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January 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.

  • McCall to drive for Xpress Motorsports? Hearing that Matt McCall [former RYR development driver] will be in the #16 Xpress Motorsports truck for the season opener at Daytona Int’l Speedway – not sure if they plan on attempting to run the entire season.(1-31-2007)
  • South Point Racing to run PME Engines first two races: South Point Racing and Kroyer Racing Engines announced today that the #77 South Point Chevy driven by Brendan Gaughan will be powered by PME engines built by Mark Smith for the first two races of the Craftsman Truck Series season. Smith’s engines will be under the hood of the #77 at Daytona International Speedway and California Speedway. In addition to building a new Chevrolet engine program, Kroyer has also been busy with his off-road racing engine program. In November, a team carrying his engine claimed the SCORE Trophy Truck championship for the second consecutive season. He has also competed in and won the overall title in his first off-road race of the 2007 season with 11 vehicles running Kroyer Racing Engines. With all the additional work and the strain on time, Kroyer decided to lease engines from Mark Smith and PME and use the extra time to develop his engine program.(South Point Racing PR)(1-31-2007)
  • Hernandez to race Martin’s Super Late Model / ARCA / Busch West: Jesus Hernandez [Ginn Racing development driver; may run some truck races] has been very busy gearing up for the new season. Hernandez has been testing not only his late model but has been testing Mark Martins super late model that he will be running at New Smyrna Speedway during speed weeks for Mark Martin. A partial schedule has been released. Hernandez will be running Mark Martins super late model at New Smyrna during speed weeks. His first Grand National Division Busch West race will be at Phoenix. Hernandez will run his first ARCA race on March 24th at The USA International Speedway. (Jesus Hernandez Racing)(1-30-2007)
  • Skinner could run more races in Davis’ Cup car: Mike Skinner is testing Bill Davis Racing’s #23 Toyota this week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but Skinner said Monday he likely won’t drive the car in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at the track on March 11. Skinner will drive the #23 in the Daytona 500 as a teammate to Dave Blaney and Jeremy Mayfield and could be in the car in more Nextel Cup races in 2007. Skinner drives the #5 Toyota for Davis in the Craftsman Truck Series. “”The purpose for the 23 car – I don’t think the 23 is going to come back to run this race – we are doing some research and development for the 22 and 36 and [to see] if we can help the 22 and 36 do better,”said Skinner.(Scene Daily)(1-30-2007)
  • McCumbee to run ARCA race at Daytona: Andy Belmont announced last weekend at the Eastern Motorsports Press Association in Trevose, PA that NOS Energy Drink will sponsor the #62 Andy Belmont Racing entry at the February 10th season-opening ARCA 200 at Daytona Int’l Speedway. Chad McCumbee is set to drive the #62 in the first four races starting with Daytona. It’ll be a Chevy through Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track High Performance Driving School.(arcaracing.com)(1-30-2007)
  • American Commercial Lines to sponsor Atlanta race: Atlanta Motor Speedway officials have announced that American Commercial Lines, an industry leader in marine transportation and manufacturing, will sponsor the speedway’s Friday night March 16 Craftsman Truck Series race[9:00 pm/et]. The race, which will be held during the March 16-18 Nextel Cup race weekend, will be officially known as the American Commercial Lines 200. American Commercial Lines is one of the largest and most diversified marine transportation and manufacturing companies in the United States with more than 2,600 employees. The company has been operating on the United States Inland Waterways System since 1915.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(1-29-2007)
  • Edwards going for the triple at Daytona: Carl Edwards is looking to kick off the 2007 season with a bang at Daytona International Speedway. Edwards, who drives the #99 Office Depot Ford in the Cup Series and the #60 Scotts Ford in the Busch Series, has signed up to race Roush Racing’s #50 Ford in the Craftsman Truck Series race Friday night. Edwards will run a handful of truck races throughout the 2007 season (the schedule is TBD) while Peter Shepherd drives the truck for the remaining races. The #50 truck that the two will share is still yet to be sponsored but Edwards is confident a new sponsor partner will come on board. Edwards and Shepherd will join truck teammates #99-Erik Darnell and #6-Travis Kvapil to round out the 2007 Roush Racing truck lineup.(Roush Racing PR)(1-29-2007)
  • HT Motorsports retains Close for 2007: HT Motorsports has announced today it had retained Close Finishes, Inc. to manage publicity initiatives for the team throughout the 2007 Truck Series season. The team also indicated that owner, John Close, will serve as the race day spotter for driver Terry Cook and the #59 Toyota.(HT Motorsports PR)(1-29-2007)
  • Carmichael returns to Supercross in big way: So much for Ricky Carmichael not being competitive by racing a partial Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series schedule. Ginn Racing development driver, Ricky Carmichael returned from a one-race layoff to end James “Bubba” Stewart’s season-opening winning streak at three with a victory at San Francisco’s AT&T Park on Saturday. “I’m happy to win again in San Francisco, and the next time you’ll see me is at Atlanta.” That gives Carmichael a month to focus on what he hopes will be a budding stock car career. He’s expected to attend next month’s Daytona 500 before making his 2007 Late Model debut with Ginn Racing in Lake City, Fla., on March 24. [Carmichael may run some Truck races this season.](USAtoday.com)(1-29-2007)
  • McCumbee starts season with new crew chief: Chad McCumbee returns to familiar team [#08 Chevy] with some new faces added in the mix. The biggest of those changes comes with driver Chad McCumbee teaming up with a new crew chief, Dan Glauz. Glauz will take over the race calling duties for the 2007 Craftsman Truck Series season and the team got their first few practices in at recent test sessions at Daytona and at Homestead-Miami Speedway where the team put forth solid times in the top-20 each day. (Chad McCumbee PR)(1-28-2007)
  • Truck Series Garage open to race fans at California: Race fans will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Craftsman Truck Series on Friday, February 23, 2007 at California Speedway. Track officials have announced that the Truck Series garage will be open to fans with a Weekend Pit Pass and a ticket to the San Bernardino County 200 Craftsman Truck Series race. Weekend Pit Passes can be purchased for only $55 and allow pit road access when the track is cold. For more information visit [California Speedway] online or call 1-800-944-RACE [7223].(California Speedway PR)(1-27-2007)
  • ESPN signs Compton as lead analyst: Stacy Compton has agreed to terms on a contract that will make him ESPN’s “lead analyst,” the driver confirmed Thursday. He said the contract is for one year with a two-year option for 2008 and 09. ESPN will make a formal announcement of Compton’s hiring next Tuesday. Compton made his first ESPN appearance on Thursday night’s 6 p.m. SportsCenter. He will be a regular contributor to the ultra-popular sports news show, and he will share his racing expertise on three racing-exclusive programs a week during the season. He and host Erik Kuselias will do a Monday “NASCAR Now” program, and Compton will also appear on two Sunday “RaceDay” shows. Most of the programs will air from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios, but Compton expects to do some work from NASCAR tracks. Official airdates of “NASCAR Now” and “RaceDay” will be announced next week. Compton’s only regret about his budding television career is it will cut into his racing slate. He recently signed to drive an abbreviated Craftsman Truck Series schedule for 2007 with Wood Brothers/JTG Motorsports, the team he drove for in the Busch Series from 2001-06. Compton will share the driving duties of the #09 Ford F-150 with Georgia driver Joey Clanton. Compton is signed to pilot the truck for nine races, and Clanton is scheduled to drive the other 16. There also are plans for Compton to drive some Busch Series races for Wood Brothers Racing. Compton is talking with other teams about possible race dates, too.(Lynchburg News & Advance)(1-27-2007)
  • Bliss/Dodson reunite for four races: Former Craftsman Truck Series driving champion Mike Bliss and long-time veteran crew chief Barry Dodson will reunite to run the first four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races for Key Motorsports in 2007. The announcement was made here today by team owner Curtis W. Key, Sr. Bliss will first drive the #40 Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet Silverado in the season opening Chevy Silverado HD 250 at the Daytona International Speedway on February 16. He’ll continue the limited opportunity at the races in California on February 23, Atlanta on March 16 and Martinsville on March 31. Bliss and Dodson first teamed together in 1995 when as a rookie, Bliss earned his first career victory in the Craftsman Truck Series at the North Wilkesboro Speedway. It was Dodson’s very first outing as crew chief for owner Jim Smith’s Team ASE/Ultra Wheels Ford, and the Bliss/Dodson duo would visit Victory Lane five more times through the 1998 campaign when Dodson left the Series. During their 81 NCTS races together, Bliss and Dodson earned 28 top 5 and 41 top 10 finishes, captured 13 pole positions, finished in the top 10 in the championship standings every year and earned nearly $1,500,000 in race winnings and point fund money. Bliss, who went on to capture the NCTS title in 2002, had a best point standing finish under Dodson’s rule of fourth in 1997. Key Motorsports will announce its driver lineup for the #40 truck for the remaining 21 races in 2007 next week.(Key Motorsports PR)(1-26-2007)
  • Jack Sprague engaged to be married: Wyler Racing and Integrity Sports Marketing would like to congratulate three-time Craftsman Truck Series Champion, Jack Sprague, on his recent engagement to Amy Schellenbach. The pair were engaged over the weekend and wedding plans will be announced at a later date. Sprague drives the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota in the Craftsman Truck Series.(Wyler Racing PR)(1-25-2007)
  • National Pork Board renews with Thorsport: Sullivan Worldwide Marketing Group has announced that ThorSport Racing has renewed its relationship with the National Pork Board as an associate sponsor of the #13 Chevy driven by Willie Allen and the #88 Chevy driven by Matt Crafton. Starting with the February 16th race at Daytona International Speedway, the National Pork Board will have a significant presence on the two ThorSport Racing entries for the 2007 Craftsman Truck Series season.(Thorsport Racing PR)(1-25-2007)
  • New tire not agreeing with trucks: The right-side tire Goodyear plans to use for Speedweeks next month may make the Nextel Cup and Busch Series cars easier to drive around Daytona International Speedway. The same, however, wasn’t the case during preseason testing earlier this month for the Craftsman Truck Series. “It wasn’t much of a change [in the hardness of the tires], but it was just enough that it upsets the trucks pretty good, but it helps the cars turn. And we try to run the same compound everywhere so that the rubber is the same on the race track,” Wayne Auton, the series’ director, said Wednesday during the Nextel Cup Media Tour hosted by Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “With the new [nose and splitter] configurations that we’ve got on the trucks, its upset [their handling] pretty good right now. They’ll get it figured out.” Drivers said it’s definitely a handful, and while Auton wouldn’t say the tires are what’s making things a challenge for the driver, he knows it’s one of the few things that have changed since last year. “The changes we made [to the trucks] may have a little bit to do with it, but if you talk to the drivers, the vehicle’s still driving just like it did last year, and [the tire] is the only common denominator that there is.” (Scene Daily)(1-24-2007)
  • MB2 Motorsports announces 2007 lineup: UPDATE: MB2 will continue its partnership with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series. Kraig Kinser, along with MB2’s development driver Jesus Hernandez, will compete in selected truck races. Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael, who will join MB2’s development program next year, could also compete in a couple of truck races.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(11-10-2006)
    UPDATE: Kraig Kinser will run most of the 2007 Craftsman Truck Series schedule but will hand over the wheel of the #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevry to another Ginn Racing development driver for a few events. Kinser said that Jesus Hernandez will compete in a few races late in the 2007 season. Ginn Racing works with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports in the truck series thanks in part to Ginn driver Joe Nemechek’s brother-in-law Eric Phillips, who serves as crew chief for the Morgan-Dollar truck. The team had several people with Ginn Racing gear working on the truck during testing. (Scene Daily)(1-23-2007)
  • NASCAR awarding more points for wins: NASCAR officials have announced that winners in all three of its major touring series will be awarded five additional bonus points for a win beginning this season. The change applies to victories in the Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series.(NASCAR PR)(1-23-2007)
  • Mattox to join Billy Ballew Motorsports: Billy Ballew Motorsports has announced that fellow Georgian and Late Model racer Jess Mattox will be joining the team as part of their driver development program. Mattox has been racing since the age of nine and hails from Waycross, GA. Ready to make the next step up into the NASCAR ranks, Mattox will learn from veteran experience when he moves to Billy Ballew Motorsports where Richie Wauters, the Truck Series crew chief and Southeast Series Champion car owner, is at the helm. Wauters along with JR Norris, the 2006 Southeast Series Championship winner and fellow Ballew development driver, will show Mattox what it takes to move to the next step and into a Craftsman Truck.(Billy Ballew Motorsports PR)(1-21-2007)
  • Gaughan to go off-road racing at Laughlin Desert Challenge: UPDATE: Results: Brendan Gaughan will return to his racing roots this weekend as he tackles the off-road Laughlin (NV) Desert Challenge on Saturday and Sunday. The Laughlin race will be the first of six SCORE events that Gaughan plans to compete in during the 2007 season in his bid for the off-road championship. Gaughan will start 43rd out of 46 entries on the six mile Laughlin loop in the Class 1 group. He will be competing in a Kreger Fab buggy, which has competed in only one race (Best In the Desert), where Gaughan qualified second. The buggy is powered by a small block Chevy motor built by Kroyer Racing Engines.(South Point Racing PR)(1-18-2007)
    UPDATE: Results: A broken transmission relegated Brendan Gaughan and co-pilot Billy Holbrook to an early exit from the Class 1 race at the Laughlin Desert Challenge on both Saturday and Sunday. Despite the mechanical problems, Gaughan was pleased with his Kreger Fab buggy’s performance, and hopes to have the transmission problems rectified before his next SCORE event – the San Felipe 250 on March 9-11.(South Point Racing)(1-22-2007)
  • Hamilton Jr.: ‘I’ve washed my hands’ of BHR: UPDATE: BHR response: In his first public comments since the death of his father, an emotional Bobby Hamilton Jr. lashed out at some of the people leading Bobby Hamilton Racing, saying he has “washed my hands and dried them” of the team. Hamilton Jr. rejoined his father’s truck team in 2006 after Bobby Hamilton Sr. announced he had cancer. Hamilton Sr. died of cancer Jan. 7. The younger Hamilton says he knew after joining the team that things weren’t quite right at BHR, and he soon began to wonder if he should stay there. “Our leader at BHR wasn’t around, he was sick, he wasn’t up to par,” Hamilton Jr. said. “It was almost like the Titanic. I was looking for a lifeboat.” Hamilton Jr. says he talked to his father about their future and about his own career, knowing many expected Hamilton Jr. to be part of BHR. But that doesn’t appear likely now. “I washed my hands and dried them,” Hamilton Jr. said Sunday after stopping to collect his thoughts. “I’m done.” Bobby Hamilton Sr told his son that his legacy wasn’t BHR, Hamilton Jr. said. “He patted me on the back and said, ‘Your name is my legacy. Winning races is what I need you to do,'” Hamilton Jr. said before pausing again. “That’s what I’m trying to do. With everything going on down there, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. “When I informed him that I wasn’t really happy with the way things were going, he said it’s not that important. He said, ‘I won my championship. I did what I wanted to do. I built it from the ground up, won the championship. At the end of the rainbow, it’s your deal. You do what you want with it.'”(Scene Daily)(1-21-2007)
    UPDATE: BHR response: “We at Bobby Hamilton Racing are continuing operations with a team of people hand-selected by Bobby Hamilton Sr. This is the same team of people who helped Bobby Sr. win his NCTS championship title in 2004. The teams and our sponsors, Fastenal and Dodge, continued commitment is evident by the recent successful performance during testing in Daytona. During the past season, we have had the full support from Fastenal and Dodge who were supportive during Bobby’s battle with cancer as well as his plan for continuing operations at BHR in his absence. We have so many members of the NASCAR, Fastenal and Dodge family, as well as personal friends and family members who have confidence in Bobby Hamilton Racing’s success in 2007 and beyond. We wish that same success to Bobby Jr.,” statement from Bobby Hamilton Racing.(BHR PR)(1-21-2007)
  • Homestead test results: 2007 Truck Series Homestead Testing(1-20-2007)
  • SPEED sets Truck Series broadcast team: SPEED has announced its broadcast plans for the 2007 Craftsman Truck Series season – including the permanent addition of the popular pre-race show hosted by series insider and pit reporter Krista Voda. The pre-race show will get ‘behind-the-scenes’ with the drivers, crews and race teams prior to each live Truck Series race on SPEED, beginning with the 2007 season opener from Daytona Int’l Speedway on Feb. 16 at 7:30 pm/et. Long-time SPEED play-by-play announcer Rick Allen will once again lead each Craftsman Truck Series broadcast, as former NASCAR standout Phil Parsons and current Nextel Cup Series driver Michael Waltrip will provide color commentary. Every angle on pit road will also be covered as Truck Series expert Ray Dunlap and veteran Motor Racing Network (MRN) voice Adam Alexander will offer their unique insights. In the first four years it has been live on SPEED, the Craftsman Truck Series has experienced year-over-year growth in ratings.(NASCAR PR)(1-19-2007)
  • Xpress looking for sponsor to keep team alive: UPDATE: still searching: The Xpress Motorsports Truck Series team hasn’t shut its doors just yet, but owner Dave Fuge Sr. knows that time may be growing nearer by the day. If Fuge doesn’t have a sponsor signed by the end of December, a team that won a pair of championships will cease to exist. Fuge, who has already laid off most of his employees, has owned the team since 2005, buying the team he led to championships as its crew chief from Steve Coulter. The team was sponsored by Chevy through last season, but went through this past season with limited sponsorship at best. (Scene Daily.com)(11-28-2006)
    UPDATE: still searching: After two back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003, Xpress Motorsports has proven to be one of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series most powerful teams. With team owner Dave Fuge calling the shots, Xpress has scored wins with drivers Randy Tolsma, Mike Bliss, Ron Hornaday, Travis Kvapil, and Jack Sprague. However, even a strong record and recent trips to victory lane have not assured Fuge’s team survival in 2007. While Xpress Motorsports was on the sidelines during the testing sessions, Fuge has all of his equipment ready to go for 2007. With the changes in the noses and tails for the new season, his entire fleet sits ready to go – minus the body parts, just in case he needs to adapt to any of the four manufacturers currently in the series. Fuge would like to return in 2007 with Bliss behind the wheel, but is open to any opportunities.(truckseries.com)(1-19-2007)
  • Mickel in the #63? UPDATE: Scott Lynch practiced the #63 MB Motorsports Ford on Saturday, however, during Sunday’s testing session, England’s John Mickel was in the driver’s seat. Speed/TV reported that Mickel brought sponsorship to the team and would be the driver.(Speed/TV)(1-14-2007)
    UPDATE: 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)
  • Crawford elected to Mobile Hall of Fame: Rick Crawford (#14 Ford) will be honored along with the likes of Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey and Kenny Stabler when he is formally inducted into the Mobile (Ala.) Sports Hall of Fame on April 19. Crawford will be the 75th athlete to receive the honor, and the first from the world of motorsports. He was selected from a pool of 78 nominees after an overwhelming letter writing campaign from fans along the Gulf Coast. “I’ve always been proud to say I’m from Mobile and now being mentioned in the same sentence with my hero Hank Aaron is more than I could ever hope for,” Crawford said.(NASCAR PR)(1-18-2007)
  • Zaxby’s Franchise potential sponsor in 2007 UPDATE 2: Sponsorship for both drivers: When Joey Clanton says he bought into the Zaxby’s franchise, he means it. The 33-year-old Tyrone resident owns two franchises, and starting in February, he’s planning to drive a Zaxby’s-sponsored truck in the Craftsman Truck Series. As part of its fall licensee conference at the Classic Center this week, Oconee County-based Zaxby’s announced that it plans to sponsor the #09 truck starting with the 2007 season. While the decision to field a truck isn’t set in stone, a final decision is expected to be made this month, said Jeff Hood, financial projects manager for Zaxby’s.(OnlineAthens.com)(10-4-2006)
    UPDATE: Former ASA champion Joey Clanton of Tyrone, Ga. will compete on a part-time basis in the Truck Series in 2007. The 34-year-old Clanton will drive for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing with sponsorship from Athens, Ga.-based Zaxby’s restaurants. Clanton, who spent the past year serving as team manager for Late Model driver John Wes Townley of Watkinsville, Ga., will drive the Ford truck driven by Marcos Ambrose in 2006. The number of the truck is tentatively scheduled to change from #20 to #09. Clanton is slated to compete in 16 truck events next season for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing. Clanton’s first race will be the Chevy Silverado HD 250 at Daytona on Feb. 16.(Zaxby’s Franchising PR)(12-6-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Sponsorship for both drivers: Wood Brothers/JTG Racing has announced that Zaxby’s restaurants and the team have come to terms on a sponsorship deal that will provide backing for one of their two full-time Craftsman Truck Series teams. Representative drivers will be Joey Clanton, scheduled to run 16 events and Stacy Compton, set to run the rest. With Clanton and Compton behind the wheel, the team will also be changing numbers on the Zaxby’s Ford F-150-from #20 to the #09, which has always been the Zaxby’s sponsored team number in the past.(Wood Bros/JTG PR)(1-17-2007)
  • Schrader to run Midget race: Ken Schrader plans to race this Saturday in the Inaugural “Rumble in the Buckeye State” indoor Midget race at the Ohio State Fairgrounds Expo Coliseum in Columbus. Schrader will pilot the #7 C & A Kenyon Midget at Columbus. Kevin Besecker, who won the 1999 “Thunder in the Dome” Midget race in Indianapolis, will serve as Kenny’s crew chief. Saturday will also be “Ken Schrader Day” in Columbus and he is expected to be available during an autograph session in the Ohio Building Fan Fair next to the Coliseum. (usacracing.com)(1-17-2007)
  • Shepherd to drive full season? UPDATE: During post-testing coverage, SPEED/TV reported that Canadian driver, Peter Shepherd will drive the #50 Roush Racing Ford for the full 2007 Truck Series season.(Speed/TV)(1-13-2007)
    UPDATE: Shepherd crossing fingers: Canadian Peter Shepherd (#50 Roush Racing Ford) consistently has logged some of this week’s quickest laps, but still has no idea if he’ll be competing in next month’s race. If performance counts, however, Shepherd, 20, should count on getting some action in the team’s F-150 truck. Shepherd competed in three races for Roush in 2006 with a best finish of 18th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(Speed/TV)(1-15-2007)

  • New year, new trucks: All four Truck Series manufacturers, Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota, will debut revised versions of their popular vehicles when the 2007 season begins with the Chevrolet Silverado HD 250 on Feb. 16 at Daytona International Speedway. The new models got their first workouts Friday as Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder testing continued at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. So far, it appears the new trucks are passing the test. “On the track today, things are looking pretty good as far as parity,” said Wayne Auton, Craftsman Truck Series director, who explained that “the aerodynamics are closer, and the down force is closer which will make for better competition on the race track.” All four models are identical from the windshield back, enabling inspectors to use a single template to measure each one. Each manufacturer submitted a revised nose piece which is 1-½ inches higher than a year ago.(NASCAR PR)(1-12-2007)
    UPDATE: Auton gives Test thumbs-up: Craftsman Truck Series Director Wayne Auton termed the three days of testing successful on several fronts. “The trucks definitely, as far as aerodynamics, have done exactly what we felt like we could accomplish with four new trucks in the garage area, which is to keep the speeds where we were before (or) maybe a little less,” he said. A number of drivers told Auton the package shouldn’t diminish passing opportunities. “I’ve heard most of them say that with a little bit of help, you can get out and pass somebody, but you can still pull out and go around a line of trucks even if they are lined up in front of you,” said Auton.(
    Speed/TV)(1-15-2007)
  • Testing continues at Homestead: The second of the 2007 season’s three Craftsman Truck Series tests will be held Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 17-18, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 1.5-mile track hosts the Ford 200, the season finale, on Nov. 16. Testing will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on both days with Friday, Jan. 19 reserved in event of inclement weather. The year’s final test is scheduled for May 10-11 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Speed/TV)(1-15-2007)
  • Mike Wallace to pull triple duty at Daytona: Mike Wallace will drive the #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevy sponsored by DirecTV NASCAR Hot Pass in the Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday February 16th. He will drive his full time 2007 ride, the #7 GEICO Chevy for Phoenix Racing, in Saturday’s Busch Series event. Wallace will jump into the No. 09 Miccosukee Gaming & Resorts Chevy in the #09 Miccosukee Gaming & Resorts Chevrolet in the Daytona 500 Nextel Cup race on Sunday.(Spartanburg Herald Journal)(1-14-2007)
  • KHI entering 2nd truck at Daytona: UPDATE: Harvick, Bowyer, Gale to share ride: Hearing that Kevin Harvick Inc. will enter a second truck at the Daytona season opener with development driver, Cale Gale at the wheel.(1-10-2007)
    UPDATE: Harvick, Clint Bowyer and newcomer Cale Gale will share driving duties in a second KHI truck. Veteran Charlie Wilson, like Harvick a Bakersfield native, has been appointed crew chief of the #2 Chevy.(Speed/TV))(1-14-2007)
  • Power Stroke Diesel re-evaluating sponsorship: UPDATE 3: Sponsorship: In talking with Terry Cook on the Sirius Speedway program, Terry Cook was asked if Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int’l was going to continue sponsorship in the Truck Series. Cook said that Power Stroke wanted to hook up with an existing Ford team, and they were not able to put the deal together in a short period of time. Cook felt that they would more than likely be back as a sponsor, however may take the 2007 season off as they re-evaluate the program.(Sirius Speedway)(1-5-2007)
    UPDATE: Int’l teams up with Starr and Crawford: International Truck and Engine Corporation, a Navistar Company, is expanding its motor sports marketing initiative with Texas based Circle Bar Racing for the 2007 Craftsman Truck Series season. International will field two, full-time race teams in 2007 with Texas native David Starr and Rick Crawford as the drivers. Starr and Crawford will be behind the wheel of their Power Stroke Diesel and Diesel Ford in 2007. Kevin “Cowboy” Starland will return as the crew chief for Crawford’s team, while Starr’s new team will be led by 3-time NASCAR Championship crew chief Dennis Connor. Both teams will be housed in the Circle Bar Race shop in Concord, North Carolina. The sponsorship of Circle Bar Racing will provide a great platform for International Truck and Engine to market its industry leading lineup of commercial trucks and school buses, and help introduce their MaxxForce brand of diesel engines, available exclusively in International trucks beginning in 2007. The sponsorship will also see the continuation of the successful Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International program that has been a mainstay in the Craftsman Truck Series since 2002. (Circle Bar PR)(1-9-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Truck will be #10 with points and equipment purchased from PPC.(Circle Bar PR)(1-9-2007)
    UPDATE 3: Sponsors for #10 and #14: Named sponsorship for the two Circle Bar Racing trucks will be the #14 Power Stroke Diesel Ford for Rick Crawford and the #10 MaxxForce Diesel Ford with David Starr.(Speed/TV)(1-14-2007)
  • Motorbooks launches Truck Series book: The Authoritative Volume on this Motorsport, written by veteran journalist John Close, recently launched a 160-page hardbound volume recounting the history of the Craftsman Truck Series from its conceptual days in 1994 to its present status as one of the most successful and exciting forms of motorsports. The book, an officially licensed NASCAR product and part of the NASCAR Library Collection, features interviews with key players in the history of the division, including NASCAR President and CEO Brian France, series innovator Jimmy Smith, drivers Mike Skinner, Ron Hornaday Jr., Jack Sprague, Ted Musgrave, and many more. Beautifully illustrated featuring more than 225 color photos, Craftsman Truck Series includes images of the earliest trucks, the 1994 exhibition and Winter Heat races, and key events in series history through the 2006 Truck Series Championship season. The book is available at [motorbooks.com] and will be in major bookstores in February.(1-14-2007)
  • Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder Notes:Roush Racing Dominates on Second Test Day… It was a case of same song, different verse as Roush Racing drivers topped Saturday morning’s NASCAR Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder single-truck speed chart just as the team did the day before. Kvapil is now three-for-three in top speeds and his teammates – Erik Darnell (#99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford) and Peter Shepherd (#50 Ford) – aren’t far behind. Friday’s initial drafting drill saw Kvapil record a fast lap of 48.252 seconds/186.521 mph. the lap was fractionally quicker than that of A.J. Allmendinger (#00 Toyota), whose best time was 48.399 seconds/185.954 mph. Back in single-truck mode on Saturday, Kvapil was quickest at 50.180 seconds, 179.354 mph. He was trailed by Darnell, 50.633 seconds/177.750 mph and Canada’s Shepherd, 50.703 seconds/177.504.

    What Makes Craftsman Trucks Fun To Watch…Brendan Gaughan (#77 South Point Racing Chevy) is never at a loss for words and the Las Vegas native had this to say when asked why a race fan should follow the series. “We have drivers with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup experience and we have 18 year olds that are brand new in the series. If you are a fan you get to watch guys that are driving all sorts of different equipment that have all sorts of talent on their race teams.

    Sharing The Load…Several teams with developmental drivers will split up the 2007 schedule thus giving fans the opportunity to view more young talent while utilizing the skills of more veteran competitors. Among them are Wood Brothers/JTG Racing where Joey Clanton and Stacy Compton will share the #09 Zaxby’s Ford and Kelly Bires and Daytona winner Mark Martin will take turns in the team’s #21 Ford. Shane Huffman and Clay Rogers will drive Key Motorsports’ #40 Chevy while Allmendinger, open-wheel star Josh Wise and Ken Butler III will make appearances in Darrell Waltrip’s #00 Toyota…First-Time Driver Combo For Circle Bar Racing…Five-time and 2003 Daytona winner Rick Crawford (#14 Power Stroke Diesel Ford) will have a teammate for the first time this season – and no surprise, it’s Houston native David Starr (#10 MaxxForce Diesel Ford). Circle Bar Racing owner Tom Mitchell of Ozona, Tex. jumped at the opportunity to put a fellow native of the Lone Star State in the seat once sponsorship matters were settled. “There was no Plan B,” said Crawford. Circle Bar acquired the assets of ppc Racing which included the services of Dennis Connor, a three-time championship crew chief and 26-time series winner.(NASCAR PR)(1-13-2007)

    Fast Facts:
    Session 2: Truck Series teams
    What: Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder testing for the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado HD 250
    Where: Daytona International Speedway
    Track Layout: 2.5-mile tri-oval
    TV: SPEED, Friday, Jan. 12, 7 pm/et and Sunday, Jan. 14, 6:30 pm/et
    When: Friday, Jan. 12 through Sunday, Jan. 14
    Times: 9 am- 5 pm
    Who: Drivers include former series champions Todd Bodine, Ron Hornaday Jr., Travis Kvapil, Ted Musgrave, Mike Skinner and Jack Sprague. Previous Daytona 250 winners expected include Rick Crawford. Daytona Budweiser Pole winners Musgrave and Terry Cook also will test.(NASCAR PR)(1-12-2007)

  • New trucks at Daytona; so far, they pass the test: All four Craftsman Truck Series manufacturers – Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota – will debut revised versions of their popular vehicles when the 2007 season begins with the Chevrolet Silverado HD 250 on Feb. 16 at Daytona International Speedway. The new models got their first workouts Friday as NASCAR Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder testing continued at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. So far, it appears the new trucks are passing the test. “On the track today, things are looking pretty good as far as parity,” said Wayne Auton, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series director, who explained that “the aerodynamics are closer, and the down force is closer which will make for better competition on the race track.” All four models are identical from the windshield back, enabling NASCAR inspectors to use a single template to measure each one. Each manufacturer submitted a revised nose piece which is 1-½ inches higher than a year ago.(NASCAR PR)(1-12-2007)
  • Germain Racing sets sights on Nextel Cup racing: UPDATE: On the heels of winning the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series championship, Todd Bodine and Germain Racing have announced that they will take their success to the Nextel Cup Series in 2007. In what will be Toyota’s inaugural season of Nextel Cup racing, Bodine, Toyota’s first ever NASCAR champion, will pilot the #03 Toyota Camry in 15 select events that represent top markets and NASCAR’s premier events. Germain Racing captured the 2006 Truck Series title in only its second full year of racing. The team hopes to mirror their immediate impact at NASCAR’s highest level. “Since we started the team in August of 2004, our primary goal has been to be Toyota’s #1 truck team and to win them their first NASCAR championship,” said Germain Racing team owner Bob Germain. “In 2007, our goal is to successfully defend our truck championship and also be the first Toyota team to win a Nextel Cup race. With the team we have, I think it’s very possible.” The team is currently seeking marketing partners for the 15 races. Interested parties should contact Germain Racing [germainracing.com]. Owned by brothers Bob, Steve, and Rick Germain, Germain Racing is home to 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Todd Bodine and 2005 champion Ted Musgrave. Since its debut in 2004, Germain Racing has captured ten victories and claimed this year’s Truck Series championship.(Sullivan Worldwide PR)(12-7-2006)
    UPDATE: Cutting back # of races: Todd Bodine says that the Germain Racing team he drove to the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series title is scaling back its Nexel Cup plans for this year. The team had planned to run the 16 “car of tomorrow” races, but the team won’t run that many, Bodine said. “Winning the championship kind of put a kibosh on the whole program or a monkey wrench in it,” Bodine said Friday during truck testing at Daytona International Speedway. “We decided we wanted to run for the championship again in the trucks and to run as many Cup races as we wanted to probably would hurt that program. Bodine said the first race for the team could be the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, which is not a car-of-tomorrow race.(Scene Daily)(1-12-2007)
  • Fike to drive #1 for Red Horse Racing: Red Horse Racing officials say that the team plans to race the #1 Toyota with driver Aaron Fike full time in the Truck Series this season. Fike, 24, plans to compete in all the events and run for Raybestos Rookie of the Year. Fike most recently drove in the Busch Series. Jamie Jones, who led the team to a fourth-place finish in the 2006 standings with driver David Starr, will be crew chief. (Red Horse Racing), this team was the #11 truck in 2006 [and #38 in 2005](1-12-2007)
  • Veterans, rookies to split Wood Brothers/JTG trucks: Veterans and rookies will split rides for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing in the Craftsman Truck Series this year. And the team is still looking for sponsorship to get one of its veterans more seat time. Kelly Bires (19 races) and Mark Martin (6 races) will split time in the team’s #21 truck, while Joey Clanton (16 races) and Stacy Compton (9 races) will split time in the #09 truck, said team co-owner Tad Geschickter “We’re going to run a third truck for Stacy if we can get the funding,” Geschickter said Friday. “We’ve got enough equipment and infrastructure for a third team. We’re working on finding more money for Stacy every day.” Bires and Clanton are testing at Daytona this weekend and will run the season-opening race. Martin and Compton will be in the trucks for California.(Scene Daily)(1-12-2007)

    Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder:
    You Can’t Tell The Players Without A Program…Many teams will be the same as a year ago but in several cases their numbers won’t. Red Horse Racing will make its third switch in three seasons as series rookie Aaron Fike will carry the #1. The team’s Toyota was #11 in 2006 and #38 in 2005. Other number changes include Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, from #17 to 00; Wood Brothers/JTG, from #20 to 09; Bill Davis Racing, from #22 to 36; Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, from #85 to 47 and MRD Motorsports, from #06 to 8.

    Bobby Hamilton Racing Down But Not Out…Shortly before he died on Jan. 7, the 2004 series champion Bobby Hamilton told his race teams they should move forward regardless of the outcome of his battle with cancer. Both Chase Miller (#4 Dodge) and Ken Schrader (#18 Fastenal Dodge) were among the first drivers on the track Friday. Schrader’s crew chief, Jeff White, said the past few days have been tough and coming to the track “is the best medicine we could have asked for. He would want us to be here and be competitive. I think several of us felt him kicking us in the rear during the first practice. It’s our job to carry on the dream he built for us.” Said Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota), “There’s definitely an empty spot in the garage but he was one of those racers that would kick us all in the butt if we didn’t come down here and have fun and go racing – and go to the bar and just raise a toast for him one more time. That’s what we’re going to do.”

    Former Champ Kvapil Glad To Be Back … Kvapil’s fast lap of morning single-truck runs of 50.369 seconds/178.681 mph proves the 2003 champion hasn’t missed a beat since last competing in the series in November 2004. Kvapil said a making a few laps – and watching races on SPEED – convinced him there will be no “gimmes.” “The competition is ever-increasing, like any series does,” he said but added the belief that he and teammate Erik Darnell (#99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford) have as good a truck as any in the garage.

    What I Did During My Winter ‘Vacation’…Bodine, the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion,spent just 16 days at home after clinching the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway in mid-November. A week ago, he was among participants in his brother Geoff’s bobsled competition in upstate New York. A longtime Notre Dame football fan and admirer of the team’s coach, Charlie Weis, Bodine found himself rooting for another team – Ohio State – at Monday’s BCS championship game. His team owners, the Germain family, hail from Columbus, Ohio. “They’re actually Ohio State alumni so you’ve got to go with the home team on that one,”said Bodine.(NASCAR PR)(1-12-2007)

  • Trucks’ Turn; Testing continues at Daytona:
    Craftsman Truck teams are hoping #13 is their personal lucky number as Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder continues this week at Daytona International Speedway. Three days of tests – beginning Friday and ending Sunday – will give crews a barometer for the 2007 season that begins with the Feb. 16 Chevrolet Silverado HD 250 at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. The coming campaign will be the 13th for the series – and the eighth to begin on the Daytona high.

    As many as six former champions owning a combined nine titles will compete for the crown in 2007 including defending champion Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota). The Germain Racing stable also includes 2005 champion Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE/Germain Toyota). The Bodine-Musgrave combination marks the first time two series champions have started a season as teammates. Three former champions who finished among the top 10 in 2006 – Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota), Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 AES HR Solutions Chevy) and Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) – also are contenders this season. The 2003 champion Travis Kvapil, a Nextel Cup Series competitor in 2005-06, rejoins the series as the driver of Jack Roush’s #6 Ford – a truck in which Mark Martin won six times including the Daytona season opener.

    More than 40 drivers are expected to participate in the weekend’s activities including a number of series newcomers. Among that group is Tim Sauter (#07 Lester Building Systems Chevrolet), a NASCAR Busch Series veteran. He’ll partner sophomore Chad McCumbee (#08 GPS Store/Garmin Chevrolet) at Green Light Racing. McCumbee finished second in last year’s Raybestos Rookie of the Year competition behind Erik Darnell (#99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford). Darnell is paired with Kvapil at Roush Racing.(NASCAR PR)(1-11-2007)

  • Voda will host Truck Series Pre-Race Show in 2007: SPEED has signed veteran sports journalist Krista Voda to a multi-year deal that will include hosting the network’s pre-race show for all of the Craftsman Truck Series races in 2007. Voda also recently signed with FOX Sports as a pit reporter for their Nextel Cup Series races in ’07.(Speed/TV)(1-11-2007)
  • Iowa Speedway to ask for Busch or Truck Race? Craig Armstrong, vice president and general manager, of Iowa Speedway said the economic model of Iowa Speedway is not based on having a Nextel Cup race, though leaders expect to ask NASCAR for a Craftsman Truck or Busch Series event after handling their historic first-ever clash of NASCAR Grand National divisions.(Marshalltown, IA Times Republican)(1-11-2007)
  • Looks like Martin to run for Wood Brothers in Truck Series: UPDATE 2: Six races on tap: #6-Mark Martin still doesn’t know what his limited Craftsman Truck Series schedule will look like next year, but he said Friday that Wood Brothers/JTG Racing is working to secure the sponsorship. “We’re waiting on the Woods to come up with a sponsor,” Martin said. “… I can’t give you answers [yet], but I don’t expect things not to work out. They’re looking to secure the sponsorship and we’re looking at Daytona to be the first one.” The team currently runs two full-time truck teams with #21-Bobby East and #20-Marcos Ambrose. It has committed to run a truck for Stacy Compton next year, with the driver or drivers for the other truck still being determined. It is expected that rookie Kelly Bires will compete at least part-time in the second truck.(SceneDaily.com)(11-4-2006)
    UPDATE: SPEED/TV reported during qualifying that Mark Martin will drive at least ten races in the #21 Ford for Wood Bros./JTG Racing in 2007.(11-17-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Six races on tap: During a Sirius Radio interview, Mark Martin stated that he is scheduled to run six Truck Series races in the #21 Wood Bros./JTG Racing Ford.(Sirius Radio)(1-10-2007)
  • Bruce joins BDR’s #23 team: Bill Davis Racing has announced that Trip Bruce will serve as the crew chief for Johnny Benson and the #23 Toyota in the Truck Series. Bruce has worked for a combination of several NASCAR teams, including Richard Childress Racing, Ultra Motorsports and Bill Davis Racing. His first stint at BDR lasted from 1999 to 2003, during which time he served as car chief on the #22 car for fellow Virginian, Ward Burton. Since 2005, Bruce has been employed by Evernham Motorsports. Being away from Bill Davis Racing for the last few years, Bruce is ready to join forces once more with Bill Davis and driver Johnny Benson in competing for the 2007 Craftsman Truck Series Championship. Benson and the #23 team finished second in the Championship standings in 2006 after earning five victories. (Bill Davis Racing PR)(1-10-2007)
  • Kerry Earnhardt opts for DEI test role: Kerry Earnhardt says he has opted to work for Dale Earnhardt Inc. as a test driver rather than pursue other driving opportunities this season. Earnhardt, the eldest son of the late Dale Earnhardt, tested the #8 DEI car of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway. Kerry Earnhardt plans on doing more testing, and possibly a race, for DEI in the future. “I’m just being involved with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated and doing stuff like this – fill in and do a lot of testing for DEI,” Kerry Earnhardt said. “I put an ultimatum [to race] in, but they don’t have to meet it. I understand. I asked for some races in Busch or Cup, either one and [to] be full-time at DEI, be there every day for the guys and be their go-to person.” Last year, Kerry Earnhardt drove for ThorSport Racing and finished 22nd in points. “If it can’t be anything of this caliber, I don’t want to do it,” Kerry Earnhardt said. “There’s not a whole lot out there that is of this caliber. I just chose to be involved with the company and help out the guys as much as I can and however I can.” (Scene Daily)(1-10-2007)
  • Mansfield track changes name: The New Year that ushers out 2006 and rings in 2007 will also bring with it a new name for what until now has been known as Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. In order to accurately reflect the facility with the addition of a national-level drag strip, owner Mike Dzurilla has decided to make a change to Mansfield Motorsports Park. The change comes as Dzurilla oversees a change in philosophy with the short track schedule along with the addition of a drag strip on the eastern side of the MMP property. Season tickets are currently on sale for Mansfield Motorsports Park’s oval track, as well as individual tickets for the Craftsman Truck Series Ohio 250.(Mansfield Motorsports Park PR)(1-9-2007)
  • Truck Series rookie Bires gets green light to run at Daytona: Conditional approval was granted to Craftsman Truck Series rookie Kelly Bires, who plans to race nearly the full 25-event schedule, splitting time with Martin in a Ford (#21?) fielded by Wood Brothers/JTG Racing. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said that Bires would be “observed” at Daytona’s events and would be required to test at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Bires did a lot to aid his approval by finishing fourth in his ARCA Series debut at Talladega Superspeedway, after qualifying eighth. Bires’ approval puts Wood/JTG in a much better position than a year ago, when Marcos Ambrose and Bobby East were there full time although neither was eligible to compete at Speedweeks.(nascar.com)(1-8-2007)
  • Bobby Hamilton dies at age 49: Former Nextel Cup driver and 2004 Truck Series Champion Bobby Hamilton passed away today at age 49, according to his son, Bobby Hamilton, Jr. Hamilton, a former Fairgrounds [Nashville] Speedway champion, missed most of the 2006 season after being diagnosed with cancer.(Tennessean…more details Monday)(1-7-2007)
    MORE: Bobby Hamilton Racing is saddened to announce that its owner Bobby Hamilton Sr. passed away this afternoon at his home in Nashville, TN from complications of Cancer. “He will be greatly missed as a husband, a father, a grandfather, an owner and a friend,” said the Hamilton Family. “We want to thank everyone for their love and support of our racing operation and the outpouring of care and concern during his cancer battle. One of Bobby’s greatest loves in life was racing and we will continue on in his honor.” Hamilton won four Nextel Cup Races and the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion. Funeral arrangements are pending.(BHR PR)
    Articles/News: see more articles about the passing of Hamilton at:
    ESPN.com
    NASCAR.com
    USA Today
    Motorsports Soapbox
    and more on the Articles Links page.(1-8-2007)
    Visitation Information: Tuesday January 9, 2006 – the public may pay their respects to Bobby Hamilton, Sr. on Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 5:00 pm thru 8:00 pm – doors will be open to the public. Location: Hermitage Funeral Home, 535 Shute Lane Old Hickory, TN 37138, Tel: 615-889-0361. A private funeral service will be held Wednesday. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the American Cancer Society or the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Bobby Hamilton Racing)(1-8-2007)
    ARM BAND a fan has started a site: armbandforbobby.com, asking folks to wear a black armband in honor of Hamilton at Daytona.(1-9-2006)
  • #25 team closes? UPDATE: Still in business: Hearing that the #25 Woodard Racing Truck Series team that Boston Reid drove for in parts of 2006, has closed up the team and the shop.(1-3-2007)
    UPDATE: Contrary to recent reports that Woodard Racing has folded the (#25 Dodge) Truck Series operations, team owner Rick Woodard squashed those rumors stating the team is alive and preparing for the 2007 Truck Series opener at Daytona International Speedway next month. “Woodard Racing has not ceased operations and we are diligently preparing for our return to the series next month,” stated Woodard. “Woodard Racing is continuing its hunt for primary sponsorship, but we continue to work away and prepare ourselves for another year of competition.”(Woodard Racing PR)(1-8-2007)
  • Crew chief Ren joins KHI, will wrench for Hornaday: Less than a month-and-a-half after leading Johnny Benson to a second-place points finish in the Craftsman Truck Series, veteran crew chief Rick Ren has left Bill Davis Racing. Ren, who’s scored 11 victories in his Truck Series career has accepted a similar position working with two-time series champion Ron Hornaday at Kevin Harvick Inc. Hornaday, the Truck Series’ career victories leader with 29, won twice in 2006 and finished seventh in points driving KHI’s #33 Chevy.(nascar.com)(1-8-2006)
  • Skinner to attempt the Daytona 500 in the #23: Mike Skinner will start testing next week in Daytona in his #5 Toyota Tundra Truck – then head right into the 2nd Nextel Cup test in the Bill Davis Racing #23 Toyota in preperation to make the Daytona 500 with Tommy Baldwin leading the attempt.(mikeskinner.com)(1-6-2007)
  • Villeneuve’s sponsorship drive stalls..to the truck series? UPDATE: Former Formula One driver Jacques Villeneuve’s road to NASCAR continues to hit speed bumps. After weeks of searching for a sponsor to come up with the roughly $18-million (U.S.) he needs to secure a ride in the NASCAR Busch Series [plans were to team up with Roush Racing], the 1997 world champion driver has apparently set his sights a bit lower. A source close to the 35-year-old native of Iberville, Que., said he is now looking into other ways of getting into a stock car. “He’s even talking about doing the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series now and then, do some Busch, to try to get into it,” the source said. On his official website, Villeneuve’s Christmas message alluded to a forthcoming deal, but did not specify where he might land. (Globe and Mail)(1-3-2007)
    UPDATE: Jacques Villeneuve could have a deal to race in NASCAR for the 2007 season by the end of the month. Craig Pollock, Villeneuve’s manager, said Friday that talks are ongoing with several NASCAR teams to secure a drive for the 35-year-old former Formula One champion in the coming weeks, despite published reports to the contrary.(Canada.com)(1-6-2007)
  • Miller returns to BHR for 2007 season: Chase Miller is the latest addition to the Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge Driver Development program, and Miller will drive the BHR #4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge in the 2007 Truck Series. A native of Georgia, 19 year old Chase Miller was discovered by Dodge Motorsports during the 2005 ARCA season. In 2006, Dodge gave Miller the opportunity to drive the Cunningham Motorsports #4 Dodge in 6 ARCA events. Miller first drove for BHR at Loudon in Sept 2006 finishing 17th. Miller was invited to continue in the #4 BHR Dodge for the remainder of the 2006 season.(chasemiller.net)(1-4-2007)
  • BAM Racing retains Bliss for Cup Series, hires McCall, to run Evernham engines: BAM Racing announced that Mike Bliss will return as driver of the #49 WhatsOnline.com Dodge heading into the 2007 Nextel Cup Series season. In addition, the team is pleased to welcome veteran crew chief Lee McCall to lead the team. Bliss joined BAM Racing toward the end of last season amidst restructuring efforts for the team. In just seven attempted starts with BAM Racing, he qualified on time for six events with an average starting position of 27.0 and an average finish of 32.8. He garnered attention in Atlanta and Charlotte by nearly capturing top-10 finishes in both events. With the anticipated increase in the number of teams in the Nextel Cup Series coupled with tighter competition, BAM Racing has opted to utilize Evernham Engines in 2007. After a successful relationship with Arrington Engines, the move provides additional research and support for the team. Veteran crew chief Lee McCall brings the wisdom and insight of over 20 years in motorsports to BAM Racing. McCall comes to BAM Racing from Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates after years with the organization. Most notably, he served as crew chief for Sterling Marlin for over three seasons with the team contending for the championship title in 2002. For more information about BAM Racing, visit www.bam49racing.com.(BAM Racing PR)(1-4-2007)
  • Martin’s dealership/museum to sponsor some truck races: Independence Ford co-owner, Lance Landers said recently that the dealership/museum will be sponsoring a few of Martin’s trucks he will be racing in 2007. Mark Martin and Lance Landers teamed up together about two years ago and bought Independence Ford located on Harrison Street in Batesville, Arkansas. (guardonline.com)(1-4-2007)
  • Terry Cook and HT Motorsports join forces: Jim Harris, owner of the HT Motorsports #59 Toyota has named Craftsman Truck Series regular Terry Cook as the new wheelman for the #59 Toyota in the 2007 season. Crew chief Danny Rollins found a new home over at HT Motorsports mid-season last year and will continue to lead the #59 Toyota team in 2007. Sponsorship announcements regarding the #59 Toyota are forthcoming. (HT Motorsports PR)(1-2-2007)
  • Gaughan talks about Manufacture change: #77-Brendan Gaughan told Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody Tuesday that his new deal with Chevrolet is largely performance-based. “Damn right, “he said. “We’ve got to win races and championships to get paid, and the package they’ve offered will allow us to do that. My father and I have never been afraid to put our money where our mouth is, and while this deal is a little unusual, I’m happy with it. I’m not afraid to work hard.” Gaughan said his team is working hard to get ready for the start of the season. “My guys have been working awfully hard for the last three weeks. We have four Chevy Silverados set to go already, and A.J. Henry is hanging bodies right now. They look great; the new nose is laid back like a car. We have bought a few Chevrolet engines to get up and running, and I’m as excited about the 2007 season as I have ever been.”(Sirius Speedway Radio Show)(1-2-2007)
  • Gaughan switching from Dodge in 2007? UPDATE 2: Switch to Chevy: The pre-race report revealed that Brendan Gaughan will definitely be returning to the Truck Series in 2007, however, the South Point Resort team may change to a different manufacturer.(SPEED/TV)(11-17-2006)
  • UPDATE: In post race notes, Brendan Gaughan talked about off-season plans including a possible switch in manufacturer. “We have an aggressive off-season plan. We’re going to beef up our engineering. We”re going to see what’s going to make us go win and pick a manufacturer. Then we’re going to come back in 2007 with guns blazing. We’re excited about it,” said Gaughan.(Brendan Gaughan PR)(11-19-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Starting in 2007 driver Brendan Gaughan will bring an entirely new game to the Craftsman Truck Series. The most substantial change comes in his choice of rides for the 25-race season as Gaughan will campaign the newly designed Chevy Silverado. Gaughan has campaigned Chevys in the past winning two championships in Monte Carlos in 2000 and 2001, in the NASCAR Grand National, West Division. Gaughan also wheeled a Chevy to victories when he began dabbling in the Craftsman Truck Series. The Silverado is not the only change Gaughan will take to Daytona as the name of his race team will change from Orleans Racing to South Point Racing — a move that reflects the family’s realignment in the Las Vegas gaming industry. With the name change the official web site for Gaughan’s racing endeavors will also change, from orleansracing.com to southpointracing.com. The new site, which is featuring a soft launch on January 1, 2007, will grow to what Gaughan anticipates will be one of the most interactive efforts in NASCAR when the team arrives in Daytona to race in February. (South Point Racing PR)(1-1-2007)
  • Official Truck Series Schedule announced: The 2007 Craftsman Truck Series schedule was announced today and for the fifth consecutive year, the championship will be contested over 25 races. The schedule begins at Daytona International Speedway in February and concludes at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. The series will visit the same 22 tracks as it did in 2006. A change in the schedule order moves the Kansas Speedway event to April 28 and the Gateway International Raceway event to Labor Day weekend, on Sept. 1. The event at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis will move one weekend earlier, to July 27. The eighth race of the 2007 schedule, June 1 at Dover International Speedway, will mark a milestone as the 300th race in Craftsman Truck Series history. The Dover race is one of 15 events that will be held in conjunction with the Nextel Cup Series, while 10 races are scheduled as either “stand-alones” or in conjunction with Busch Series races. Among active tracks on the schedule, Texas Motor Speedway has hosted the most NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. Texas will host its 19th and 20th Craftsman Truck Series races in 2007, on June 8 and Nov. 2. For complete schedule visit: (Craftsman Truck Series 2007 Schedule Page.)(NASCAR PR)(10-10-2006)

 


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