December 2004 Truck Series News Archive


  • Did ya Know? Eight drivers have won a race in each of the National Series: Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Trucks:
    Greg Biffle
    Mark Martin
    Bobby Hamilton
    Kevin Harvick
    Terry Labonte
    Jamie McMurray
    Ken Schrader
    Jimmy Spencer
    NOTE: Geoffrey Bodine’s Truck win was an exhibition race [Homestead] and doesn’t count.
    AND Five drivers have won a pole AND a race in each of the National Series:
    Greg Biffle
    Terry Labonte
    Jamie McMurray
    Jimmy Spencer
    Ken Schrader.(10-23-2004)

  • Foyt to trucks and BAM: Larry Foyt is trying to put together a team to race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2005. Foyt also hopes to race in Nextel Cup as Ken Schrader’s teammate at BAM Racing if the team can find additional sponsorship.(Dallas Morning News)(12-31-2004)
  • Todd Bodine has truck ride UPDATE: While Todd Bodine won’t be back with the [#30 with Chad Chaffin] Germain/Arnold Racing Craftsman Truck Series team next year, he will return to the series in a Toyota with a different team. “He’s got a Toyota truck deal,” Geoffrey Bodine, Todd’s older brother, said Wednesday. “So, he’s happy.” Todd joined the newly formed Germain/Arnold team in September and won back-to back races, but Geoffrey said his brother couldn’t come to an agreement with them for 2005. “He tried to make it work with them, but they just wouldn’t do the things that he thought needed to be done, so he’s doing something else,” Geoffrey said. Germain/Arnold Racing announced Monday it has signed Chad Chaffin to drive the #30 truck that Bodine drove so successfully this year. Todd Bodine could not be reached for comment Wednesday. “Toyota wants him. He’s their No. 1 driver right now,” Geoffrey said. Geoffrey didn’t want Todd’s new team [Fiddleback?] to be made public until an official announcement. He did say the team has competed in the Truck Series and will be rebuilding its operation to run the Toyota. Toyota, a big player in many forms of motorsports around the world, entered NASCAR’s Truck Series for the first time in 2004.(Elmira Star Gazette)(12-25-2004)
    UPDATE: Todd Bodine, who parted ways with Germain-Arnold last week, enters the 2005 season assured of a full-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ride with the Fiddleback Racing team. The Mooresville, N.C.-based team, which competed with Fords in 2004 with driver J.R. Patton, will join the growing rank of teams switching to Japanese carmaker Toyota. “Todd has signed a contract with us and I can’t tell you how happy we are to have him on our team,” Brian Jones, team publicist for Fiddleback Racing, confirmed Wednesday from his home in Jackson, Miss. “With what we have going on, we feel we will be contenders for the championship.” Jones said the team is expanding its operation to run a pair of Toyota Tundras for Bodine and Patton. Jones also said the team will enter the Nextel Cup Series for the first time on a part-time basis, with Bodine as the driver. Jones said an official announcement is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 7. “We’ve still got a couple of pieces of the puzzle to put into place,” Jones said. Jones said the team is still finalizing its sponsorship but is committed to a full Truck Series schedule and from six to 10 Nextel Cup races. Bodine couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.(Elmira Star Gazette)(12-30-2004)
  • Crafton plans in 2005: expect Matt Crafton to announce his 2005 plans, supposedly it will be a family owned Truck Series team,(12-28-2004)
    Also hearing he could be back in the #88 Thorsports Chevy Truck with Tracy Hines going to the teams #13 truck.(12-30-2004)
  • Superchips Forms Superteam with Roush Racing: Roush Racing announced today that Superchips will return as the primary sponsor of its #99 Ford F-150 entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, driven by Ricky Craven for 2005. In addition to the primary sponsorship, Superchips has formed a “Superteam” of Roush drivers with Mark Martin, Carl Edwards and Todd Kluever to help promote their automotive tuners. “We are pleased to have Superchips not only return as a primary sponsor, but expand their marketing to include Mark, Carl and Todd,” Jack Roush said. “Their participation allows us to help Ricky run for the 2005 Craftsman Truck Series championship. We gave it a good shot in 2004, but we intend to get it done in 2005.” Superchips joined Roush Racing in August 2003. Their 2004 season was highlighted by three wins with Edwards at Daytona, Kansas and Bristol. Superchips will continue their association with Edwards, and add Martin, Craven and Kluever to their roster as well.(Roush Racing PR)(12-21-2004)
  • Chaffin to drive the #30: Germain/Arnold Racing announced today that veteran NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chad Chaffin has signed with the team to pilot the #30 Toyota Tundra in 2005. Chaffin, who drove for Bobby Hamilton Racing in 2004 winning two races at Dover and Indianapolis, finishing tenth in 2004 NCTS Championship points, began his career in 1981 at the age of 13. With 57 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts including, 11 top-5 and 22 top-ten career finishes under his belt, Chaffin brings a wealth of experience to the Germain / Arnold Racing team. “We’re very fortunate to have Chad join the team,” stated Bob Germain, co-owner of Germain / Arnold Racing. “He’s an experienced driver who knows how to win. We feel that Chad’s a perfect fit for this team and will provide us with a race winning operation in 2005.”
    “I am pleased to have Chad Chaffin and his wonderful family as part of the Germain / Arnold family. I am certain Chad will make Germain / Arnold Racing and Toyota very proud,” commented team co-owner, Don Arnold.
    “I’m extremely excited about being a part of the Germain / Arnold Racing team and tickled pink to be part of the Toyota family,” exclaimed Chaffin. “Toyota proved to have one of the highest performance levels in 2004 and I feel that we have the strongest package in the series. I’m looking forward to winning a lot of races this year. I’m also really excited to be teamed with a veteran Crew Chief like Mike Hillman. I know he can put a race winning truck underneath me.”
    Mike Hillman, who oversaw the operation of the back-to-back race winning entry in 2004, will remain as Crew Chief for Germain/Arnold Racing, “I’m very happy about having Chad on board and looking forward to our first test in January. Chad’s performance in 2004 speaks for itself and I feel that he’s a great fit for our team.” 2004 driver Todd Bodine will not be returning to the team in 2005. “Obviously, Todd did a great job for us last year,” stated Bob Germain. “We wish him well in his future career.”(Germain/Arnold Racing PR)(12-20-2004)
  • Foyt to the Truck Series? A.J. Foyt said his son, Larry, is working to assemble a ride in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series.(Indianapolis Star)(12-18-2004)
  • Jason Jarrett tests #59 Dodge at Talladega: Jason Jarrett joined several NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers for a Dodge test session at Talladega Superspeedway today, helping the #59 Harris Trucking team prepare for the series’ season opener in February. Jarrett said he is not signed on to run the Daytona race, but that he hopes the test session here will open a door for other opportunities with team owner Jim Harris. “Basically I am just trying to help them out doing some speedway testing for Daytona,” Jarrett said. “I am not sure who the official driver is going to be, but hopefully at some point I can throw my name in the hat.” Since the 28-year-old driver and his ARCA RE/MAX Series team recently parted ways, Jarrett said he has been casting his line in several directions to see what other opportunities may lay in wait for him. He’s not against staying in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and plans to attend the series’ major Daytona test session next month, but said he’d like to make the transition to trucks if presented with the option. In line with that sentiment, Jarrett called 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion and multi-truck team owner Bobby Hamilton to inquire about the status of his teams for next season, which led to his Talladega trip this week. Relatively recent news out of the Bobby Hamilton Racing (BHR) organization has Deborah Renshaw slated to drive the BHR2 #8 Dodge driven by Chase Montgomery this past season. Montgomery will drive BHR’s #18 in 2005, and Hamilton himself will again be in the #4. However, Hamilton also has an affiliation with Harris’ team through the Dodge program, and recommended Jarrett to test the #59 at Talladega along with his teams and the #62 Orleans Racing team of Steve Park. “I am really not sure what their plans are for the No. 59 next year, but we’ll probably hear something pretty soon, maybe even just after the first of the year,” Jarrett said. “I’ve talked to several teams as far as ARCA goes, and a couple of other truck teams. The thing right now is that you’ve got to be able to take a little bit of sponsorship money with you, and that’s really the thing holding me back right now. If I can get a pretty decent sponsor to help fund somebody that already has a good team, I think I can go forward in the next couple of months. Right now, I am kind of at a standstill. I’d just like to do whatever I can help somebody get funded, and want it to be funded the right way to be competitive.” Jarrett, son of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Dale Jarrett, has eight career starts at Talladega Superspeedway combined from competition in the NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series and the ARCA RE/MAX Series, but Thursday was his first experience on the legendary 2.66-mile track in a truck. Although the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series does not compete at Talladega Superspeedway, it is a popular test site for series teams as they seek to perfect their superspeedway racing programs.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(12-17-2004)
  • #30 loses Toyota support? UPDATE: hearing that Todd Bodine and Germain/Arnold Racing have parted ways and that the team may have lost Toyota support, odd considering Bodine won two races in a few starts.(12-13-2004)
    UPDATE Bodine back in the mix? a 2nd truck team?: couldn’t get any info out of the team myself about the situation, sources tell me that Bodine is now talking to Arnold since the above post….and found this update today:
    It looks as if Todd Bodine may have found a new home in NASCAR. The Chemung native is in line to compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on a full-time basis in 2005 with the Germain/Arnold Racing #30 Toyota, a member of the team said Wednesday. Bodine, 42, turned to the Truck Series for the first time since 1995 when he joined Germain/Arnold Racing in September. They proved to be a successful combination right out of the box, scoring a fourth-place finish in the Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway. He followed that with four more top-10 finishes, including two wins and a runner-up finish in 10 starts. Patty Markin, an office staff person [cool title] for the Concord, N.C.-based team, said its sister NASCAR Nextel Cup team Arnold Motorsports is also planning on having Bodine return to do a limited schedule next year in the #50 Dodge. “As it is right now, it looks like it’s going to be a 10-race deal in the Cup series,” said Markin, who hinted it could be more if sponsorship is found. Markin said the Cup team, currently run out of the same shop as the truck team, will move to a new shop just a block away. She said Bodine is in negotiations with both teams and that an announcement of a deal could come by the end of the month. “They’ve been talking numbers, but until it is in writing and the contracts are signed we aren’t going to release any official statements,” Markin said. Bodine could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
    The news from Markin comes in stark contrast to a rumor that appeared on the Web site [OOPS] on Monday that said Bodine may be leaving one or both teams and that Toyota may not be back with the the Germain/Arnold truck team. “I think somebody just wants to cause havoc in the camp,” Markin said. “Todd and (crew chief) Mike Hillman were just here in the shop (on Tuesday) and everything was fine and dandy. We are happy with Todd and Toyota is very happy with Hillman and the way we run our truck team.” Markin said Toyota is expected to expand its commitment to the team’s Truck Series effort by adding a second truck team for 2005. She said an announcement on the Toyota deal could come as soon as Monday. No driver has been selected for the proposed second team, but Markin said they’ve been inundated with inquiries from prospective drivers. “I’ve got everybody and their brother calling me, including Cup drivers that are out of rides,” Markin said. Markin ruled out any chance of Geoffrey Bodine being considered for the potential open truck ride.(Elmira Star Gazette)(12-16-2004)
    AND gettings all kinds of ‘rumors’ on this, one involved Bodine going to the #66/#67 Fiddleback team, or Bodine and Tony Furr teaming up, or Bodine going back with Arnold and possibly becoming a two-truck team….all with Toyota.(12-16-2004)
  • #38 to Toyota? UPDATE: hearing the #38 team with driver Brandon Whitt will switch from Ford to Toyota in 2005.(12-2-2004)
    UPDATE: Clean Line Motorsports has begun a partnership with Toyota and the Toyota Tundra throughout the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. The organization fields the #38 truck of driver Brandon Whitt, who just completed a successful rookie campaign in the Craftsman Truck Series. “This is obviously an exciting day for everyone involved with this program here at Clean Line,” said Marty Gaunt, general manager of Clean Line Motorsports. “To join a manufacturer like Toyota and to benefit from their partnership is a huge step in the right direction for this race team. When you think about what Toyota did in their first season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, it’s pretty amazing. We’re excited to be a part of that in 2005 and beyond.”
    “I can’t wait to start testing at Daytona,” said Whitt, who will begin his second season in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2005. “The manner in which Toyota entered the NCTS in 2004 impressed a lot of folks. They created a lot of excitement in the series and that’s something we want to be a part of. It’s a great day for Clean Line Motorsports and we’re absolutely thrilled to have Toyota on board.”
    “We are pleased to be able to expand our program to include Brandon,” said Pat Wall, vice president and manager of Toyota’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program. “He’s an impressive young driver with a big future.”(Williams Company PR)(12-15-2004)
  • Chaffin out of the #18; Montgomery to the #18? Renshaw to the #8 BHR team? UPDATE 2: Chad Chaffin – Last Race: “Homestead is my last race with the Dickies Racing Team. This season has been so much fun for me. I have enjoyed being a part of a wonderful organization and working with my guys at Bobby Hamilton Racing. I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish this year. I wish them all the luck next season. They are strong group of guys and will be a force to reckon with at many of the tracks next year. No matter what happens in the future, I will always remember this year for my first NCTS win at Dover. It was such a team effort and that is how I will always remember it. Winning the next race at IRP was icing on the cake and such a show that was. I want to thank Dickies for being such a great sponsor and I wish them all the luck as they go on to new levels in the sport [sponsoring the 2nd Cup race at Texas]. We won’t be racing together next year, but this team and season will always hold a special place in my heart.”(BHR PR)
    UPDATE:Deborah Renshaw, who made NASCAR history last Friday at Darlington by becoming the first female racer to lead a lap in the 10-year-old Craftsman Truck Series, may join Bobby Hamilton Racing next season. ”There are talks going on and we are close to putting something together,” said Renshaw, who three years ago became the first woman to lead the championship standings in the premier division at 46-year-old Fairgrounds Speedway. ”I think it would be a good fit,” said Hamilton, a veteran owner/driver who fields trucks out of his Mt. Juliet complex. ”We’ve been involved in NASCAR’s diversity movement for a long time, working with (black drivers) Bill Lester and Joe Henderson III, and we could continue that by helping develop a female driver. Deborah is an attractive, personable young woman who is very good with the fans and the media. If we can get her up to speed on the track she’ll have the whole package.” Renshaw has run 13 truck races this season with a top finish of 15th. Hamilton, the series points leader, has been impressed by her progress in such a short period. ”She’s done a pretty good job,” Hamilton said, ”especially considering what she’s had to work with. I’m not being critical of her team, because it’s run by good people who do the best they can with what they have, but they don’t have a lot of resources to put into it. If Deborah joins BHR we’ll make sure that she has everything she needs to succeed.” Hamilton said if the deal is completed Renshaw will drive the #8 truck currently co-owned by BHR and Ray Montgomery. Montgomery’s son, Chase, is driving the truck this season but next year will take over the #18 Dodge driven by Chad Chaffin. ”I’d be glad to have Deborah race our truck,” Ray Montgomery said. ”She would contribute a lot to the entire team.” Chaffin lost his sponsor [Dickie’s], but Hamilton said he hopes to ”keep him under the BHR umbrella” [#59?] in another ride next season. Hamilton plans to turn his [#4] truck over to Montgomery eventually. ”Chase has a lot of talent and is going to be a great driver,” Hamilton said.(Tennessean)(11-17-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Deborah Renshaw has joined the ranks of the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship organization for the 2005 season. In a homecoming of sorts, Renshaw will pilot the #8 DODGE of BHR2 for the complete 25 race schedule next season. “Wow, what an opportunity that I have to join this organization,” said Renshaw. “This is a very important time in my career and I cannot think of a better place to be than right here. I am familiar with some of the people in this organization since my days of racing around the Nashville area and I actually ran an ARCA race a few years ago with some of the guys on this team. I really feel like this is where I belong and that is comfortable.” Renshaw, a native of Bowling Green, KY, made 14 starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this past season. In those 14 starts she garnered two top 20 finishes and a career best of 15th at Martinsville Speedway in October. She has also competed in the ARCA RE/MAX over the last three years where she has accumulated nine starts with a best finish of seventh at the Nashville Superspeedway. Deborah is welcomed with open arms by her new teammates Bobby Hamilton and Chase Montgomery. “We have been a part of the diversity program since NASCAR started it,” stated Hamilton. Deborah becoming part of the BHR family is yet another way our team is involved in taking NASCAR to another level. We also are looking at this as an internal driver development program much like we had with Chase (Montgomery) this past year. Deborah has talent behind the wheel of a race car and is a great spokesperson for our sport. We really see good things out of her in our equipment.”
    Renshaw and her #8 team will be headed up by new crew chief Bob Bissinger. Bob has an extensive background in the ARCA RE/MAX Series where he also worked with other female drivers. He served as truck chief after joining the BHR2 team halfway through the 2004 season. Bob will be joined by team engineer Randy Seals – who served as crew chief for the #8 DODGE this past season with Chase Montgomery. The #8 team and their new driver will get to work right away by taking part in a test session at the Talladega Superspeedway on December 15th & 16th. “I am very excited about this opportunity,” stated Deborah. “This #8 team is a great collection of guys with an immense amount of knowledge that will help me tremendously. They put a great truck out there on the track each week and it is my job to make the most of it. I do feel that this will be the best opportunity I have had in my career and I look to make the most of it. I am ready to get the year started and head to Daytona.” Renshaw and the team will look to make an announcement regarding their sponsors sometime in January.(BHR PR)(12-15-2004)
  • World Financial Group to sponsor spring craftsman truck race AT AMS: Atlanta Motor Speedway officials announced that World Financial Group will sponsor the new Friday night, March 18 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. The event, which will follow Georgia Power Qualifying Night for the NEXTEL Cup Series race, will be called the World Financial Group 200. The World Financial Group 200 will be part of the new spring weekend format that will include NASCAR’s three premier racing series: Craftsman Truck, Busch and NEXTEL Cup. World Financial Group began its foray into NASCAR racing this fall, sponsoring the American Speed Association race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in October, as well as Carl Edwards’ #99 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car for several races. Tickets are on sale now for all three days of racing excitement during the March 18-20 Golden Corral 500 weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The weekend kicks off with Georgia Power Qualifying Night and the new World Financial Group 200 on Friday, March 18. The action heats up on Saturday, March 19, for the Aaron’s 312, showcasing top racing veterans and some of the hottest up-and-coming drivers in the country. The weekend will culminate on Sunday, March 20, with the running of the Golden Corral 500. For tickets to the Golden Corral 500 weekend call Ticketmaster, or call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211.(AMS PR)(12-15-2004)
  • ‘Cowboy’ Crawford’s new crew chief? hearing that Kevin “Cowboy” Starland, former #99 Roush Racing crew chief, will be Rick Crawford’s new crew chief for the #14 Ford with Ronnie White who filled in as crew chief at the end of the year is remaining with the team.(12-11-2004)
  • Testing at Talladega: hearing some of the Ford Truck Series teams will test at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday and Tuesday [Dec 13th and 14th](12-11-2004)
  • Hamilton tests at Pikes Peak: Bobby Hamilton, who owns a three-truck team in the NCTS, was back on the track Wednesday and Thursday for test sessions in his Dodge at Pikes Peak International Raceway’s 1-mile oval in Fountain, CO “We have a lot of new designs and stuff we wanted to start working out with our trucks,” said Hamilton in a phone interview Thursday from PPIR. “In the Craftsman Truck Series, we don’t get to test at the tracks we race at until after Jan. 15 and even then we only get three test sessions. So, we made the long haul out to PPIR because it is a good track that is very consistent, and it is a place we can have all to ourselves when we come here. We had a decent test session Wednesday and the trucks ran even better (Thursday).”(Pueblo Chieftain)(12-11-2004)
  • OFFICIAL Kvapil In – Gaughan Out: Penske-Jasper Racing, which fields the #77 Kodak EasyShare Dodge Charger in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, today announced that 2003 NASCAR Truck Series Champion Travis Kvapil will be the team’s driver and will compete for Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2005. Travis succeeds Brendan Gaughan, who drove the Kodak car during the 2004 season. Kvapil participated in a development program during 2004 with Penske Racing and competed in three Nextel Cup Series races-Martinsville, Atlanta and Homestead. “Travis showed solid potential and demonstrated the skill and determination it takes to be a winner and we look forward to building on this foundation with our sponsor partners Kodak and Jasper.” Roger Penske said.
    “Kodak is committed to fielding a winning and successful team in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Racing, and looks forward to leveraging our continued sponsorship and partnership with NASCAR and Penske-Jasper Racing during 2005,” said Bud Denker, Vice President, Brand and Market Development. “We are excited to welcome Travis as the driver of the Kodak EasyShare Dodge Charger and feel that his experience in racing and his driving talents will provide our team with the success that we are seeking.”
    “The opportunity to drive for Penske-Jasper Racing is more than a dream come true. I have been a fan of Roger Penske since I was a little kid watching Rick Mears. It’s a once in a lifetime chance for a young driver and I’m excited to get that opportunity,” Kvapil said. “I’m honored to represent Kodak. Their history in NASCAR racing is impressive and they are one of the longest running sponsors in the sport.” A Wisconsin native, Kvapil resides in North Carolina with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children.(Penske Racing South PR)(12-9-2004)
  • Spencer to the Truck Series? hearing Jimmy Spencer is a leading candidate to run the Jim Smith owned #2 Dodge in 2005.(12-9-2004)
  • #12 and #21 Teams shut down? UPDATE: hearing that Innovative Motorsports as shut down its #12 and #21 Toyota Truck Series teams for drivers Robert Huffman [#12] and Hank Parker Jr. #21].(12-2-2004)
    UPDATE: been told the team was called in for a meeting on Nov. 30th and told the team was closing that day, but that if a sponsor was found, they could re-open.(12-9-2004)
  • Testing at Talladega: #15-Kerry Earnhardt, #46-Dennis Setzer, #75- David Starr, #16-Jack Sprague,#08-Ken Weaver and #?-Shawn Murphy tested their Craftsman Truck Series trucks at Talladega Superspeedway . Also joining them was Hendrick Motorsports development driver and 2004 ARCA RE/MAX Series Talladega winner Blake Feese. “This is my first time in a truck, ever. We were about a second faster than everybody and we thought we were pretty good,” Earnhard said, then laughed. “Then we found out our springs were too soft in the rear. So we are changing that out and about to get back out there.”(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(12-9-2004)
  • Roush Racing announces Truck Series Crew Chiefs, Craven will be in the #99: Roush Racing announced that Mike Beam and John Monsam have been named crew chiefs of the two Roush Racing NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entries for 2005. Beam will head-up the #99 Superchips Ford F-150 with Ricky Craven and Monsam will oversee the #50 Roush Racing Ford F-150 with Todd Kluever. Beam and Craven have a long history together. They scored one Nextel Cup win at Martinsville in the spring of 2001, and three pole positions at Michigan, Rockingham and Darlington. “Ricky and I go back a long way and I think the fact we already know how to communicate with each other will be a tremendous asset,” Beam said. “I am very pleased to join the Roush organization and I believe I can help Ricky and the Superchips team win Roush’s second truck championship.” Monsam returns to Roush Racing as the crew chief for rookie Kluever. Monsam was instrumental in helping Jon Wood achieve his two wins in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2003. “I’m glad to be back at Roush and paired up with another young, talented driver,” Monsam said. “I hope that my years of experience in the truck series will enable Todd speed up his learning curve. I’ve helped a few drivers get their first wins and I’d really like to add Todd to that list.”(Roush Racing PR)(12-7-2004)
  • Testing at Talladega: Only weeks after the season finale in Homestead, Roush’s two Craftsman Truck Series teams are already preparing for their first 2005 test next week. New drivers Ricky Craven and Todd Kluever will get their first opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Ford F-150s at Talladega Superspeedway on December 13-14. The teams will be concentrating on aerodynamics and chassis set-up for the 2005 trucks. “I’m really looking forward to our first test,” Craven said. “I’ve only competed in one truck race so far in my career (at New Hampshire) so I’m anxious to get going and start working with everybody. NASCAR has a new rear-spring package for 2005 so we’ve got to spend some time deciding how to set-up the truck for Daytona. We’ll be testing there in January, which will be helpful as well.” Kluever, Roush’s rookie driver, will have a busy month ahead of him. Not only will he be testing at Talladega, but moving to North Carolina from his home state of Wisconsin.(Roush Racing PR)(12-7-2004)
  • Phillips named #46 Crew Chief: Veteran crew chief, Eric Phillips has been named as the crew chief of Morgan-Dollar Motorsports #46 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Dennis Setzer. Phillips, who scored five wins in the NASCAR Busch Series with Joe Nemecheck and Greg Biffle, and two wins this year with Travis Kvapil in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will take over the top duties for Morgan-Dollar’s #46 Chevrolet Silverado. Phillips is proud to be back with Chevrolet and especially with a factory-backed, championship-caliber team. “I am thrilled to be part of Morgan-Dollar Motorsports”, said Phillips. “This team has finished second in points and won five races over the last two seasons. I believe we can better that in 2005. The resources that this team has are incredible. They have a first class facility, and tremendous technical and financial support from General Motors. Also, they have one of the best technical resource experts in the business – Randy Goss. The ability to work with him day-to-day will be invaluable. Goss’ #47 Chevrolet All Star team using the top Nextel Cup drivers in the Craftsman Truck races will set a benchmark for us. It’s going to be an awesome year.” Dennis Setzer, who began driving for the #46 team in 2001 and is signed to drive for Morgan-Dollar through the end of the 2006 race season, is eager to get to work with his new crew chief. “I am really excited to have Eric on board,” said Setzer. “I can already see how he works with our guys and can tell he is going to make an immediate impact on our program. Because he has been exposed to so many successful programs we feel that he is going to bring a lot of knowledge here. I believe he will also be impressed with the talented guys we have and the way we run our program.” In addition to Nemecheck and Biffle, Phillips has also worked with drivers such as Ron Fellows – where he brought home a win in their first outing together in 1998. Before his long stint at Nemco Motorsports Busch program, Phillips was involved in the Craftsman Truck Series with John Nemecheck. He also spent time at Pickett racing in Lavonia, MI in the Trans Am Series. Phillips will make his first at-track trip with the #46 Silverado crew on a test at Talladega on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 7th and 8th.(Morgan-Dollar Motorsports PR)(12-7-2004)
  • Melvin named Director of Operations at BANG: Bang! Racing today announced the appointment of Jim Melvin as Director of Operations. Melvin will oversee the business operations of the race team and sponsor support services which includes the Show Vehicle Program and Sponsor Account Management. “Jim has made great contributions to the success of Bang! Racing in 2004,” said Bang! Racing’s CEO and owner Alex Meshkin. “Loyalty is an important factor in any business, but in this business loyalty is everything. Bang! Racing went through a lot this first year. There were many changes in our internal management structure, and Jim was a supportive key person within the company.” Prior to Melvin joining Bang! Racing in 2003 as Director of Sponsor Relations for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams, Melvin was Director of Marketing and Media Relations for Spencer Motor Ventures. Previously, he served as Vice President of Sponsor Sales for Keystone Marketing. “I’m excited about this new challenge that Alex [Meshkin] has asked me to take on,” said Melvin. “Over the past 10 years, I had the opportunity to learn the business side of our sport from some very talented team owners and crew chiefs. I learned that team chemistry is one element that is always consistent to the success or failure in our sport, and my primary focus will be to build and maintain that team chemistry at Bang! Racing.”
    “Jim’s new role will enable Bang! Racing to become even more successful in 2005,” said Meshkin. “Jim brings a great demeanor to this role. He is knowledgeable, experienced and commands respect.”
    “We’re going into the Busch Series next season with a veteran and winning team focused on bringing home trophies,” said Melvin. “I’m really proud of the team we have on the ground. Last year, we were a new team with a brand new manufacturer to our sport, and that combination presented some untested challenges to the young leadership at Bang! Racing. We made some mistakes last season that cost us the championship. Our goal is to learn from those mistakes and continue to build Bang! Racing into a winning organization.” (BANG Racing PR)(12-7-2004)
  • Congrats…a new Cook: Amy East Cook, wife to Terry Cook, driver of the #10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International race truck, gave birth Friday [Dec 3rd] to a healthy baby boy. Cody Robert Cook was born at 4:16am/et at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, weighing in at 6 lbs., 10 oz. “What an experience to becoming a father,” said Cook. “Amy and Cody are resting this afternoon in the hospital and are doing well. Cody will be going to his first race at Daytona next year and what a place to bring him to his first race. I can remember my parents taking me to Daytona for Speed Weeks when I was a young so you can say the Cook tradition will continue. You never know, my son just may turn out to be a third generation driver someday.”
    “This is what we wanted,” said East Cook. “Terry and I have been trying to have a family for two years and we finally have our new addition. This is a dream come true.” East Cook currently works as a broadcaster for ESPN covering various motorsports series. She was employed as a pit reporter from 1999 thru 2002 with ESPN in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series while Cook competed as a race car driver. The two began dating after meeting at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway; Cook later proposed the following year and married Amy East on December 6, 2000.(PR)(12-5-2004)
  • Reutimann honored: In addition to receiving the Driver of the Year Award from Lakeland Ledger presented at USA International Speedway in Lakeland last weekend, Reutimann is also slated to be the Grand Marshall of Dade City’s Christmas Parade today and then he will receive a proclamation from the city of Zephyrhills presented by Mayor Cliff McDuffie on Monday, December 13th. Receiving the Driver of the Year Award from Lakeland Ledger was a complete surprise to Reutimann.(PR)(12-5-2004)
  • Driver leaves Hamilton program: Joe Henderson III is leaving Bobby Hamilton Racing and the weekly program at the Music City Motorplex to try to take his career to a higher level next season. For the past two years the 19-year-old Franklin driver has competed in the Late Model division at the Motorplex, driving cars built and maintained by BHR. Last week he traveled to North Carolina to meet with some potential new team owners in hope of landing a ride in the ARCA Series and, eventually, in Busch. Henderson’s father, Joe Jr., said no details could be revealed until negotiations are complete. He said his son’s sponsor, Kodak, has agreed to stay with him wherever he races next season. ”We appreciate all that Bobby Hamilton has done for us,” the senior Henderson said, ”but if there is an opportunity for Joe to move up and advance his career, we have to take it.” Hamilton, the reigning NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, is reorganizing his Mt. Juliet racing operation for the upcoming season. He is searching for a replacement sponsor for his own, and is moving Chase Montgomery into the truck driven by Chad Chaffin. Chaffin lost his sponsor, but Hamilton hopes to be able to keep him at BHR. There is a chance that former Fairgrounds driver Deborah Renshaw will join BHR. Henderson said his son may be making some limited appearances at the Motorplex next season even if he takes on duties in other series. ”Right now, we don’t know for certain what all we’ll be doing,” he said. ”We’re listening to some offers and proposals, and then we’ll sit down and decide what’s best for Joe.”(Tennessean)(12-1-2004)





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