July 2006 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.

  • Truck Series Raybestos Rookie News & Notes: Erik Darnell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the July 15 O’Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park. Darnell finished second, .251 seconds behind race winner Jack Sprague. He claimed his first top-five of the season and best finish in 15 Craftsman Truck Series starts. Darnell has now taken top rookie honors seven times in 14 races and is the only Raybestos Rookie to score a top-five this season. Darnell stretched his lead in the Raybestos Rookie standings to 29 points (135-106) over a second-place tie between Aric Almirola and Chad McCumbee entering the August 4 Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O’Reilly Raceway Park (Indianapolis, Ind.). Carl Edwards is the only Raybestos Rookie to win in 11 previous Truck Series races at O’Reilly Raceway Park. Edwards won the 2003 Power Stroke Diesel 200 by .617 seconds over Travis Kvapil. Rookie point standings; Erik Darnell, 135; Aric Almirola, 106; Chad McCumbee, 106; Joey Miller, 87; Boston Reid, 80; Boston Reid, 80; Erin Crocker, 73; Bobby East, 73; Kyle Krisiloff, 70; Marcos Ambrose, 66; Kerry Earnhardt, 60; Kraig Kinser, 48; Robert Richardson, 41; Scott Lagasse Jr., 33; Michel Jourdain Jr., 17; Ryan Moore, 17; Sean Murphy, 12; J.R. Patton, 4; Tam Topham, 1.(Raybestos PR)(7-31-2006)
  • Reutimann to pull doubleheader weekend: David Reutimann has a full plate this weekend since he’s competing in both events at O’Reilly Raceway Park. Beginning Friday night, Reutimann continues his campaign for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) championship in the #17 Team Tundra Racing Darrell Waltrip Motorsports entry before racing the #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine the next evening for Michael Waltrip Racing. (waltripracinginc.com)(7-31-2006)
  • Dodson tapped to run Truck Series Race at O’Reilly Raceway Park: Cameron Dodson will compete in the upcoming NASCAR Truck Series event at O’Reilly Raceway Park, Clermont, IN for Mike Mittler and MB Motorsports. The Power Stroke Diesel 200 presented by Ford and International will be the Greenfield, IN driver’s first-ever entry in NASCAR competition.(Cameron Dodson)(7-30-2006)
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts offering discounted tickets to Bristol: Fans looking for the best in auto parts as well as tickets to Bristol Motor Speedway’s Truck Series O’Reilly 200 presented by Valvoline, now can find both at O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. Beginning August 1 and running through August 23, O’Reilly Auto Parts stores will sell event tickets for $25, a savings of $5 off the regular $30 ticket price. O’Reilly Auto Parts returns to sponsor the Truck Series event at Bristol for the fourth consecutive season. The race will take place at on Wednesday, August 23, as part of a racing doubleheader under the lights. Mike Skinner returns as the defending champion of the popular event which kicks off a full week of racing on the .533-mile concrete oval.(bristolmotorspeedway.com)(7-30-2006)
  • Hoosier driver debuting at O’Reilly Raceway Park: Chuck Maitlen will make his Truck series debut in the August 4th, 2006 race at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. Lafferty Motorsports tabs local driver Chuck Maitlen to race their #89 Chevy after recent IURL victory in Salem, Indiana.(Maitlen Racing PR)(7-27-2006)
  • Headz Gamez to sponsor Shepherd in seven additional races: Headz Gamez International has extended their sponsorship of Roush Racing’s development driver Peter Shepherd in additional races. Shepherd will drive the #50 Ford F-150 in the Truck Series race at the Nashville Superspeedway on August 12, as well as in six ARCA races, starting with this weekend’s Shop ‘n Save 150 at Gateway International Raceway, IL. Roush Racing has teamed up with Roulo Brothers Racing to enter Shepherd in their #39 Ford for his six ARCA Races. Shepherd will be competing in the ARCA races at Gateway on July 28, Nashville Superspeedway on August 12, Michigan International Speedway on August 18, The Milwaukee Mile on August 27, Chicagoland on September 9 and Talladega Superspeedway on October 6.(roushracing.com)(7-27-2006)
  • Fastenal and BHR pulling double duty at Indy: Fastenal and Bobby Hamilton Racing have joined forces and will be pulling double duty, competing at both venues. Bobby Hamilton Jr. will drive the #04 Fastenal Dodge in the Nextel Cup event at the Brickyard (The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard) and he will drive the #18 Fastenal Dodge Ram in the NASCAR Truck Series event at Indianapolis Raceway Park(The Power Stroke Diesel 200). In pre-race testing at the Brickyard Hamilton Jr. was the 11th fastest driver posting a time of 50.406 which equates to a 178.550 mile per hour lap around the 2.5 mile oval. (bobbyhamiltonracing.com)(7-26-2006)
  • Is Pocono in the future for Truck Series? I am hearing that the Truck Series had teams on track testing at Pocono Raceway on Tuesday. Among the teams rumored to be there were the #9 and #17 Toyota trucks, along with a couple of other teams. Is there a Truck Series race in the future? (7-26-2006)
  • NBA Veteran, Rodney Rogers, teams up with Key Motorsports: Former NBA veteran and collegiate basketball All-American Rodney Rogers has agreed to partner with the Mooresville-based Key Motorsports Truck Series organization. Rogers will assume a role as a marketing partner initially with team owner Curtis W. Key, Sr. and has not ruled out becoming financially involved.(Key Motorsports)(7-26-2006)
  • Eaton to sponsor #59 truck: UPDATE: The Performance Products Division has announced that Eaton will be primary sponsor of the #59 HT Motorsports Ford F-150 driven by Chad Chaffin for two Truck Series races beginning Aug. 4 at the O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. The new livery will prominently feature the Eaton corporate logo and the Aeroquip business unit logo for the prime-time Friday night race – the Power Stroke 200 presented by Ford and International. The following weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, the tailgate logo will change to highlight Eaton’s presence in automotive performance markets.(HT Motorsports)(7-22-2006)
    UPDATE: Visit the paint schemes page to view the #59 Eaton Ford. (7-24-2006)
  • Truck Series News & Notes:
    Being a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate in the Truck Series means, among other things, that you’re going to visit a lot of tracks you’ve never before seen. That won’t be the case this week when two freshman drivers – Bobby East (#21 State Fair Corn Dogs/Edy’s Dibs Ford) and Boston Reid (#25 Rain Out Roofing Dodge) – finally get what amounts to a home game. East, a former U.S. Auto Club National Midget champion and fellow open-wheel graduate Reid previously called the Indianapolis area home. Each has turned hundreds of laps at O’Reilly Raceway Park, a .686-mile paved oval hosting Friday’s Power Stroke Diesel by Ford and International 200. Their racing equipment may be a bit different – twice as heavy in most cases – but home is home. For a change, each will have plenty of partisans in ORP’s grandstands.

    This won’t be Reid’s first NASCAR race at the track, formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park. He competed in last year’s Busch Series Kroger 250 that follows the trucks on Saturday night. Reid drove a Hendrick Motorsports entry but what he believed would be a top-20 effort was derailed by a mid-race spin. Regardless, Reid is pleased to return to the Hoosier State. On Saturday in his hometown, Reid participated in a charity auction benefiting the Victory Junction Gang camp. His cousin, Chris Reid, is sponsoring the Woodard Racing team this week and has rented a suite at ORP. East won a USAC Silver Crown race at the track in 2005 and in a sprint car the season before. His father, Bob East, a premier open-wheel car builder, manufactures the BEAST chassis in a plant near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    Reid and East will have to overcome some Indianapolis history despite their knowledge of the track’s asphalt. Open-wheel drivers frequently have struggled. Carl Edwards won in 2003 but USAC Silver Crown and NASCAR Craftsman Truck champion Mike Bliss (#16 Xpress Motorsports Chevy) has yet to find the key to unlock the gates to ORP’s Victory Lane.

    Bliss has two top-five finishes including a third in 1995. “The only way I can describe it is to say that it is different. It is hard to take what you learn from driving a 1,000-1,500 pound Silver Crown car, and apply that to driving a 3,400 vehicle,” said Bliss. Bliss admits to over-analyzing the track and suggests his open-wheel mates treat ORP as any other short track. “Thinking about how you should be getting through the corners and where you need to turn was always something that messed me up,” he said. “What I have to do is just let the truck show me what I need to do, and then adjust on things from there, and also just do what feels comfortable, without putting the truck in the wall of course.”

    News & Notes Part II:
    Series visits short track for fourth time in ’06…Three drivers – Dennis Setzer (#85 FlexFuel E85 Chevy), Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevyt) and Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota) – are winners on the “bullrings” in 2006. They count a combined 29 short track victories. Only one series driver, Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota), has managed to win twice in the past 11 short track visits dating to October 2003 at Martinsville Speedway. Skinner went to Victory Lane last August at Bristol Motor Speedway and won the next event at Richmond International Raceway.

    Up-front the place to be at ORP…There have been 11 races at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis and none of the 11 winners have started worse than fifth. The winner has come from the front row on six occasions with the pole starter taking the checkered flag five times. The last pole starter to win the race was Setzer in 2005 when qualifying was canceled due to inclement weather and the field was set via the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Rule Book. Skinner, Terry Cook (#10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) and Joe Ruttman also won from the pole.

    SPEED expands NASCAR Craftsman Truck coverage…SPEED has expanded its live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Beginning at 8 p.m. ET Friday, this new pre-race show will open the Power Stroke Diesel 200 broadcast by delving into the behind-the-scenes stories and unique personalities that make up the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Veteran reporter Ray Dunlap will host the 45-minute show, taking viewers up to green-flag action. Bob Dillner and Krista Voda will scour the pits for an inside line on what’s happening in the garage area. The show also will provide in-depth interviews, racing highlights and interesting features in and around the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

    This Week’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Leaders…through 14 races of the 25-race season:
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (2,161)
    Money won – Todd Bodine ($440,485)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (321)
    Miles led – Mark Martin (532.46)
    Victories – Todd Bodine, Mark Martin (3)
    Budweiser Poles -Mike Skinner (4)
    Top-five finishes – Todd Bodine (8)
    Top-10 finishes – David Reutimann (11)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (29 over Aric Almirola)
    Races led – Todd Bodine (8)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 4 drivers (14)

    The Truck Series will use Sunoco unleaded fuel for the first time at Indianapolis Raceway Park and again on Aug. 12 at Nashville Superspeedway. The fuel was introduced to NASCAR competition at last weekend’s NASCAR Busch Series event at Gateway International Raceway…Former NBA veteran and collegiate basketball All-American Rodney Rogers will partner with Key Motorsports and the # 40 Chevrolet’s driver Ryan Moore. Rogers played 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association from 1993 to 2005 after a brilliant collegiate career at Wake Forest University where he earned All-American honors. He played with seven NBA teams, the last being the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2004-05 season. The Durham, N.C. native has been a long-time NASCAR fan and has been a long-time friend of Key Motorsports crew chief Barry Dodson who befriended Rogers during his playing days at Wake Forest. Dodson is an avid supporter of the University’s athletic program…Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation will be the primary sponsor of the # 59 HT Motorsports Ford driven by Chad Chaffin for the next two races at Indianapolis and Nashville. Eaton is a global company and leading manufacturer of original equipment products, engine valves and lifters. The Eaton Detroit Locker is the only differential used in NASCAR competition…Danny Rollins has been named crew chief at H-T Motorsports. Rollins, who joined the team as a consultant earlier this month, was Bobby Hamilton’s championship crew chief in 2004. He replaces Kevin Cram, who left the team for other opportunities…Six Indiana drivers will attempt to compete at their “home” track….O’Reilly Raceway Park is one of four tracks to host a NASCAR Craftsman Truck race in all 12 years of the series. The others are Martinsville Speedway, The Milwaukee Mile and Phoenix International Raceway. One hundred eighty-four different competitors have taken the green flag at ORP.

    On the right track:
    Six ORP winners in this week’s field…Six Power Stroke Diesel 200 winners – including four of the last five – will compete in this week’s race. A year ago, Setzer led 177 of 200 laps from a pole position start giving Chevrolet its sixth victory at the .686-mile oval. Also entered are Chad Chaffin (#59 Eaton Corporation Ford), the 2004 winner; Cook, 2002 and Sprague, 2001 and 1998 winners. Skinner, back-to-back winner in 1995-96 leading all 250 laps and Hornaday, 1997, round out the winners’ roster. Skinner led the most laps by a winner – 200 in 1996 – while Chaffin headed just the final lap of his victory. Setzer, Crafton consistent finishers…Two active drivers with multiple ORP starts own single-digit finishing averages. Matt Crafton (#88 Menards/Energizer Chevrolet) has averaged a finish of 7.6 in his five races. Setzer, who’ll start his 10th race at the track on Friday, has an average of 8.2 and leads all competitors with seven top-10 finishes.

    In the loop:
    Dennis Setzer was Mr. Perfection in winning last year’s Power Stroke Diesel 200. Setzer posted a Driver Rating of 150.0 out of a possible score of 150. He turned the fastest lap 52 times – more than a quarter of the 200-lap distance. Setzer’s Chevy was the second fastest truck early in a run and the fastest late in a run.

    From the archives:
    O’Reilly Raceway Park has been a place where the tough get going. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champions have won six of 11 races – the most recent being Jack Sprague in 2001 when he notched his record-setting third title. Mike Skinner (1995) also won at ORP in his title year. Eight of 11 competitors finished fifth or better at the track in their championship seasons.(7-31-2006)

    Fast Facts:
    What: Power Stroke Diesel 200 by Ford and International (Race 15 of 25)
    Where: O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis
    When: 8:45 p.m. ET, Aug. 4
    Track layout: .686 -mile paved oval
    Race length: 200 laps /137.2 miles
    Posted awards: $519,687
    TV: SPEED Channel, 8:30 pm/et
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite
    2005 winner: Dennis Setzer
    2005 polesitter: Dennis Setzer

    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday-Practice 10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Rookie Practice 11:30 a.m. – 12 noon. Final Practice 12 noon – 1 p.m. Qualifying 5:30 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.(7-31-2006)

  • Truck Series News & Notes:
    For Brendan Gaughan (#77 Orleans Dodge) 2003 was a banner year – six wins and a fourth-place finish in championship standings (he finished 40 points behind champion Travis Kvapil) after leading the point standings for much of the second-half of the season – but it was also a trying year. Leading the points heading into the final race of the season, Gaughan was poised to win his first Truck Series title. A mid-race incident dashed those title hopes. Fast forward to this season where Gaughan has mostly struggled. After his Orleans Racing team decided to scale back to a one truck team this year, Gaughan has been the top finishing Dodge in several races, but that hasn’t always meant a top-10 finish. By Gaughan’s own admission, trying to regain his near-championship form has been tough. “The credit for Orleans Racing’s turnaround has been attributed to team chemistry. Gaughan and crew chief Tony “Rambo” Liberati made some changes after last season and the team has started to click. After back-to-back top-five finishes at Kansas and Kentucky, Gaughan is proving he’s not ready to back down. “I definitely think we have a shot at finishing in the top 10,” said Gaughan, currently 14th in points. “Ron Hornaday (#33 KHI Chevy) was behind us six weeks ago and now he’s sixth. It’s just going to take solid, consistent top-10 and top-five runs. “Once you run top in the five every week and you’re consistently there, you battle for wins. And we will win this year.”

    News & Notes Part II:
    Drivers taking advantage of off weeks…Timothy Peters (#04 Dodge Motorsports Dodge) is spending this week returning to a track where he has won a championship. On July 29, Peters will run a Late Model in the Dodge Weekly Series at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, where he won the 2004 Dodge Weekly Series Late Model track championship…Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Boston Reid (#25 Woodard Racing Dodge) is spending his break moving into his first house. “It’s going to be nice to have a break. My girlfriend and I are going to spend the off weeks decorating and buying furniture.”…Jack Sprague (#60 Con-Way Freight Toyota) supported owner Jeff Wyler’s other team, the Cincinnati Reds, this past Saturday night. Sprague threw out the first pitch when the Reds hosted the Milwaukee Brewers. Wyler is part of the ownership group of the Reds…Gaughan is going to participate in Ken Schrader’s annual “M&M’s Night Of Stars” on August 2nd at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo. Along with Schrader, he will join drivers Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Steve and Kenny Wallace, David Reutimann (#17 Team Tundra Toyota), Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Ford) and retired champion Rusty Wallace.

    HT Motorsports announced that Danny Rollins is the new crew chief for driver Chad Chaffin and the # 59 Harris Trucking Ford…Johnny Benson ( 23 Exide Toyota) won the Outlaw Super Late Model race at Kalamazoo Speedway last week…Several drivers were at Martinsville Speedway over the weekend either running in the NASCAR Busch Series race or helping out. The list includes Aric Almirola (# 75 FedEx Express Chevy), Dennis Setzer (# 85 Flex Fuel E85 Chevy), Ron Hornaday (# 22 Kevin Harvick, Inc. Chevy), Kevin Grubb (#15 Spondivits Bar & Grill) and team owner Darrell Waltrip.(NASCAR PR)(7-24-2006)

  • Bliss to run Busch race at Gateway: Mike Bliss and the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevy of SKI Motosrports make their second Busch Series appearance of the season this weekend at Gateway International Raceway on the outskirts of St Louis. Bliss will debut a brand new SKI Motorsports-built Chevy, sporting a unique black-and-white paint scheme exemplifying Smith & Wesson’s ongoing tribute to America’s law enforcement heroes, on the mile-and-a-quarter egg-shaped oval here in pursuit of a top finish in Saturday night’s Gateway 200. As part of the law enforcement tribute program, run in conjunction with the national Fraternal Order of Police, Officer Al O’Connor of the Chicago Police Department will serve as honorary crew chief for the weekend. (mikebliss.com)(7-27-2006)
  • Reutimann to drive #99 at Gateway: David Reutimann returns to Gateway International Raceway to drive the #99 Cottman Transmission Michael Waltrip Racing entry in the Busch Series event after finishing third in the Truck Series event at the 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval earlier this season. After competing in the Busch Series event on Saturday, Reutimann will return to the St. Louis area for a third time this season to compete in Ken Schrader’s annual “Night of Stars” Dirt Modified Shootout at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo. on August 2. (Michael Waltrip Inc.)(7-24-2006)
  • McCumbee to run ARCA race at Pocono: UPDATE: Former ARCA Series champion Andy Hillenburg has reunited with former driver and now Truck Series driver Chad McCumbee to pilot Hillenburg’s #11 Chevy Monte Carlo in Saturday’s ARCA Series Pennsylvania 200 from Pocono Raceway. The team will unload a 2006 Chevy Monte Carlo carrying sponsorship from Fast Track Performance Driving School and Crescent Trucks with horsepower provided by Wagner for the second ARCA Series event at Pocono Raceway this season.(arcaracing.com)(7-21-2006)
    UPDATE: McCumbee finished third in the ARCA Pennsylvania 200 at Pocono.(arcaracing.com)(7-24-2006)
  • Rollins new crew chief for #59: HT Motorsports announced that Danny Rollins would take over as Crew Chief of the #59 Harris Trucking Ford. Danny takes over for Kevin Cram who has left to pursue other opportunities. Danny Rollins has been involved in NASCAR racing for over 10 years. For the past 6 years he has been at Bobby Hamilton Racing and was Bobby Hamilton’s Crew Chief for his 2004 Championship Season. Danny has also worked with drivers such as Joe Ruttman, Robert Pressley and Bill Lester.(HT Motorsports)(7-23-2006)
  • Latest update on Bobby Hamilton: Bobby Hamilton says he’s feeling good as tries to recover from radiation treatment for cancer in his neck. Hamilton, 49, has lost 38 pounds and some of his hair, but told WSMV-4 in an interview Thursday that he is coming back. I’m having to learn how to eat again and things like that,” he said. “It just takes time.” He began treatment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in March shortly after being diagnosed. “I think I can tell a decent story now and have the proof to tell it,” Hamilton said.(The Tennessean)(7-21-2006)
  • Benson wins the Kalamazoo Klash: It’s not often that race car drivers wash their own windshields, but that’s just what Johnny Benson Jr. was doing during a 15-minute mandatory pit stop before dominating the second half of the Kalamazoo Klash and pocketing the $25,000 winner’s check. That’s in addition to the $1,000 he won for being the leader at the midway point of the 200-lap race at the Kalamazoo Speedway, where almost 6,000 fans were on hand for the Wednesday night show. “Having 71 cars show up for this race was awesome,” said Benson, the Grand Rapids native who now lives in Cornelius, N.C. “You don’t get any better than that on a short track. “And good guys went home from this race, so that shows you how competitive it is. It was just a great race for us.” Twenty-six cars made the field for the main event and 14 were still running at the end. (johnnybenson.com)(7-21-2006)
  • Sprague throwing out first pitch at Reds game: Wyler Racing Truck Series driver Jack Sprague will throw out the first pitch for Saturday night’s Cincinnati Reds game against the Milwaukee Brewers. “I’m pretty excited to throw out the first pitch for the Reds game especially right after we got our first win,” Sprague said. “Since my team owner [Jeff Wyler] also has some ownership interest in the Reds, it’s a neat deal. I’ve thrown out the first pitch at some baseball games before, but never one for my owner’s team. I just hope that I don’t embarrass them out there.(wylerracing.com(7-21-2006)
  • Morgan-Dollar Motorsports to make crew changes: Team owner David Dollar has announced that Morgan-Dollar Motorsports has swapped crew chiefs and their respective crews on the #85 and #46 race teams. The change is effective immediately at the team’s Statesville, NC headquarters and will debut track side at the August 4 Truck Series race at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. Dennis Setzer will continue to pilot the #85 FlexFuel Silverado, now led by 20-time Truck Series race winning crew chief Randy Goss and his handpicked crew. Goss also has a Truck Series championship as well as a Busch Series championship to his credit. Kraig Kinser will make his 14th start in the Truck Series under the guidance of veteran crew chief Eric Phillips. (morgandollarmotorsports.net)(7-20-2006)
  • Hornaday to run Martinsville Busch Race: Ron Hornaday will return behind the wheel of the #33 Outdoor Channel Chevrolet this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Hornaday will drive the #33 the next three weeks. Hornaday’s last stop in the #33 Outdoor Channel Chevy was on June 24, at the Milwaukee Mile, where he finished 16th. (Kevin Harvick Inc.)(7-21-2006)
  • Craven to Drive for FBR at Martinsville: FitzBradshaw Racing has announced that NASCAR veteran Ricky Craven will pilot the #14 Family Dollar Dodge in the Goody’s 250 Busch Series race at Martinsville Speedway.(FitzBradshaw PR)(7-18-2006)
  • Truck Series News & Notes:
    Last Saturday’s O’Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park concluded the longest stretch of the season for Truck Series competitors – nine races on consecutive weekends. Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) headed the standings when the grind began at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and he’s still the leader. Bodine, whose lead bulged to as many as 178 points, leads 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year David Reutimann (#17 Team Tundra Toyota) by 117 as teams spend the remainder of July prepping for the Aug. 4 Power Stroke Diesel 200 by Ford and International at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Bodine’s Germain Racing team, which also fields the #9 Team ASE Toyota driven by 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ted Musgrave, has been solid through the season’s first half, but has shown in recent weeks that even the best can have an “off night.” “Up until about three weeks ago, I would have probably given us a grade of 95 (out of 100),” said Germain general manager Mike Hillman. “Everything was clicking and everything was going well. I’d say right now we are probably around a 75 or 80.Bodine finished worse than third only once in his first six races. He failed to reach the top 10 in two of his most recent four events, capped by a 15th at Memphis. More troubling, Musgrave dropped from second to fifth, but believes he’s due to rebound.

    The past two months have spotlighted a number of drivers and teams that began the season on a down cycle but are headed back to the top. Some or all may give Bodine a solid challenge during the season’s final 11 races. Two-time series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevy) has been the hottest commodity of late, winning at Kentucky Speedway and posting top-five finishes in his past four races. He’s the biggest “mover” over the nine-race span with 12 positions gained: 18th to his current ranking of sixth. And Hornaday is proof at age 48 that experience is a big plus in the Truck Series.

    Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford) struggled through a miserable season in 2005 finishing a disappointing 16th after challenging for the series title as recently as 2002; he finished second to Mike Bliss (# 16 Xpress Motorsports Chevy). Like Hornaday, Crawford points to symmetry between driver, crew and his manufacturer’s engineers. Crawford also believes Bodine and others ahead of him in the standings can be overhauled.

    Finally, don’t count out Johnny Benson (#23 Bill Davis Racing Toyota). Eighth after the season’s fifth race, Benson now sits five positions higher. He and Hornaday were the only double winners during the past nine races.

    News & Notes Part II:
    This Week’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Leaders…through 14 races of the 25-race season:
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (2,161)
    Money won – Todd Bodine ($440,485)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (321)
    Miles led – Mark Martin (532.46)
    Victories – Todd Bodine, Mark Martin (3)
    Budweiser Poles -Mike Skinner (4)
    Top-five finishes – Todd Bodine (8)
    Top-10 finishes – David Reutimann (11)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (29 over Aric Almirola)
    Races led – Todd Bodine (8)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 4 drivers (14)

    Jack Sprague’s (#60 Con-Way Freight Toyota) Memphis victory was noteworthy in several respects. It gave the 41-year-old driver wins in an unprecedented nine seasons as well as taking owner Jeff Wyler and crew chief Tony Furr to Victory Lane for the first time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Sprague, who last won in June 2005 at Texas Motor Speedway, became the .75-mile track’s first repeat winner after his 28th Budweiser Pole matched Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) for the career qualifying record…Sprague’s 26th victory was the 20th for Toyota. All of the manufacturer’s current five owners boast at least one series win – four of them in the current season…Sprague is set to become the first Truck competitor to lead 6,000 laps. His career total is 5,954 after leading 133 laps at Memphis….The O’Reilly 200 marked the third time in 2006 that 35 of 36 starters were around to collect the checkered flag…Terry Cook (#10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) broke Crawford’s series consecutive start record with his 211th straight race. As a bonus, Cook finished eighth to match the team’s entire 2004 top-10 total of seven…The season’s first 14 races have produced eight different winners and eight different Budweiser Pole winners…Erik Darnell (#99 Roush Racing Ford) came within .251 second of becoming the first Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate to win a race since Reutimann at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November 2005. His second-place finish was the best by a series rookie in Memphis. With 14 races in the books, Darnell and many of his rivals will begin tossing “worst” finishes when racing resumes in Indianapolis…Reutimann is the only competitor to complete every one of the season’s 2,326 laps – one more than Bodine.

    In the loop:
    Bodine holds the series’ best Driver Rating of 107.8 at the mid-summer break. Standings runner-up Reutimann is second at 105.8 while Skinner – the only driver outside the top 10 with a Driver Rating inside the first 10 – ranks third at 101.0. Crawford (100.2) and Benson and Sprague (99.8) complete the best top five rated competitors.(7-17-2006)

  • Sprague wins the O’Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park: Jack Sprague in the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota was able to pass #99 Erik Darnell for the lead coming off turn 4 into turn 1 to take the lead with eight laps to go and win the O”Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park. A caution with four laps to get led to a green-white-checkered finish, however, Sprague was able to hang onto the lead for the win. Darnell led his first laps in the Truck Series and had a career best finish in second place. Matt Crafton in the #88 Menards/Energizer Chevy had another good finish winding up third; Ron Hornaday Jr. in the KHI Chevy was fourth; #16 of Mike Bliss roundedout the top five. Dennis Setzer led — laps, but trouble in the pits late in the race relegated him to a 10th place finish. Apparently the pit sign for the #15 dropped under his car, the car got hung up on the jack and had trouble getting out of the stall. Bobby Hamilton Jr. in the #18 Fastenal Dodge was running in the top ten, but unfortunately his night ended at about the halfway point of the race with a blown rear-end. There were 7 cautions for 30 laps and 9 lead changes among 6 drivers.(7-15-2006)
  • Driver standings following Memphis
    1) #30-Todd Bodine, 2161
    2) #17-David Reutimann, 2044
    3) #23-Johnny Benson, 1998
    4) #14-Rick Crawford, 1930
    5) #9-Ted Musgrave, 1913
    6) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 1905
    7) #60-Jack Sprague, 1898
    8) #11-David Starr, 1872
    9) #10-Terry Cook, 1864
    10)#85-Dennis Setzer, 1835(7-17-2006)
  • For complete driver standings:
  • Results for the O’Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park:(Top ten)
    1) #60- Jack Sprague, Con-way Freight Toyota
    2) #99-Erik Darnell, Roush Racing Ford
    3) #88-Matt Crafton, Menards/Energizer Chevy
    4) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., KHI Chevy
    5) #16-Mike Bliss, Xpress Motorsports Chevy
    6) #6-David Ragan, Scotts Ford
    7) #17-David Reutimann, Toyota Tundra Toyota
    8) #10-Terry Cook, Power Stroke by Int’l Ford
    9) #5-Mike Skinner, Toyota Tundra Toyota
    10)#85-Dennis Setzer, FlexFuel E85 Chevy
    1st Rookie; (2nd) #99-Erik Darnell, Roush Racing Ford

    Race Awards:
    Bud Pole Award Jack Sprague (117.529 mph)
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race Erik Darnell #99
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award Timothy Peters, #4 (13 Positions)
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race Matt Crafton
    WIX Filters Lap Leader Award Jack Sprague, #60 (133 Laps)
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award Jack Sprague
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge Jack Sprague

    For complete results:

  • Starting lineup for the O’Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park: (Top ten)
    1) #60-Jack Sprague, 117.529
    2) #85-Dennis Setzer, 117.111
    3) #88-Matt Crafton, 116.979
    4) #99 Erik Darnell, 116.934
    5) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 116.737
    6) #16-Mike Bliss, 116.661
    7) #02-Brad Keselowski, 116.585
    8) #15-Kevin Grubb, 116.580
    9) #6-David Ragan=116.535
    10)#5-Mike Skinner, 116.525
    1st Rookie; (4th) #99-Erik Darnell, 116.934
    All entries qualified.

    For complete starting lineup:

  • Final Practice results for the O’Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park (Top ten)
    1) #16-Mike Bliss, 115.830
    2) #75-Aric Almirola, 115.706
    3) #9-Ted Musgrave, 115.582
    4) #23-Johnny Benson, 115.538
    5) #60-Jack Sprague, 115.488
    6) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr. 115.390
    7) #5-Mike Skinner, 115.286
    6) #4-Timothy Peters, 115.144
    9) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 114.982
    10)#30-Todd Bodine, 114.801
    1st Rookie (2nd) #75-Aric Almirola, 115.706
    Mike Greenwell crashed into the inside wall of the backstretch bringing out the red flag with 10 minutes of practice to go. The #08 Green Light Racing team brought out the backup truck to catch the last few moments of practice.

    For complete final practice results:

  • 1st Practice for the O’Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park (Top ten)
    1) #16-Mike Bliss, 115.612
    2) #85-Dennis Setzer, 115.365
    3) #4-Timothy Peters, 115.266
    4) #30-Todd Bodine, 115.257
    5) #60-Jack Sprague, 115.252
    6) #9-Ted Musgrave, 114.933
    7) #75-Aric Almirola, 114.737
    8) #77-Brendan Gaughan, 114.509
    9) #15-Kevin Grubb, 114.436
    10)#33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 114.426
    1st Ford (12th) #14-Rick Crawford,114.383
    1st Rookie (7th) #75-Aric Almirola, 114.737

    For complete practice results:

    Entry list for the O’Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park:

  • Kelly Sutton Not Cleared To Race: UPDATE 2: Catchfence.com has been informed that Truck Series driver Kelly Sutton has not been cleared to participate in this Saturday’s Built Ford Tough 225 NCTS race from Kentucky as she continues to recover from minor injuries sustained from last week’s race at Kansas Speedway. Brad Keselowski has been tapped to fill in as the driver of the #02 Sutton Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend. “Brad has been our spotter for the past few weeks; he is a young talented driver and we look forward to him representing Sutton Motorsports this weekend,” said Carol Sutton, mother of Kelly and co-owner of Sutton Motorsports. (catchfence.com)(7-6-2006)
    UPDATE: Hearing from a good source that Kelly Sutton is driving her #02 truck in Memphis. She has been medically released. (7-13-2006)
    UPDATE 2:Brad Keselowski qualified the #02 Sutton Motorsports Chevy in Memphis.(7-15-2006)
  • New paint schemes added: New paints schemes have been added for the #75 FedEx Express Chevy of Aric Almirola and the #13 Pork (The Other White Meat) Chevy of Kerry Earnhardt. Check it out on the paint schemes page at: Truck Schemes Page(7-15-2006)
  • Note from Steve Park: I want to personally thank all of you for your continued support during this transitional time. At this point, I will not be in Kentucky for the Built Ford Tough 225. I wanted to make this public as soon as possible, so you fans planning to attend the race would be aware of my absence. I am hoping to be back in the saddle for the July 15th, O’Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park. I want to thank Jim Harris and everyone at Harris Trucking Motorsports for such a wonderful opportunity. Again, I want to thank all of you fans for your continued support. Hope to see you all trackside very soon. Sincerely, Steve Park.(steve-park.com)(7-6-2006)
  • Hamilton Candidly Discusses Cancer Battle: Bobby Hamilton talks about the past few months, an excerpt: It’s amazing how much one word can change your life. When you hear it, feel it, bear it, and breathe it that one word changes your entire view on the way you see every single aspect of your life. I will never be the same person I was before I found out I had cancer. I am now a better person for what I have endured just as all the millions of people in our country who feel the same way after battling cancer. It has literally changed my life. I was this guy who was a rough neck, red neck person that raised myself in the most unbelievable conditions and at times thought of myself as indestructible to getting my legs knocked out from under me in the blink of an eye and having it done time and time again battling this terrible disease. For the complete story visit:bobbyhamiltonracing.com)(7-5-2006)
  • Almirola sporting Fed Ex colors at Memphis: Aric Almirola and the #75 Spears Racing Chevy, who’s team works in conjunction with Joe Gibbs Racing, will carry the Fed Ex Logo and colors for this week’s event at Memphis Motorsports Park.(spearsracing.com)(7-14-2006)
  • Headz Gamez Enterprises Int’l to sponsor Peter Shepherd: Roush Racing has announced that Griddly Headz Board Games whom has been awarded the NASCAR license has signed on to sponsor the #50 of Peter Shepherd in the O’Reilly 200 Truck Series race on July 15 at Memphis Motorsports Park. Shepherd, 19, will make his first Truck Series start for Roush Racing this Saturday. (roushracing.com) (7-13-2006)
  • News from the Raybestos Rookie Contenders: Erik Darnell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the July 8 Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Darnell claimed a ninth-place finish, his fourth top-10 of the 2006 season, and took top rookie honors for the sixth time in 13 races. Marcos Ambrose won the pole position at Kentucky, his first pole in 10 career Craftsman Truck Series starts. Ambrose led the race twice for 49 laps, the most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie in a Truck Series race this season. Darnell leads the Raybestos Rookie standings by 16 points (115-99) over Chad McCumbee entering the July 15 Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park. Todd Kluever was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2005 O’Reilly 200. Kluever finished 10th, completing all 202 laps of the event. Rookie contender point standings: Erik Darnell, 115; Chad McCumbee, 99; Aric Almirola, 96; Joey Miller, 78; Boston Reid, 74; Erin Crocker, 71; Kyle Krisiloff, 70; Bobby East 65; Marcos Ambrose, 60; Kerry Earnhardt, 57; Kraig Kinser, 44; Robert Richardson, 39; Scott Lagasse, 28; Michel Jourdain, 17; Ryan Moore, 15; Sean Murphy, 12; J.R. Patton, 4; Tam Topham, 1.(Raybestos PR)(7-12-2006)
  • Roush driver making truck series debut: Roush Racing officials say Canadian driver will Peter Shepherd drive the team’s #50 Ford in this weekend’s O’Reilly 200 Craftsman Truck Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park. Roush signed a driver development contract the 19-year-old as a result of the team’s Driver X competition in 2005. Several drivers have competed in the 50 truck this year, including Carl Edwards, David Ragan and Michel Jourdain Jr. Shepherd will not have a locked-in position and will have to be one of the six drivers to make the race on speed. (roushracing.com)(7-11-2006)
  • Driver changes on the entry list for Memphis: Chad McCumbee moves to the #07 U.S. Restoration Chevy for this week’s race as former Red Sox leftfield, Mike Greenwell makes his second start in the #08 Greenlight Racing Chevy. Roush Racing has Canadian driver, Peter Shepherd in the #50. Kelly Sutton is listed as the driver for the #02, however, no official word has been received on her return.(7-11-2006)
  • Cook To Break Consecutive Streak: Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International driver Terry Cook looks to break the most-consecutive starts streak set by Rick Crawford at 210 Saturday night at Memphis Motorsports Park.  Cook will make his 211th-consecutive start and 230th of his 10-year career racing in the Truck Series.  Cook has six-career wins, 25 top-five and 84 top-10 finishes since 1996 and is listed seventh on the all-time money list with more than $3 million in earnings.(ppcracing.com)(7-10-2006)
  • Truck Series News & Notes:
    For David Starr, whose #11 Red Horse Racing Toyota team comes to Memphis Motorsports Park as the defending winner of Saturday’s O’Reilly 200, there is no special pressure to perform. According to Starr, this week is no different than any other. Last year’s win – the first for the team and then-driver Brandon Whitt – wasn’t exactly an upset, although it seemed that way when Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet) spun from the lead in the final turn and handed Whitt the victory. Whitt started from the Budweiser Pole and led twice before positioning himself to take advantage of Hornaday’s misfortune, triggered by a smoke from a spinning truck. That said, Starr and his team figure to have an advantage this week despite the driver change and a different truck and tire compound. He’ll be gunning for series win #5 and to improve on a season in which he’s ranked seventh in the standings with six of 12 finishes among the top 10. He’s hoping the Memphis event will jump-start a season in which the team has been better than most – but not as good as some.

    News & Notes, Part II:
    Most Seasons With Multiple Victories; driver, multiple season wins:
    Ron Hornaday Jr., 6; Jack Sprague, 6
    Ted Musgrave , 4; Joe Ruttman, 4; Dennis Setzer, 4

    Hornaday’s victory in last week’s Built Ford Tough 225 was his second of the season. Hornaday won earlier at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. The victory enabled Hornaday to match longtime rival Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota) for most Truck seasons with multiple wins. Both drivers have won multiple times in six different seasons. Sprague’s last multiple victory season was 2001 when four wins contributed to his third Truck championship. Hornaday’s most recent multiple win year was 1999 – his final year driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Three drivers – Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota), Joe Ruttman and Dennis Setzer (#85 FlexFuel E85 Chevy) – have multiple wins in four different seasons.

    Kentucky Speedway’s race represented the mid-point of the 2006 season. Twelve races remain, including the series’ inaugural visit to Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 7.
    Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) completed his ninth-consecutive race as the standings leader. He holds a 112-point lead over Johnny Benson (#23 Bill Davis Racing Toyota). The latter driver, who finished fourth in Kentucky, bypassed previous runner-up David Reutimann (#17 Team Tundra Toyota). Bodine’s largest lead so far was 178 points (over Reutimann) following Race #10 at Michigan International Speedway. While Bodine’s lead appears comfortable, history suggests that mid-year domination doesn’t always last. In fact, the mid-year leader has won the title just three times in 11 seasons. The last mid-year leader/champion was Greg Biffle in 2000. Hornaday (1996) and Sprague (1999) are the other mid-year leaders to win titles. Seven different drivers have won races so far this season, with Bodine and Mark Martin (#6 Scotts Ford) the leaders with three victories each. Benson is the only first-time winner so far.

    This Week’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Leaders…through 13 races of the 25-race season:
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (2,043)
    Money won – Todd Bodine ($428,570)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (321)
    Miles led – Mark Martin (532.46)
    Victories – Todd Bodine, Mark Martin (3)
    Budweiser Poles -Mike Skinner (4)
    Top-five finishes – Todd Bodine (8)
    Top-10 finishes – 3 drivers
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (16 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Todd Bodine (8)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 4 drivers (13)

    Former Boston Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell (#07 Green Light Racing Chevy) will make his second appearance of the season this week in Memphis. Greenwell finished 26th at Mansfield…Marcos Ambrose (#20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford) became the first foreign-born driver to win a Budweiser Pole since Canadian Ron Fellows when he posted a fast lap of 176.922 mph at Kentucky Speedway. Fellows’ last pole came in 1999 at Watkins Glen International. History was made on lap 13 when Ambrose and Mexico’s Michel Jourdain Jr. (#50 Roush Racing Ford) became the first non-Americans to run one-two in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race…Terry Cook (#10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) matched the series record for consecutive starts at Kentucky with his 210th straight race….At Kentucky, Reutimann became the series’ 32nd $1 million career winner. His total is $1,011,232…Kevin Grubb, who has replaced Kyle Krisiloff in Billy Ballew Motorsports’ #15 Chevy, finished 21st in Kentucky. Grubb hadn’t competed in the series since mid-1997.

    On the right track:
    Setzer pretty much perfect at Memphis Motorsports Park…Setzer has competed in seven of eight series races held at the .75-mile track. He won in 2001 and hasn’t finished worse than fifth, boasting a finishing average of 3.6. Setzer has completed all 1,402 laps of those seven races and led three consecutive races between 2001 and 2003. Four Memphis winners in O’Reilly 200 field…Setzer is joined in the lineup this week by Memphis winners Hornaday (1998), Sprague (2000) and Musgrave (2003). Musgrave is the lap leader among active drivers with 160 laps led six times up front. Musgrave was working three consecutive top-five finishes until being derailed by last year’s 26th-place finish.

    In the loop:
    Ron Hornaday Jr. didn’t win last year’s race – he finished 21st – but Loop Data demonstrates how dominant the two-time champion had been. Hornaday recorded four of the night’s five fastest laps, recorded the third highest speed in traffic (111.683), led the field in Quality Passes (26) and posted the second highest Average Running Position (3.842). If you’re looking for additional favorites, consider that Rick Crawford ran the fastest lap speed late in a run (112.606) and runner-up David Reutimann boasts the highest Driver Rating of a returning driver (130.9). As for Passing Zones, winner Brandon Whitt executed 85 percent of his passes – 18 of 21 – either on the track’s front or back stretches.

    Fast Facts:
    What: O’Reilly 200 (Race 14 of 25)
    Where: Memphis Motorsports Park, Millington, Tenn
    When: 9:15 p.m. ET, July 15
    Track layout: .75-mile paved oval
    Race length: 200 laps /150 miles
    Posted awards: $547,652
    TV: SPEED Channel, 9 p.m. (ET)
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite
    2005 winner: Brandon Whitt
    2005 polesitter: Brandon Whitt

    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday-Practice 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Rookie Practice 6 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Final Practice 7:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. Saturday – Qualifying 5 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(7-14-2006)

  • Driver point standings following Kentucky:(Top ten)
    1) #30-Todd Bodine, 2043
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 1931
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 1898
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, 1807
    5) #14-Rick Crawford, 1806
    6) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 1745
    7) #11-David Starr, 1742
    8) #10-Terry Cook, 1717
    9) #60-Jack Sprague, 1708
    10)#85-Dennis Setzer, 1696

    For complete standings:

  • Ron Hornaday Jr. wins the Built Ford Tough 250 at Kentucky Speedway: Ron Hornaday Jr. in the #33-Kevin Harvick Racing Chevy picked up his second win for the 2006 season at Kentucky Speedway. Hornaday is the all-time winner in the Truck Series with a total of 29 wins. A restart with seven laps to go showed us some great side-by-side racing between the #14 of Rick Crawford and the #77 of Brendan Gaughan for second and third place. Crawford won the battle and finished second (his second in a row) with Gaughan coming in third. Rounding out the top five were the #23 of Johnny Benson and the #6 of David Ragan. Pole sitter, Marcos Ambrose led the most laps for the day-49, however, wound up one lap down with a 19th place finish. There were 8 cautions and 10 lead changes among 7 drivers.(7-8-2006)
  • Final results from Kentucky Speedway: (Top ten)
    1) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., KHI Chevy
    2) #13-Rick Crawford, Circle Bar Truck Corral
    3) #77-Brendan Gaughan, Orleans Dodge
    4) #23-Johnny Benson, BDR Toyota
    5) #6-David Ragan, Scotts Ford
    6) #9-Ted Musgrave, Team ASE/Germain Motorsports Toyota
    7) #88-Matt Crafton, Menards/Energizer Chevy
    8) #11-David Starr, Red Horse Racing
    9) #99-Erik Darnell, Roush Racing Ford
    10)#30-Todd Bodine, Lumber Liquidators Ford

    Race Awards:
    Bud Pole Award: Marcos Ambrose #20, 176.922 mph
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race: Erik Darnell #99
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award: Jack Sprague
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race: Ron Hornaday Jr.
    WIX Filters Lap Leader Award: Marcos Ambrose #20
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Ron Hornaday Jr.
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge: Ron Hornaday Jr.

    For complete results:

  • Ambrose wins the pole for the Built Ford Tough 250 at Kentucky Speedway:(Top ten)
    1) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 176.922
    2) #17-David Reutimann, 176.592
    3) #13-Kerry Earnhardt, 176.142
    4) #50-Michel Jourdain Jr., 176.056
    5) #6-David Ragan, 175.615
    6) #99-Erik Darnell, 175.365
    7) #23-Johnny Benson, 175.041
    8) #22-Bill Lester, 174.876
    9) #30-Todd Bodine, 174.780
    10)#4-Timohty Peters, 174.780
    1st Rooke (1st) #20-Marcos Ambrose
    Going home: #1-Robert Richardson, #19-Todd Shafer

    For complete starting lineup:

  • Final practice results for the Built Ford Tough 250 at Kentucky Speedway:(Top ten)
    1) #-13 Kerry Earnhardt, 177.421
    2) #9-Ted Musgrave, 176.142
    3) #23-Johnny Benson, 176.114
    4) #17-David Reutimann, 176.079
    5) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 174.870
    6) #59-Chad Chaffin, 174.498
    7) #5-Mike Skinner, 174.323
    8) #21-Bobby East, 174.284
    9) #11-David Starr, 173,930
    10)#15-Kevin Grubb, 173.728
    1st Rookie(5th) #13-Kerry Earnhardt, 177.421
    1st Dodge(16th) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 173.344

    For complete practice results:

  • First practice results for the Built Ford Tough 250 at Kentucy Speedway:(Top ten)
    1) #14-Rick Crawford, 174.786
    2) #9-Ted Musgrave, 173.366
    3) #16-Mike Bliss, 172.800
    4) #6-David Ragan, 172.629
    5) #17-David Reutimann, 172.513
    6) #11-David Starr, 172.502
    7) #77-Brendan Gaughan, 172.320
    8) #13-Kerry Earnhardt, 172.254
    9) #88-Matt Crafton, 172.057
    10)#23-Johnny Benson, 172.046
    1st Rookie(8th) #13-Kerry Earnhardt, 172.254

    For complete practice results:

  • Skinner holds record for most poles: With his pole last weekend at Kansas, Mike Skinner now holds the record for most career poles in the Truck Series (28). Skinner owns four poles in 2006, three of which have come in the last four races. Skinner only has 116 starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, meaning he averages a pole in every 4.14 starts.(billdavisracing.com)(7-5-2006)
  • Raybestos Rookies News & Notes: Marcos Ambrose was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the July 1 O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. Ambrose finished third, his best effort in nine career starts. He took top rookie honors for the first time this season and scored the best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in 2006. Erik Darnell leads the Raybestos Rookie standings by 11 points (102-91) over Chad McCumbee entering the July 8 Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Todd Kluever was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2005 Built Ford Tough 225, posting a 12th-place finish on the lead lap. Rookie contender point standings; Erik Darnell 102; Chad McCumbee 91; Aric Almirola 90; Kyle Krisiloff 70; Joey Miller 68; Erin Crocker 68; Boston Reid 65; Bobby East 63; Marcos Ambrose 57; Kerry Earnhardt 52; Kraig Kinser 42; Robert Richardson 38; Scott Lagasse Jr. 28; Michel Jourdain Jr. 13; Ryan Moore 13; Sean Murphy 12; J.R. Patton 3; Tam Topham 1.(Raybestos PR)(7-5-2006)
  • Gaughan makes 100th start: The Kentucky 225 event will offer driver Brendan Gaughan a pair of watershed moments in life. The first is that when he rolls off the grid for this weekend’s Kentucky 225 he’ll be starting in his 100th career Truck Series event. The other landmark will be that the Kentucky 225 will mark Gaughan’s last race as a 30 year old as on July 10th Gaughan will roll the meter over one more time when he turns 31.(brendangaughan.com)(7-5-2006)
  • Checkers Rally’s Restaurants back on #22: Bill Davis Racing is pleased to announce that the Checkers Rally’s Restaurants logo will adorn the #22 truck this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. The company has also teamed up with Sony Pictures to promote the new NASCAR comedy film “Talladega Nights,” starring Will Ferrell. Lester’s paint scheme will mirror the car driven by fictional character Ricky Bobby (played by Ferrell). This will mark the second time this season Checkers Rally’s Restaurants has served as primary sponsor of the #22 team.Lester will join the folks from Checkers Rally’s this weekend to give away a car to a deserving member of the greater Cincinnati community. The giveaway will take place at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night before driver introductions.(billdavisracing.com)(7-5-2006)
  • Rollins Resigns at BHR, Hamilton, Sr. Set to Visit Kentucky:UPDATE: Comments by Bobby Hamilton Sr. on recent BHR reorganization: “Danny Rollins, who has worked with Bobby Hamilton Sr. en route to the 2004 NCTS championship and has since taken the reigns with Hamilton Jr. in the #18 Fastenal Dodge this season, came into the shop on Monday and made the decision to resign. After further review of this decision and several meetings to restructure key people we realized it will serve in the best interest of all involved. We had a ton of success at BHR with Danny Rollins as the crew chief and we won a championship together and we’re thankful for his efforts on BHR’s behalf. Unfortunately this sport moves very fast and things change as time goes by. You see successful organizations restructure all the time in this sport to keep up with the pace- Hendrick, Yates, Roush, you name it, they have all been through it and in most cases it works out for the best. I feel like that will certainly be the case here at BHR. I think these changes will have a very positive impact on this team. The bottom line is it is my job to strengthen the overall racing efforts for Dodge, Fastenal and all of BHR sponsors, and this one needs to come straight from the boss. The communication and the results were just not there with the combination of Danny and Bobby Hamilton Jr. All that being said we think that Kip McCord’s experience will take this team back to victory lane.”(truckseries.com)(7-3-2006)
    UPDATE: Kip McCord will lead the #18 crew for Hamilton Jr. following the resignation of Danny Rollins. Marcus Richmond will lead the #4 team as Danny Gill relinquished those duties while continuing his role as team manager for Bobby Hamilton Racing. (scenedaily.com)(7-5-2006)
  • Chad Chaffin to drive #59: HT Motorsports has announced that Chad Chaffin would climb into the drivers’ seat of the #59 Harris Trucking Ford beginning with the July 8th race in Kentucky. Chad has competed in the Trucks Series since 2000; with 83 starts he has 2 wins and 14 top 5 finishes. (HT Motorsports)(7-5-2006)
  • New drivers on Entry List for Kentucky: Kevin Grubb is named as driver for Billy Ballew’s #51 Chevy; Chad Chaffin is scheduled to drive the #59 Harris Trucking Dodge; and #19 Westerman Co & Truck Ins. 4-U Ford driven and owned by Todd Shafer. Also scheduled are Wayne Edwards in the #07 Green Light Racing Chevy and the #91 Hunters Hope Foundation Chevy driven by J.C. Stout. No word on Steve Park?(7-3-2006)
  • Kansas injuries may sideline Sutton:UPDATE: Kelly Sutton slid out of control off turn two and into the inside wall, which she contacted heavily with the driver’s side of her truck. The truck then came to rest in the grass at the entrance to turn three. Sutton was transported – awake and alert – to the track’s infield care center before being transferred to the KU Med Center where she was held overnight. Sutton was listed in fair condition upon admission to the hospital. Sutton Motorsports crew chief Gary Showalter reported that Sutton did suffer injuries in the crash, including a broken arm and a broken rib, and will likely be forced to miss upcoming Truck Series races at Kentucky Speedway and Memphis Motorsports Park.(truckseries.com)(7-3-2006)
    UPDATE: Sutton plans to race despite hard crash. Sutton was released from the Univ. of Kansas Hospital on Sunday, one day after suffering bruised ribs and a bruised left elbow in a crash at Kansas Speedway. Sutton was driving back to North Carolina, but told crew chief Gary Showalter that she plans on racing the Sutton Motorsports Chevy this weekend at Kentucky. Brad Keselowski, whose family owned K-Automotive Motorsports team is on hiatus due to lack of sponsorship, will be standing by if Sutton determines she can’t drive or needs a relief driver. Keselowski has been serving as Sutton’s spotter. “The doctor said she’s going to be sore for awhile, but she’s saying she’s ready to go racing,” Showalter said Monday. “We’ll see when she gets back. They’re driving back, they didn’t want to fly her back. She said that she just needed to take a nice drive, get out every couple hours and walk around and stretch and then drive some more.” Showalter hopes Sutton’s able to drive at Kentucky. The team has taken the truck to NASCAR’s technical center after Sutton slammed hard into the inside wall. Showalter said the seat and all the leg braces were intact. “She’s really lucky she didn’t get anything broken,” Showalter said.”(scenedaily.com)(7-3-2006)
  • Springfield, OH resident to be Kentucky Honorary Starter:Betsy Shaw of Springfield, Ohio will be the honorary starter of the July 8 “Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers.” Shaw registered to win a Ford Racing contest through the official Kentucky Speedway web site. The grand prize package also includes round-trip transportation for two, hotel accommodations, suite tickets to the Truck Series race, a private VIP facility tour with a Ford Racing representative and Ford Racing apparel.(kentuckyspeedway.com)(7-3-2006)
  • Truck Series News & Notes:
    The Truck Series’ next big star well might be a southerner, but not from the geographical region of the United States. Marcos Ambrose (# 20Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford) hails from the southern hemisphere – the Australian state of Tasmania, to be exact – and last Saturday at Kentucky Speedway, in just his ninth series start, he proved that adapting to high-speed ovals may not be as difficult as it once appeared. Ambrose, who drives for JTG/Wood Brothers Racing, led the first lap of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250. He also ran among the top 10 despite surrendering positions on pit road. At the end, it came down to a battle for third place between Ambrose, Brendan Gaughan (#77 Harrah’s Dodge) and 1995 Truck Series champion Mike Skinner (#5 Team Tundra Toyota). Skinner found out he couldn’t budge the Aussie, never mind his experience. And Gaughan used every trick to keep the Raybestos Rookie of the Year challenger at bay. He did so until the fourth turn of the last lap where Ambrose guided his truck into the outside lane and out-hustled Gaughan to the checkered flag; the margin between third and fourth places literally was inches. “Coming this year, I’ve never driven on an oval – ever,” said Ambrose, 30, a two-time Australian V8 SuperCars champion. “I’ve never driven a (NASCAR-style) stock car ever. I’ve come from a road racing background so it’s been a very difficult transition and wasn’t one we expected to be easy.”

    Saturday’s performance was a far cry from Ambrose’s first stop on a 1.5-mile oval. He completed only four laps at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May before an accident sent the driver – known Down Under as “Devil Racer” – to the garage with a 36th-place finish. His three most recent starts from a top-10 position, including a fourth at Kansas Speedway, pointed to Ambrose’s potential. His best finish before Saturday, however, was an 18th recorded June 23 at The Milwaukee Mile. Ambrose admits to having received a great deal of counsel – and not just from his crew chief Gary Cogswell and the rest of the team’s cadre of drivers that include teammate Bobby East, a former USAC National Champion, and Busch Series veterans Stacy Compton and Jon Wood. “Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) and Brendan Gaughan have been great to me, too and I’ve been able to go up to them and ask questions,” he said. “But it’s kind of hard (as a rookie) to race against people you know (and respect).” After Saturday’s performance, the teaching veterans likely are thinking, “Class dismissed.”

    News & Notes Part II:
    Terry Cook’s (#10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) victory in last week’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 snapped a 94-race winless streak by a race winner – third longest in series history. Cook’s last win came nearly six years ago, on Aug. 2, 2002 at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford) holds the record of starts between wins at 120. Crawford’s drought followed his April 4, 1998 victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway and was ended in the closest, three-way finish in series history on Feb. 15, 2003 at Daytona International Speedway. The current longest streak, 104 races, belongs to Butch Miller, whose last – and only – win was recorded July 15, 1995 at Colorado National Speedway near Denver.

    David Reutimann (#17 Team Tundra Toyota) flirted with an aggressive reputation in 2004 when he won Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. The third-year driver from Florida has a different attitude in 2006 and it’s paying big dividends. Reutimann has quietly assembled a series-leading 10 top-10 finishes and stands a solid second in the series standings. He trails Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) by 138 points entering this week’s 13th race that marks the mid-point of the 2006 season. Ironically, it was Bodine’s Germain Racing teammate Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota), whose off-season suggestions proved to be Reutimann’s competitive epiphany. “During a test session I really had a chance to talk to Ted since he’s in the Toyota camp,” Reutimann said. “We were talking and bench racing. He’s the one that told me to strive to be consistent. He pointed out that he had only one win last year and that he was much more consistent across the board. “He said that’s what wins championships. Obviously, we want to win, but if we can’t, we have to finish in the top-five and not outside the top-10. We’ve done that in all but two races this year.” Reutimann’s Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team, led by crew chief Jason Overstreet, is one of the most seasoned in the series-another reason why they are a serious championship contender.

    This Week’s Truck Series Leaders: (through 12 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (1,909)
    Money won – Todd Bodine ($411,995)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (321)
    Miles led – Mark Martin (532.46)
    Victories – Todd Bodine, Mark Martin (3)
    Budweiser Poles -Mike Skinner (4)
    Top-five finishes – Todd Bodine (8)
    Top-10 finishes – David Reutimann (10)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (11 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Todd Bodine (8)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 4 drivers (12)

    At Kansas Speedway, Mike Skinner won his 28th series pole to break the career record he shared with Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota). Skinner is the first driver in 2006 to win four poles…Brendan Gaughan (#77 Orleans Dodge) becomes the 22nd driver with 100 series starts when he takes the green flag in Saturday’s race at Kentucky Speedway…Ford’s sweep of the top three finishing positions at Kansas Speedway was a first for the manufacturer since September 2000 when Rick Carelli, Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch ran one-two-three at Richmond International Raceway…There have been seven different winners in the series’ first 12 races. … Johnny Benson’s (#23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota) bid for a third consecutive victory ended with a ninth-place finish…Ambrose’s Kansas performance, the best by an Australian in any of the three NASCAR national series, marked the first top-five finish by a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate in 2006. Chad McCumbee (# 08 Silverado Chevy) vaulted to the #2 position in rookie rankings to trail leader Erik Darnell (#99 Roush Racing Ford) by 11 points….Cook is the 28th different winner in 56 races on 1.5-mile tracks. Four of his six wins have come on tracks of one mile or longer…The victory was the first in the series for ppc Racing owner Greg Pollex, whose then-driver Jeff Green won the track’s inaugural Busch Series race in 2001…Kansas winning crew chief Dennis Connor went to Victory Lane with his fourth different driver. Cook added win #26 to a list compiled by Sprague, Jason Leffler and Jimmy Spencer…Dennis Setzer (#85 FlexFuel E85 Chevy) and Mike Bliss (#16 IWX Motor Freight Chevy) are the only Kentucky Speedway winners in this week’s field. Bliss beat Setzer by 18.197 seconds in 2002. The margin remains the largest in Craftsman Truck history…Two of six Kentucky Speedway races have been won at average speeds in excess of 140 mph. Last year’s 144.844 mph pace stands as the 150-lap record…Bill Lester, (#22 Checkers Toyota) the Kentucky Speedway qualifying record holder with a lap of 178.141 mph, will carry a paint scheme promoting the release of the film “Talladega Nights – The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”

    On the Right Track:
    Defending winner Setzer excels in Bluegrass state … Dennis Setzer leads all drivers with a finishing average of 5.7. Setzer is the only driver to have completed all 904 laps run since the 2001 series debut at Kentucky Speedway. He’s also won a healthy share of the $3.72 million paid over the six races – $216,440. This week’s posted awards of $746,240 makes the Built Ford Tough 225 the second richest race on the schedule.

    In the Loop:
    Rick Crawford moved into the top five of the standings after his runner-up finish at Kansas Speedway. Crawford also stands fifth in Driver Ratings and is poised to become the fifth competitor with a triple digit rating. His is 99.7 – not far behind leader Todd Bodine’s rating of 112.6 (of 150.0). Crawford’s climb through the standings is marked by his #1 ranking in laps run on the lead lap – 1,964 of 1,974 or 99.49 percent of the time. Terry Cook, who came within six laps of winning last year’s Built Ford Tough 225, was the fastest on restarts in 2006 with an average speed of 166.140 mph. Mike Skinner, who finished fourth, led all competitors with an average running position of 1.993.

    From the Archives:
    Two drivers in the field can complete a series Kentucky sweep with a victory in this week’s Built Ford Tough 225. Ron Hornaday Jr. and Mike Skinner combined for three victories from 1995 through 1997 at the old Louisville Motor Speedway, a .438-mile short track.

    Fast Facts:
    What: Build Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers (Race 13 of 25)
    Where: Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky
    When: 8:15 p.m. ET, July 8
    Track layout: 1.5-mile paved speedway
    Race length: 225 miles/150 laps
    Posted awards: $746,240
    TV: SPEED Channel, 8 pm/et
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite
    2005 winner: Dennis Setzer
    2005 polesitter: Bill Lester

    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday-Practice 3:15 p.m. -4:20 p.m. Rookie Practice 4:25 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.
    Final Practice 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday – Qualifying 4:30 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.

  • Terry Cook Wins the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway: Terry Cook had a problem early in the race, got the Lucky Dog on Lap 44; and then marched to the front to take the lead and win the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. Finishing in second was the #14 Ford of Rick Crawford ;another strong performance by that team. A race to the finish for the third position between the #20 and the #77, had Marcos Ambrose cross the line just ahead of Brendan Gaughan. It was a great run for Ambrose who started in the 4th position, lead lap one, and then hung around the top ten most of the day. He drove to a strong finish, taking the 3rd spot away from Gaughan on the last lap. Finishing fifth was the #5 of Mike Skinner. A late race accident sent Kelly Sutton to a local hospital to be checked out. She was reported to be alert and talking; no further report available at this time. First Chevy in the race was the #85 of Dennis Setzer who finished in the 11th place.(7-1-2006)
  • Final Results at Kansas Speedway:(Top ten)
    1) #10-Terry Cook, Power Stroke Int’l Diesel by Ford
    2) #14-Rick Crawford, Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford
    3) #20-Marcos Ambrose, Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford
    4) #77-Brendan Gaughan, Harrah’s Dodge
    5) #5-Mike Skinner, Toyota Tundra Toyota
    6) #6-David Ragan, Scotts Ford
    7) #30-Todd Bodine, Lumber Liquidators Toyota
    8) #11-David Starr, Red Horse Racing Toyota
    9) #23-Johnny Benson, Roger Smith & Sons Toyota
    10)#17-David Reutimann, Team Tundra Toyota
    1st Chevy -(11th)#85-Dennis Setzer, Shell Rotella T Chevy

    Race Awards:
    Bud Pole Award Mike Skinner (171.772 mph
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race Marcos Ambrose #20
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award David Regan, #6 (24 Positions)
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race Terry Cook
    WIX Filters Lap Leader Award Mike Skinner, #5 (59 Laps)
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award Terry Cook
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge Rick Crawford

    For complete results:

  • Driver Point standings following Kansas:
    1) #30-Todd Bodine, 1909
    2) #17-David Reutimann, 1771
    3) #23-Johnny Benson, 1766
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, 1657
    5) #14-Rick Crawford, 1636
    6) #10-Terry Cook, 1602
    7) #11-David Starr, 1600
    8) #85-Dennis Setzer, 1593
    9) #60-Jack Sprague, 1578
    10)#33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 1560

    For complete point standings:



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