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April 2007 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.

  • Benson to run Exide colors at Lowes: Johnny Benson’s #23-Toyota will display the Exide colors the next time the Craftsman Truck Series competes Friday, May 18 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(4-30-2007)
  • Test sessions scheduled at Lowes: Testing sessions for the Craftsman Truck Series teams have been scheduled at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in preparation for the track’s calendar of May races. The trucks will participate in a two-day testing session on May 10-11, 2007 with a third day reserved in case of rain [5/12] Sessions will run from 9am-12pm; 1-5pm; 6-9pm.(Lowes Motor Speedway PR)(4-30-2007)
  • Benson, Wyler Racing enter Richmond Cup race: UPDATE: Johnny Benson is scheduled to drive a Wyler Racing Toyota in next weekend’s Nextel Cup race at Richmond International Speedway, Benson said this week. Benson, who drives a Bill Davis Racing Toyota [#23] in the Craftsman Truck Series, will be entered in the #46 Camry at Richmond. Wyler Racing fields the #60 Tundra for Jack Sprague in the Craftsman Truck Series. Wyler and Benson tested a car of tomorrow at Richmond earlier this month. “I think that Dave Wyler and his father are doing everything they can to try to run some races this year. Whether I’ll be a part of that, I don’t know. I just know that I’m a part of the Richmond deal for sure and hopefully I’ll be able to run some more races,” said Benson.(Scene Daily)(4-28-2007)
    UPDATE: In preparation for the race, the Wyler Racing participated in a two-day test session at the .75-mile short track and posted impressive lap times. Benson was among 51 drivers testing the new “Car of Tomorrow” and posting the second fastest time overall during the first day’s session. “We didn’t plan to run a Nextel Cup event until we knew we could be competitive, and after the test at Richmond earlier this month, we feel we can go there and run competitively,” said Wyler. Benson, who is the 1996 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year, hasn’t raced a Cup car at Richmond since 2003 but he is excited about the opportunity to race for the Wyler’s in the Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 on Saturday, May 5th. Benson has six top-10 finishes at Richmond, has logged 5,601 laps around the short track, and has led 36 laps.(Wyler Racing PR)(4-30-2007)
  • Pit road mishap for Gale crew member: George White, crew member [from 5 on 5 off] for the Kevin Harvick Inc. #2-Chevy driven by Cale Gale, got quite a scare on lap 75. Gale entered the pits under caution, and as he turned into his pit stall, spun his truck, sending crew members scrambling. Gale ended up briefly pinching White between the truck and the wall. White, who waved off immediate medical attention, was taken to the infield care center for precautionary reasons.(kansascity.com)(4-30-2007)
  • Cook scores first top-10 with HT Motorsports: Terry Cook steered his #59-HT Motorsports Toyota to a ninth-place finish in the O’Reilly 250 Craftsman Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway Saturday. It was the first Top-10 finish of the season for Cook and his new team in five NCTS events this season.(HT Motorsports PR)(4-30-2007)
  • Wyler Racing teams up with American Commercial Lines: Wyler Racing has announced that American Commercial Lines (ACL) has signed on as a sponsor of the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota in the Craftsman Truck Series. ACL joins an impressive catalog of sponsors supporting Wyler Racing and three-time Craftsman Truck Series’ Champion Jack Sprague in their bid for the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship. ACL’s insignia will first appear on the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota on June 8th during the Sam’s Town 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.(Wyler Racing PR)(4-28-2007)
  • Roush Fenway Racing to field part-time ARCA team with Darnell: UPDATE 2:Darnell scores second place finish: Roush Fenway Racing has announced that it will begin fielding a part-time ARCA RE/MAX Series team in 2007 with multiple drivers at the wheel. The #99 team will debut this weekend at Kansas Speedway with Erik Darnell, driver of the #99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford in the Craftsman Truck Series, assuming driving duties. Darnell competed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2005. In five career starts, Darnell’s best finish is a fourth place at The Milwaukee Mile. Longtime Roush Fenway Racing employee Jeff Campey has been named crew chief of the #99 Ford Fusion. Most recently Campey worked as Roush Fenway’s Craftsman Truck Series shop manager. Campey has spent time atop the pit box, having called races for Greg Biffle and David Ragan.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(4-24-2007)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Simply Wow, a division of Source Direct Holdings, will sponsor it’s #99 Ford Fusion in the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Kansas Speedway on April 27 and at Kentucky Speedway on May 12. Roush Fenway Racing driver Erik Darnell will be behind the wheel for both events.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(4-26-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Erik Darnell, driving the #99-Simply Wow Ford, scored a second-place finish in Roush Fenway Racing’s 2007 debut in the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Kansas Speedway on Friday night. Darnell had to fight hard for his runner-up finish, after starting the race in the 41st position following a procedural rule infraction before qualifying.(Roush Fenway PR)(4-28-2007)
  • Xpress Motorsports names driver for Kansas: Entry list shows former Busch & Truck Series driver, Kenny Hendrick as the driver of the #16 Xpress Motorsports Chevy for this weekend’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. Sponsor to be announced.(4-26-2007)
  • Lynch teams up with sponsor Cooper Bussman for six races: UPDATE: First race – Kansas: Team owner, Mike Mittler has announced that 2003 Grand Nat’l West Series Champion, Scott Lynch has signed a six-race deal with MB Motorsports to drive the #63 Ford beginning with the June 1st race at Dover. Other events include; ORP [Indianapolis], Gateway, Las Vegas, Atlanta and the season closer at Homestead. Sponsor for all races is Cooper Bussman Hughes based out of St. Louis, Missouri. (MB Motorsports)(2-3-2007)
    UPDATE: Cooper Bussmann joins MB Motorsports at Kansas Speedway for the first of Craftsman Truck races in 2007. Scott Lynch will handle the driving duties for all the Cooper Bussmann sponsored races.(MB Racing PR)(4-26-2007)
  • 360 OTC leaves World of Outlaws as title sponsor: UPDATE 2: 360 OTC sponsoring both Benson & Walker at Kansas: 360 OTC World Racing Group announced today, effective immediately its national late model touring series will be known as the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, removing 360OTC as title sponsor. “We enthusiastically promoted the 360OTC brand and were delivering, and even over delivering, on our obligations in the partnership,” said World Racing Group CEO Tom Deery. “Unfortunately, Rockford-Montgomery Labs and its 360OTC brand were not able to live up to its responsibilities and obligations and we are effectively ending the sponsorship.(WoO site), no word how or if this effects sponsorship of the #36 Bill Davis Racing Nextel Cup team of Jermey Mayfield or the BDR Truck Series team of Tyler Walker.(4-23-2007)
    UPDATE: 360 OTC returns as the primary sponsor of Benson’s #23 Toyota for the second race in a row this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Benson will join BDR teammate Tyler Walker in representing 360 OTC on the side of his #36 truck. This will be the second of 10 races this season with 360 OTC as the primary sponsor on Benson’s truck, and is also Walker’s first attempt to race at the Kansas Speedway.(BDR PR)(4-23-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Rockford-Montgomery Labs Inc. and its 360 OTC brand have been removed as the title sponsor to the World of Outlaws. But for now, it doesn’t have anything to do with the company’s sponsorships in NASCAR. The Athens, Ga.-based company has sponsorships with two trucks, driven by Tyler Walker and Johnny Benson, in the Craftsman Truck Series, as well as Jeremy Mayfield’s #36 Toyota in the Nextel Cup Series. All three are scheduled to race this week – the trucks at Kansas, Mayfield at Talladega, AL. All three teams will carry the green and black colors of 360OTC, a team spokeswoman said.(Augusta Chronicle)(4-26-2007)
  • #47 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports to carry VFW colors: The #47-MDM Chevy with driver Kraig Kinser, will be displaying the colors of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The Stars and Stripes, red, white and blue paint scheme is a timely tribute to those who served, and continue to serve our nation. The VFW assists all veterans and their families in obtaining veterans’ entitlements and other services. In addition, the organization works for the well-being of those serving on active duty, in the National Guard and the Reserves. Annually, the VFW contributes more than 14 million volunteer hours and more than $50 million toward community service projects.(MDM PR)(4-25-2007)
    See paint scheme at the 2007 Paint Scheme Gallery.(4-25-2007)
  • Dusty Drake to perform National Anthem at Kansas: Kansas Speedway announced today that country singer-songwriter Dusty Drake, who’s current single is “Say Yes,” will perform the national anthem prior to the Craftsman Truck Series race on April 28.(Kansas Speedway PR)(4-25-2007)
  • Compton back with #09 at Kansas: Stacy Compton will move back into the #09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150 for this Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at the Kansas Speedway. It will mark his second start for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing as he and Joey Clanton share the driving duties. Stacy Compton has 89 career starts in the Craftsman Truck Series with two wins, 25 top-fives and 44 top-10 finishes.(Wood Bros/JTG Racing PR)(4-25-2007)
  • Kvapil to make guest appearance during ARCA broadcast: Travis Kvapil [#6-K&N Ford] is scheduled to make a guest appearance in the commentator’s booth during Friday afternoon’s ARCA race at Kansas Speedway. Kvapil’s Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Erik Darnell, will drive the #99 Ford in the 100-lap event scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm/et on Speed/TV.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(4-24-2007)
  • Miller makes first Kansas start: Chase Miller, driver of the #4-Open Joist BHR Dodge will be making his first career Truck Series start at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. The O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 will mark Miller’s 13th Truck Series start. (BHR PR)(4-24-2007)
  • Red Horse Racing to Honor Virginia Tech: As a tribute to those affected by the tragic events on the Virginia Tech campus April 16th, Red Horse Racing will run the symbolic Virginia Tech logo on the hood of the #1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota driven by Aaron Fike, this weekend during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. Each crew member will also wear a Virginia Tech hat to honor the faculty and students who lost their lives on that devastating day.(Red Horse Racing PR)(4-24-2007)
    See paint scheme at the 2007 Paint Scheme Gallery.(4-24-2007)
  • Ruttman set to make first 2007 start with BHR: Joe Ruttman will be making his 169th career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, April 28th in the #18-Fastenol Dodge for Bobby Hamilton Racing .The O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 will mark Ruttman’s first Truck Series start since 2002. Ruttman has made 65 previous starts for BHR. He recorded five wins, 12 poles, 23 top-five finishes and 40 top-10 finishes. (BHR PR)(4-24-2007)
  • Kittleson to run Morgan-Dollar truck at Kansas: UPDATE: Travis Kittleson continues his quest for full employment in NASCAR with a run in the #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevy in the April 28 Truck Series race at Kansas. Kittleson has been knocking on the door for years, running a total of five NASCAR races, three in the trucks last season and two in the Busch Series, one each in 2004 and 2005. Kittleson will be sponsored by Bob Steele Chevrolet of Cocoa [FL].(floridatoday.com)(4-20-2007)
    UPDATE: The O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at the Kansas Speedway will mark the fourth start in the Truck Series for Travis Kittleson; his first appearance since Las Vegas Motor Speedway in September 2006. Kittleson will also have the added bonus of working with teammate Kraig Kinser, driver of the #47 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Chevy. Calling the shots on top of the pit box is Eric Phillips, seasoned MDM crew chief.(MDM PR)(4-24-2007)
  • Double-duty for Silas at Kansas: Bryan Silas, currently 9th in points in the ARCA series, is also entered in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 Truck Series event at Kansas Speedway. Silas is slated to drive the # 71-PBG/Fast Track Chevy owed by Andy Hillenburg.(4-24-2007)
  • Crawford elected to Mobile Hall of Fame: UPDATE: Induction ceremony takes place: Rick Crawford (#14 Ford) will be honored along with the likes of Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey and Kenny Stabler when he is formally inducted into the Mobile (Ala.) Sports Hall of Fame on April 19. Crawford will be the 75th athlete to receive the honor, and the first from the world of motorsports. He was selected from a pool of 78 nominees after an overwhelming letter writing campaign from fans along the Gulf Coast. “I’ve always been proud to say I’m from Mobile and now being mentioned in the same sentence with my hero Hank Aaron is more than I could ever hope for,” Crawford said.(NASCAR PR)(1-18-2007)
    UPDATE: In an emotionally charged speech to a standing room only crowd, Rick Crawford became the 75th inductee into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame [April 19th]. Crawford’s induction was the first from the world of motor sports. Crawford’s speech was filled with thank you’s for everyone that helped him achieve his dreams. The biggest thank you for long time team owner Tom Mitchell.(Circle Bar PR)(4-24-2007)
  • Raybestos Rookie News & Notes: Aaron Fike [#00] was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the March 31 Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Fike grabbed a seventh-place finish, his first top-10 and best effort in four Craftsman Truck Series races. He took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the second time this season. Tyler Walker finished eighth at Martinsville, his first top-10 in seven career Craftsman Truck Series races. Walker’s previous best finish was 21st at Las Vegas in 2003. Fike leads Joey Clanton by 10 points (45-35) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the April 28 O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. Fike is 10th in the Craftsman Truck Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie. He is 32 points behind ninth-place Travis Kvapil and leads 11th-place Dennis Setzer by 15. Marcos Ambrose was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2006 O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 [Kansas], claiming a third-place finish. He was the only Raybestos Rookie to finish inside the top-10. (Raybestos PR)(4-23-2007)
  • South Point Racing recognizes military through special decals: For the second consecutive season, South Point Racing will recognize various military units through its Military Appreciation Program (MAP). This weekend at Kansas Speedway, the South Point Racing Team is recognizing the 58th Rescue Squadron. The mission of the 58th Rescue Squadron is to train, equip, and employ combat-ready para-rescue, combat rescue officers, and supporting personnel worldwide in support of US National Security interests.(South Point Racing PR)(4-23-2007)
  • Lester might get to run four Cup races: Craftsman Truck Series team owner Billy Ballew said that he purchased two Nextel Cup cars from Dale Earnhardt Inc. and plans to enter four races with Mableton’s Bill Lester as the driver. Ballew, who fields a truck for Lester, said he would like to run at Indianapolis, Atlanta, Charlotte and Homestead, if he can secure funding. “I’ve got the cars and the promise of support from DEI, but it all depends on sponsorship,” Ballew said. Ballew also is fielding a second truck in several races this season. Kelly Sutton will drive four events, beginning at Kansas City next week, and Kyle Busch plans to run 10 truck events.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(4-20-2007)
  • Gale adds additional race with KHI: Cale Gale will pilot the #2 Chevy for the second time this season at Kansas Speedway in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 on Saturday, April 28. Gale is currently scheduled to compete in three additional Truck Series events for Kevin Harvick Inc. this season. This will be his first time racing at the mile-and-a-half track.(KHI PR)(4-23-2007)
  • Skinner breaking records: After winning three in a row in Martinsville, Mike Skinner [#5-Toyota Tundra Toyota] became the first series driver in history to win three in a row twice matching his 1996 performance. This weekend at Kansas, he will attempt to win four straight races. If he succeeds, Skinner will be the first driver to ever accomplish four consecutive wins in a row.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(4-23-2007)
  • Top-five finish for Schrader in ARCA Series: Ken Schrader, in his own #52-Federated Auto Parts Chevy, fresh from the Nextel Cup race the night before in Phoenix, finished fifth in the Kentuckian Ford Dealers ARCA 200 at Salem Speedway on Sunday, April 22. Schrader, unable to qualify the car on Saturday – Mario Gosselin subbed – had to start from the tail-end as a result.(arcaracing.com)(4-23-2007)
  • Sutton launches MS Foundation: Kelly Suttons [#51 Team Copaxone Chevy] dream has been to launch an organization that helps people who have Multiple Sclerosis [MS]. During a Sirius Radio interview Kelly Sutton announced that she has launched the “Let It Shine – The Kelly Sutton Foundation”. The “Let It Shine” Foundation will raise awareness and funds to assist people who have Multiple Sclerosis [MS] and do not have the means to support themselves during relapse and/or immediate crisis situations. Sutton said they are currently in the process of setting up a website with some info currently available at kellygirlsutton.com.(4-23-3007)
  • White to drive for Pennington Motorsports at Kansas: Pennington Motorsports officials say that Jason White will drive the organization’s #7 Chevy in the Craftsman Truck Series beginning April 28 at Kansas Speedway. White has made 12 Craftsman truck Series starts with a career best finish of 13th at Martinsville Speedway. (scenedaily.com)(4-19-2007)
  • NASCAR To Honor Victims Of Virginia Tech Tragedy: NASCAR has received permission from Virginia Tech to display the school’s logo on race cars for the next three weeks, in a tribute to the victims of this week’s shootings at the university’s Blacksburg, Va. campus. The logo will be displayed against a black background on the “B-post” – the area just to the right of the driver’s side window net – of cars competing in Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series events at Phoenix, Talladega (April 28-29) and Richmond (May 4-5). Additionally, trucks competing in the Craftsman Truck Series event April 28 at Kansas Speedway also will display the logo. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their family members, their friends – and the entire Virginia Tech community,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “We wanted to make a simple, but strong, gesture of remembrance. We are grateful the university gave us clearance to display their logo.”(NASCAR PR)(4-19-2007)
  • Wise will make debut at Kansas: Josh Wise is scheduled to make his Truck Series debut at Kansas Speedway on April 28, 2007 in the #00 Waltrip Racing Toyota. Wise will also be pulling double-duty at Kansas as he will be driving the #22-Eddie Sharp Racing Dodge in the ARCA Series race on Friday, April 27.(joshwiseracing.com)(4-18-2007)
  • KHI development driver Gale to run Late Model races:This weekend Cale will be competing at both Five Flags Speedway and Mobile International Speedway driving for Smith Motorsports. Cale will be driving the #33 Smith Motorsports Chevy in the Pro Late Model division at Five Flags Friday night [April 20]. The following night [April 21] he will be racing #83 Smith Motorsports/Keller Smith Red Chevy in the Miller Lite Super Late Model 100 Lap Series event at MIS. Gale is scheduled to run the #2 KHI Camping World Chevy at Kansas Speedway on April 28.(calegale.com)(4-18-2007)
  • Mansfield Motorsports Park president resigns: Mansfield Motorsports Park president and general manager Chris Mize has resigned effective immediately. Mize served as the track’s president and general manager since 2004, and oversaw the last two Craftsman Truck Series races at the half-mile Ohio oval. His replacement has not been named. Mize will assume general manager duties of the oval track at South Georgia Motorsports Park. The Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Park is scheduled for May 24 and 25. It will mark the fourth time the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has competed at the facility since its debut event in 2004.(truckseries.com)(4-17-2007)
  • Pope mistakenly skipped for “Operation Big Chance” Ride: UPDATE 3: Motorplex officials attempting to make it right: Pope to get the ride with KHI at Mansfield: The driver earning the most points at the Music City Motorplex in 2006 in either the Late Model or Super Truck divisions was to be given the opportunity to attempt to enter and qualify for the March 31st Craftsman Truck Series race in Martinsville. In the Points battle, Mark Day scored the highest, followed by Willie Allen, Daniel Pope, and Nicholas Formosa. Day could not make this opportunity fit his current schedule, and Allen currently has a full-time ride in the Truck Series. Motorplex management mistakenly skipped over Pope and gave the opportunity to Nicolas Formosa who finished fourth in points for 2006. Subsequent meetings with Music City Motorplex owner, Joe Mattioli, admitted there was a mistake made in determining the third place points driver; Daniel Pope had finished third. However, no change has been made and Formosa is still set to drive the Harvick truck at Mansfield. For more of this story, visit Daniel Pope’s website at (drpmotorsports.com).(4-4-2007)
    UPDATE: Motorplex officials realize they’d made a mistake – Daniel Pope, not Formosa, was supposed to be third in line for the ride according to last year’s standings. We messed up,” Mattioli said. “There was one race that we hadn’t accounted for. Daniel, not Nicholas, should have gotten the ride.” Mattioli said it’s too late to swap drivers because arrangements have already been completed with sponsor Dollar General and Kevin Harvick Racing. “We’ve met with Daniel and we’re going to make it right with him,” Mattioli said. “Right now we’re exploring several options.” (Tennessean)(4-4-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Error means Formosa can’t drive for Harvick — Nicholas Formosa has been informed that he won’t get to drive one of Kevin Harvick’s trucks in the Craftsman Truck Series, the ride instead going to fellow Music City Motorplex racer Daniel Pope. Motorplex President Joe Mattioli admitted a mistake had been made and said he would try to correct it by finding Pope another ride. But Pope’s father, Dan, said he wouldn’t accept any other ride – he wanted the one with Kevin Harvick Racing, as announced at the start of the competition. Mattioli said Pope was not intentionally skipped over in favor of Formosa and Dan Pope said he believes him. Track General Manager Norm Partin emphasized that NASCAR will make the final determination about when and where young, untested racers such as Pope and Formosa can race.(Tennessean)(4-11-2007)
    UPDATE 3: Pope is scheduled to try to qualify one of Harvick’s trucks for the May 26 race at Mansfield, Ohio, pending NASCAR approval.(Tennessean)(4-18-2007)
  • Mike Skinner delivers Daytona ride-along experience: A crew from CBS News Sunday Morning and national correspondent Tracy Smith visited DIS on Monday with Craftsman Truck Series driver Mike Skinner and his wife Angie. Smith’s visit was highlighted by a ride-along in a Richard Petty Driving Experience race car with Skinner. The RPDE car was outfitted with cameras and the footage will be used in a segment about why NASCAR is appealing to women on CBS News Sunday Morning on May 13.(Daytona Int’l Speedway PR)(4-17-2007)
  • Where is…Ron Barfield? Former Series driver, Ron Barfield Jr. [71 career starts with 4 top-five and 17 top-ten finishes between the years of 1996 and 2001] along with co-owner Stuart Jackson and a strong supporting cast have been working feverishly for the past 17 months to rebuild Dillon Motor Speedway located in Dillon, SC. The co-owner of Dillon Motor Speedway was estatic with the attendance [3,500] and the racing at the track’s opening night [Saturday, April 14, 2007], the first time races have been run in Dillon since 1979. The icing on the cake Saturday was that Brandon McReynolds, son of Fox announcer Larry McReynolds, won his first race in the 27-car Allison Legacy Series.(myrtlebeachonline.com)(4-16-2007)
  • Westerman Companies & Key Motorsports partner for four races: Westerman Companies, Inc. and Key Motorsports have agreed to partner in four Craftsman Truck Series races in 2007, beginning with the July 14th event at the Kentucky Speedway. Westerman Companies will also serve as the primary sponsor of the #40 Key Motorsports Chevy in the scheduled races at the O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis on July 27, the Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, TN on August 11 and the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia on October 20. Veteran driver and 2002 NCTS champion Mike Bliss will be behind the wheel of the #40 Westerman Companies Chevy for the Kentucky and Martinsville races. Team owner Curtis W. Key, Sr. will announce his driver selections for the Indianapolis and Nashville events later in the season.(Key Motorsports PR)(4-16-2007)
  • RCR development driver McCreadie tests truck at Richmond: Tim McCreadie tested a Key Motorsports race truck at Richmond recently as part of his Richard Childress Racing Driver Development Program, and the test (a 2-day affair) was extremely successful. This test included direction from crew chief Barry Dodson to McCreadie, Key Motorsports equipment, RCR data and engine, RCR engineering support, and both Key Motorsports and RCR personnel. McCreadie is competing in a Busch West Series race in Phoenix next weekend, and following his performance there, RCR officials are expected to make a determination what they would next like to do with McCreadie, that includes the potential to run some selected races with Key Motorsports and the #40 primary truck during 2007. (Key Motorsports PR)(4-16-2007)
  • News & Notes Part I – April 16, 2007
    Joe Ruttman (#18 Fastenal Dodge) feels the shoe is on the other foot when it comes to proving his ability to compete. “That’s for the other guys to do,” said Ruttman, 62, who’ll rejoin the series April 28 at Kansas Speedway after an absence of nearly five years. “I think it will be just as important for them to prove as it is to me,” said Ruttman, a 13-time series winner whose last victory came in May 2001 at the age of 56. Ruttman is no stranger to his former rivals – three-time champion Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota), Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) and Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 AES HR Solutions Chevy). Not so with those drivers under the age of 30. “I compare myself to the young guns in the sport,” he said. “When you first come into racing, you are very eager to prove yourself to so many people. “Well, even though I’m not young, I still have that high for racing and proving myself. There are a lot of people out there who don’t know who Joe Ruttman is and I have to show them. The only difference between being a young gun in the sport and me is they probably have better eyesight.” Ruttman’s return may spark some old rivalries and the California native is fine with that. “I think returning to the series allows for those rivalries to be rekindled, but I don’t think they will be any bigger than what they were,” said Ruttman. “I’m looking forward to racing against them (but) they have to prove to me they can beat me again.”

    Joe Ruttman’s Victory Log: (Season/Owner/Wins)
    1995, Mark Simo, 2
    1997, Jack Roush, 5
    1998, Jack Roush, 1
    2000, Bobby Hamilton, 3
    2001, Bobby Hamilton, 2
    Total: 13
    First Win: Bristol Motor Speedway
    Last Win: Pikes Peak International Raceway

    Rewind – Winners Of All Ages, Experience Win At Kansas:
    At many tracks, experience wins. Not necessarily so at Kansas Speedway, where drivers in their 20s, 30s and 40s have grabbed the checkered flag in the Craftsman Truck Series’ six trips to the 1.5-mile speedway. One of the series’ biggest surprises occurred in 2001’s inaugural race when the late Ricky Hendrick became the then-youngest winner at age 21 years three months. Hendrick’s victory might have been considered an aberration except that two years later Jon Wood, 21 years nine months, captured the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250. Now-NASCAR Nextel Cup Series star Carl Edwards was the third 20-something to visit Kansas’ Victory Lane. Edwards was less than two months shy of his 25th birthday in 2004. Youth, however, doesn’t have a lock on the track. Todd Bodine, 41 and Terry Cook, 38, are its most recent winners.

    Youth Vs. Experience At Kansas Speedway: (Year/Winning Driver/Age)
    2001, Ricky Hendrick, 21
    2002, Mike Bliss, 37
    2003, Jon Wood, 21
    2004, Carl Edwards, 24
    2005, Todd Bodine, 41
    2006, Terry Cook, 38

    News & Notes – Part II:
    Two weeks hence, at Kansas Speedway, Brendan Gaughan (#77 South Point Hotel Chevy) could make a huge jump in the point standings. He finished fourth there last year and has placed in the top 10 in each of the last three races at the track. How he closes a race might be the most impressive stat Gaughan owns. In the last two Kansas races, Gaughan has improved seven positions over the last 10 percent of the race for an average of 3.5 positions improved. That finishing power is tied for the most positions improved and has led to eighth and fourth-place finishes. Gaughan also leads all drivers at Kansas in Green Flag Passes with 99.

    Rollins hopes to duplicate championship success. Danny Rollins knows what it’s like to be a Craftsman Truck Series race and championship-winning crew chief, having captured the 2004 title with the late Bobby Hamilton. Now working with HT Motorsports and driver Terry Cook, Rollins wants to repeat that success. HT Motorsports has yet to win a series race but Rollins believes the potential is there – and more. “I think we can get it done here. Jim (Harris) is committed to success (and) there isn’t a single thing I don’t like about Terry. It might take a little time but we’re going to get there.”

    This Week’s Craftsman Truck Series Leaders: (through 4 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader – Mike Skinner (745)
    Driver Rating – Mike Skinner (134.4)
    Winnings – Mike Skinner ($209,850)
    Laps led – Mike Skinner (365)
    Victories – Mike Skinner (3)
    Budweiser Poles – Mike Skinner (2)
    Top-five finishes – Mike Skinner (4)
    Top-10 finishes – 4 drivers with 4
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Aaron Fike (10 over Joey Clanton)
    Races led – Mike Skinner (4)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 9 drivers tied with 4

    Raybestos Rookie Of The Year Standings:
    1) Aaron Fike, 45
    2) Joey Clanton, 35
    3) Aaron Fike, 32
    4) Willy Allen, 32
    5) Kelly Bires, 31
    6) Blake Bjorklund, 31
    7) Tim Sauter, 28
    8) Casey Kingsland, 5
    9) Josh White, 4
    10) Brian Sockwell, 1

    Manufacturers’ Championship Standings:
    Toyota, 36
    Chevy, 20
    Ford, 20
    Dodge, 12

    Etc:
    McCumbee Wins In Nashville…Chad McCumbee (#08 Garmin/The GPS Store Chevy) won his first ARCA RE/MAX Challenge race on April 7 at Nashville Superspeedway, passing Cale Gale (#2 Camping World Chevy) with three laps remaining. Wise To Make Series Debut…Open-wheel star Josh Wise will be behind the wheel of Darrell Waltrip Motorsports’ #00 Toyota at Kansas Speedway. Wise won U.S. Auto Club midget and sprint titles driving for Tony Stewart. Skinner Tops ‘Pros’…Skinner was fourth – and the highest finishing Pro driver – in Saturday’s Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix Pro/Celebrity race.(NASCAR Media)(4-16-2007)

  • Bodine, Skinner among drivers for Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race: UPDATE 2: Skinner wins Pro Category: An unprecedented number of female stars of film, television and sports will be donning their helmets and strapping their seatbelts in race-ready Toyota Scion tCs for this year’s Toyota/Pro Celebrity Race on Saturday, April 14, as part of the 33rd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. As the winner of the 2006 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, professional skateboarder and X Games Gold Medalist Bucky Lasek returns in the “Pro” category in 2007. Lasek joins three other drivers in the “Pro” category including NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Pro Champions Mike Skinner and Todd Bodine and NHRA Champion Scott Kelley. Toyota will donate $5,000 to “Racing for Kids” in the name of each celebrity racer, and another $5,000 to the winning racer’s charity of choice. Racing for Kids is a non-profit program benefiting children’s hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County, Calif. Finally, a $15,000 donation is made in conjunction with the annual “PEOPLE Pole Award.” Sponsored by PEOPLE magazine, the award honors the pole-position winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race qualifying session on Friday, April 13.(Earth Times)(3-6-2007)
    UPDATE: Mike Skinner recently traveled to Willow Springs International Motorsports Park in Rosamond, Calif., for a training session with the celebrities, who will compete in identically prepared Toyota Scions. Reigning Truck Series champ Todd Bodine was originally scheduled to participate but had to cancel his appearance.(Scene Daily)(4-13-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Skinner first in Pro Category: BMX champion Dave Mirra won Saturday’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach, crossing the finish line ahead of former tennis star Martina Navratilova. Actor Joshua Morrow, star of “The Young & The Restless,” came in third. Truck Series champion Mike Skinner finished first in the Pro category and fourth overall.(cbs2.com)(4-15-2007)
  • Mac Tools official product sponsor for Wyler Racing: Wyler Racing is pleased to announce that Mac Tools, the nations leader in quality, professional hand tools, has come onboard as the official product sponsor of Wyler Racing and the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota Tundra driven by three-time Craftsman Truck Series’ Champion, Jack Sprague. Mac Tools is a division of The Stanley Works and has been involved in NASCAR and other forms of motorsports for many years.(Wyler Racing PR)(4-15-2007)
  • Park looking to return to truck: During a Sirius Radio interview Steve Park spoke about wanting to return to the Truck Series as a full-time driver. He said he’s currently working on a couple of deals and is hoping something will be in place within the next five weeks. Park also said that best case scenario would have him in a truck as soon as the Charlotte race. No word on a specific team or sponsor.(4-13-2007)
  • Several teams tested at Pocono: UPDATE: Hearing that there are possibly as many as seven teams testing at Pocono Raceway this week in preparation for the upcoming event at Kansas Speedway. Among those testing are the Germain Racing teams of Todd Bodine [#30] and Ted Musgrave [#9] as well as a couple of Chevy and Ford teams.(4-11-2007)
    UPDATE: The following Craftsman Truck series drivers are at Pocono Raceway for a 2 day test, April 10-11: Ted Musgrave [#9], Todd Bodine[#30], Justin Hobgood [#03], Josh Wise [#00], Dennis Setzer[#75] and David Starr [#10]. Toyota Racing Team Manager Laerte Zatta is also at Pocono. No speeds are available.(Pocono Raceway PR)(4-11-2007)
  • Series to celebrate 300th race at Dover – free autograph session: Six active Craftsman Truck Series champions will sign autographs for fans during a free autograph session at Dover International Speedway on race weekend. The event will be held on Friday, June 1, 2007, from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the Craftsman display in the Fan Zone area, located outside of Turn 4 at the track. The autograph session commemorates the 300th race in the history of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Participating champions include Todd Bodine (2006), Ted Musgrave (2005), Travis Kvapil (2003), Jack Sprague (1997, 1999 & 2001), Ron Hornaday, Jr. (1996 & 1998) and Mike Skinner (1995).(Dover Int’l Speedway)(4-12-2007)
  • Clay Rogers to run two races for Key Motorsports: Key Motorsports has named 2006 Hooters Pro Cup Series champion Clay Rogers to drive its primary #40 Chevy in the upcoming Craftsman Truck Series races at the Kansas and Mansfield (OH) Motorsports Speedways. After an initial 4-race deal with veteran Mike Bliss, team owner Curtis W. Key, Sr. plans on using the services of a variety of drivers in the 2007 season’s remaining 21 races beginning with the 27-year-old Rogers in the April 28 O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 in Kansas City. Rogers will also steer the #40 machine on May 26 at Mansfield.(Key Motorsports PR)(4-11-2007)
  • Toyota too much horsepower: UPDATE: NASCAR orders change in manifold: Hearing that the Toyotas are 20-30 horsepower ahead of the other manufacturers, and it relates to the new intake they were given to use this year. Also being told that officials are making the Toyota teams go back to the old intake in an effort to get horsepower in line with the other teams.(4-3-2007)
    UPDATE: Toyota Truck & Busch Series teams to use new manifold: In a technical bulletin issued this week, NASCAR has ordered Craftsman Truck and Busch Series teams to use a different intake manifold in an effort to “level the playing field” with other manufacturers. The change does not affect the Nextel Cup Series. The manifold was declared legal before the season, but tests have shown it gives Toyota teams a horsepower advantage. The new intake reduces horsepower, Balash said.(SceneDaily.com)(4-7-2007)
  • McCumbee picks up first ARCA Series win at Nashville: UPDATE: McCumbee to run at least two more ARCA events: Chad McCumbee knew he had a good car and proved it in the end to win the ARCA RE/MAX Series 150 Saturday afternoon at Nashville Superspeedway. McCumbee, in Jennifer Belmont’s #62 Nortrax-Holland Pump Chevy, powered inside of Cale Gale [#33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevy] on the final restart with three laps remaining and held on for his career-first RE/MAX Series victory in his 31st career attempt. Gale finished second with Erin Crocker [#98-Evernham Motorsports Dodge] finishing third.(arcaracing.com)(4-7-2007)
    UPDATE: During an interview with Chad McCumbee on Sirius Radio, Chad McCumbee said he will be attempting at least two more races in the ARCA Series driving an Andy Hillenburg owned Fast Track Driving School Chevy at Salem Speedway on April 22, 2007 and possibly Pocono Raceway.(4-10-2007)
  • News & Notes Part I – April 9, 2007
    Bodine, Skinner to rub shoulders with TV, Film, Sports stars: Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) enjoyed last year’s trip to the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix’s Pro /Celebrity Race so much he asked for a return engagement. And he’s taking Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) along for the ride through the streets of Long Beach, Calif. The pair, along with a long list of TV, radio, motion picture and sports stars, recently shook down their Toyota Scion tCs at a nearby road course. The Pro/Celebrity race itself will be held Saturday. Bodine was the highest-finishing Pro driver in last year’s event, 20 laps over a 1.97-mile course. X Games gold medalist Bucky Lasek was the Celebrity winner in 2006 and has been bumped up to the Pro category this year. Among celebrities competing are producer-director George Lucas; Kathryn Morris who portrays Lily Rush in the CBS drama Cold Case; former #1 woman tennis player Martina Navratilova and Howard Stern co-host Robin Quivers.

    Rewind: Kansas City Hosted Series’ Seventh Event:
    The Craftsman Truck Series was born in California and didn’t cross the Mississippi River until seven races into the 1995 season. Thunderstorms, a tornado and a one-day delay, however, couldn’t deter Kansas City-area fans from packing .543-mile I-70 Speedway to watch Skinner edge Dave Rezendes and Butch Miller. Five races were held at I-70 – including Tony Raines’ historic, first series victory for Dodge in 1997. A couple hours west, drivers also competed on the 2.1-mile Heartland Park Topeka road course. Mike Bliss (#40 Key Motorsports Chevy) is the only driver to have won on all three Kansas City-area tracks. Bliss won at I-70 in 1996, Topeka in 1999 and at Kansas Speedway in 2002.

    News & Notes – Part II
    Benson tests Car Of Tomorrow: it doesn’t drive like a truck, either. Wyler Racing hasn’t made the decision to enter next month’s Nextel Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway but based on last week’s test results, don’t be surprised if Johnny Benson’s (#23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota) Toyota isn’t in the lineup. Benson was second fastest in last week’s two-day test at the .75-mile oval with a speed of 123.136 mph. “I hope we get the opportunity to come back and try to qualify for this race and run it,” said Benson, who added that the Car of Tomorrow drives like, well, the Car of Tomorrow. “They are different, he said. “This does not drive like a truck at all, like people think it does but it drives different from the (current) cars. I don’t think it’s halfway between them. It’s still more toward a car than it is a truck.”

    In the Loop:
    A quick look at the Craftsman Truck Series season thus far and you could deduce that it’s been The Mike Skinner Show. Winning three of the four races, it’s been Skinner and then everyone else. But don’t tell that to reigning series champion Todd Bodine. In second place, Bodine’s a manageable 94 points behind Skinner and if not for Skinner’s dominance, Bodine would have won the last two races – he finished second at both Martinsville and Atlanta. He has tremendous stats, as well. Bodine has the second-best Average Running Position (5.413) and the second-best Driver Rating (109.2) – both second only to Skinner. He holds top-five marks in many speed figures – Speed on the Straightaways (fourth), Speed in Turns (fifth) and Speed in Traffic (fifth). And his 38 Fastest Laps Run is second only to Skinner. Bodine has spent 521 Laps in the Top 15, which is fourth-best in the series. He also is third-best in a category that is fundamental to success in Craftsman Truck racing – Pass Differential. Bodine’s Pass Differential – number of trucks passed compared to the times passed under green – is third-best at 37. He has 170 passes compared to 133 times passed. Only Matt Crafton (#88 Menards/Quaker State Chevy) (62), Joey Clanton (#09 Zaxby’s Ford) (53) and Mike Bliss (52) have a higher Pass Differential than Bodine.

    Etc:
    Kroger 200 Rates High…The March 31 race at Martinsville Speedway garnered a 1.6 national rating on FOX, according to Nielsen Media Research, making the Kroger 250 the most-watched series event in 10 years. That translates into 1.7 million households and 2.4 million viewers.

    Schrader Wins – What Else? … Ken Schrader (#18 Fastenal Dodge) traveled to Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway on April 6 where Schrader won both modified heat and feature races.

    This Week’s Craftsman Truck Series Leaders: (through 4 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader – Mike Skinner (745)
    Driver Rating – Mike Skinner (134.4)
    Winnings – Mike Skinner ($209,850)
    Laps led – Mike Skinner (365)
    Victories – Mike Skinner (3)
    Budweiser Poles – Mike Skinner (2)
    Top-five finishes – Mike Skinner (4)
    Top-10 finishes – 4 drivers with 4
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Aaron Fike (10 over Joey Clanton)
    Races led – Mike Skinner (4)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 9 drivers tied with 4

    Toyota Halfway To Matching Manufacturer Record:
    Toyota won for the third time in a row at Martinsville Speedway and the fourth race of the 2007 season. The truck maker is halfway to the series mark of eight straight wins that Chevy recorded to start the 1995 season. Three different teams – Red Horse Racing, Wyler Racing and Bill Davis Racing – have scored Martinsville victories with BDR’s #5 Tundra the latest to grace Victory Lane.

    Manufacturers’ Championship Standings:
    Toyota, 36
    Chevy, 20
    Ford, 20
    Dodge, 12
    (NASCAR PR)(4-9-2007)

  • Carl Edwards’ Busch Win is Roush Fenway’s 350th Overall: Carl Edwards drove the #60 Dish Network Ford home to his second Busch Series win of the 2007 season in Nashville over the weekend and at the same time, hit a milestone for Roush Fenway Racing. Edwards’ second consecutive win gave Roush Fenway their 350th overall win. Of the 350 wins Jack Roush has obtained, 234 of them have been wins in NASCAR’s three elite series (Nextel Cup – 101; Busch Series – 90; Craftsman Truck Series – 43). Of the 101 Nextel Cup wins, 96 of them have been point races while the other five have come from wins in the Bud Shootout (1), The Winston (1), The Winston Open (1) and the Nextel All-Star Challenge (2). In the Busch and Truck Series, Roush Fenway’s 90 and 43 wins respectively, make Roush the most winning owner of any other owner in both of those series. In addition to the 234 wins, Roush has also collected 116 road racing victories bringing Roush Fenway Racing’s win column total to 350.(Roush Fenway PR)(4-9-2007)
  • Circle Bar & Adam Crawford to run late-model races this weekend: With the Craftsman Truck Series taking a couple of weekends off, the Circle Bar Team is headed to the Gulf Coast for their version of Spring Break, a short track double-header weekend. After taking home the 2006 Rookie of the Year title at Mobile International Speedway Adam Crawford [son of Rick Crawford] is looking forward to returning to the seat of his #14-Circle Bar Super Late Model. Crawford will take part in a daylong test on Thursday with the racing weekend starting on Friday night in round 1 of the Blizzard Series at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway and continue on Saturday night at Mobile International Speedway in the first of their 5 race Miller Lite Super Late Model Series. (Circle Bar PR)(4-9-2007)
  • Haas CNC Racing announce sponsor for Texas races: Haas CNC Racing has announced a sponsorship agreement with Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce. Sweet Baby Ray’s will serve as the primary sponsor on the #08 Chevy driven by Blake Bjorklund in the Truck Series event at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8th. They will also be an associate sponsor on the #66 Monte Carlo driven by Jeff Green for the Nextel Cup event on April 15th.(Haas CNC Racing PR)(4-4-2007)
  • Crocker gets four race sponsor for ARCA Series: Evernham Motorsports has announced that Mac Tools will be the primary sponsor of the #98 Mac Tools/Mac Card Dodge Charger driven by Erin Crocker in the ARCA RE/MAX Series for four races. The four race primary sponsorship will begin with the April 27th race at Kansas Speedway and continue at Kentucky Speedway on May 12th, Pocono Raceway on June 9th and Michigan International Speedway on June 15th.(Evernham Motorsports PR)(4-5-2007)
  • Benson testing at Richmond: UPDATE 3: Day Two Test: 2nd fastest in am Johnny Benson is listed among the 51-drivers scheduled to participate in the Nextel Cup Series test on April 3-4, 2007 at Richmond Int’l Raceway. Benson will be testing the COT #46-Toyota owned by Wyler Racing. Which races Benson will run have yet to be determined, but hearing if they run well, it may be either one or both Richmond races.(4-3-2007)
    UPDATE: “Johnny right now is strictly our test driver,” team president David Wyler said Tuesday afternoon. “He drove our COT down at Homestead this past year. [Team manager] Tony [Furr] is real comfortable with the feedback Johnny gave him at Homestead, so that’s why we’re bringing him here.” Wyler Racing currently fields a truck for Jack Sprague. Benson also drives for Toyota in trucks as part of the Bill Davis Racing stable. “There’s a lot of guys in the Toyota camp that would be a possibility [as a driver],” Wyler said. “We haven’t really focused on that. yet. Until we focus on our debut, then we’ll make that determination.” That debut date is still to be determined. “We haven’t determined when our [debut] is going to be,” Wyler said. “This is one of the steps to prepare us. We’ll know a lot more come tomorrow evening. Our main focus is running competitive. “We could go out there and run the next COT race, but I’m not going to do that unless we can be competitive. Until we get to that point, we’ll continue to test.” (Scene Daily)(4-3-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Benson was 17th fastest in Day 1 testing at Richmond with a speed of 120.719.(4-4-2007)
    UPDATE 3: On the final day of testing at Richmond, Johnny Benson ran the second fastest speed in the am session at 123.136 in the #46A-Wyler Racing Toyota. PM session – 42nd fastest with a speed of 119.745.(4-5-2007)
  • Kinser making Busch Series debut at Nashville: Kraig Kinser will be making his Busch Series debut in the #4-Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevy in the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, April 7th. Kinser currently drives the #47-Chevy truck for Ginn in partnership with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, and is also splitting the driving duties in Ginn’s #4 Chevy in the Busch Series with Cup driver, Regan Smith.(4-4-2007)
  • Bill Davis Racing strong in Series: When Mike Skinner[#5 Toyota] brought home his third victory of the 2007 campaign last Saturday at the Martinsville Speedway Bill Davis Racing captured its 12th win in three years. Skinner all but seven laps in the 250-lap event. In 2007, Bill Davis Racing has lead 378 laps in the Craftsman Truck Series which is 65% of the total laps completed. Since veteran driver Johnny Benson won his first race last summer at his home track in Michigan, BDR has been on fire. They have won nine of the last twenty races. The High Point, NC based team has had a truck finish in the top-ten at every race except two. They have accumulated 20 top-five and 29 top-ten finishes between the three teams in the 20 race span. The teams have nine poles to their credit, counting two consecutive poles at Atlanta and Martinsville picked up by Mike Skinner. Skinner leads all NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers in the pole category with 34 front row starts in his career. The organization also picked up the coveted Checkers Rally’s Drive-Through Championship in 2006 with Johnny Benson and the #23 Toyota. (Bill Davis Racing PR)(4-2-2007)
  • Skinner wins Wix Filters Lap Leader Award: Mike Skinner [#5] led twice for 246 laps to earn WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race honors in the Kroger 250. Skinner took the honor for the third consecutive race. Skinner has led 13 times in four races this season for a total of 365 laps. Skinner won today’s race at Martinsville Speedway, crossing the finish line .527 seconds ahead of second-place Todd Bodine. The victory was the 22nd of Skinner’s 133-race Craftsman Truck Series career. He scored the 11th victory in the series for Bill Davis Racing. Skinner won the pole position for today’s race, his 34th pole in the series and second consecutive of the 2007 season. (WIX Filters PR)(3-31-2007)
  • News & Notes Part I – April 2, 2007:
    Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) downplayed his status as favorite in the 2007 championship chase following last month’s victory in Atlanta. Now, there’s no hiding the fact that Skinner has established himself as the driver to beat as teams head into a four-week break in the schedule. Skinner became a two-time winner at Martinsville Speedway on March 31, posted his 22nd career victory and ran his victory streak to three. He became the first series driver to own a pair of three-win streaks matching his 1996 performance. Oh, and the 49-year-old driver led a whopping 246 of 253 laps at the .526-mile Martinsville Speedway. That’s the most any driver has led in a single race, erasing Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 AER HR Solutions Chevy) from the record book. Hornaday’s record, 225 laps, had stood since the Californian led wire-to-wire at the old Louisville Motor Speedway on July 12, 1997. Skinner, who earlier set a Martinsville Speedway qualifying record of 95.985 mph, matched Jack Sprague’s series mark of eight races won from the Budweiser Pole.

    A female driver will be part of a Craftsman Truck Series entry for the sixth consecutive season when Kelly Sutton (#51 Team Copaxone Chevy) suits up at Kansas Speedway for the first of four races on April 28. Sutton has the most starts, 51, and largest winnings, $442,882, by any of eight females competing in the series.

    News & Notes: Part II:
    Bill Davis Racing En Fuego…Since Johnny Benson (#23 360 OTC Toyota) won at Michigan in June 2006, a Bill Davis-entered truck has scored a top-10 finish in 16 of 18 races with a .500 winning percentage. Raybestos Rookie Fike Cracks Top 10…For the first time in a year – following the April 1, 2006 Kroger 250 – a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate has moved into the top 10 of the championship standings. Aaron Fike (#1 Red Horse Racing Toyota) is 10th after finishing seventh at Martinsville. The last freshman to grace the elite 10 was 2006 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Erik Darnell (#99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford).

    Musgrave lurking… Later this month, Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE/Germain Toyota) hopes not to celebrate a dubious anniversary. It’s been two years (Gateway, April 30, 2005) since that year’s champion last visited Victory Lane. Musgrave, 51, is getting closer, posting his second top five and fourth top 10 of the season at Martinsville. The last series victory by a driver over the age of 50? That would be Joe Ruttman’s May 20, 2001 triumph at Pikes Peak International Raceway when he was age 56 years six months. And Speaking Of Ruttman …Now 62, he returns to the series to drive Bobby Hamilton Racing’s #18 Fastenal Dodge at Kansas.

    On the right track:
    Starting spots; bonuses shift to ’07 points. The 2007 season “officially” begins at Kansas Speedway when starting positions and bonus monies shift to current Truck Owner Championship Points. The top 30 eligible owners, following the March 31 Kroger 250, are guaranteed a starting position among the top 35. Owners ranking among the top 30 in 2007 standings also qualify for participation in a pair of bonus plans worth $42,500. Racing their way into the top 30 for Kansas are the teams of Curtis Key (#40), Dave Malcolmson (#8) and J.L. Pennington (#7). Eligible in 2006 – but having to make the Kansas lineup via speed- are Gene Christensen (#07) and David Dollar (#46). The top 30 “resets” following each event.

    Raybestos Rookie Of The Year Standings:
    Two Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates – Aaron Fike (seventh) and Tyler Walker (eighth) – finished among the top 10 in the Kroger 250. That’s a first in 2007. Point standings following Martinsville; Aaron Fike 45; Joey Clanton 35; Willie Allen 32; Kelly Bires 31; Blake Bjorklund 31; Tim Sauter 28; Casey Kingsland 5; Jason White 4; Brian Sockwell 1.

    This Week’s Craftsman Truck Series Leaders: (through 4 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader – Mike Skinner (745)
    Driver Rating – Mike Skinner (134.4)
    Winnings – Mike Skinner ($209,850)
    Laps led – Mike Skinner (365)
    Victories – Mike Skinner (3)
    Budweiser Poles – Mike Skinner (2)
    Top-five finishes – Mike Skinner (4)
    Top-10 finishes – 4 drivers with 4
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Aaron Fike (10 over Joey Clanton)
    Races led – Mike Skinner (4)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 9 drivers tied with 4

    In the Loop:
    When Mike Skinner wins, he makes it count. A look at past performances proves that Skinner’s not content with merely winning. He wants to dominate. Really, all the proof you need was in Saturday’s stunning win in the Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Skinner earned a maximum Driver Rating of 150.0 and had an uncanny Average Running Position of 1.087. Also, Skinner’s #5 Toyota Tundra had the highest number of Fastest Laps Run with 79 (Kevin Harvick was second with 21). He had some of the fastest speed figures in the field as well. He was the Fastest on the Frontstretch, Backstretch, Turn 1 and Turn 3. Skinner also had the field’s Fastest Green Flag Speed. Saturday’s performance was not the first time Skinner showed such brilliance. It wasn’t even the second time. This was the third race in which Skinner scored a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0. The first time he did it was at Bristol on August 24, 2005. The second was last year at Las Vegas on Sept. 23. At Bristol, Skinner had an Average Running Position of 1.125. At Vegas, it was 1.548.

    Toyota Halfway To Matching Manufacturer Record:
    Toyota won for the third time in a row at Martinsville Speedway and the fourth race of the 2007 season. The truck maker is halfway to the series mark of eight straight wins that Chevy recorded to start the 1995 season. Three different teams – Red Horse Racing, Wyler Racing and Bill Davis Racing – have scored Martinsville victories with BDR’s #5 Tundra the latest to grace Victory Lane.

    Manufacturers’ Championship Standings:
    Toyota, 36
    Chevy, 20
    Ford, 20
    Dodge, 12(NASCAR PR)(4-2-2007)

  • Gale doing double-duty at Nashville: Cale Gale is scheduled to drive the #33 Camping World Chevy in the Busch Series Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, April 7th at 3:00 pm/et, and will also drive KHI’s #33 Chevy in the ARCA 150 race earlier that day. Gale is scheduled to run three more Truck Series races this season.(KHI PR)(4-2-2007)
  • Tough day for BBM at Martinsville: Billy Ballew Motorsports headed to the Martinsville Speedway with two Craftsman Trucks entered in the Kroger 250. Bill Lester, the team’s primary driver, was in the #15 Red Top Auto Auction truck and Paul Menard, the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series regular, piloted the #51 Moen Faucets/Pittsburgh Paints Chevy as part of a joint Lester’s engine expired on lap 37, placing him in the garage early with a 36th place finish. Menard ran 148 of the 250 laps when a crank shaft broke on the #51 placing him to the 33rd position in the race.(Billy Ballew Motorsports PR)(4-2-2007)
  • Handling woes for Kvapil at Martinsville: Travis Kvapil Would be making his 100th career Craftsman Truck Series start at one of his favorite racetracks [Martinsville]. Kvapil fought tight conditions throughout the race, and changes made on lap 73 were not enough. After a wreck at lap 191, Kvapil and Beam brought the K&N Ford to pit road for further adjustments. Kvapil restarted in the 15th position with some 50 laps remaining. Kvapil was unable to regain his lost track position and was forced to settle for a 14th-place finish.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(4-2-2007)

 


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