January 2005 Truck Series News Archive
- New Procedure for Determining Race Line-Ups: NASCAR will implement a new procedure for establishing the starting race field in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series beginning with the 2005 season, NASCAR officials announced. NASCAR has changed the system by simplifying the procedure with teams no longer accruing provisionals throughout the season to gain entry into the starting fields. While starting positions one through 35 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series still will be determined by qualifying Speed, the new system will assure the highest-ranked 30 positions of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series owner championship points that have entered the event prior to the entry deadline one of those starting positions in the field, providing they have made an attempt to qualify. The remaining five positions will be assigned to those drivers with the fastest qualifying Speeds whose car owners are not among the top 30.
The final starting position – the champion’s provisional – can be utilized by a car owner whose driver is a current or past NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion who participated as a driver during their 2004 season and was entered in the event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline. If there is more than one series champion vying for the position, it will be given to the most recent series champion. If the final provisional starting position – 36th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – is not filled by a current or past series champion, it will be assigned to the next eligible car owner according to qualifying results.
Through the first four races of the season for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, the top 30 of the 2004 owner championship points entered in the event prior to the entry deadline will be assured one of the starting positions in the field, provided they have made an attempt to qualify. In addition, the owner’s entry must have made an attempt to qualify in all 34 events in 2004 to be eligible for one of those 30 positions.
From the fifth race on, the highest-ranked 30 positions of the current owner championship points will be assured one of those positions as long as their entry has made an attempt to qualify in the previous 2005 events up to that point. In the event that conditions prevent qualifying from being run, starting positions will be assigned according to the respective series’ 2005 Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)(1-13-2005)
- Truck Testing at Atlanta Monday and Tuesday: #14-Rick Crawford, #10-Terry Cook, #50-Todd Kluever, #99-Ricky Craven and #29-Brad Keselowski are scheduled to test for Ford next Monday, Jan. 31, at Atlanta Motor Speedway to prepare for the March 18 World Financial Group 200. Roush Racing drivers Kluever and Craven will continue testing on Feb. 1 as they prepare for their first Craftsman Truck Series race at Atlanta. The World Financial Group 200 will be the first of two Craftsman Truck races at Atlanta in 2005. The test will be closed to the public.(AMS PR)(1-29-2005)
- BANG CLOSED? UPDATE: hearing that BANG Racing, who was to run a limited Busch Series schedule in 2005 has closed its doors. Travis Kvapil, now in the #77 Kodak Dodge, was to driver for BANG, and drove in the Truck Series last season for the team.(1-21-2005)
UPDATE: The news was even worse for Bang Racing, which was supposed to attend the [Daytona testing on Jan 22-24] test with driver Travis Kvapil, but was absent. Bang’s former spokesperson said the team had closed its doors Friday.(NASCAR.com)(1-23-2005)
Business Wire Column:(X)
A Wild Ride At NASCAR [Alex Meshkin/Bang Racing] by Mark Hyman, Jordan Burke, Mike France and John Cady.(1-28-2005)
- Harvick to field West Series team: Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), announced today the signing of 24-year-old West Sacramento, Calif., native Burney Lamar. KHI will field Lamar in five West Series events and four Truck Series events. Harvick believes the West Series gives young drivers the opportunity to drive heavier stock cars that handle similar to the Busch cars, all while competing on NASCAR’s elite division tracks and against strong competition. Harvick explains how the West Series team came about, “We already had two Busch cars at the shop that we ran in 2004. We are building all new cars for the #33 team in 2005, so we wanted to put something together with the two existing cars we already had. The cars are practically brand new and will make great race cars for the West Series.” Currently KHI fields two full-time teams in NASCAR’s Truck and Busch Series. The #6 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Ron Hornaday in the Truck Series, and the #33 Outdoor Channel Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Tony Raines and Tony Stewart in the Busch Series.(Keystone Marketing PR)(1-28-2005)
- Testing at California Speedway: A handful of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams got an early start on the 2005 season with a test session at California Speedway on January 24 and 25. The test, which included both single-day and two-day participants, saw approximately half a dozen Toyota and Chevrolet trucks. Among those testing at the 2-mile, D-shaped oval was racing veteran #46-Dennis Setzer, #67-Todd Bodine, #75-David Starr, #30-Chad Chaffin, #88-Matt Crafton and #38-Brandon Whitt. Monday’s testing included evening activity under the lights, which simulated the night racing, as the drivers will compete in the American Racing Wheels 200 on Friday, February 25 with a green flag time of 6:15 p.m. Both engine manufacturers had comparable lap times, with Chevrolet circling the superspeedway in 40.70 seconds (176.90 mph) and Toyota in 41.00 seconds (175.61 mph). “This has been a very well test,” Toyota Racing Team Manager Laerte Zatta said, “even though we have been struggling with the new gear rule that NASCAR will be enforcing.” The new gear will limit the maximum RPMs that all engines will be able to produce in competition and will make its first appearance at California Speedway. “The gear slows down the truck,” Zatta said. “We have a lot of work to do. We need to have better engines for our drivers. This test has also allowed new drivers to get used to the new equipment.”(California Speedway PR)(1-26-2005)
- Speed Channel back to televise all Truck Races: Speed Channel will be the exclusive home of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the third consecutive year in 2005. The 25-event season launches at Daytona with a one-hour 10th anniversary special set to air Feb. 17 at 5:30pt/et. Rick Allen, Michael Waltrip, and Phil Parsons will continue to add commentary to each live broadcast from the booth, while Ray Dunlap and Wendy Norris pass along the stories from pit road. Pre- and post-race coverage will remain on-tap with more interviews, enhanced graphics, and behind-the-scenes footage with the drivers who provide the most action-packed racing on cable television. “It’s an honor to be a part of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series during its 10th Anniversary season,” Allen said. “Knowing where this Series started in 1995 and in ten years to have progressed from mid-race breaks to the most competitive racing in NASCAR is truly amazing.” And Speed Channel’s commitment to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has never been stronger.
“The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is the cornerstone of our NASCAR TV programming package,” said Speed Channel President Jim Liberatore. “Working closely with NASCAR, we have increased ratings and household reach each of the first two years the Series has been on the network.”
“The season-opening race in Daytona in 2004 was Speed Channel’s highest-rated program ever,” Liberatore added. “If the Series continues to offer the best of fresh, young talent combined with some of the legendary names in racing, we expect nothing but the continued growth and interest in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.” In 2004, an average of 422,000 households tuned in, up 21 percent from the previous year. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series continues to be the No. 1 rated motor sports series on Speed Channel and the No. 3 rated motor sports series on cable television.(Speed Channel PR)(1-26-2005)
- Musgrave back to the #1; Spencer to the #2: Ultra Motorsports team owner Jim Smith will shift lineups for his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series stable for the 2005 Season. Effective immediately, Ted Musgrave will climb back into the #1 MOPAR Dodge entry while recently signed Jimmy Spencer will pilot the #2 Team ASE Dodge. After much thought and consideration, Smith has decided to leave his truck teams intact and not switch drivers for the 2005 season as originally planned. The two drivers will essentially swap paint schemes and numbers while maintaining the same driver, team and crew chief combinations.(Truckseries.com)(1-25-2005)
- New crew chief for #19: hearing that Doug George will be the crew chief for the #19 truck of Regan Smith.(1-25-2005)
- Hamilton gets sponsor for Daytona: Bobby Hamilton Racing announced a one-race primary sponsorship with Cooper Hand Tools, manufacturer of Lufkin measuring products, Wiss cutting tools and Crescent adjustable wrenches, for the series-opener NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2005. The current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion’s #4 Dodge will feature logos of both Lufkin Pro Series and Wiss Pro Series for the kick-off night race event. (BHR PR)(1-25-2005)
- Guy leaves Xpress Motorsports: Dave Fuge, owner of Xpress Motorsports, announced today that Jay Guy has left his position as crew chief on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series #19 Silverado team with driver Regan Smith effective immediately. “Jay was offered an opportunity on a NASCAR Busch Series team,” said Fuge. “He said that while he felt Xpress Motorsports is a championship caliber NCTS team, he is more comfortable with a NBS team because of his past experience. As a result, he didn’t feel he could bring enough to the table to improve our teams. While I am disappointed to lose Jay so early the season, I think we can look at this as a positive for Xpress Motorsports. I strongly believe in the one team-two truck concept. We need to have hardworking team members on board at Xpress who are dedicated to that plan and want to expand and improve within those parameters. We will continue on our course to win races and championships.” Xpress Motorsports also fields the #16 Chevy Trucks Silverado driven by three-time NCTS champion Jack Sprague.(Xpress Motorsports PR)(1-19-2005)
- Daytona Testing Wraps Up: The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wrapped up a two-day test session in preparation for the season-opening Florida Dodge Dealers 250 on Friday night, Feb. 18 at historic Daytona International Speedway. Monday’s Speeds:
1. #75-David Starr, Chevy, 187.594 mph
2. #6-Ron Hornaday, Chevy, 187.278
3. #15-Kerry Earnhardt, Chevy, 187.025
4. #2-Ted Musgrave, Dodge, 186.966
5. #30-Chad Chaffin, Toyota, 186.862
6. #88-Matt Crafton, Chevy, 186.416
7. #1-Jimmy Spencer, Dodge, 186.413
8. #99-Ricky Craven, Ford, 186.289
9. #50-Todd Kluever, Ford, 186.204
10. #12-Robert Huffman, Toyota, 185.843
11. #59-Mike Wallace, Dodge, 185.793
12. #13-Tracy Hines, Chevy, 185.468
13. #17-David Reutimann, Toyota, 185.395
14. #77-Brendan Gaughan, Dodge, 185.292
15. #29-Brad Keselowski, Ford, 185.204
16. #18-Chase Montgomery, Dodge, 184.725
17. #4-Bobby Hamilton, Dodge, 184.555
18. #04-Casey Atwood, Dodge, 184.158
19. #14-Rick Crawford, Ford, 184.155
20. #9-Sigeaki Hattori, Toyota, 183.993
21. #62-Steve Park, Dodge, 183.857
22. #8-Deborah Renshaw, Dodge, 182.109
23. #31-Jason Rudd, Dodge, 181.631
24. #93-Billy Venturini, Chevy, 180.086
25. #02-Kelly Sutton, Chevy, 179.101
26. #28-David Ragan, Chevy, 175.326
- Truck Series Testing at Daytona finally underway: After a 30 hour, 50 minute delay for two days of rain, trucks finally hit the track at 3:50pm/et. By 3:58, they were already drafting. Ricky Craven (#99) was first truck on the track. Due to weather, they will test until 11:00pm/et Sunday, then return on Monday. The Monday test time will depend on how much the teams get in tonight.(NASCAR Today/MRN Radio)
UPDATE #2-Musgrave, #16-Sprague, #6-Hornaday and #10-Cook got together, Sprague said Hornaday slowed up, Musgrave said Sprague pinched him, so…..Cook spun threw the grass and the team loaded up the truck and will do no more testing. Musgrave will test a backup and the damaged truck will go back to the shop tonight to be repaired. Spague smacked the wall and had heavy right front damage and a wheel assembly pointing the wrong direction. All the drivers are OK. Mike Wallace is testing the #59 Dodge, but will drive the #52 Ken Schrader Chevy in the Daytona race but is not testing the truck at Daytona. The top five in Speeds so far on Sunday:
#2-Ted Musgrave 187.555 [faster then the Cup drafting Speeds last week]
#30-Chad Chaffin 187.527
#23-Johnny Benson 186.714
#29-Brad Keselowski 186.413
#14-Rick Crawford, 186.216.(Speed Channel’s Daytona Testing coverage)
Regan Smith, driver of the Sundance Motorsports Silverado, was involved in a single truck incident with just 15 minutes to go in day one of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series testing tonight. As a result of the extent of the damage to the #19, the team is loading the transporter to return to team headquarters in Mooresville, NC.(GM Racing PR)
Speeds, Setzer the fastest: Dennis Setzer driving the #46 Chevy was the fastest during Sunday’s test session that featured drafting sessions. Setzer posted a lap of 189.163 mph in his Chevy Silverado. Sunday’s Speeds:
1. #46-Dennis Setzer, Chevy, 189.163 mph
2. #14-Rick Crawford, Ford, 188.119
3. #38-Brandon Whitt, Toyota, 187.927
4. #28-David Ragan, Chevy, 187.594
5. #2-Ted Musgrave, Dodge, 187.555
6. #1-Jimmy Spencer, Dodge, 187.531
7. #30-Chad Chaffin, Toyota, 187.527
8. #75-David Starr, Chevy, 187.293
9. #15-Kerry Earnhardt, Chevy, 186.761
10. #23-Johnny Benson, Toyota, 186.714
11. #29-Brad Keselowski, Ford, 186.413
12. #4-Bobby Hamilton, Dodge, 186.127
13. #59-Mike Wallace, Dodge, 186.116
14. #17-David Reutimann, Toyota, 186.047
15. #04-Casey Atwood, Dodge, 186.012
16. #5-Mike Skinner, Toyota, 185.973
17. #18-Chase Montgomery, Dodge, 185.966
18. #8-Deborah Renshaw, Dodge, 185.889
19. #99-Ricky Craven, Ford, 185.866
20. #50-Todd Kluever, Ford, 185.598
21. #13-Tracy Hines, Dodge, 185.380
22. #12-Robert Huffman, Toyota, 185.273
23. #6-Ron Hornaday, Chevy, 185.258
24. #9-Shigeaki Hattori, Toyota, 185.178
25. #16-Jack Sprague, Chevy, 185.090
26. #07-Sean Murphy, Chevy, 184.824
27. #77-Brendan Gaughan, Dodge, 184.801
28. #08-Johnny Chapman, Chevy, 184.034
29. #22-Bill Lester, Toyota, 183.884
30. #75-David Starr, Chevy, 183.718
31. #88-Matt Crafton, Chevy, 183.494
32. #10-Terry Cook, Ford, 182.801
33. #02-Kelly Sutton, Chevy, 180.650
34. #62-Steve Park, Dodge, 180.278
35. #31-Jason Rudd, Dodge, 176.356
36. #93-Billy Venturini, Chevy, 175.908
37. #63-Eric Jones, Ford, n/a.(DIS PR)(1-16-2005)
- Allgaier to drive for MB Motorsprts: Eighteen year-old Justin Allgaier recently inked a deal with MB Motorsports [#63] to align for a limited 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule with hopes to continue the team’s tradition of boosting the careers of several Midwestern drivers. Late drivers who’s legacies still live on, such as the 1998 NASCAR Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year Kenny Irwin, Jr., and Tony Roper both drove for Mike Mittler. Likewise, Carl Edwards, the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion, and 2003 NASCAR Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year Jamie McMurray both received their NASCAR start at MB Motorsports.
The team is tentatively planning a seven race schedule with Allgaier, who will continue to compete in dirt late models, the ARCA RE/MAX Series, USAC Silver Crown series and midgets in addition to completing his freshman year of college. While scheduling is tentative, proposed NASCAR venues include Gateway, Milwaukee, Kansas, Kentucky, Bristol, Texas and Las Vegas. Current sponsors of the #63 team including Dave Porter Truck Sales, Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool Company, Enerpac, Race Fans for a Cure, Russo’s Tinting, Advanced Signs and Childs Tire will remain on board and additional partners of Justin Allgaier Motorsports/MB Motorsports will be announced in the near future. (MB Motorsports Site), Eric Jones is listed in the #63 at Daytona for testing and is supposedly just in the truck for Daytona, former driver Chris Wimmer, who drove the truck in 2004 is no longer with the team.(1-16-2005)
- Daytona testing washed out on Saturday: The first day of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series testing in preparation for the Feb. 18 Florida Dodge Dealers 250 under the lights at historic Daytona International Speedway was rained out on Saturday. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series are scheduled to test on Sunday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. The test is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(1-15-2005)
- Hamilton Announces Partial Sponsorship with Bailey’s Cigarettes for 2005: Bobby Hamilton Racing announces sponsorship with Bailey’s Cigarettes as the primary sponsor on two trucks from the BHR stable for the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. The current NCTS Champion’s #4 Dodge will adorn the logos from Bailey’s as a primary sponsor for 12 races. Rookie Timothy Peters will drive the #04 Dodge for Bailey’s for 11 races. And Nashville, Tennessee native Casey Atwood will also drive the #04 Dodge with Bailey’s as a primary sponsor for three events this season. Hamilton will pilot the #4 Bailey’s Dodge in the following events for 2005: California, Atlanta, Martinsville, Charlotte, Kentucky, Memphis, Nashville, Bristol, Richmond, Martinsville, Atlanta and Homestead. Peters is slated to drive the #04 Bailey’s Dodge in the following 11 events: Martinsville, Gateway, Charlotte, Dover, Kentucky Memphis, Nashville, Bristol, Richmond, Martinsville, Atlanta and Homestead. Bailey’s will be the primary sponsor on the #04 Dodge for Daytona, California and Atlanta with Casey Atwood behind the wheel.(Bobby Hamilton Racing PR)(1-15-2005)
- Atwood to test for Hamilton: Casey Atwood, who was released from FitzBradshaw Racing in the Busch Series last year, is scheduled to test a Bobby Hamilton Racing truck this weekend at Daytona. BHR veteran Randy Seals is listed as the truck’s crew chief for the test.(NASCAR.com)(1-15-2005)
- Shell ROTELLA T to sponsor the #50 in 10 races: Roush Racing announced that Shell ROTELLA T will be the primary sponsor for the #50. Ford F-150 entry with Todd Kluever in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for 10 races this season. Shell ROTELLA T will begin their sponsorship with the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. Combined with sponsorship from the World Financial Group, Kluever will have primary sponsorship for all 25 Craftsman Truck Series races in 2005. The Shell portfolio of top quality lubricant brands includes Pennzoil, Quaker State, FormulaShell, Shell Tellus, Shell Cassida, Shell ROTELLA T, Shell Spirax and a portfolio of car care products and Jiffy Lube services.(Roush Racing PR)(1-15-2005)
- Jason Rudd tests for Brevak: Brevak Racing announced today that they will be testing driver Jason Rudd for the 2005 Daytona test session this January. Rudd, the nephew of NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Ricky Rudd, will test the #31 Brevak Racing Dodge at Daytona in hopes of gaining some seat time and a possible spot in the #31 for the season opener at Daytona. “We’re excited to be heading to Daytona for the test with Jason,” said Shelly Brevak. “We are continually working to complete a package that will allow us to run full time once again in 2005. The Daytona test is the first step and we’ll look at our options afterwards.” Although a Rudd, Jason has made it to the elite levels of NASCAR on his own work ethic and skill. He (Jason) has spent his time over the past two seasons making starts in ARCA, the Busch Series and ASA. Rudd finished a career high of third at Kentucky Speedway in ARCA. Brevak Racing remains one of the few original NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams on the circuit today. For sponsorship inquiries or for more information you may call Shelly Brevak at 715.682.9399 from 8am to 5pm.(Brevak Racing PR)(1-14-2005)
- Truck FanFest On Tap: The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will next test at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday and Sunday. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Preseason Thunder FanFest is scheduled for Saturday in the new FanZone in the infield of the Speedway. During the day, fans that purchase a FanFest ticket can watch testing from the FanZone. Beginning at 5 p.m., the FanFest will begin with bands, pit stop demonstrations, auctions and inquisitive fan forums. Admission is $10 and the proceeds from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Preseason Thunder FanFest will also benefit Victory Junction Gang Camp and The Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports. For any events at Daytona International Speedway, tickets can be purchased online at daytonainternationalSpeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(1-14-2005)
- #50 Truck gets a sponsor: Roush Racing announced today that World Financial Group will expand its primary sponsorship to include Todd Kluever in the #50 Ford F-150 entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for 15 races this season. In addition, World Financial Group will also be the primary sponsor for Carl Edwards in two NASCAR Nextel Cup races, and three Busch Series races. They will also sponsor one ARCA entry for Kluever. After sponsoring Edwards’ #99 entry in the Nextel Cup Series twice last season, World Financial Group decided to expand its sponsorship opportunities with Roush and move into the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series as well. The sponsorship will include 15 Craftsman Truck races with Kluever throughout the season, Busch Series events with Edwards in the No. 60 Ford at Las Vegas and both Phoenix events, and two Nextel Cup races with Edwards at Las Vegas in March and Talladega in October. They will also be on board for the ARCA race with Kluever in Daytona during SpeedWeeks. “It’s quite an honor to have a company like World Financial Group come on board to sponsor our truck when I haven’t even raced yet,” said Kluever. “Their support is integral in helping us succeed in the Craftsman Truck Series. I can’t wait to run up front with their truck. I know I can speak for Carl when I say we really want to win some races for them.”
“It is a privilege for any race team when a company opts to expand its sponsorship,” said Jack Roush. “World Financial Group was a great partner last year and their support helped Carl get a few Nextel Cup races under his belt. Now they are going to give Todd the same opportunity in the truck series. We intend to repay them with a few trips to Victory Lane.”
“At World Financial Group, we’re dedicated to helping people realize the power of their dreams. That’s why we are proud to return as a sponsor for Carl Edwards in his NEXTEL Cup and Busch series rides and to support Todd Kluever in his rookie season,” said Tim Stonehocker, president & CEO of World Financial Group, Inc. Carl and Todd focused on their goals to become NASCAR series drivers and came out on top with dream rides with a great race team. With a championship organization like Roush Racing behind them, we know both Todd and Carl are headed for bright futures and we are honored to be a part of that.”
World Financial Group, Inc. is an independent marketing company whose affiliates offer life insurance and a broad array of financial products and services. Through its thousands of independent associates in the United States and Canada, World Financial Group strives to help individuals and families who are often overlooked by the financial services industry to plan for their financial futures and work toward their goals no matter what their income. Unlike other companies that may offer financial products and services from one or two companies, World Financial Group believes in the power of choice for clients. World Financial Group has agreements with more than 70 separate insurance and financial services companies, giving WFG associates the opportunity to offer clients a wide variety of products and services so they can choose the ones that best fit their needs. World Financial Group and its exclusive broker-dealer World Group Securities, Inc. are both members of a respected corporate family – the AEGON Group. For more information on World Financial Group, log on to www.worldfinancialgroup.com.(Roush Racing PR)(1-13-2005)
- Japanese Driver to pilot 2nd Germain/Arnold Toyota in 2005: Germain / Arnold Racing announced that it has expanded the team to a two-truck operation. Shige Hattori will be the driver of the team’s second Toyota Tundra entry in the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Hattori, a resident of the US for the past ten years, moves into NASCAR’s premier ranks after several years in IRL’s IndyCar Series. “I’m very excited to have Shige join our team,” stated team co-owner, Bob Germain. “He has a tremendous desire to succeed and I think working with Mike Hillman will make the transition to NASCAR racing easier for him.”
Shige Hattori will become the first full-time Japanese driver in NASCAR’s premier ranks. Shige stated, “I am excited to be racing in 2005 for Germain/Arnold Racing, a team that has proven it can win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. I look forward to learning from Mike Hillman, General Manager who has a successful history in all levels of NASCAR and has demonstrated he can put Toyota in the winner circle. It will be a great opportunity for me to work along side my teammate Chad Chaffin. Chad is a winner and can help me get acclimated to both the truck and the tracks. With the power of TRD (USA), and the support of my sponsors AISIN, AISIN AW and ADVICS, I will be competing in my first full season in NCTS after nearly 10 years in open wheel racing in the United States, and am I anxious to get started.”
“Shige met with us back in October at our shop,” said Don Arnold, co-owner. “At that time, he was talking with several potential teams in the NCTS and examining what it would take to run in this Series. Everyone has worked very hard to make this happen. NASCAR is where Shige really wants to be and we’re very proud to have him on our team. I think 2005 is going to be a very exciting year for everyone involved.”
Chad Chaffin, driver of the #30 Germain/Arnold Racing Toyota Tundra, was equally excited about his new teammate, “It’s always better when you have a two truck operation. From testing on up, the team can learn a great deal more and at a much faster pace. Shige has a very hands-on attitude, much like my own. We both like to work alongside the crew to learn as much as we can about the equipment. I think there is a lot we can learn from each other and with Toyota power, we have all the right equipment to get the job done.”
“The team is busy preparing trucks for this week’s test in Daytona,” said Mike Hillman, General Manager. “Working with all the guys at TRD (USA) has really made the transition to a two-truck operation much easier. I think this is going to be a very strong team with Shige and Chad. All the guys on the crew, myself included, are really looking forward to getting out there and putting on a great show.” (Germain/Arnold Racing PR), no word on a truck number or crew chief.(1-12-2005)
- Reutimann ready for title run with new teammate UPDATE 4 Huffman in 2nd DW truck? YEP: David Reutimann and sponsor NTN Bearings will return to DW Motorsports #17 Toyota Truck in 2005. Bobby Kennedy will continue to be the team manager. Jason Overstreet will be the crew chief. Intentions are to have a second team next year and DW is trying to put together a sponsorship deal and hire a second driver.(FoxSports)(11-30-2004)
UPDATE: hearing the driver for DW’s 2nd team could be Hank Parker Jr. who is available since IMI [#12,#21] supposedly closed shop.(12-2-2004)
UPDATE 2: “Darrell Waltrip Motorsports is trying to secure sponsorship for a second team,” stated Bobby Kennedy, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Team Manager. “No driver has been named at this time.”(12-3-2004)
UPDATE 3: Expect an announcement in the next few days that Darrell Waltrip Motorsports will be fielding a 2nd full-time truck team in 2005. Robert Huffman in the #12 Toyota Tundra will join David Reutiman who drives the #17. The 2nd team will be factory-backed by Toyota. Also look for DW to drive a race or two in the #11 Tundra.(1-5-2005)
UPDATE 4: Darrell Waltrip Motorsports announces the addition of a second full-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team with driver Robert Huffman. Huffman and Crew Chief Glenn Funderburk will campaign for the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship with the #12 Toyota Tundra entry alongside teammate David Reutimann, driver of the #17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra. Huffman made waves in the NASCAR Dash Series eventually becoming a five-time champion (1990, 1998, 1999,2000, 2003) recording 42 wins (second in all time wins). Trying his hand at something new, Huffman made two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts in 1997 with his debut occurring at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Claremont (N.C.) native also competed in 11 Busch Series events (1991-93). Out of Huffman’s accomplishments to date, one of his most memorable triumphs was winning Toyota Motorsports first-ever NASCAR championship in the 2003 Dash Series driving a Toyota Celica. After repeated championships in the Dash Series, Huffman was ready to step up to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with the Toyota Motorsports program. Huffman registered six top-10 finishes in 24 starts during his rookie season. Overall Toyota Motorsports fleet of Tundra’s collected four wins, 25 top-5 finishes, 54 top-ten finishes and five pole awards during their inaugural year in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.(DWM PR)(1-11-2005)
- BANG Racing Resignations: Cameron Tousi announced his resignation from Bang Racing, a NASCAR team [was #24 in Trucks, now part-time in Busch] operating in Mooresville, NC. As part owner, VP and General Counsel for the Team and its operating company Bang, LLC, Tousi was instrumental in forging the business alliances and transactions that placed the startup company on the NASCAR map. As a member of Bang’s Executive Committee, he was responsible for sports transactions and legal affairs, merchandising and licensing, and played a significant role in the company’s notable marketing and technology efforts. Mr. Tousi has joined Genus Law Group (www.genuslaw.com) as Senior Partner, where he will contribute his considerable knowledge and experience in corporate transactions, sports and entertainment law, and intellectual property.
AND John S. Adalio announced his resignation as Vice President of Sponsorship for Bang Racing, a NASCAR team operating in NC. Mr. Adalio, having twelve years experience in motorsports marketing, has established WIT Marketing, LLC and will provide marketing and public relations services as well as sponsorship development and implementation. Mr. Adalio stated, “It has been an adventure working with CEO Alex Meshkin and everyone at Bang Racing. I wish them success in the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series and beyond. Through WIT Marketing, LLC, I will work to assist sports entities and corporations in reaping a greater return-on-investment for their sponsorship and marketing dollars.” Interested parties should contact John S. Adalio, 401-647-4476 for information regarding WIT Marketing, LLC.(PR’s)(1-8-2005)
- Orleans Hires Wilburn as #61[#77] Crew Chief AND: Orleans Racing is pleased to announce the addition of Billy Wilburn to the team roster, effective immediately. Wilburn assumes responsibilities for it’s second Craftsman Truck entry, which will be driven by Brendan Gaughan. With Wilburn’s nearly 25 years of industry experience interim general manager / team driver Brendan Gaughan is excited to have Wilburn assume crew chief responsibilities at his successful Orleans Racing operation. “It’s not often someone of Wilburn’s caliber becomes available and to be able to have him come to our race team is a real plus for our team and it will only make our team stronger than its ever been.”
“Making the situation even better for us is my time with Billy at Penske Racing last year, which should help our program here at Orleans Racing gel that much quicker. This is really a giant boost for our race team.”
“This is a topflight team with all the right ingredients,” Wilburn cites as his reason for leaving Penske Racing, where he’d been employed since 1990. “It has all the material and a talented crew is here. All the components for success are right here. We’ve got a great driver. We’ve got good backing. We ‘ve got awesome support from Dodge — all the tools are here. That made Orleans Racing very appealing to me. Everything we need to succeed is here.”
Looking forward to the 2005 season Wilburn outlines his objectives with Orleans Racing by saying, “The goal is to win races number 1. And if the program works out as it should hopefully we’ll be competing for the championship in ’05. That’s step number one for us here at Orleans Racing.”
Asked if leaving his old employer was a tough decision Wilburn doesn’t hesitate in answering. “It was a very tough decision (to leave Penske),” said Wilburn. “I had a lot of great opportunities and Penske’s been a huge part of my career. Everything I’ve learned in Cup racing was through Penske. They worked with me on a lot of things. I did a lot of things while I was there that allowed me to learn and be a more versatile person in their program. Rusty Wallace gave me a super opportunity to be his crew chief and I learned a lot. We were successful, but not to the point where we needed to be for it to continue. Rusty’s in the last year of his career and I wish him the best and hope he’s successful. I wish the Penske organization success and a good year as well. It was a tough decision. Yeah, the toughest one I’ve ever made.”
Gaughan plans to make Wilburn’s transition as smooth as possible. “He knows I’ve got all the confidence in the world in his talents and abilities. And while he’s not been here long his approach to the business seems to be pulling the team together more tightly than it has been in the past. I know that his drive will inspire the team and drivers to dig just a little bit deeper.”
The Orleans Race team will field two entries in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2005, with Steve Park driving the #62 Orleans Racing entry fulltime and Brendan Gaughan driving in at least 16 of the Craftsman Truck Series’ 25 races.(Orleans Racing PR)(1-5-2005)
AND Gaughan has made two other substantial additions to the team. Dick Cobb, one of the area’s best all-time stock car drivers and car builders, is working full time in the team’s suspension shop, and noted motorsports journalist Mike Snow has been added to manage media relations. Park’s truck already has been in Detroit for wind-tunnel testing and Gaughan’s truck heads to the Dodge facility on Sunday before both trucks go to Daytona for testing Jan. 15 and 16.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(1-7-2005)
- Bill Davis names Truck Lineup: Bill Davis Racing is pleased to announce the 2005 Craftsman Truck Series driver and crew chief line-up. ike Skinner will begin his first full season piloting the #5 Toyota Tundra in 2005. Skinner competed for Bill Davis Racing in the final nine races of the 2004 and is looking forward to competing for the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship with his new team. Skinner has had unparalleled success in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, compiling 16 wins, 41 top-five finishes, and 14 poles in 79 starts. Skinner was crowned the first Craftsman Truck Series Champion in 1995 and is looking to repeat that feat in 2005. The 1995 Series Champion will have veteran crew chief Jeff Hensley calling the shots. The 2005 season will be Hensley’s second season as a crew chief for Bill Davis Racing. Hensley led the #22 Bill Davis Racing Tundra to a 22nd-place finish in the points last season. Hensley has been in the sport for over a decade. Before moving into his position at Bill Davis Racing, he served as a crew chief in the NASCAR Busch Series.
Bill Lester will return as the driver of the #22 Bill Davis Racing [Waste Management?] Tundra. Lester had seven top-10 starts during the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, as well as a top-10 finish at Gateway International Raceway. This will be Lester’s fifth season in the Craftsman Truck Series. Lester’s first career pole came in 2003 at the inaugural Craftsman Truck Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Taking the reigns as crew chief on the #22 truck is Doug Wolcott. Wolcott has been at Bill Davis Racing since the beginnings of the 2000 season and under his tutelage have been drivers Kenny Wallace, Dave Blaney, Ward Burton and Johnny Benson. Wolcott brings a wealth of experience both working on race trucks and behind the wheel.
Veteran driver Johnny Benson will return as the driver of the #23 Toyota Tundra in 2005. In 13 starts last season for Bill Davis Racing, Benson compiled five top-five finishes. Benson best finish of the season came at the Texas Motor Speedway in October where he finished 2nd to race winner Todd Bodine. Benson is looking forward to racing for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship in 2005. Greg Ely will return as crew chief of the #23 Bill Davis Racing Toyota Tundra. This will be Ely’s second year calling the shots for the #23 truck. He and Benson worked well together last season and are looking forward to success in 2005. Before moving to the Craftsman Truck Series, Ely was the shock specialist on the #23 car in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.(BDR PR)(1-6-2005)
- Musgrave to the #2 Truck; Spencer to the #1? UPDATE: Ultra Motorsports team owner Jim Smith has named veteran driver Ted Musgrave to drive the #2 Team ASE Dodge truck for the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.(Truckseries.com)
AND hearing that Jimmy Spencer will drive the #1 Mopar Dodge for Jim Smith in 2005. I had heard he would be in the #2 Dodge of Smith’s but supposedly some sort of sponsor conflict [NAPA vs. Carquest] squashed that.(1-6-2005)
UPDATE: Jimmy Spencer will pilot Ultra Motorsports’ #1 Dodge in the Craftsman Truck Series this season and also plans a partial Nextel Cup campaign, NASCAR.com reports. Ted Musgrave, who has driven the #1 truck for the past four years, will take over as driver of the team’s #2 Dodge. The story says Spencer, 47, expects to drive for Arnold Motorsports in a Nextel Cup schedule that will depend on sponsorship. He will run some Busch Series events for Michael Waltrip and hopes to field his own entry in others. Spencer says he may also have an unspecified television deal for the year. Also the #50 team will skip Speedweeks [Daytona] due to budget constraints.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-6-2005)
- New owner at the #16? 2nd team? UPDATE 2 Smith as the driver: hearing that Dave Fuge bought the IWX team from Steve Coulter and will rename it Express [actually Xpress] Motorsports and supposedly will start a 2nd full-time team with Jay Guy as the crew chief.(12-13-2004)
UPDATE: Xpress Motorsports, two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) championship team, has undergone a facelift for the 2005 season. Longtime team manager Dave Fuge has taken over the ownership reins of Xpress Motorsports/IWX Racing effective December 1, 2004 when Steve Coulter made the decision to retire from his motorsports involvement. Coulter, founder and owner of IWX Motor Freight, started Xpress Motorsports in 1996 to compete full-time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In the spring of 1997, NASCAR veteran Fuge joined the organization as Team Manager/Crew Chief and quickly brought the team to the next level. With driver Jack Sprague and sponsor Chevy Trucks in place for 2005, Fuge is ready for the challenges of team ownership. Fuge knows the potential of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and doesn’t rule out the possibility of the team growing to a two-truck operation. “We are seriously looking at the possibility of adding another truck to the stable,” Fuge concluded. “If we can manage to get it done in time for Daytona, that would be a great deal for us. Two trucks racing on the track means twice the information to work with. We will make an announcement if we are successful in getting a program put together.(PR)(12-21-2004)
UPDATE 2 – Driver: The XPress Motorsports NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team will add a second entry this season, according to new owner Dave Fuge. The longtime General Manager purchased the team recently from former owner Steve Coulter, and told MRN Radio/Sirius Satellite Radio’s Sirius Speedway that he will make an oficial announcement in the near future. “I can tell you the driver will be Regan Smith,” said Fuge. “We are involved with someone on the west coast who has talked about becoming a truck owner for quite some time, and we are going to form a partnership to put a second truck on the track in time for Daytona. Multi-truck teams are obviously the way to go today, and we look forward running two trucks this season.” Fuge said the team is putting the finishing touches on negotiations with “three or four sponsors,” and hopes to have an official announcement in about 10 days, when the team begins preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway.(MRN Radio/Sirius Satellite Radio’s Sirius Speedway)(1-4-2005)
- Harmon to run all races in 2005: Mike Harmon and Oostlander Racing owner Bert Oostlander plan to run the full ARCA season in 2005, Harmon and team have plans to run a very limited (4 or 5 events) Busch schedule and the entire Craftsman Truck Series season. The 2005 ARCA and Busch car numbers for the season have not been announced, however, the CTS number they will use is the #24 [ended up going with #21]. Oostlander Racing was formed last year after Harmon left the Busch team of GIC Mixon. With Harmon as the driver and Steve Kuykendall as the Crew Chief(Catchfence)(1-1-2005)
- DW plans at least one more Truck race in 2005…then retire?: Darrell Waltrip plans to run the Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway in the spring. That’s a make-up race. Qualifying got rained out in October, and DW didn’t get to race at Martinsville. DW has a brand new truck. The Toyota Racing Development crew took it home, covered it up the one DW was to run at the Oct Martinsville race [qual rained out] and will bring it back out in April. DW says that more than likely, it will be his last race. So DW will probably run that Martinsville spring race and unless he happens to win that race, that will probably be his last one.(paraphased from FoxSports)(1-1-2005)
- 2005 Truck Series Schedule Announced:
The 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule announced today increases the number of races held in conjunction with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and closes existing “gaps” between late winter and spring events.
The 25-race schedule, which opens Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway and concludes Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, includes 16 same-week races in cities hosting NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events.
“The growth of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series coincides with the opportunity to bring more events to NASCAR fans across America,” said Mike Helton, NASCAR’s President. “Next year’s realignment has created additional positive steps to enhance and expand visibility of the series to the benefit of our teams, tracks, sponsors and television viewers.”
The reconfigured schedule also takes advantage of heightened fan and media interest in the “Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup,” the season’s final 10 races that provide a points framework awarding the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship. The final five events of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will be in combination with those weekends – at Martinsville Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
New combination events will be held Feb. 25 at California Speedway, June 18 at Michigan International Speedway, Oct. 29 at Atlanta and Nov. 4 at Texas. The first Texas Motor Speedway date, a stand-alone race, will be held June 10. Atlanta Motor Speedway receives a second combination race in 2005 while California Speedway moves its fall stand-alone race to combination status as the season’s second race. Michigan International Speedway’s previous races were stand alone events, as well.
Martinsville Speedway hosts a pair of combination events, on April 9 and Oct. 22 for the third consecutive year. Other continuing combination weekends will be held at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Indianapolis Raceway Park during the Brickyard 400 weekend, New Hampshire International Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Richmond International Raceway. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will continue to have stand alone events at Gateway International Raceway, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, Memphis Motorsports Park, Nashville Superspeedway, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. On the weekend of June 24–25, the Series will team up with the NASCAR Busch Series for a unique combination weekend at The Milwaukee Mile.
SPEED Channel, which in 2004 is enjoying a 31% increase in the number of households tuning in and a 16% increase in the total number of viewers for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will broadcast all 25 races on the schedule along with MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio. The 2005 season marks the beginning of the second decade of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Craftsman continues its entitlement sponsorship of the series in 2005 for the 10th consecutive season. Craftsman was the series’ inaugural presenting sponsor in 1995.
Tentative 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule Date Site Feb. 18 Daytona International Speedway Feb. 25 California Speedway March 18 Atlanta Motor Speedway April 9 Martinsville Speedway April 30 Gateway International Raceway May 15 Mansfield Motorsports Speedway May 20 Lowe’s Motor Speedway June 3 Dover International Speedway June 10 Texas Motor Speedway June 18 Michigan International Speedway June 24 The Milwaukee Mile July 2 Kansas Speedway July 9 Kentucky Speedway July 23 Memphis Motorsports Park August 5 Indianapolis Raceway Park August 13 Nashville Superspeedway August 24 Bristol Motor Speedway September 8 Richmond International Raceway September 17 New Hampshire International Speedway September 24 Las Vegas Motor Speedway October 22 Martinsville Speedway October 29 Atlanta Motor Speedway November 4 Texas Motor Speedway November 11 Phoenix International Raceway November 18 Homestead-Miami Speedway
Born On Date: January 16, 2005
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