December 2003 Truck Series News Archive
- Changes at Ultra: hearing that Ultra Motorsports and GM Tim Kohuth have parted ways, no word on the new GM or what Kohuth’s plans are.(12-30-2003)
- Whitney Racing Heads To NASCAR: Ann Arbor’s Michigan based Whitney Racing will head to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on a limited schedule in 2004 with upcoming driver Jimmy Thiel behind the wheel. The team is building a Chevrolet Silverado from the ground up, and has locked CCIMNet powered by Catylist as a sponsor for some of the events. The team is also expected to return to the ARCA RE/MAX Series in selected events, in the familiar #09 Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix. Dusty Whitney, the car owner has also not ruled out the possibility of putting the 24-year old Thiel in a NASCAR Busch Series event next season.(Catchfence)(12-28-2003)
- Crew Chief for Kvapil? UPDATE: hearing that #24-Travis Kvapil’s crew chief will Eric Phillips. Phillips is formally Nemco Motorsports crew chief.(12-21-2003)
UPDATE: [Bang Racing] just hired for Kvapil, Eric Phillips, as one of the best kept secrets in the Busch Series. He was a big part of the backbone behind Joe Nemechek’s team. He won two races in the second half of 2003 as Greg Biffle’s crew chief.(FoxSports)(12-24-2003)
- Atlanta Truck Race Gets a Sponsor: Atlanta Motor Speedway officials announced that EasyCare, a leader in the vehicle service contracts industry, will sponsor the speedway’s inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck race on Saturday, March 13. The race, which will be held during the March 12-14 Golden Corral 500 weekend, will be known as the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200. EasyCare is a leading brand for APCO (Automobile Protection Corporation), which markets and administers vehicle service contracts (extended warranty) on all makes of cars, truck and RV’s. Founded in 1984, nearly two million vehicles have carried the EasyCare or other APCO administered service contracts or warranties, including Volvo VIP, Mazda MEPP, Land Rover Assured, HondaCare and the new Jaguar Extra Mile program . The APCO organization has been recognized by regional and national publications from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to Forbes magazine as one of Georgia and America’s best performing companies. APCO/EasyCare has been involved in racing since becoming a sponsor of the Joe Gibbs Racing organization in 1995. APCO and EasyCare sponsored the ARCA race at Atlanta from 1996-1999, as well as the ARCA and Goody’s Dash events at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the past seven years.
Tickets are on sale now for all three days of racing excitement during the March 12-14 Golden Corral 500 weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The weekend kicks off with Georgia Power Qualifying Day on Friday, March 12, as NASCAR’s finest will be pushing to break the seven-year-old qualifying record at the circuit’s fastest track. The action heats up on Saturday, March 13, for the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200. The weekend will culminate on Sunday, March 14, with the running of the Golden Corral 500. Weekend ticket packages for the Golden Corral 500 weekend start at just $59. For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, or call Ticketmaster.(AMS PR)(12-23-2003)
- Reutimann tests; Waltrip team has a sponsor…but? All David Reutimann wanted for Christmas was two days to test his Waltrip Racing Toyota truck for the first time, but inclement weather limited him to half a day of lapping the USA International Speedway track in Lakeland, FL on Monday. Reutimann will drive full time in the NASCAR Truck series in Toyota’s first year. “The truck was great. It was running fast,” Reutimann said. “The only thing that got us was the dadgum weather.” Toyota, trying to compete quickly with established Chevrolet and Ford teams, arranged a test Jan. 3-4 at Talladega, six weeks before regularly scheduled sessions at Daytona International Speedway. “They’re trying to get the speedway program up, and we’re a little behind,” Reutimann said. “We would have been ready for Daytona, but it’ll be pushing it to be ready for Talladega.”
Team owner Darrell Waltrip last week signed a sponsor for Reutimann’s truck, but no announcement was made. Waltrip saw Reutimann drive for NEMCO Motorsports in the Busch series, but Waltrip’s brother, Michael, suggested he put him in a truck for the first time.
“I had talked to Michael and asked him to give me some idea who I should be looking at, and he immediately mentioned David,” Darrell Waltrip said. “I didn’t know much about him, but I started checking into him and I like him a lot. He’s a hands-on guy, he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty.” And then there a couple of traits Waltrip especially admires. “He comes from a racing family,” he said. “And it always seems like those guys do well. Plus, he’s good-looking and young. I think he can help us, and we can help him.”(St Petersburg Times)(12-21-2003)
- Jason Hogan Tests a NASCAR Craftsman Truck: Jason Hogan, NASCAR Southeast Series driver, was asked to test a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ride alongside of Rusty Wallace’s son, Steven and other competitors. Hogan tested the Billy Ballew #15 at Peach State Speedway in Georgia on December 11-12 and by all indications, the test went very well for everyone involved. The group would like to put a deal together to run a part-time schedule, starting with the inaugural Craftsman Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 13. “I’ve done some big Super Late Model races with Richie Wauters and he set up this whole test deal,” said the 21-year-old Hogan. “I’ve also known Billy (Ballew) for several years, so you can bet I was wide open for the opportunity they gave me. These days, just to get a test with a team is an accomplishment for your career. In racing today, there are very few people who will put someone in one of their cars or trucks when they’ve never driven for them before. It was a blast, but even more, it was a real learning experience. It was the first time I’ve been behind the wheel of a Craftsman Truck and it was a lot of fun to drive. I really liked the feel of the radial tires and I took to them pretty quickly. It was actually a little more fun to drive than my Super Late Model and anyone who has been in one of those cars knows how much fun they are.”
Wauters, a veteran crew chief in the NASCAR ranks echoed Hogan’s thoughts. “He was real fast and real impressive. NASCAR had a bunch of drivers they were testing at Jefferson (where Peach State Speedway is located in Georgia) and they all looked good, but Jason and Steven were the best of the bunch. Jason is a good kid; I think he has a lot of potential if given the chance.”
It was the first time Hogan had ever been behind the wheel of a “premier series” car on a short track. For the past year, Hogan has worked as a driving instructor with the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Atlanta, Talladega and Nashville Speedway’s. He has roughly 2,500 laps at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. “The Craftsman Truck Series is logically the next step I need to take. The new NASCAR Touring deal was built to have Elite racers move up to the Winston West or Busch North Series, but that isn’t feasible to us because of our location, so the Truck Series is where I need to go. It’s producing some of the best racing out there today and it has a great TV package with SPEED Channel. There are a lot of talented drivers in the Truck Series right now and I just want a chance to compete with them.” Jason and the Billy Ballew team (Ballew’s team finished in the top-20 in CTS points in 2003) are looking for sponsorship assistance to run the March 13th Atlanta race and possibly more if feasible. Anyone interested in getting involved with Jason can find out more about him at www.jasonhogan.com.(51 Sports PR)(12-19-2003)
- Team looking for Hauler driver/fabricator: Montgomery Motorsports is looking for a full time transport driver and fabricator for the upcoming season. The team is running the entire Craftman Truck Series in 2004 and beyond. Interested parties contact Keith Batson at 615-443-7503 or 615-481-4268.(BGNRacing.com)(12-17-2003)
- Musgrave 4th Qtr Pocono Spirit Award winner: Ted Musgrave has been selected as the fourth-quarter winner of the National Motorsports Press Association/Pocono Spirit award. The award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity as well as sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Musgrave, an Evanston, Ill., native who will turn 48 on Thursday, drove an Ultra Motorsports Dodge to three wins and third place in this year’s Craftsman Truck Series while being treated for cancer. Other quarterly winners for 2003 included Richard Childress, Bob Latford and Ward Burton. The overall winner of this year’s award is scheduled to be announced Jan. 18, 2004, in Charlotte during the NMPA’s annual banquet.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-16-2003)
- Sponsor for BANG #24: Bang Racing announced Line-X will sponsor the #24 Toyota Tundra truck team with driver Travis Kvapil in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for 2004 and beyond. “LINE-X is a proven leader of spray-on bed-liners, and we feel their pioneering spirit combined with our innovative approach to marketing and passion to win is a perfect match,” said Alex Meshkin, the owner of Bang Racing. “We have structured a package that allows LINE-X to participate as the primary sponsor for a large number of races and as an associate sponsor for the remaining races which will give other companies the opportunity to team up with the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion, Travis Kvapil.”
“What a great opportunity for Line-X,” said Claudio Burton, Vice President and founder of Line-X. “We’re thrilled to be back in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. And with all four major truck manufacturers competing this year, it’s sure to be a ‘helluva’ exciting season. We look forward to our partnership with Toyota and are proud to sponsor Bang Racing, the only team consisting of both past and present Craftsman truck series championship drivers.” In addition to partnering with Line-X, team owner Alex Meshkin is also looking forward to unprecedented interaction with Bang’s fans. “Our integrated marketing vehicle will give our sponsors the competitor’s edge in marketing and connect them with the fan in a unique way that has not been accomplished in this sport before,” Meshkin said. “But we are also about winning, and that is one reason we chose the drivers that we did. We intend to be very competitive next season, and we plan to win. Simply put, our goal is to attract fans, attract consumers for our sponsors and offer our fans more racing excitement.” Bang Racing is a dynamic race team offering a unique opportunity for sponsors to market their brands in the world of NASCAR motorsports. For further information about the team and sponsorship opportunities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Line-X is recognized as the world’s leading spray-on truck bedliner company, with over 400 franchises located across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Asia, Central and South America and Europe. Line-X is ranked as a top 500 franchise opportunity, and the industry leader in quality and customer satisfaction. Specializing in polyurethane, solventless coatings, Line-X applications extend into a wide range of fields, including the automotive, construction, agricultural and military sectors. The Line-X Paxcon was the only coating to pass all US Airforce bomb blast mitigation tests and was subsequently utilized by the United States government as a structural retrofiting for the Pentagon after the 9/11 tragedy. Line-X technology has forever revolutionized the coatings industry and is poised for future success and growth in this area.(BANG Racing PR)(12-16-2003)
- #63 Team helping out: MB Motorsports has teamed up with the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Family Arena, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and .38 Special to help fight breast cancer. MB Motorsports, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team based in Foristell, Mo., is providing a comemorative hood from one of its trucks to be signed by members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special during their show at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Monday, Dec. 8.
A truck with a replica hood will be displayed in front of the Arena prior to the show and the actual hood bearing the bands’ autographs will be given away as part of a raffle during the show. All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the St. Louis affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The hood will include the logos of: Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, the St. Louis affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Family Arena, MB Motorsports, and Ford Racing.
Beverly Mittler, the wife of MB Motorsports owner/crew chief Mike Mittler, is a breast cancer survivor. MB Motorsports is dedicated to doing its part to promote breast cancer awareness.(MB Motorsports PR)(11-25-2003)
UPDATE: MB Motorsports, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team based in Foristell, Mo., teamed up with southern-rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special during their concert Monday night at the Family Arena in an effort to promote breast cancer awareness. A commemorative hood from one of MB Motorsports’ #63 Fords was autographed by both bands and raffled to a near-capacity crowd on-hand for a night of great rock n’ roll. All proceeds from the raffle were donated to the St. Louis Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
The hood contained the logos of the St. Louis Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, the Family Arena, MB Motorsports, and Ford. Also appearing on the hood were MB Motorsports sponsors Dave Porter Truck Sales, Advanced Signs, and Diamond III Marketing, LLC.
Beverly Mittler, wife of team owner Mike Mittler and a breast cancer survivor, attended the event and was pleased with the interest provided by the unique fundraiser. “It was a wonderful evening. People were just swarming the information desk for chances to win the hood,” she said. “I just want to thank the ladies from the Komen Foundation who were there, the staff of the Family Arena, and all the volunteers who helped make this such a great night in the fight against breast cancer.”
Beverly and Mike were also introduced to Lynyrd Skynyrd and had the opportunity to talk to them, as well as have their pictures taken with the legendary band. “It was a dream come true for me,” said Mike Mittler. “I have always been a big fan of theirs and to find out they are such a great bunch of guys and gals really made it a special night.
Over the past 5 years, Komen St. Louis has raised more than $4.6 million with the Race for the Cure® held in June and through various events sponsored by generous individuals and organizations in the St. Louis community. 75 percent of all funds raised will stay in the community to educate, treat and screen women for breast cancer. The balance of 25 percent will be used to fund research. For more information on breast cancer awareness, visit the official Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation web site at www.komen.org, or the St. Louis affiliate at www.stlouisraceforthecure.org.(MB Motorsports PR)(12-15-2003)
- Dash driver to attempt Daytona? hearing the former Goodys Dash Driver Edward Howell will drive a truck in Daytona owned by Danny Bagwell.(12-12-2003)
- Milwaukee to Light ’em up: NASCAR will follow in CART’s tracks and run nighttime races at the Milwaukee Mile next year. Boosted by positive reaction last May to the first nighttime race in CART Champ Car history, the venerable track has shifted the timing on its NASCAR weekend, as well, taking both Craftsman Truck Series and Busch Series races under the lights in 2004. After months of discussion between Mile and NASCAR officials, the move became official Tuesday at a board of directors meeting for the State Fair Park, which owns the facility. The 200-mile NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race is now set for Friday, June 25, and the 250-mile Busch Series event for Saturday, June 26. The Mile had contemplated racing the trucks at night in the past as a way to boost attendance for that division. Discussions with NASCAR led to taking both races under the lights. CART rented the lights last season at a cost estimated at nearly $500,000. The Mile will pay Musco Lighting for its NASCAR weekend. Customers have already received ticket information with the old, afternoon race dates for NASCAR and will be provided updates soon. Also, the Mile plans to hold a meeting for neighbors to deal with questions and concerns about nighttime racing. In the 10 years since NASCAR returned to the Mile, the race weekend has at times coincided with the Winston Cup Series’ Pepsi 400, a popular Saturday night race in Daytona Beach, FL. That won’t happen in 2004 – Nextel Cup is in Sonoma, CA. Other race weekends on the Mile schedule next season, in addition to CART and NASCAR, are the Indy Racing League July 23-25 and American Speed Association Aug. 27-29.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(12-10-2003)
- Crawford going over seas: Truck Series Driver Rick Crawford Seeks a Helping Hand From Community For American Troops as he will Travel To Middle East To Visit With Troops Later This Month. He’ll be traveling with several other NASCAR personalities and representatives from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and Speedway Children’s Charities. The trip, which will leave Dec. 29, is scheduled to include stops in Iraq, Pakistan, Qatar and Kuwait. In an attempt to raise solider morale during the holiday season, Crawford is requesting that people in Charlotte and the surrounding communities donate one of two items that the troops have requested international phone cards or disposable cameras. “Our service men and women are halfway across the world with limited access to family and friends,” said Crawford. “Some have been on patrol for months, receiving phone cards and disposable cameras helps our troops convey the message of what they’re actually going through abroad.” Circle Bar Racing is working with local businesses including the Concord area Sears store, Alabama Grill at Concord Mills and Lowe’s Motor Speedway to coordinate drop box locations for these desired goods. More info on my Racing Charities page.(12-11-2003)
- Driver to test with the #15: On December 10, Maritime Pro Stock driver Marty Prevost, at the request of Groupo Mundo, Inc. a Public Relations and Marketing firm located in Atlanta is heading to Peach State Speedway (located just outside of Atlanta), to try out as a driver for the NASCAR Craftsman truck teams they represent. Grupo Mundo, Inc. in a newly formed partnership with one of the world’s most recognizable sports figures has plans to develop a new NASCAR Craftsman Series race team, which will feature a minority driver. Groupo Mundo, Inc. currently represents Grammy award winning rapper Nelly. Nelly became involved with NASCAR racing this year as a primary sponsor and co-owner of the #15 NASCAR Craftsman Series truck with veteran NASCAR team owner Billy Ballew. Groupo Mundo’s Michael Warmack has said this team will also be looking for a minority driver. Prevost will spend December 10th, 11th and 12th testing the #15 Craftsman Series Truck on Peach State Speedway’s ½ mile oval. Accompanying Prevost will be veteran driver Cy Harvey. Harvey, a calming influence on the sometime aggressive driving Prevost, is well known on the racing circuits of the southern US and has racing experience at Peach State Speedway.
Who is Prevost? he began his racing career in 1992 in the Hobby Stock division (then called Dukes) and in four short years he joined the Pro Stock division. During his early Pro Stock years Prevost competed with the “MASCAR Tour” and the “International Pro Stock Challenge” series (IPSC). Over the years Prevost has become popular with local race fans and has earned the respect of his fellow drivers throughout the Maritime Provinces and New England. He is currently competing with the “CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour” and the “Pro All Stars Series” (PASS). Prevost gained the attention of Groupo Mundo as a result of the impressive season he had this year racing with the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour. Prevost picked up his first win with the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour on July 26th after he dominated 99 of 100 laps of the “Atlantic Dodge Dealers 100” at Scotia SpeedWorld. The 2003 season also saw Prevost pick up a second place finish at Shediac’s Centre For Speed, sit on the pole for two races, win three qualifying heat races, receive two “Halfway Leader” awards, one “Driver of the Week” award and finish the season fifth overall in “Most Laps Led”. Impressive considering Prevost ran a limited schedule of only six races on the tour this season.( maritimemotorsports.com)(12-8-2003)
- Testing at Talladega: NASCAR held its second test for the Craftsman Truck Series last week at Talladega. The first open test at Homestead following the season finale was used to size up the competition — especially because Toyota is entering the series. The latest trial was held to determine what, if anything, can be adjusted on the trucks to avoid the possibility of adopting restrictor plates when the series debuts at Daytona.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(12-8-2003)
- Keselowski To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award From Michigan Automobile Racing Fan Club: The Officers and Board of Directors for the Michigan Automobile Racing Fan Club have selected Bob Keselowski to receive the MARFC/Eddie Sachs Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award for over 30 years of auto racing Saturday, January 17, 2003, during the 38th MARFC Annual Awards Banquet held this year at the Imperial House Banquet Hall in Clinton Township, Michigan.
“Bob Keselowski has been due this for quite a while,” said MARFC President Bill Barnhart. “Each year we pick one outstanding individual for our top award which is the Eddie Sachs Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Eddie Sachs III. The Board of Directors selected Bob because of his achievements in racing over 30 years while operating out of Michigan. Because of his racing success as a local racer, an ARCA RE/MAX champion and representing Michigan nationally by fielding and guiding a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series truck team out of Lake Orion (MI), we are excited to honor Bob for his accomplishments in racing.”
In 168 career ARCA starts, Keselowski notched 24 event wins, 26 poles, 66 Top-5 and 88 Top-10 finishes and was crowned the 1989 ARCA RE/MAX Series champion. The Rochester Hills, MI native competed in the series from 1985 to 1994 joining the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as a competitor in 1995. Keselowski went on to score one event win, two Top-5 and 15 Top-10 finishes in his short NCTS driving career.
“It is a great honor to be recognized and to receive the MARFC/Eddie Sachs Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award for accomplishments in racing,” said Keselowski. “The fans in Michigan are great to K-Automotive and these are fans that we have had for years that have followed our growth. As we developed, my first career highlight was winning the track championship at Toledo in 1983. The same thing my son just won and he will also be recognized during the MARFC Annual Awards Banquet. It was the first major thing I had done in my career. I won a few local races, but that was the first championship of any kind and the first notable thing I could hang on the wall.”
“Years went by and our biggest goal to accomplish was to run Winston Cup and just be involved with NASCAR any way we could,” continued Keselowski. “Once the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series started up, we were happy to become involved. On a Thursday night under the Richmond lights in 1997, I won a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. It was a great feeling to win in front of the Winston Cup crowd and all the media. I couldn’t ask for a better story script. Then after my driving career ended it was a big accomplishment to become a winning crew chief. I’ve covered about every aspect of racing from the floor sweeper to the five year old son to the mechanic to the crew chief to the driver to the owner.”
Today, Keselowski along with his wife Kay, and brother Ron own K-Automotive which fields the #29 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry. “My brother Ron and I both have been around racing for 50 years because we were born into this sport,” said Keselowski, crew chief of the #29 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry. “When my family started racing, we knew nothing about it. My dad was a mechanic in a Ford dealership. We have done it as a family and never altered or changed it. My dad started this in 1956 and my mom still lives in the same house I was born and raised in. I live a half a mile from there and we still frequent the same tracks we ran with my dad. Now I am doing that with my sons. I didn’t realize that many years have went by. It’s been a pretty neat life and career. I don’t have any regrets except my dad hasn’t been around for the last 20 years to see where we’ve gone.”(K-Automotive Motorsports PR)(12-2-2003)
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