August 2003 Truck Series News Archive
- Toyota tests Tundra – Ruttman tests at Caraway: The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Toyota Tundra race truck, which will make its racing debut in February 2004 at Daytona, ran its initial test yesterday at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C. The historic session was the first for the manufacturer since it officially submitted the truck to NASCAR in July. Veteran racer Joe Ruttman handled the driving duties at the 0.455-mile oval.
“It was another significant step in the truck program’s progression,” said Jim Aust, vice president of Motorsports at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., and president and CEO of Toyota Racing Development (TRD) U.S.A. “For Toyota, it is a special day as we prepare for the Tundra’s debut at Daytona next February. It is a rewarding moment for those who have worked on the truck program over the last year.”
The test was conducted to learn the Tundra race truck’s basic characteristics, evaluate systems, and gain first impressions on down force and balance.
“It’s really an honor to be first to climb behind the wheel of the Tundra,” said Ruttman, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck veteran since the series’ inception in 1995. “For being its first time on the track, I was really impressed with the truck’s performance. It hit as close to the mark as any new race vehicle could hope to achieve for a first test. I’m really looking forward to experiencing the truck’s learning curve and contributing to its progression.”
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Toyota Tundra will continue testing throughout the fall in preparation for the 2004 season.(Toyota Motorsports PR)(8-29-2003)
- #2 Truck to have a bunch of different drivers; Yeley; Kirby and Walker; what about Spencer? #1 and #2 Truck Owner, Jim Smith, will have J.J Yaley [Yeley] in a Truck at Phoenix. Yaley is under contract to Dodge. Smith, who just released Jason Leffler from his Truck contract, will have Stuart Kirby in the Truck at New Hampshire and Tyler Walker at Richmond. All three will be watched by Winston Cup owners.(Winston Salem Journal), thought it was announced Spencer would run the truck at Richmond? AND Jimmy Spencer will drive for the [#2] team in the truck races at Richmond and New Hampshire next month.(Roanoke Times)(8-30-2003)
- Leffler’s Truck ride in jeopardy? Sprague in #2 Truck? UPDATE 4 Leffler named driver of #0: Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith says Jason Leffler needs to decide where his loyalties lie. Smith says if Leffler wants to retain his #2 Dodge ride with Ultra in the Craftsman Truck Series, Leffler can’t continue to drive a Pontiac for Haas-CNC Racing in Winston Cup. “We’ve sent him a contract,” Smith says. “The next move is his.” Smith says Leffler, who is eighth in truck points, is welcome to walk, but it will come at a high price. Leffler has driven the Haas-CNC No. 0 car in three Cup races and had agreed to drive in eight more.(Sporting News), see my #0 Team News and Links page for the news on Leffler signing with Haas-GNC Racing for 2004.(8-25-2003)
UPDATE – Leffler out; Sprague in the #2 Truck? hearing that Jason Leffler, who was at odds with Truck Series owner over taking the #0 Haas-CNC Racing Pontiac Ride, has split with Smith and former #0 driver, Jack Sprague will drive the #2 ASE Dodge for Ultra Motorsports and Smith for the rest of the season. Sprague has signed to drive a 2nd IWX Team Truck in 2004. Dennis Conner is the #2 Truck Crew Chief, he was Sprague’s crew chief for years in the Truck and Busch Series as well for about half the season in Cup in 2003 before he parted ways with the team.(8-26-2003)
UPDATE 2: Crew chief Tony Furr has confirmed that Jason Leffler will drive the #0 NetZero Haas-CNC Pontiac for the remainder of this season and 2004 in the Winston Cup Series. Leffler is currently eighth in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points driving the #2 truck for Ultra Motorsports. There has been no confirmation as to who will drive that truck at Richmond September 4.(Fox Sports)
UPDATE 3: or is Spencer in? hearing Jimmy Spencer will drive the #2 Ultra Motorsports truck at Richmond on Sept 4th.(8-27-2003)
UPDATE 4: Haas CNC Racing announced today Jason Leffler will be behind the wheel of the NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac for the remainder of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season and continue with the team in 2004. I’m happy to be a part of the Haas CNC Racing team,” said Leffler, 27.. “It’s a great team and a great opportunity for me to get back to the Winston Cup Series.. Gene Haas, Joe Custer and Tony Furr have worked hard to get me here and I’m looking forward to our future together.. NetZero is a great sponsor and I’d like to thank everybody involved for giving me this chance.”
“We are thrilled to have Jason Leffler become a permanent part of our team,” stated Joe Custer, General Manager of Haas CNC Racing.. “We think Jason is a good, young driver with a ton of potential and we look forward to a long, successful future together.” Leffler, a native of Long Beach, Calif., will make his fourth start behind the wheel of the #0 NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac this weekend at Darlington Raceway.(NetZero Racing/Motorsports Management PR)
UPDATE 4a: Jimmy Spencer has been tabbed as the replacement for Jason Leffler as the driver of the #2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge for the Virginia is for Lovers 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Richmond, VA. “Jason has a chance to move up to the NASCAR Winston Cup ranks and we wish him the very best of luck,” said Ron Weiner, President of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). “We certainly appreciate the effort that he put forth on our behalf over the past two years. By the same token, we are very appreciative to Jimmy Spencer for helping us out at Richmond, where ASE is celebrating our 200th race as an NCTS sponsor. “Mr. Excitement” is a working-man’s driver, and the 450,000 ASE certified mechanics clearly identify with his work ethic and his 110% efforts on the track.” His Richmond outing will be Spencer’s first in the Craftsman Truck Series. “I’m excited about driving the #2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge at Richmond,” Spencer said. “The #2 truck is probably the most recognizable in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series because it’s been winning races since the series began in 1995. A lot of great drivers have wheeled this truck, and I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of that.” The Virginia is for Lovers 200 is scheduled for Thursday, September 4th at Richmond International Raceway.(8-29-2003)
- Trucks test at Atlanta; for 2003; and a 2004 Ford test UPDATEs: Just because Atlanta Motor Speedway isn’t on their 2003 schedule doesn’t mean teams from NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series aren’t interested in testing out its 24-degree banking. That’s just what they’ll be doing this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday [August 26-28], as eight NASCAR truck teams visit Atlanta. Bobby Hamilton Racing, Orleans Racing, Ultra Motorsports and Ware Racing Enterprises will all hit the track Tuesday and Wednesday during a Dodge test. The session will be open to the media but closed to the public. On Thursday, driver Rick Crawford will help Ford Racing test the 2004 model. The session is closed to both the media and the public. Of the eight Craftsman Truck Series drivers who will be on-track at Atlanta Motor Speedway this week, three are in the top 5 in points, and more than half of the top 15 will be making laps. Drivers expected to attend the Dodge test Tuesday and Wednesday are #4-Bobby Hamilton, #18-Chad Chaffin, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #5-Jerry Hill, #2-Jason Leffler and #1-Ted Musgrave. Alabama driver Rick Crawford drives the #14 Circle Bar Motel/RV Park Ford. Crawford, 45, is fifth in points will make the first test runs of the 2004 Ford truck on Thursday. The Craftsman Truck Series does not currently race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but testing at Atlanta helps teams prepare for races at similar tracks including Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(8-25-2003)
Tuesday Testing: #4-Bobby Hamilton was the fastest at 175.277mph, also testing were #18-Chad Chaffin and Ultra Motorsports driver #1-Ted Musgrave.(AMS PR), Bill Lester didn’t test, but was there to support the team and help out.
Wednesday Testing: Ultra Motorsports racer #1-Ted Musgrave and Bobby Hamilton Racing driver #18-Chad Chaffin took turns making laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Wednesday, despite the high temperatures that kept speeds down. Chaffin tested Bobby Hamilton’s #4 machine while his boss watched from the sidelines. “Even with the heat, both teams are running around 31.90 seconds (173.793 mph),” Hamilton said. “We’ve come a long way working with these set-ups, and we’ve learned a lot.”(AMS PR)
FORD TEST: NASCAR Craftsman Truck driver #14-Rick Crawford and the folks at Ford Racing planned to use all of Thursday to learn the ins and outs of the new 2004 Ford F-150. Instead, they lost an engine only 2 hours into the test and had to pack up and head home. “We didn’t get nearly as much on-track time as we’d hoped for on our maiden voyage, but I think we still learned a lot,” Crawford said. “This truck has a lot of promise and potential. We were creeping up on it; every run was faster and faster. This truck has surely not reached its peak.” Still, in the 25 or so laps Crawford was able to run, he managed a top speed of around 170 mph. “Today was just about getting ready for 2004, trying to get a leg up,” said Robert Brooks, NASCAR truck program manager for Ford Racing. “We’ll give all of the information we gathered today and give it to the whole Ford family for next year. It wasn’t as much as we’d hoped for, but it’s still a great start.”(AMS PR)(8-28-2003)
- McFarland to make Truck Series debut: Mark McFarland, who has eight career Busch Series starts, will take a brief break from the Late Model division to make his first career start in the Truck Series on Sept. 4 at Richmond International Raceway. McFarland is closing in on the first of what he hopes will be two NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series championships. With five weeks of competition left in the season, McFarland holds an imposing lead in the Atlantic Region. But he’s not banking on it just yet. “It’s been going pretty good,” McFarland said. “We should clinch it if we have another good weekend.” McFarland, who normally races at Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas and Southampton Motor Speedway in Capron, also continues to be out front in the national rankings.(BGNRacing.com via the Winchester Star)(8-26-2003)
- #99 and Edwards get a full sponsor UPDATE: Roush Racing announced today that it has signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Superchips, Inc. Superchips will be the primary sponsor of the #99 Roush Racing Ford driven by Carl Edwards in the Truck Series, beginning this week at the O’Reilly 200 in Bristol, TN for the remainder of the 2003 season. Superchips will be an associate sponsor with Roush Racing for the remaining years of the agreement. Founded in England in 1983, Superchips, Inc. was one of the first companies specializing in the “tuning” of computer-controlled vehicles for more power. Vehicles programmed by Superchips have gone on to win in a variety of racing series throughout England. Since beginning U.S. operations in 1992, they’ve continued to excel in racing, along with providing more power for street driven vehicles. Today Superchips offers tuning for many different makes and models from exotic race cars to diesel powered tow vehicles. They are not currently used in NASCAR competition.(Roush Racing PR)(8-19-2003)
UPDATE – clarification: Superchips are a U.S.-based company located in Sanford, FL. There has been some confusion about their relationship with the England-based Superchips. They are owned by the same man, but are separate and independent entities.(Roush Racing PR)(8-23-2003)
- #46 Crew Chief Fined: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series crew chief Dennis Connor was fined for a jacking bolt violation during this week’s event at Bristol Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today. Connor, crew chief of the No. 2 Dodge of driver Jason Leffler, was fined $250 for the unapproved jacking bolt. NASCAR officials discovered the violation during Wednesday’s opening-day inspection. The crew chief was in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)(8-22-2003)
- Congrats: NASCAR driver/test driver, Joe Ruttman has another grandchild to spoil! Carrie and Tim Hartsell welcomed their son Timothy II on August 17 (9lbs 3oz, 22 inches). This birth was extra special for the family, because this was the first grandson. No word on when grandpa is going to buy little Tim his first helmet/Hans device.(Joe Ruttman site)(8-22-2003)
- Harvick names 2004 full time crew chief: Wally Rogers, who has been crew chief for NASCAR Busch Series driver Randy LaJoie and Evans Motorsports’ #7 Chevrolets since 2001, has been named to that position full time with the NASCAR Truck series team Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick will field in 2004. Kevin Harvick Inc. officials confirmed the hiring Wednesday. The team expects to hire and announce a driver for the team within the next several weeks. Rogers, 30, has two wins with LaJoie, at Daytona and Memphis, both during the 2001 season. Before joining the Evans team, Rogers worked as the car chief for Andy Petree Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolets. He also spent two seasons working in the International Race of Champions Series.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-21-2003)
- Leffler to be honored: On Sunday, August 24th, Jason Leffler [driver of the #0 NetZero Pontiac in Cup and #2 ASE Dodge in the CTS] will be the youngest driver every inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame located at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, WI. Leffler was the 1997,1998, & 1999 USAC National Midget champion and will join the likes of Parnelli Jones, Stan Fox, Mel Kenyon, Tony Stewart, and among others.(8-21-2003)
- Kvapil wins at Bristol: #16-Travis Kvapil took advantage of some hard luck by #6-Kevin Harvick to win the O’Reilly 200 Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. As the white flag was coming out, Harvick appeared to cut a right-front tire and hit the wall. Kvapil, who was closing on Harvick during the previous few laps, took the lead and the victory. For Kvapil, the series points leader, it’s his first win of 2003. The rest of the top five were: #59-Robert Pressley, #14-Rick Crawford, #62-Brendan Gaughan and #46-Dennis Setzer. Harvick was credited with a 10th-place finish. Pole Sitter, #1-Ted Musgrave finished 15th. The race was slowed six times by caution for 27 laps. There were three lead changes among four drivers.(ThatsRacin.com)
See results at ThatsRacin.com, Truckseries.com, Motorsports One, or/and NASCAR.com.(8-20-2003)
- Musgrave on pole at Bristol: #1-Ted Musgrave won the pole at Bristol Motor Speedway for Wednesday’s night O’Reilly 200 Presented by Valvoline MaxLife Truck Series race with a Truck Series track record of 123.562mph, his third pole of the season and 8th of his career. Outside pole goes to #62-Brendan Gaughan at 122.795. #50-Jon Wood, #29-Terry Cook and #88-Matt Crafton. Crafton’s 5th is his best career start.
See lineup for tonights race at: ThatsRacin.com, Truckseries.com or NASCAR.com.(8-20-2003)
- No Truck race for Fittipaldi: Due to sponsor conflicts [Dodge/Ford?] Christian Fittipaldi will not drive in the Truck Series race. Johnny Sauter will drive the #9 Ford in the Truck Series race and joins Kevin Harvick and Ted Musgrave as drivers doing the Triple, driving in the Cup, Busch and Truck Series races.(8-20-2003)
- #16 to Toyota? Sprague back to the CTS? UPDATE Sprague in a 2nd truck team: in a column on the Speed Channel site, Ray Dunlap mentions: Sometime in the early part of August, the Toyota brass is expected to announce which teams will be competing for them in the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The rumor mill has never been busier. Everything you are about to read is speculation on my [Dunlap’s] part. Call it a gut feeling. Just from the little things I have seen in the Truck Series garage, I think I can tell you which teams will soon be racing Tundra’s. One of the teams I expect to defect from Chevrolet to Toyota is the #16 IWX team driven by Travis Kvapil. They are a first-class operation and team manager Dave Fuge has been looking to run a two-truck effort for a few years now. Toyota plans to operate three individual two-truck-teams. After a big fat zero of a year in Winston Cup, look for Jack Sprague to join the IWX team. The first driver to secure a Toyota deal had to be Robert Huffman. His DASH Series experience should make him a fine addition to the Truck Series roster. He will make a great teammate for Dennis Setzer. Bringing a solid background to the negotiating table, Setzer is more or less a guaranteed victory for Toyota in their inaugural NASCAR season. So, that would be four of the teams, then Bill Davis racing must get the final two, right? Wrong. My gut is telling me that BDR is out in the cold on this deal. Another team that recently packed up its roots and headed toward Charlotte is Phoenix Racing owned by James Finch. His operation left its home base of Panama City, Fla., for the beaches of Spartanburg, S.C. I think Phoenix Racing will be the driver development arm of Toyota’s ultimate plan. Finch has been very good at finding new talent and his good friend Chip Gannasi is not bad at it either. The list of possible drivers for this team is endless.(in part from Speed Channel), so speculation has Toyota to the #16 team and a 2nd team truck for Sprague; the #46 team and a second team truck for Hoffman; and a two-truck Phoenix Racing team?(7-3-2003)
UPDATE: Three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Jack Sprague will join the 2002 Championship team, Xpress Motorsports, in a second truck for the 2004 season. For Sprague, it’s a return to the series where he’s enjoyed the most success. “I’m extremely happy to be able to drive for Xpress Motorsports next season,” said Sprague. “That team is all about racing and winning, that’s what I’m all about. All I want in racing is to know that when my truck is unloaded from the hauler, we have a real chance to win. I race to win races and race for championships. I had that in the truck series at Hendrick Motorsports and I think I’ve found that combination again with IWX Racing.” Sprague, 39, won championships in 1997, 1999, and 2001. Xpress Motorsports won the championship in 2002 with driver Mike Bliss. Currently, the team is second in this year’s title hunt with Travis Kvapil — only seven points back entering Wednesday’s race at Bristol. “This team is about winning races and winning championships,” said team manager Dave Fuge. “We did both last year and we’re in the championship hunt again this year. Jack adds strength to our team. He’s the only three-time series champion and second on the all-time win list, with 23. He is a very talented driver and we’re happy to have him joining us next year. With Jack on board, we are now working to put the right combination of manufacturer and sponsorship together to achieve our goals. Our commitment is to continue winning in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for years to come.”(Post/IWX PR)(8-19-2003)
- Fittipaldi To Do Double-Duty at Bristol: Petty Enterprises has announced that Christian Fittipaldi will compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, Aug. 20. Fittipaldi will drive the #9 Bugles/Wells Fargo Financial Ford for Ballew Motorsports. He is in his first season on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and will be seeking to gain experience on the high-banked short track that will transfer to his #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge for the Winston Cup Event. Petty Enterprises CEO Kyle Petty suggested the idea to help Fittipaldi gain race experience on the track before the Winston Cup race three nights later. Fittipaldi is excited about the opportunity to run two races at Bristol next week.. He last pulled double-duty at Pocono in July, entering the ARCA and Winston Cup events.. For the ARCA race he qualified third and was running in the top five before losing an engine.(Williams Company PR)(8-14-2003)
- Three Crew Chiefs Fined: NASCAR has announced fines against three Craftsman Truck Series crew chiefs for separate jacking bolt violations discovered prior to last week’s Federated Auto Parts 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Don Richeson, crew chief for the #52 Chevrolet of driver Mike Wallace, and Danny Gill, crew chief of the #46 Chevrolet of Dennis Setzer, were fined $500 each. Robert Nead, crew chief of the #1 Dodge of Ted Musgrave, received a $250 fine. NASCAR said the violations were discovered during Thursday’s opening-day inspection.(NASCAR PR)(8-13-2003)
- Larry Mac to own a truck team…for Skinner? UPDATE: Larry McReynolds says in a Foxsports.com Column: “In response to a report that I might become an owner in the Truck series with driver Mike Skinner, I have been approached and have had some conversations with some people about the future of the series. I’m a competitor. I’m a racer. I love to work on race cars. I am still committed to FOX Sports and SPEED Channel, but if I can be part of a series that I don’t broadcast, then it may even help my broadcast abilities.”(Foxsports.com)(8-4-2003)
UPDATE: Cal Wells may be heading back to the Toyota camp, at least for the truck tour, and crew chief-turned TV analyst Larry McReynolds could be the man running Wells’ new Toyota truck department, with Mike Skinner, according to team sources. It would be a reunion for the two men who worked so well together at Richard Childress’ operation for several years.(Winston Salem Journal)
UPDATE 2: however, while the McReynolds, Toyota, Skinner part is true, the Cal Wells part is supposedly off base and not part of the deal.(8-13-2003)
- Trucks back at Bristol – testing Monday: NASCAR grants each manufacturer two test dates at the track of their choice, and Dodge chose to hit Bristol on Monday. The turcks testing included #1-Ted Musgrave, #4-Bobby Hamilton, #18-Chad Chaffin, #2-Jason Leffler, #8-Bill Lester and #62-Brendan Gaughan. Most drivers were turning laps in the high 15 second range in race trim Monday. Gaughan said his team is already surpassing Greg Biffle’s 1999 pole time of 15.880, or 120.831mph. He said he expects the pole times to be at least a half second faster than the best times that were turned before the series stopped coming to BMS after the 1999 season.(Kingsport Times-News)(8-12-2003)
- Kingsland to attempt Bristol: Casey Kingsland may not have qualified for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race last Friday at Indianapolis Raceway Park, but he obviously made an impression on series officials. Kingsland, a Las Vegas native, will be allowed to attempt to qualify for the Aug. 20 Truck Series race at the steeply banked Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway — an unusual move by the sanctioning body. Drivers with no experience in NASCAR rarely are allowed to race at the half-mile track that is considered one of the toughest to drive on the circuit. “(NASCAR) said they never let any other rookies into Bristol, but he’s had a lot of half-mile experience (in the Mechanix Wear Speed Truck Challenge) and he handled himself well (at IRP) and they said they would go ahead and let him (attempt Bristol) so he could keep making his progression in NASCAR,” Kingsland’s father, Roger, said. Because he did not make the race at IRP, Kingsland would not have been allowed to attempt the Sept. 4 race at the three-quarter-mile Richmond International Raceway — the next race in his five-race audition with MLB Motorsports. If he had not raced at Richmond, Kingsland would not have been allowed to attempt the Sept. 27 truck race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(Las Vegas Sun)(8-10-2003)
- New Team: it was reported after the Nashville Truck race that a big announcement was forthcoming about a new team to be owned by a former basketball player from Michigan State, who played in the NBA…and while his number was not revealed the camera floated over and focused on the #32. Sounds like Magic Johnson to me….(8-8-2003)
- Yaley at Phoenix?: J.J. Yeley could make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut with the Dodge Ultra Motorsports team later this season, possibly in October at Phoenix International Raceway.(Arizona Republic)(8-8-2003)
- DW, Mikey and the Stooges: Michael Waltrip, Inc. (MWI) announced today that Darrell Waltrip (D.W.) will compete for his third NASCAR Craftsmen Truck Series race this year at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, October 18. Darrell will be behind the wheel of his younger brother’s #17 Aaron’s/Three Stooges Chevrolet race truck, the latest addition to The Three Stooges 75th Anniversary racing program that has the vaudevillian troupe climbing aboard several race cars in the National Hot Rod Association and NASCAR circuits. Action Performance Companies Inc., C3 Entertainment Inc. and Global Icons came up with the idea of bringing the Three Stooges to the races. In addition to The Three Stooges truck, Michael Waltrip’s #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine, NASCAR Busch Series entry will also promote the Three Stooges 75th anniversary. All goofiness aside, the Aaron’s/Three Stooges truck will be one to take seriously according to truck owner Michael Waltrip.
“Darrell did a heck of a job in Martinsville in April, so why not give the guy another chance to kick up his heels? Darrell has not lost his competitive spirit and after finishing seventh last spring, I think D.W.’s fans, as well as the Sherrills Ford Posse, would love another shot at the trophy. It is just the perfect situation,” Michael continued. “Ken Butler with Aaron’s, and all the folks associated with “The Three Stooges” made the decision to run this truck an easy one. The success and all the good times had by the driver and crew thus far led us to expand our truck team to a three-race schedule verses the original two races we announced early in the season. We are proud to work with all the parties involved; furthermore, we are grateful that the Aaron’s/Three Stooges truck will let Darrell continue doing what he loves to do, race.”
“We had such a good time at Martinsville the first time,” said Darrell. I was thrilled Ken Butler was kind enough to step up and let us do all this again. Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership is in the business of making dreams come true. This is certainly a dream come true for me to run the truck again at Martinsville. I think the driver’s seat makes me a better broadcaster on Sunday and it keeps me in touch with the sport that I so dearly love. Bobby Kennedy (MWI crew chief) runs a top notch team, so it’s pretty neat to not only drive, but to get the chance to be aggressive again.”
Action is the exclusive supplier of replica die-cast collectibles, including the #17 Aaron’s/ Three Stooges Chevrolet Silverado race truck and car. Sales of Stooges-themed die-cast will be handled in Action’s usual settings including its 18-member ARC distributor network and its exclusive collector’s club, RCCA. To locate an ARC distributor, please call 1-800-411-8404. To join RCCA, call 1-800-952-0708 or visit www.goracing.com. A limited amount of autographed trucks and cars will also be available on www.michaelwaltrip.com. For more information on Aaron’s visit www.shopaarons.com. A DW autographed 1:24th scale Stooges trucks will be available exclusively at www.dwstore.com.(MWI PR), see an image of the truck on my 2003 Truck Series Schemes page.(8-8-2003)
- Edwards wins at Nashville: #99-Rookie Carl Edwards won his second NASCAR Truck series race in a row and third of the season Friday night, taking a victory in the Federated Auto Parts 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. #1-Ted Musgrave finished second, #14-Rick Crawford third and #75-David Starr fourth. #62-Brendan Gaughan, the series points leader, was fifth. Edwards, in a Roush Racing Ford, also won last weekend at Indianapolis Raceway Park. He moved to the front Friday after a pre-race engine change put him at the rear of the field.(ThatsRacin.com)
For race results see ThatsRacin.com, Truckseries.com, Motorsports One and NASCAR.com.(8-8-2003)
- Chaffin wins pole at Nashville: Dodge takes the top five starting spot as #18-Chad Chaffin won the pole at Nashville Superspeedway with a speed of 156.844mph for tonight’s Federated Auto Parts 200. The rest of the top five are: #62-Brendan Gaughan, #4-Bobby Hamilton, #1-Ted Musgrave, and #2-Jason Leffler.
Results/Lineups at ThatsRacin.com, Truckseries.com or NASCAR.com.(8-8-2003)
- The Guitar: When the winner of the Federated Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Nashville Superspeedway rolls into victory lane on Friday, August 8, he’ll join an exclusive group as he receives the one-of-a-kind trophy – a Gibson Les Paul guitar designed by motorsports artist Sam Bass. Bass started with a beautiful Classic model six-string electric guitar, to which he applied a mural depicting the Nashville’s nighttime skyline with a purple haze of moonglow hanging over a speeding Craftsman truck competitor. “I picked the purple tone of the sky because it worked well with the other colors and because it’s a night race,” Bass explained. “At the same time, I guess we can consider it my homage to Jimi Hendrix.” The guitar is the final in a series of four Bass has designed for the 2003 Nashville race season. Only six drivers have taken home one of the unique guitars during the two years the artist has been creating them: David Green (2002 NASCAR Busch series), two-time winner Scott Riggs (’02 and ’03 Busch), Jack Sprague (’02 Busch), Gil de Ferran (’03 Indy Racing League), Alex Barron (’02 IRL) and Mike Bliss (’02 Craftsman Truck series). Because he is an accomplished guitar player as well as collector, Bass could not be more enthusiastic in his approach to each design. “I want each guitar trophy I create to be unique to that race and to that winner,” said Bass. “The only problem is I never want to part with them when I’m done.” For more information about Sam Bass’ motorsports art and guitar collection, log on to www.sambass.com or phone (704) 455-6915.(PR)(8-8-2003)
- Starr might fit well for Aikman-Staubach team: Hall of Fame Racing, the new NASCAR team being formed by former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, still hopes to run one or two cars in the Busch Series next year. One driver who would appear to be a perfect fit is NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racer David Starr. His name alone is a great marketing tool for a team owned by former Cowboys, but Starr also has a few other things going for him. He’s a respected racer with the talent to win, he has the looks and personality that sponsors love, and he’s a Texan who lives just down the road from Texas Stadium.(Dallas Morning News)(8-7-2003)
- Hemphill in the #15 for the rest of 2003: Ryan Hemphill has been tabbed to drive the #15 VOKAL Clothing Dodge for the remainder of the 2003 Truck Series season. The 21 year-old Apollo, PA native takes over the reigns from NASCAR veteran Mike Skinner who has rejoined the NASCAR Winston Cup ranks. Hemphill has made six previous Truck Series starts with a best finish of 10th at South Boston last year while driving for Bobby Hamilton Racing. “I am thrilled to be driving for Billy Ballew Motorsports,” Hemphill said. “Billy has good equipment and good people working on his trucks, but he just hasn’t had the finishes he deserves. I am hoping that with all of us pitching in together we can get some really good finishes and help build this program together.” Team owner Billy Ballew is excited about the prospects that Hemphill brings. He acknowledges the benefits of the recent four-race stint with Skinner at the helm while casting his eye towards the future. “Having Mike Skinner come in and help us evaluate our program has been a huge plus for our team,” Ballew stated. “I can’t thank Mike enough for his willingness to assist us. Mike and I have even discussed the possibility of running him in some additional truck races later in the year if funding should become available. Right now it is time for us to start building a future for our organization, and I think adding Ryan as our driver is an excellent first step. I received a number of calls from people in the racing industry who have extremely high regard for Ryan’s talent and his personality. He is an energetic young man who can come in and help us continue to develop. I remain committed to making this team a competitive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team and I think Ryan can help get us there.”(Billy Ballew Motorsports)(8-6-2003)
- Speed Broadcasters switch with Bobby Hamilton Racing: The Speed Channel NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series broadcast team and the drivers from Bobby Hamilton Racing will switch roles as Speed’s Rick Allen and Ray Dunlap will be behind the wheel of BHR’s race vehicles at Nashville Speedway USA on Wednesday. Speed’s Barry Dodson and Phil Parsons, will act as crew chiefs. Bobby Hamilton and Chad Chaffin will be calling the race from the fairgrounds broadcast booth and Bill Lester will provide the pit reporting. “This is a great opportunity to understand what is going on from a driver’s point of view so that I can better relay the information to the fans during the broadcast,” Allen said. “Since I have been involved in racing I have always tried to learn as much as I can about what I am talking about. However, I’m a little nervous that Bobby or Chad may do a better job in the booth than I do,” Allen added. “I’m sure they aren’t worried about job security with me in the truck.” The footage will be shown as part of Speed’s live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Friday night at 9:00pm/et.(Speed Channel)(8-6-2003)
- Driver Withdraws from Nashville: Capital City Motorsports driver Greg Sarff will not compete in the ARCA Series race and the Truck Series event from Nashville Superspeedway this weekend, as an automobile accident last Saturday has halted Sarff due to the extent of his injury. Sarff, a native of Ohio has withdrawn his #38 Quaker Steak & Lube Ford Taurus from the ARCA Series event, but another driver, which will be announced later this week, will pilot the #83 Quaker Steak & Lube Ford in the Truck Series event set for Friday night.(Capital City Motorsports PR)(8-6-2003)
- Kickout for the Chevy’s UPDATE: NASCAR is expected to grant Chevrolets in the Craftsman Truck series an additional half-inch of kickout in the noses of their vehicles this week. Chevy drivers have been complaining about a lack of downforce compared with the Dodge trucks that have been dominating the series.(Kansas City Star)(8-4-2003)
UPDATE: NASCAR announced an amendment of the rule governing the measurement of the 2003 Chevrolet truck front air dam in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, effective Aug. 6. The rule, 20B“3.1.1, covers the leading edge of the air dam “ or kick-out “ as it extends forward of the front bumper. Chevrolets from the 2003 model year may not extend more than three inches forward of the leading edge of the bumper under the amended rule. The previous measurement for the 2003 model was 2½ inches.(NASCAR PR)(8-6-2003)
- Sockwell to sport AMW decals: America’s Most Wanted/Body Dynamics Racing along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Lowdermilk Electric and TDS will adorn the #54 Truck of Brian Sockwell at IRP in Indiana on August 1, 2003. Brian will feature missing child Tabitha Tuders, which is considered endangered missing from Nashville, TN and went missing on April 29, 2003. Brian Sockwell will be competing in his #54 Chevy Truck with the AMW logos and Tabitha Pictures for a second time, the first being at Lowes Motor Speedway in May. This will be his 3rd start of the year and he is looking for a great run! “I am looking forward to representing Tabitha and the America’s Most Wanted/Body Dynamics Racing program once again, I think we can do well and gain exposure for her in hopes of bringing her home. It is a feel good project.” Stated Sockwell. This is a marketing partnership between Brian Sockwell and the America’s Most Wanted racing team to gain exposure for both organizations. Just as Brian Sockwell is looking for a primary sponsor for his Craftsmen Truck Racing Team, the America’s Most Wanted racing team has been actively searching for a primary sponsor for their Busch team for the 2003 racing season. “This will be a great partnership for us both, stated Scott Davis, Director of Motorsports Affairs for America’s Most Wanted Motorsports, “It will accomplish quite a few things, such as create exposure for Brian, his racing team and sponsors, generate more awareness for the America’s Most Wanted Motorsports missing children’s project and most importantly offer exposure for Tabitha in hopes of bringing her home”. Along with this project The Decal Source will be supplying the decals for the project. They have worked with Brian Sockwell for about a year as well as supported Body Dynamics Racing and America’s Most Wanted Motorsports. For information on Tabitha call (800-CRIME-TV, (800) THE-LOST or the Nashville Metro Police Department (Tennessee) 1-615-862-8600.(Body Dynamics Racing)(8-1-2003)
- Edwards wins at IRP: One moment rookie #99-Carl Edwards was fighting hard to hold off veteran #14-Rick Crawford, and the next Edwards was sailing to his second Truck Series victory of the season. Crawford was closing fast on Edwards with nine of 200 laps remaining in Friday night’s Power Stroke Diesel 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, when Crawford suddenly slowed on the frontstretch, his Ford out of fuel. Edwards then gained a two-second advantage over his next-closest competitor, #2-Jason Leffler, who also ran out of fuel. Edwards ended up holding off a fast-charging #16-Travis Kvapil by 0.617 seconds for the win. #4-Bobby Hamilton finished third, #62-Brendan Guaghan fourth and #50-Jon Wood completed the top-five. Kvapil takes over the series points lead fron Gaughan. The race was slowed six times by caution for 25 laps. There were three lead changes among three drivers. #17-Darrell Waltrip finished 29th with suspension problems in the Give the Kids the World/Tide Chevy.(Thatsracin.com)
For results see Thatsracin.com, Truckseries.com, Motorsports One or NASCAR.com.(8-1-2003)
- Cook wins pole at IRP: #29-Terry Cook won the pole at Indianapolis Raceway Park for the Power Stroke Diesel 200 with a speed of 107.777mph. Starting on the outside pole is #2-Jason Leffler at 107.697, the rest of the top five are #18-Chad Chaffin, #1-Ted Musgrave and #99-Carl Edwards. Ten drivers failed to make the race. Cook also won the pole at IRP last year.
For lineups see Thatsracin.com, Truckseries.com or nascar.com.(8-1-2003)
Born On Date: September 4, 2003
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