” said Kay Keselowski, Bob’s wife this morning. “Bob is alert, talking and wants to get out of bed. That alone shows he’s already on his way back.” Keselowski was transported by ambulance to Crittenton Hospital in Rochester, MI last Wednesday afternoon after his K-Automotive team concluded a daylong test. His condition steadily improved over the weekend. “I want to thank everyone for their heartfelt wishes and keeping us in their thoughts and prayers,” stated Kay Keselowski. “We have had dozens of calls and e-mails from people in the NASCAR community asking what they can do to help. The response was overwhelming and I just want to let everyone know how much it means to us.” Neither Bob or Kay Keselowski will participate in the Truck Series race at Martinsville, VA this weekend. According to Keselowski, the #29 Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford and driver Terry Cook will still be one of the team’s to beat. “The team is not going to miss a beat,” said Kay Keselowski. “Bob’s brother, Ron, is stepping up as crew chief until Bob comes back. My good friend, Jason Pasch, Jack Sprague’s spotter, will take over the spotting duties for me. Terry will be in good hands. The K-Automotive team has always run well at Martinsville and we expect to do it again this weekend.”(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-7-2003)
    UPDATE 3: The condition of veteran NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver and crew chief Bob Keselowski has improved and he is scheduled to be released from William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI sometime Thursday. “Bob has improved so much that I just got word that he is being released from the hospital today,” said Keselowski’s wife, Kay, in a Thursday morning phone interview from the K-Automotive team shop in Lake Orion, MI. “Bob’s feeling much better and he’s looking forward to watching the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville on television Saturday.” Keselowski has been hospitalized since Wednesday, April 2. The No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford team will compete in the Truck Series race at Martinsville this weekend under the direction of Keselowski’s brother, Ron. “Everyone is looking forward to a solid finish at Martinsville this weekend,” stated Kay Keselowski. “We have a great team and everyone has really pulled together. It’s been a trying time for all of us, but we made it through this and we’re going to be stronger than ever.”(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-10-2003)
  • Rose gets a sponsor for Martinsville: Brian Rose will be teaming with Nocer Racing Strategies, a manufacturer of racing heads for R/C cars, when he pilots the #57 Dodge Ram in the April 12 Advance Auto Parts 250 at Martinsville Speedway. There’s long been a connection between NASCAR and the radio-controlled racer. Many R/C hobbyists are die-hard NASCAR fans, and many NASCAR drivers, crew and fans are die-hard R/C hobbyists. Rose is no exception. “I’ve been driving R/C cars and trucks as long as I can remember,” said Rose. “And just like in NASCAR, the goal is to run faster, longer, and cooler. That’s what Nocer heads do for the R/C racer.” Nocer is located in Rose’s hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky. “We’re both little guys struggling against the giants of our industries,” said Rose. “Nocer started out with the goal of making a product that would improve the performance of R/C racers, and they did it. They’ve gotten some national attention, many big-time racers are using their products, and hobby shops are selling them as fast as they can get them. But they’re still a small company in a worldwide arena of competition, going head-to-head with the largest R/C suppliers in the world. And our 57 team knows just how they feel,” Rose added. “We pretty much have to mortgage the farm every week to get to the track. We’re lucky because some of the other teams have helped us out some, but not having the big corporate sponsor means we have to cut out just about everything that doesn’t directly relate to speed on the racetrack. In fact,” confided Rose, “we need to have a great finish at Martinsville so I can get my own Dodge Dakota out of hock. Before Nocer stepped up, that was the only way I could figure out to put a truck on the track that’s capable of finishing up front. We actually broke down on our way to the Mesa Marin race (in Bakersfield, CA) a couple of weeks ago, and spent the weekend in Amarillo, Texas. We had to withdraw our entry and spend all our money to get back on the road.” John Helveston, president of Nocer, sees the Martinsville race as a win-win situation for everybody. “It’s such a natural cross-promotion that I’m surprised every R/C manufacturer isn’t already doing this,” he said. “The exposure Brian can give us is tremendous. Look at what he’s done on a small budget. I know he’ll run well and get lots of camera time. We’re able to help out Brian some, and he’s helping us a lot.” Although this is only a one-race sponsorship, Helveston would like to be able to continue the relationship. “If I could figure out a way, Nocer would be on his truck every week. I’m just afraid some mega-sponsor is going snatch him up before I’m able to go Craftsman truck racing full time,” he said. “But for his sake, I hope someone does.” More information on Nocer Racing Strategies can be found at www.Nocer.com. More information on Brian Rose can be found at www.BrianRoseRacing.com.(PR)(4-10-2003)
  • Team Racing Releases Lance Hooper: Lance Hooper, one of four drivers scheduled to drive for Team Racing in the 2003 Truck Series was released today. The Palmdale, Calif. native was to run a total of seven events in the #86 Speed Motorsports Management Chevy. Hooper competed in the first race of the season at Daytona International Speedway and finished 20th. With the departure, Team Racing is actively seeking a driver replacement. “Lance Hooper has decided to pursue other options in racing,” said Phil Bonifield, co-owner of Team Racing and part-time driver of the #25 Red Line Synthetic Oil Chevy. “We planned on having Hooper compete in the #86 truck this season when T.J. (Bell) was not scheduled to run. Now we need to find a replacement driver who can compete on the larger tracks like Charlotte, Michigan and Texas.” Hooper joined Team Racing with two races to go in the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. He posted he best career finish earlier that year with Sonntag Racing at Nazareth Speedway, finishing 10th. Hooper would return with Team Racing in 2002 competing in the last 10 races of the season. His best career finish with Team Racing was 16th at Big Daddy’s South Boston Speedway last year. Hooper acted as interim crew chief for Bell at the Mesa Marin Raceway, where Bell finish 18th in his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. “It’s a shame to see him go,” said Bell, who will drive for Team Racing in 18 events this season. “He’s a driver at heart and is doing everything he can to do it fulltime. He helped me out a lot at Mesa Marin as a crew chief. We worked well together in my first race and produced a top-20 finish. I wish him the best.” Team Racing will compete at the Martinsville Speedway this Saturday. Dana White will drive the #23 Red Line Synthetic Oil Chevy while T.J. Bell will drive the #86 Speed Motorsports Management Chevy. Both are attempting to make their first Truck Series start at Martinsville Speedway.(Team Racing PR)(4-9-2003)
  • T.J. Bell races to rebuild school at Martinsville: When the law offices of Jenkins, Jenkins & Jenkins agreed to become an associate sponsor on the #86 Chevy driven by T.J. Bell in the Truck Series, it wasn’t to advertise for themselves. Instead, their desire was to assist a local school that was destroyed by a category F4 tornado last April. “Archbishop Neale is a great private school,” said Fred Jenkins, one of the law office’s partners, “This is where I attended school, my kids are now attending and I am on the school board. We need all the help we can get.” Rebuilding efforts began a month ago on the school, located in LaPlata, Md. While students are attending classes in temporary classrooms, they are searching for funds to help rebuild their cafeteria and gymnasium. T.J. Bell, driver of the #86 Speed Motorsports Management Group / Defiant Clothing Chevy, is equally enthusiastic about helping get the word out. “Anytime we get a chance to help out a distressing situation, it just makes us feel good,” he said. “This just shows you how big NASCAR really is and the impact it has on everyone. It’s fantastic how the school has pulled together during this rough time. We sent a piece of vinyl to the school for the kids to sign and we’ll be putting it on the truck this weekend for the Advanced Auto Parts 250.” For further information on helping the Archbishop Neale School, they can be contacted at: 104 Tobacco Rd, LaPlata, Md. 20646. Attn: Craig Renner (301)645-6833 or they can get in contact with Frank Jenkins at (301)934-9571.(PR)(4-9-2003)
  • Stars and Stripes on the #14 at Martinsville: When Rick Crawford hits the half-mile Martinsville Speedway this weekend, he will show his support for America’s Military forces by driving the #14 Circle Bar Motel and RV Park Stars and Stripes Ford F-150. The team will proudly display the Stars and Stripes on the sides of the truck and show their support further by displaying America’s symbol of freedom on the deck-lid in the form of a Bald Eagle.(PR)(4-9-2003)
  • Truck Series Drivers To Serve “Fast” Food at Hardee’s in Race City USA: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Brendan Gaughan, Jon Wood and David Starr will go from behind the wheel to behind the counter to serve customers at the Hardee’s restaurant, 456 River Highway in Mooresville, NC on Tuesday, April 15, 11:45am – 1:15pm. Gaughan, Wood and Starr will work in various areas from drive-thru to food prep during the lunch hour and give customers the chance to win tickets to the inaugural Hardee’s 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Friday night, May 16.(Lowe’s Motor Speedway PR)(4-9-2003)
  • Some Martinsville Notes: Martinsville is just one of two facilities on the schedule since 1995 without a repeat winner. The other venue with eight winners in eight races is The Milwaukee Mile. Farthest run to victory occurred in Advance Auto Parts 250: Forced to start 33rd in last year’s Martinsville race after his qualifying speed was disallowed due to a technical violation, #46-Dennis Setzer became just the second winner from a provisional start in series history. Setzer also set the record for the most positions gained by a series winner. Four of eight Martinsville winners have started from the front row but just one “ #9-Rich Bickle has won from the Bud Pole. Ultra Motorsports competitors #1-Ted Musgrave and Mike Wallace won two of the last three poles, finishing 24th and second. #33-Andy Petree qualified third for last year’s race and finished 14th at Mesa Marin. His APR team fielded Tony Stewart’s winning truck in 2002 at Richmond. Cup Series regulars #6-Kevin Harvick and #52-Ken Schrader, both series winners, also will compete at Martinsville. #28-L.W. Miller won last October’s NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series race at Martinsville Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(4-9-2003)
  • New Team UPDATE: The marketing company that helped get Grammy Award-winning rapper Nelly into the Craftsman Truck Series has unveiled a second truck team that will debut next week. Atlanta-based Grupo Mundo announced Tuesday that Fasscore Motorsports, owned by South Florida realtor Chris Beckington, will compete for the first time at Martinsville on April 12. The #9 truck will be driven by Rich Bickle, a veteran driver who recently scored a 19th-place finish in the season-opening truck event at Daytona Beach, Fla. Tommy Morgan will serve as crew chief.(Charleston Post and Courier)(4-2-2003)
    UPDATE: Rich Bickle will pilot the #9 FASSCORE Motorsports Ford in Saturday’s Martinsville NCTS race. “I have always run and finished well at Martinsville,” who owns a 4.8 qualifying average and a 12.25 finishing average, including the 1999 last-place effort, in four Martinsville NCTS events. “I’ve got a ton of laps at Martinsville in Winston Cup and Trucks, and thousands more laps in Late Models at dozens of places like it. The truck we’re racing this weekend has proven itself time and again. It kind of like an old friend. It fits me like a glove.” Bickle’s Martinsville truck will be fielded by FASSCORE Motorsports and new team owner, Chris Beckington. Beckington is a partner in a highly successful South Florida based Real Estate Company. FASSCORE Motorsports will receive technical assistance from Billy Ballew Motor Sports, Inc., a well-established and respected NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-8-2003)
  • Burr Motorsports To Run In The Craftsman Truck Series April 12 In Martinsville: Burr Motorsports has announced plans to run in the Advance Auto Parts 250 on April 12, 2003 at the Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA.. The truck will be driven by Conrad Burr and sponsored by National Peening Inc. Conrad ran four Truck Series Races in 2001 and five in 2002; this will be his first race in 2003 with the second scheduled for the Hardee’s 200 event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 16. Team owner, James Burr, is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of National Peening Inc.. National Peening Inc., is the United States’ second largest company performing shot peening, a cold working metal treatment process that increases resistance to fatigue and stress corrosion failures, thus preventing premature fatigue failures in metal parts.. The automotive industry and motorsports in particular are prime customers of the shot peening processes. Securing Sponsorship continues to be a main focus for Burr Motorsports.. If interested in Sponsorship opportunities with this exciting new team, please contact Joanne Hughes at (731) 267-0035 or [email protected] or visit www.burrmotorsports.com.(Burr Motorsports)(4-2-2003)
  • Pistone hopes to run Martinsville: Tommy Pistone is working on a deal to run a truck at Martinsville and is looking for a sponsor, can be contacted at [email protected].(4-2-2003)
  • Tony Price Named Interim Crew Chief For Jon Wood At Martinsville: Tony Price has been named the interim crew chief for Jon Wood and the #50 Navy Racing team for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway next weekend. Price will stand-in for John Monsam while he serves his two-month NASCAR suspension following a penalty at Mesa Marin Raceway last month. Price has been with Roush Racing since the 2002 season. He worked on Jeff Burton’s Busch Series team, which made five trips to Victory Lane and won two poles in 2002. Currently, Price is the truck shop foreman. His role is to oversee the construction of every truck for both Wood and Carl Edwards. Price also worked for Roush Racing in 1986 and won several races as part of the road racing team based in Livonia, Mich. “I was one of the original people Jack hired when he decided to start a Winston Cup team in the 80’s,” Price said. “He wasn’t quite ready then, so I went up to Michigan and worked with the road racing teams for a year. We won 13 races in Trans-Am and IMSA that year. I left at the end of the year to pursue other interests in Winston Cup racing, but came back to Roush last year and won five more races with Jeff Burton and his Busch team.(Roush Racing PR)(4-2-2003)
  • Martinsville Testing UPDATE: Nine drivers are scheduled to test at Martinsville Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday [March 31, April 1] in preparation for the April13 Virginia 500. Scheduled to test are #25-Joe Nemechek, #16-Greg Biffle, #1-Steve Park, #32-Ricky Craven, #45-Kyle Petty [may cancle or have Andretti/Fittipaldi test if he is still sore], #41-Casey Mears, #0-Jack Sprague, #4-Mike Skinner and #74-Tony Raines.(Roanoke Times)(3-30-2003)
    UPDATE: Cup team testing at Martinsville and some note – testing this morning at Martinsville Speedway are #41-Casey Mears, #1-Steve Park, #15-Michael Waltrip, #32-Ricky Craven, #16-Greg Biffle, #0-Jack Sprague, #74-Tony Raines and #25-Joe Nemechek. In addition to those Winston Cup regulars, Andy Petree is here testing a Busch car. He plans on attempting to qualifying for the Advance Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race and is using the Busch car to get some track time in the absence of truck testing. Darrell Waltrip will probably get some seat time in Petree’s car on Wednesday for the same reason.
    Kyle Petty’s #45 team is here, but obviously Kyle is still hurting. In a surprise, but explainable move David Hyder is driving the car today and possibly tomorrow. David who? Hyder is a Late Model driver who has enjoyed great success in this region and especially at Martinsville Speedway. He’s also a member of Petty’s crew. He holds the track qualifying record for Late Models at 90.227 mph (1997 Miller 300). He also won that race. His winnings that day, $27,500, is still at Late Model record here.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(4-1-2003)
  • A New Lester enters the world: Cheryl Lester gave birth to her and husband [#8 Dodge driver in the CTS] Bill’s first child on Friday, March 28, 2003 at 9:09 PM.. William Alexander Lester IV weighed seven pounds, 12 ounces, and was 21 ¼ inches long. Alex, as the child will be called, was delivered at the Northside Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Lester had been a little worried last week at Bakersfield, California that he may miss the birth, due to the event at Mesa Marin Raceway. “I’m just so happy,” said Lester. “I just don’t know what to say. There are so many things running through my head that it’s hard to put into words. Everything could not have worked out any better. I was here with Cheryl and not somewhere racing, and I have a healthy baby boy. Cheryl is doing great.. Wow, what else can I ask for!”
    Lester will have a few weeks to spend with his wife and new son before the next event in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Martinsville, Virginia on April 12, 2003. “The schedule worked out great for me,” said Lester. “With a few weeks off between races, it will give Cheryl and me a chance to settle into being parents before I have to get back to racing again.” This is the third child for BHR [Bobby Hamilton Racing] employees in the last month.. Early in the month of March, Mark Hancock and his wife, Kim, had a baby boy, and the week before last, Danny Rollins and his wife, Marli, had a baby girl.(PR)(4-1-2003)


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