February 2007 Truck Series News Archive
- Winners of a race in Cup, Busch and Truck Series races: see my Misc Stats page for this and many others.
For Bill Lester, knowledge and science work together. What works the best setting up a truck for the race to the checkered flag – a computer or old-fashioned, seat-of-the-pants feel? Bill Lester (#15 Bowen Family Homes Chevy), one of NASCAR’s few national series drivers holding an engineering degree, believes it’s a combination of both. Crew chief Richie Wauters, a five-time series winner, thinks Lester’s engineering background will pay dividends as the season progresses. The Billy Ballew Motorsports team finished 11th at Daytona in an auspicious start to the 2007 season.
Mike Skinner strikes gold in California for 20th Series victory. Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) rewrote history on Friday when he became the first California native to win a Craftsman Truck Series race at California Speedway. In fact, Golden State drivers finished one-two in the track’s 11th series race as fellow champion Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 AES HR Solutions Chevy) chased Skinner to the checkered flag. Skinner, 49 and the winner of the series’ first race in 1995, added his name to an elite list of drivers who have won 20 or more races. The victory was Skinner’s fourth driving for Bill Davis Racing. Hornaday, one of four former champions to finish among the top five in the San Bernardino County 200, continues to head the roster of all-time winners with 29 victories. Three-time champion Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota), third at California Speedway, has one fewer win after his victory in the season- opener at Daytona International Speedway.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Career Victory Leaders: Ron Hornaday Jr. – 29; Jack Sprague – 28; Mike Skinner – 20.
News & Notes: Part II:
Nine in a row after California. Skinner was the series’ ninth consecutive different winner at a two-mile track – Michigan and California speedways – a streak that began in 2003. Shepherd continues as Series’ oldest starter…Morgan Shepherd (#40 Key Motorsports Chevy) became the Truck Series’ oldest starter – 62 years, 24 days – at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2003. Shepherd’s four-lap California appearance upped the record to 65 years four months and two days. First And last West Coast visit until…California’s 25th series race was the last in the west until Sept. 22 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Numbers, numbers, numbers … Sprague’s third-place finish was his 175th series top 10 – 41 more than the category’s #2 driver Dennis Setzer (#75 Spears Manufacturing Chevy). Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota) garnered his 100th top-10 finish to become the sixth different competitor to reach the century mark. Champions prevail – again … All seven of the series’ former champions have scored at least one top-10 finish this season. As in Daytona, there were six titleholders among the race’s top 10. No repeat for Mark Martin…A late-race tangle kept Mark Martin (#21 Bad Boy Mowers Ford) from defending his San Bernardino 200 victory of last season. The last to successfully repeat as a race winner was Kyle Busch at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May 2006.
California Speedway’s race has seen 20 or more lead lap finishers in four consecutive runnings. Twenty-four completed all 100 laps on Feb. 23…Carl Edwards (#50 Roush Fenway Ford) captured his first Budweiser Pole since Darlington in 2004. Edwards was the seventh consecutive California pole winner failing to parlay the start into a victory.
Raybestos Rookie of the Year Standings:Aaron Fike (#1 Red Horse Racing Toyota) finished 18th at California to take over the lead in the rookie standings after Race #2. Remaining rookie standings: Willie Allen – 16; Joey Clanton – 15; Kelly Bires – 15; Blake Bjorklund – 15; Tim Sauter – 15; Tyler Walker – 14; Casey Kingsland – 5; Josh White – 4.
This Week’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Leaders: (through 2 races of the 25-race season)
Points leader – Jack Sprague (355)
Driver Rating – Mike Skinner (121.4)
Winnings – Jack Sprague ($122,700)
Laps led – Mike Skinner (52)
Victories -Jack Sprague, Mike Skinner (1)
Budweiser Poles – Jack Sprague, Carl Edwards (1)
Top-five finishes -Jack Sprague, Mike Skinner (2)
Top-10 finishes – Seven drivers tied with 1
Raybestos Rookie Leader – Aaron Fike (5 over 2 drivers)
Races led – Johnny Benson, Mike Skinner (2)
Weeks in Top 10 – Seven drivers tied with 2
Record-holders Crawford, Sprague to reach 250 start plateau in Atlanta. They’ve arrived at the same place – a record, 249 career starts – in two different ways but Rick Crawford (#14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) and Jack Sprague will reach the 250 career start plateau when each competes in the March 16 American Commercial Lines 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Crawford has missed only a single race since joining the series in 1997, starting 210 consecutive events before an injury caused him to miss at Kentucky Speedway in 2005. His team, Circle Bar Racing, made its 250th consecutive start last week in California. Sprague, conversely, got his 249 starts in two shifts. The Spring Lake, Mich. driver suited up for the series’ inaugural race in 1995 and won three championships over a stretch of 122 consecutive races through 2001 driving for Hendrick Motorsports. After two years in Nextel Cup and Busch Series competition, Sprague returned to post a trio of top-10 championship efforts. The pair’s common bond is a Daytona victory – both races in dramatic, three-wide fashion.
In the Loop:
No surprise: 2007 winners top Loop Data standings. The Truck Series gets a much-needed breather this weekend. With finishes like these, drivers – and fans – really do need to catch their breath. A season that’s just two races old has already seen an at-the-line photo finish and a bumper-thumping win-at-all-costs finish. You can figure that it’s all a hint of things to come. So far, Mike Skinner and Jack Sprague have been the class of the field. Not coincidentally, they are neck-and-neck in the Driver Rating standings – well ahead of third place. Skinner – who won last Friday’s San Bernardino County 200 – has a Craftsman Truck-best 121.4 Driver Rating. Sprague, who leads the point standings, ranks second in the Driver Rating standings at 115.4. Next best is Johnny Benson at 105.3. The two also lead in another telling stat – the Average Running Position. Sprague has an Average Running Position of 4.765, while Skinner has a 5.035. That means so far this season, neither driver has spent much time out of the top five. Mark Martin, who was in contention for much of Friday night’s race at California Speedway, leads in the Fastest Laps Run category with 36, but not far behind sits Skinner. Skinner has a combined 27 fastest laps. The next-best driver on that list – Carl Edwards – has just six.
Toyota two-for-two in Manufacturers’ Championship. Toyota has two legs up on a second Craftsman Truck Series Manufacturers’ Championship following Mike Skinner’s victory at California Speedway. Toyota has scored a perfect, 18 points. Chevy, which struggled at Daytona, put its Silverado truck in the runner-up position and matched Ford for the #2 spot with 10 points, followed by Dodge with 6 points.(NASCAR PR)(2-26-2007)
UPDATE 2: A day after BHR held a press conference where it was stated that the team founded by the late Bobby Hamilton Sr. is owned by his widow, Lori, his son Bobby Hamilton Jr. and granddaughter Haylie, Hamilton Jr. said that isn’t the case. Lois Vance, trustee of Hamilton Sr.’s will, said on Thursday that she wouldn’t discuss how the ownership was structured among the three parties. Hamilton Jr., though, offered his take on Friday, following qualifying for the Orbitz 300 Busch Series race. “We got all ownership in BHR, I don’t know what they’re talking about,” Hamilton Jr. said. “BHR is mine and [daughter] Haylie’s. Everything that Bobby Hamilton had is mine and Haylie’s. … I saw that and I was kind of confused, but I guess they’re trying to give some people some hope. But it’s all laughable and jokeable because their 15 minutes of fame is up.” Hamilton Jr. said the trust names just he and Haylie. “Lois really went in there and I guess is running BHR because I don’t want to have anything to do with it, I just want to concentrate on my deal [driving].” He also reiterated his comments made during January testing that he currently has nothing to do with the team, leaving Vance to oversee things. Hamilton Jr. has no problems with Vance running the team. “She’s supposed to be middle ground,” he said. “I don’t talk to nobody else but Lois. I couldn’t even tell you nobody else’s phone number [with the team]. I talk to the guys in the shop, they bust their [butts] and they deserve better. “The way it’s being done, I couldn’t be a part of it. I don’t lie to myself and I’m not going to lie to other people.” (Scene Daily)(2-17-2007)
UPDATE: Kingsland to run remainder of schedule; ROTY: The #7 Chevy will be entered in all 25 Craftsman Truck Series events with Derrike Cope scheduled to run the first race at Daytona. Casey Kingsland will take over the driving responsibilities beginning at California Speedway, and will also be a candidate for Rookie of the Year. Primary sponsor is Hooters Energy Drink, with Hooters.com and Thule Trailers as associate sponsors.(Pennington Motorsports PR)(2-1-2007)
UPDATE: SPEED/TV reported during the Daytona practice session that Carl Edwards is scheduled to run the first three Truck Series races in the #50 Roush Racing Ford.(SPEED/TV)(2-15-2007)
UPDATE: Jack Sprague driving the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota will make his 248th career start in the Craftsman Truck Series at the drop of the green flag for the start of the Chevy Silverado HD 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 16th, 2007. Sprague and Crawford are tied for the Series Record.(2-13-2007)
UPDATE: Butler also to run a few races: Development driver, Ken Butler III will also run some truck races for the #00 Waltrip Racing Toyota.(NASCAR PR)(1-13-2007)
UPDATE 2: Allmendinger to attempt 12 races: News from [Sirius Radio] reported that AJ Allmendinger “just loves” driving the truck and will attempt as many as 12 races in the #00 Waltrip Racing Toyota.(1-15-2007)
UPDATE 3: Allmendinger likes the Tundra. He likes it so much, he begged Waltrip Racing to give him the controls for select Cup-Truck companion races this year. And he took sponsor Red Bull with him. Starting with this Friday’s Craftsman Truck Series race, AJ will pilot the #00 entry for the following races: Daytona, California, Atlanta, Martinsville, Charlotte, Dover, Michigan, Loudon, Talladega, Martinsville, Phoenix, and Homestead-Miami.(Team Red Bull PR)(2-12-2007)
UPDATE: hearing that Wayne Edwards will be entered in both the Daytona and California events with another team, [team name unknown]. Team owner, Jim Rosenblum, confirmed that Edwards will not be in the #28 FDNY Chevy at Daytona and that he will be announcing a new driver soon.(2-1-2007)
UPDATE 3: Edwards to drive #95 Ford: Wayne Edwards is scheduled to run Daytona and California with the #95 Upshaw Racing Ford. Edwards last drove for this team at Daytona in 2004 where he finished 15th. If the proper sponsorship is secured, the team plans to compete the entire season. Edwards is not only the race driver, but acts as the hauler driver and shop manager. The team is located in Mooresville, NC. A crew chief has yet to be named.(2-1-2007)
UPDATE 4: Knupp to drive #28 at Daytona: FDNY Racing has announced that Brandon Knupp will be the driver for the #28 Chevy at Daytona International Speedway. If the team is able to secure sponsorship, Knupp will be in the ride for the entire season.(FDNY Racing PR)(2-9-2007)
UPDATE: Erin Crocker is on the entry list for the ARCA 200 at Daytona on Saturday, February 10th beginning at 4:15 pm/et. Crocker is set to drive the #98 Evernham Motorsports Dodge.(arcaracing.com)(2-6-2007)
UPDATE 2: Erin Crocker became the second female driver to capture a pole at historic Daytona Int’l Speedway on Friday winning the top starting position for Saturday’s ARCA RE/MAX Series season opener. Crocker, behind the wheel of the #98 Evernham Motorsports Dodge, qualified with a top speed of 182.219 mph to end Bobby Gerhart’s quest for a fifth consecutive ARCA 200 pole.(Daytona Int’l Speedway PR)(2-9-2007)
UPDATE: Fox will televise the Craftsman Truck Series events at Martinsville, Va. in March and Mansfield, Ohio in May, according to Speed officials.(Scene Daily)(2-7-2007)
UPDATE 2: On the [Torquespeed Racing] website, so far there is one race listed (Daytona) for driver John Mickel. although it states that they planned on a full tour in 2007.(Torquespeed Racing)(1-19-2007)
UPDATE 3: Hearing that Jason White will be the driver for the #63 Ford at Daytona.(2-2-2007)
UPDATE 4: According to team owner, Mike Mittler, Jason White will be the driver of the #63 MB Motorsports Ford at Daytona and Atlanta. gunbroker.com will be the sponsor for White at both events.(MB Motorsports)(2-3-2007)
Born On Date: February 1, 2007
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