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June 2004 Truck Series News Archive


 

  • Musgrave wins at Milwaukee: #1-Ted Musgrave won the Black Cat Fireworks 200 at the Milwaukee Mile on Friday night. Musgrave also earned an $18,000 bonus for winning from the pole, the first driver to do so in 2004. #18-Chad Chaffin, #46-Dennis Setzer, #62-Steve Park and #24-Travis Kvapil.
    See results at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    Motorsports One
    NASCAR.com
    Truckseries.com.(6-25-2004)
  • Musgrave wins pole at Milwaukee: #1-Ted Musgrave won the pole for the Black Cat Fireworks 200 at The Milwaukee Mile with a speed of 121.980mph, the rest of the top five were #18-Chad Chaffin, #4-Bobby Hamilton, #16-Jack Sprague and #15-Shane Hmiel. Points leader #46-Dennis Setzer starts 12th.
    For the lineup see:
    ThatsRacin.com
    Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com.(6-25-2004)
  • Spencer driving the #2 at Milwaukee: Jimmy Spencer will be driving in the #2 Ultra Motorsports Dodge truck atMilwaukee Mile. NASCAR Nextel Cup veteran will return to drive for owner Jim Smith this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile. Spencer finished 24th in the Daytona 500, his last drive for the #7 ‘Cup team Smith owns. Spencer ran competitively in 2003 in the #2 truck last year in two appearances at Richmond, VA and Loudon, NH races. Regular driver Andy Houston will be at the track this weekend as the team assesses their equipment with a guest driver.(The Milwaukee Mile PR)(6-24-2004)
  • Sauter, special gift to his Dad AND: In celebration of Father’s Day, Johnny Sauter has a special gift in mind for his dad. He’s fielding a truck for him to race in the Black Cat Fireworks 200 at the Milwaukee Mile on June 25. Although it’s not the typical flannel shirt or necktie that most dads will receive on Sunday, it’s the perfect way for Johnny to show how much he appreciates all that his dad has done for him. Johnny’s father, Jim Sauter, led a storied career in racing, participating in ARCA, ASA, Busch Grand National and Winston Cup Series divisions. It was only natural for Johnny to follow suit. Upon his father’s guidance, Johnny broke into the sport at age 18 and hasn’t looked back since. So for this Father’s Day, Johnny’s giving his dad the most appropriate present from one driver to another, a chance to race at his hometown track.(Johnny Sauter Site)(6-17-2004)
    AND Necedah, WI veteran Jim Sauter will compete in the #43 NASCAR Truck Series entry owned by his son Johnny, a regular on the NASCAR Busch Series. The truck was built by Johnny and his crew chief Joe Shear, Jr, son of the legendary short track racer Joe Shear from Clinton, WI.(The Milwaukee Mile PR)(6-24-2004)
  • News and Notes Milwaukee:
    Based on his recent NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series record at The Milwaukee Mile, this could be the week Terry Cook (No. 10 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) returns to top form. Cook will be the first to welcome the change. It’s been a miserable month for the Ohio native leading into Friday’s Black Cat Fireworks 200, the series’ 10th visit to the Milwaukee area and first event under the lights at State Fair Park. Cook, winner of the race two years ago in an exciting finish with Jason Leffler, has placed 20th or worse in his most recent three starts. Since placing third at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway on May 16, Cook and his first-year ppc Racing team have dropped from eighth to 14th in the championship standings. The team also is finding its legs under new crew chief Jamie Jones. “The season has been a roller coaster ride; it’s been up and down,” said Cook. “It’s nice to have the ups when you’re running well but it makes the downs fall that much harder when you’re on the top.” Cook is known as a flat-track specialist, having scored victories at the old Flemington (N.J.) Speedway, Gateway International Raceway, Indianapolis Raceway Park and New Hampshire International Speedway as well as Milwaukee. “I really have a good feel for those tracks,” Cook said. Those skills should come in handy this week as Cook bids to become the first series driver to win more than once at The Milwaukee Mile. Former winners Mike Skinner (No. 42 Toyota Tundra Toyota, 1995), Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet, 1996) and Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge, 2001) also are entered. “The Milwaukee Mile is a good place for me to go back to because it’s not far from my home (the Toledo suburb of Sylvania) and it’s the site of my first race on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series,” said Cook. The veteran of 173 series races beginning in 1996, Cook has completed the most laps/miles (1,486) at the track and is second in laps led with 172 to Sprague’s 446. He’s finished seventh, first and fourth in his last three Milwaukee appearances. The past, however, is just that – past. Cook comes to Milwaukee with his third different team. Fortuitously, ppc Racing – and crew chief Jones – are Milwaukee Mile veterans. The Greg Pollex-Keith Barnwell operation is the defending NASCAR Busch Series Alan Kulwicki 250 winner with Jason Keller. Jeff Green won the race in 2000. Jones meanwhile was a member of the BACE Motorsports team in 1996 when Randy LaJoie finished third. “It’s a matter of taking the equipment that is already built and massaging it to both Jamie’s liking and my driving style,” said Cook. “We’re not there just yet by any means but we’ll keep climbing the ladder.” Jones agrees with his driver’s assessment. “With communications, Terry and I have about a ‘C’ (grade) going into Milwaukee,” he said. “Engineering I would give them a ‘B.’ It’s going to work out (but) it’s going to take time to put all the pieces in place. Right now, my realistic goal is top-10 qualifying and top-10 finishes. Once we can do that, then we can shoot for top-five qualifying and top-five finishes. Once you get to that point, the wins will take care of themselves.” The combination of driver and track could mean that this week, anyway, the team is closer to the second goal than Jones might think.

    NEWS & NOTES, PART II
    Milwaukee Mile bids for record winning streak … The Milwaukee Mile and Texas Motor Speedway have produced record runs of nine consecutive different winners. The difference is that the latter track’s streak ended in 2002 and Milwaukee could see a 10th different winner this week, thus breaking the deadlock. Milwaukee is one of just five tracks to have hosted a NASCAR Craftsman Truck race in all 10 seasons.
    Truck makers well-represented in title chase … Each of the series’ four manufacturers – Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge and Toyota – has at least one driver among the current top six in the championship standings. Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet) enters race No. 9 with a 55-point lead over Carl Edwards (No. 99 Superchips Ford). Memphis winner Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) is third with Toyota’s Skinner sixth.

    Etc. … Hamilton, the season’s second double winner, is the first Tennessee native to score a victory in the Volunteer State. Joe Ruttman was a Nashville-area resident when he won the 1995 event at Bristol Motor Speedway. … Bang Racing has swapped teams this week. The Eric Phillips-led crew moves to Skinner’s No. 42 side of the shop while Rick Ron’s group will handle Travis Kvapil’s No. 24 Line-X Tundra. Ren was Kvapil’s crew chief at Addington Racing in 2001-02. … The first leg of this year’s Raybestos Rookie of the Year competition is complete with David Reutimann (No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota) holding a 102 – 76 lead over Tracy Hines (No. 88 Menards Chevrolet). … Last year’s Black Cat Fireworks 200, won by Brendan Gaughan, was the fastest series race run at The Milwaukee Mile. Gaughan’s Dodge averaged 109.689 mph as one caution consumed just five laps of the 200-mile event. … Four of nine races at Milwaukee have been won from the Bud Pole. Cook was the last to accomplish the feat in 2002. Craftsman’s win from the pole bonus stands at $18,000 this week.

    ON THE RIGHT TRACK
    Sprague is Milwaukee master … Competing in the first seven series races at The Milwaukee Mile, Sprague never finished off the lead lap or worse than ninth – the latter finish coming in 1995, the only time he didn’t compete in a Hendrick Motorsports entry. Sprague, a three-time Bud Pole winner, boasts an average start of 4.29 and finish of 4.14. Musgrave near perfection as well … Illinois native Musgrave, who raced out of Franklin, Wis. before moving south to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, has finished first, fourth and fifth in three NASCAR Craftsman Truck starts in Milwaukee.

    Fast Facts
    What: Black Cat Fireworks 200 (Race No. 9 of 25).
    Where: The Milwaukee Mile, Milwaukee, Wis.
    When: 9 p.m. ET, Friday, June 25.
    Track layout: One-mile paved speedway.
    Race length: 200 laps/200 miles.
    Posted awards: $485,784.
    TV: SPEED Channel, 9 p.m. ET.
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
    2003 winner: Brendan Gaughan.
    2003 polesitter: Terry Cook.
    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday – Practice, Noon – 12:55 and 2 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Qualifying, 5:00 p.m. Trucks impounded following time trials.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(6-23-2004)

  • BANG Racing switches crew chiefs/crews UPDATE: BANG Racing will switch crew chiefs and crews, with Rick Ren going to the #24 Line-X Toyota with driver Travis Kvapil and Eric Phillips going to the #42 Toyota and driver Mike Skinner.(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 144)(6-22-2004)
    UPDATE: BANG RACING announced today that it will switch the crew chiefs and crews on their No. 24 Line-X Tundra and #42 Toyota Tundra teams. Effective immediately, Eric Phillips and his Line-X crew will join forces with the inaugural truck series champion, Mike Skinner, driver of the #42 Toyota Tundra, while Rick Ren and his Toyota Tundra team will unite with driver of the #24 Line-X Tundra, 2003 Craftsman Truck Series Champion Travis Kvapil.
    Alex Meshkin, CEO and Owner of Bang Racing: “From the beginning we have stressed that we are one team fielding two trucks. We came out of the gates at Daytona very strong and have worked to give both teams the best in equipment and support. With that in mind, we want to give each of our unique drivers what we feel will work in their best interests. We have been consistent and strong, and want to continue to stay within striking distance of the championship. But to keep the momentum going, the BANG RACING teams are making a switch to accommodate their driver’s unique needs. We believe it is in the best interests of both drivers to have crew chiefs that can bring out the best in their driver’s performance.”
    Rick Ren, Crew Chief of the No. 24 Line-X Tundra
    “I’m excited to work with Travis Kvapil again. We already have a winning, two-year relationship and don’t have to learn what each other likes or dislikes, so everything will probably go back to the way it was before. It will work out fine, and it is what we needed to do to get both trucks turned around and run consistently in the top-five and back in the top-five in points. I don’t see how it will affect the team’s day-to-day operations. I think that it is definitely a positive for both teams.”
    Eric Phillips, Crew Chief of the No. 42 Toyota Tundra: “I’m pretty excited about working with Mike Skinner, and I think we will get along well. I’ve worked with a couple of other people like Mike, such as Joe Nemecheck and Greg Biffle, and they are very similar in their approach to things. Since we both come from the Cup series, the way we think about and do things is sometimes a little bit different than in the truck series. I think that that may make our communication stronger and our ability to make changes easier, and we will understand what each other wants and needs. I have been a part of this in the past at Nemco with Biffle and Nemecheck, but we just switched crew chiefs. It worked out well there, and hopefully, we will see some of the same results.”
    Mike Skinner, Driver of the No. 42 Toyota Tundra: “That’s what our owner’s job is – to make sure Bang Racing works as close to a well oiled machine as possible. And Eric and Rick both have crew members that they are confident in and have long standing relationships with. Were Travis and Eric having problems? No. Were Rick and I having problems? No. It’s just that sometimes it helps to swap personalities around. I support the decision and welcome the opportunity to work with Eric. I know Rick and Travis have worked successfully together in the past. If it works out like it did at RCR in 1999 when Larry was appointed my crew chief, we’ll be in contention for the win every week.”
    Travis Kvapil, Driver of the No. 24 Line-X Tundra: “I feel comfortable going back to work with Rick Ren. We have won races in the past and have had a number of top-five finishes together. There shouldn’t be a big learning curve with Rick trying to figure out what type of adjustments we need to make together. Both teams were struggling with results and should be running in the top five every week, not outside of the top-10. It may be a little tough at first adjusting to the situation but things will work out, and both teams will rise to the occasion. It should help us in getting the results that we had at the beginning of the year and what we know we are capable of week in and week out.”(BANG Racing PR)(6-23-2004)
  • Hamilton wins at Memphis: #4-Bobby Hamilton took the lead with eight laps left and held off #15-Shane Hmiel by 0.423 seconds Saturday to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ O’Reilly 200. Hmiel, a first-time series starter on the 0.75-mile Memphis Motorsports Park track, lost a half-second lead when #14-Rick Crawford’s 187th-lap spin brought out a caution flag. The 47-year-old Hamilton took the lead with an outside pass on the second lap after the restart en route to his second victory of the season and sixth overall on the truck series. “He (Hmiel) got loose coming off Turn 2 a little bit and halfway down the straightaway it looked like he thought the caution came out or something,” Hamilton said. “I had made my up my mind to work on the outside on the last lap anyhow.” Hamilton started third in his Dodge. Defending race winner 31-Ted Musgrave finished third, followed by series points leader #46-Dennis Setzer and #99-Carl Edwards. Pole-starter #16-Jack Sprague finished 7th. There were six lead changes among four drivers Hamilton, Hmiel, Musgrave and Sprague.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
    See results at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    Motorsports One
    Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com.(6-19-2004)
  • Official Suspended for Truck Race Snafu: Dion Hinskey, the official who mistakenly triggered a caution during the May 21 Craftsman Truck Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, was suspended by NASCAR for three races, ThatsRacin.com has learned. As of Friday, NASCAR, however, had not suspended Nextel Cup Series official Dean Duckett, who served as the flagman at the entrance of pit road in last weekend’s controversial race at Pocono, sources confirmed. During the Pocono race, Puckett mistakenly waved a green flag allowing lead lap cars to pit when they were not supposed to. Then-race leader Jimmie Johnson and three others did not pit, instead following the correct procedure outlined in the drivers’ meeting the morning of the race. Johnson rebounded and ended up winning the race. In the Truck race, Hinskey, the backup flagman, mistakenly activated the caution lights on the track with four of 134 laps remaining when a truck spun, but no caution was called by race control. Then-race leader Carl Edwards slowed thinking there was a caution as did second place Dennis Setzer. Setzer, realizing no caution was called, passed Edwards and held on for the victory. At the time, NASCAR denied the caution lights were activated. Later, once in-car camera footage was found showing the light illuminated, NASCAR admitted it had made a mistake. Hinskey’s first missed race was the June 4 race at Dover, Del., where Cup flagman Jimmy Howell replaced him in the flagstand. When asked about any punishments officials have received in either incident, NASCAR spokesman Mize Zizzo said NASCAR would not comment on internal personnel matters.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-18-2004)
  • Sprague wins pole at Memphis: #16-Jack Sprague won the pole for the O’Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park with a speed of 118.917mph. The rest of the top five are #1-Ted Musgrave, #4-Bobby Hamilton, #99-Carl Edwards and #24-Travis Kvapil.
    Motorsports One Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com.(6-19-2004)
  • Jones to drive for Team Chick Motorsports: Team Chick Motorsports announced that they have tapped NASCAR driver Eric Jones to drive their #74 Chevrolet. Jones joins Team Chick after leaving #03-Team EJP Racing at the start of the 2004 season. In addition to signing Jones, who also has experience in the Busch Series and ARCA RE/MAX Series, the team has a number of other changes that they are excited about. Team Chick has elected to switch manufacturers and will be running 2004 Silverados. Team Chick will also be changing numbers, they had run the #11 [now used part-time by Darrell Waltrip] for the past two seasons, but will replace it permanently with the #74 for future competition. Several things have remained the same, though. The team is determined, driven, and continues to feel fortunate to have the power of Tri-Star Motors in their Chevrolets. Last season Jones, the former winner of the CART/Skip Barber scholarship, competed in nine events behind the wheel of the #03 Chevrolet. In that short stint, he began to show his true potential by scoring eight top-twenty finishes. Team Chick is slated to compete in at least eight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events this season, while searching for primary sponsorship to run more events and look towards a run to the championship in 2005. Jones, and the team, will make their 2004 debut at Kansas Speedway, followed by Kentucky Speedway, before heading to the motor city at Michigan International Speedway. The remaining five events have yet to be determined. The team is actively seeking sponsorship for the remainder of the 2004 NCTS season, while looking ahead to 2005. For more information on Team Chick Motorsports, and their new driver please visit the newly redesigned website at www.teamchickmotorsports.com.(PR)(6-18-2004)
  • Tim Schendel to drive the #31 at Milwaukee: #31 Team owners of Brevak Racing, Bob and Shelly Brevak, announced that Tim Schendel has inked a deal with their racing program as they make their way back to a place they call home– The Milwaukee Mile. Tim Schendel, 24, of Sparta, WI will make his first start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series when the series hits the Milwaukee Mile on Friday, June 25th in his #31 Mathews Solocam Dodge. “Mathews Solocam, Midwest Fuels, and TexPar Energy, Inc. have come on board and we are proud to form a partnership with each of their cutting-edge corporations. With Kevin Cram calling the shots and a Maurice Petty & Associates Horsepower punch under the hood we’re excited about heading back to Milwaukee,” said Shelly Brevak. Tim Schendel is coming off of two solid performances in the NASCAR AutoZone Midwest Series. Tim placed second in the Spring Classic 250 at Rockford Speedway and had a solid top-five run going before becoming a victim of circumstance in the closing laps at Colorado National Speedway, finishing twelfth. Brevak Racing heads back to the Milwaukee Mile in 2004 celebrating 33 years in racing. For more information on Tim Schendel and Brevak Racing visit www.brevakracing.com.(PR)(6-18-2004)
  • NASCAR News and Notes:
    Memphis Motorsports Park has proven time and again that the .75-mile short track in Millington, Tenn., rewards the most elite drivers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Four of six previous winners of Saturday’s O’Reilly 200 – Ron Hornaday Jr., Greg Biffle, Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) and Travis Kvapil (No. 24 Line-X Toyota) have won a combined seven series championships. The other two – Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet) and defending winner Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) – list runnerup points finishes on their resumes. Together, the six competitors have won 94 series races. The Memphis oval hasn’t come close to producing a first-time winner and only one Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Superchips Ford), fifth in 2003 – has a top-five finish. Most believe there are three keys to success at Memphis: experience, experience and experience. “It’s slippery and both ends are different,” said Sprague, the 2000 O’Reilly 200 winner. “You have to compromise on your [truck’s] setup. When we first started, we were terrible. And then we won.” Kvapil, who finished second to Musgrave last year after his 2002 victory, agrees. “It’s just a flat-out, challenging race track,” said Kvapil. “It’s got its own quirks and bumps. Having laps there is a big plus.” The 2003 champion adds: “The one thing I learned is that you have to come to the track with a good mindset. Otherwise, you won’t run well there at all.” Setzer, however, isn’t ready to call Memphis the toughest track on the schedule. “It’s not, in my opinion. We hope that everyone else thinks it’s a tough track,” said the winner of last week’s O’Reilly 400K at Texas Motor Speedway and series championship leader.
    Setzer, though, does admit that “Memphis can be difficult for drivers who are not familiar with the track. It takes a lot of braking getting into the corners but then your truck must rotate just right in the middle and get the forward bite coming off. “That can be a hard setup for a [less experienced] driver to relay to his crew chief.” Ultra Motorsports crew chief Gene Nead, who shared Musgrave’s milestone victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ 200th race, calls Memphis Motorsports Park a venue that defines a team’s mechanical abilities. “If you can make a truck work there, you can make it work anywhere,” Nead said. Nead, a winner already in 2004 with Rick Crawford (No. 14 Sears Ford) at Martinsville Speedway before reuniting with Musgrave and owner Jimmy Smith several weeks ago, sees little coincidence that championship contenders taste success at Memphis. “It’s a pivotal point in the year,” said Nead, whose team won the Bud Pole at Texas and finished second after leading 101 of 167 laps. “It helps you pick up the momentum you need for the rest of the season.” Setzer, the 44-year-old resident of Newton, N.C., whose average finish at Memphis is 3.4, puts it this way: “I guess the best way to describe how Memphis Motorsports Park plays into the championship is that it is a short track and the series typically has one-third or more races on short tracks. If you can’t perform on a short track, you probably don’t have a shot at the championship.”

    NEWS & NOTES, PART II
    Setzer reaches milestone, Crafton is next … The $67,600 won by Dennis Setzer at Texas Motor Speedway pushed the veteran past the $3 million mark (exact total $3,020,033) in career winnings. Setzer is the first of four drivers who have competed or are currently competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to reach the $3-million milestone with every dollar coming from a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team. The others are Jack Sprague, Ron Hornaday and Joe Ruttman, whose career winnings include monies while racing in NASCAR’s premier series. Matt Crafton (No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) would become the series’ 25th million-dollar winner by finishing second in the O’Reilly 200. Crafton enters this week’s race having won $976,549.
    Etc. … Setzer leads the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship standings after the series’ fourth consecutive race of 2004. His advantage is 50 points over Carl Edwards. … All six winners this year are ranked among the top 10 in points with Dover winner Chad Chaffin (No. 18 Dickies Dodge) moving into the elite by finishing fifth at Texas, marking the first time in 39 career starts that the Smyrna, Tenn., competitor has fashioned back-to-back top-five finishes on the series. … The halfway race leader has yet to win in 2004, the latest being Musgrave who lost his hold on the No. 1 spot with just five laps of the O’Reilly 400K remaining. The leader of the most laps has won just two of seven races. … Terry Cook (No. 10 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) and Crawford are the only drivers to have competed in all six series races at Memphis Motorsports Park. Cook finished second in 2002. … Cook and Crafton have winning connections at this week’s venue: Cook’s ppc Racing won the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Sam’s Town 250 with Jeff Green at the wheel while Crafton’s owner, Kevin Harvick, captured the event a year later. … Last year’s O’Reilly 200 featured the closest finish in the event. Musgrave edged Kvapil by just .115 second. Five of the six races have been decided by less than one second. … Charlie Wilson has been named crew chief of Steve Park’s No. 62 Orleans Racing Dodge. Wilson was named interim crew chief in mid-May at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The team also promoted Danny Stockman to truck chief. … Many series drivers will visit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Friday.

    ON THE RIGHT TRACK
    Trio looks to extend ‘hot streak’ in Memphis … Three competitors – Setzer, Kvapil and Musgrave – hope to extend their streaks of top-five finishes at Memphis Motorsports Park. Setzer’s string is the longest, five races beginning in 1999, while Kvapil and Musgrave are working on two straight appearances among the top five. Crawford, on the other hand, has failed to complete just three laps – 2.25 of 1,200 miles – at Memphis Motorsports Park.

    FROM THE ARCHIVES
    Memphis Motorsports Park hosts the first of three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events to be held in 2004 in the Volunteer State. August races at Nashville Superspeedway and Bristol Motor Speedway follow. No driver has captured all three races although Ron Hornaday came close in 1998. Hornaday won at Memphis and Bristol but wound up seventh in Nashville, a race held at the Music City Motorplex at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.

    Fast Facts
    What: O’Reilly 200 (Race No. 8 of 25).
    Where: Memphis Motorsports Park, Millington, Tenn.
    When: 3 p.m. ET, Saturday, June 19.
    Track layout: .75-Mile paved speedway.
    Race length: 200 laps/150 miles.
    Posted awards: $513,834.
    TV: SPEED Channel, 3 p.m. ET.
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
    2003 winner: Jon Wood.
    2003 polesitter: Ted Musgrave.
    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday – Practice 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. Qualifying 3:00 p.m. Final practice 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., time permitting.(NASCAR PR)(6-17-2004)

  • Setzer wins at Texas: #46-Dennis Setzer became the first two-time race winner in the NASCAR Truck Series this season Friday night, running down #1-Ted Musgrave in the final laps to win the O’Reilly 400K at Texas Motor Speedway. Setzer got his first career superspeedway win in the series here in 1999, but hadn’t won again on a 1.5-mile track until he scored a victory at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte on May 21. Setzer made it two in a row on this type of track by erasing Musgrave’s lead of more than 6 seconds after they’d made their final pit stops under green. Musgrave, whose No. 1 Dodge had been dominant for much of the 167-lap race, came to pit road on Lap 132 but took only two tires on the green-flag stop. Setzer came in on Lap 135 and crew chief Danny Gill called a four-tire change. By Lap 158, Setzer was within 2 seconds and closing fast in his No. 46 Chevrolet. “The four tires really helped a ton,” said Setzer, who scored his 12th career victory in the series and extended his lead in the Truck Series points race to 50 over Edwards in the process. Musgrave said the decision to change only two tires was not what did him in. “Something came loose in the right front,” Musgrave said. “The wheel was coming off and I could not run any faster. It was just bad luck again on our part.” Musgrave, who led 101 laps, held on for second, with #17-David Reutimann third in a Toyota. #16-Jack Sprague was fourth and #18-Chad Chaffin, who got his first career Truck Series win a Dover a week earlier, was fifth.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For race results, see:
    MotorSports One
    Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com.(6-11-2004)
  • Musgrave wins pole at Texas: #1-Ted Musgrave earned his first pole in what has been a disappointing season in the NASCAR Truck series, running a qualifying lap of 180.971mph Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway. It is the 10th career pole for Musgrave, a top-three finisher in Craftsman series points in each of the three years since returning to the trucks from the NASCAR Cup series. Toyota drivers #12-Robert Huffman and #22-Bill Lester took the next two spots on the grid. Huffman went 180.965 mph, Lester 180.826. Chevrolet driver #46-Dennis Setzer will start fourth Friday night in the O’Reilly 400. Brendan Gaughan won the last four trucks series races at Texas, a series record for consecutive wins at a track. But that streak won’t be extended with Gaughan now a Nextel Cup rookie. #62-Steve Park, who replaced Gaughan as the Orleans Racing driver, qualified 20th.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
    ThatsRacin.com
    Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com.(6-10-2004)
  • GEICO to sponsor Parker Jr. at Texas: GEICO Insurance says it will be the primary sponsor of Innovative Motorsports’ #21 Toyota for Hank Parker Jr. in Friday’s O’Reilly 400K Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Financial terms of the deal were not announced.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-9-2004)
  • TEXAS NEWS & NOTES:
    Brendan Gaughan’s decision to move to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2004 and voluntarily end his record four-victory streak at Texas Motor Speedway, has produced a sigh of relief from at least one of his former rivals. “It’s like having a new track on the series,” said NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet), another former winner of Friday’s O’Reilly 400K. “He’s given us the opportunity for a new winner.” Setzer may be correct in that assessment. But the new winner could be driving the same No. 62 Orleans Dodge that Gaughan has herded to Victory Lane each spring and fall since June 2002. “I believe Steve Park will pick up right where Brendan left off,” said Travis Kvapil (No. 24 Line-X Toyota), the last driver before Gaughan to win at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. And Park, who’s suffered through a frustrating early season in which he’s yet to record a top-10 finish, would be happy to oblige. “We want to win everywhere we race but Texas holds a special place in (owner Michael) Gaughan’s heart and Brendan’s and mine,” he said. “To go there and keep the streak alive would mean a lot.” Although Park never has competed in a truck at Texas Motor Speedway, the New York native has plenty of experience at the track with a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car. Moreover, he counts the venue among his favorites. “I thought Texas was a great place to race in the cars and I probably would have rated it a seven or eight on a scale of 10,” Park said. “Getting a chance to test the truck there gave me a whole new outlook on Texas. It moved up on my scale to a nine and a half.” Rick Crawford (No. 14 Sears Ford), who’ll be competing in his 13th Texas event, called Gaughan’s success “a perfect match of driver, engine and team.” Park, however, won’t have that since 2004 rules significantly changed the trucks of all series manufacturers. “The bodies, engine location and tires are all different this season,” said Park, who led 17 laps of last week’s MBNA America 200 at Dover International Speedway. “Unfortunately, we can’t go back with the same, exact setup that Brendan had so much success with the last few years.” This will be Park’s first trip to Texas to race under the lights – and he certainly won’t be able to escape the glare of Gaughan’s success. Park doesn’t mind that extra pressure but this week’s event may have given him a better appreciation of his former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. “It was almost nice to just do our own thing and race,” Park said of his years at Dale Earnhardt Inc. “All of the hype surrounded him. The tables have turned a bit as we go to Texas.” Winning, of course, will make it all worthwhile.

    NEWS & NOTES, PART II
    Streaks begin and end at Dover … Chad Chaffin (No. 18 Dickies Dodge) became the sixth consecutive different winner of 2004 – a record to begin a season – as he edged Crawford by two truck lengths at Dover. Chaffin is the fourth different driver to win for Bobby Hamilton Racing. His crew chief, Kip McCord, is the sixth to oversee a BHR victory. Setzer, on the other hand, saw his streak of 25 consecutive lead lap finishes end at “The Monster Mile.” Trapped by an untimely caution flag after making a green flag stop, Setzer wound up 13th. He shares the NASCAR Craftsman Truck record with Kvapil, whose own streak ended in mid-May.

    Championship chase remains close … Twenty points separate championship leaders Setzer and Carl Edwards (No. 99 Superchips Ford) after six of 25 scheduled events. Consider this: The fifth-ranked driver, Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge), is just 76 points ahead of teammate Chaffin, who moved into 13th place with his Dover victory.

    Three Texas winners in O’Reilly 400K field … Two competitors who have won the O’Reilly 400K – Setzer and Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) will compete in this week’s event along with 2001 Silverado 350K winner Kvapil, the most recent Raybestos Rookie candidate with a victory at TMS.

    Etc. … The O’Reilly 400K will be the 13th series race at Texas Motor Speedway, matching Phoenix International Raceway for the most events held in the series’ nine-plus seasons. … Pole (and front row) starters have not won at TMS since October 2000. The winner’s average starting position over the past six races is sixth. Scott Riggs’ Bud Pole lap of 181.953 mph has stood since October 2001. Texas Motor Speedway is the second-fastest venue (to Daytona International Speedway) on the schedule. … Setzer has finished among the top 10 in eight of his 11 Texas appearances, a series high. … Seven of 12 races at TMS have been decided by less than one second.

    ON THE RIGHT TRACK
    Crawford can reach distance milestone this week … Crawford, one of two competitors to have competed in all 12 Texas events – the other is Terry Cook (No. 10 Power Stroke Diesel Ford) – can become the first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver to complete 3,000 miles on the same track. With 2,802 miles in the book, Crawford needs 132 laps to reach the milestone. His current lap/miles total is 1,868/2,802 vs. 1,911/2,866.5 that the series has run at Texas Motor Speedway. Crawford also has led six of 12 races held at the track, the most by any driver. Crawford’s best result was a second-place finish in the fall 2001 event. Texas is championship track for IWX Racing … While IWX Racing, the 2002-03 series championship team, has yet to score a victory at Texas, its drivers – Kvapil and Mike Bliss – turned in solid runs at the facility. The team’s finishing average over the two seasons is 6.5. Kvapil finished second and fourth in 2003.

    FROM THE ARCHIVES
    Greg Biffle clinched the 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship at Texas Motor Speedway with a 25th-place finish. That’s the only time in nine seasons the title has been decided prior to the season’s final race.

    Fast Facts
    What: O’Reilly 400K (Race No. 7 of 25).
    Where: Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth, Texas.
    When: 9 p.m. ET, Friday, June 11.
    Track layout: 1.5-Mile Paved Speedway.
    Race length: 400 Kilometers/250.5 Miles /167 Laps.
    Posted awards: $627,054.
    TV: SPEED Channel, 9 p.m. ET.
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
    2003 winner: Brendan Gaughan.
    2003 polesitter: Bobby Hamilton.
    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday – Practice 12:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Qualifying 4:15 p.m. Final practice 7:25 p.m. – 8:25 p.m., time permitting.(6-10-2004)

  • Blaney tops 177mph in BDR Toyota: Dave Blaney tested two trucks Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, turning a top lap at 177.001 mph (31.32 seconds). Blaney and the Bill Davis Racing Team spent Tuesday’s session testing one current BDR truck and one Toyota Racing Development trauck. Bill Davis Racing truck driver Shelby Howard was also in attendance for the test, but Blaney was at the wheel of both trucks.(AMS PR)(6-8-2004)
  • Gordon out? Hooper in? UPDATE 2: hearing that Tina Gordon has been released from her ride with the #13 Thorsport team and crew chief Lance Hooper will run the truck at Dover.(6-2-2004)
    UPDATE: Lance Hooper, a two-time NASCAR regional touring series champion and veteran of 70 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) races, will be the driver of ThorSport Racing’s #13 Chevrolet in the MBNA America 200 NCTS race at the Dover International Speedway, team owner Duke Thorson announced Wednesday.  Hooper is substituting for Tina Gordon. “We felt that giving Lance a chance to run a race in one of our #13 trucks at a track where he has a lot of experience would allow us to analyze our program and make decisions about how best to proceed toward our goals,” Thorson said.  “We find ourselves in a position where we are 32nd in the owners’ points and need to improve our performance to ensure the long-term viability of this race team.” Thorson added that a decision about a driver for the truck for Texas and other NCTS races would be made following the Dover event.(ThorSport Racing PR)(6-3-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Tina Gordon’s drive in NASCAR’s truck series has hit a red light. The green light is on, though, for the Cedar Bluff racer to run in the Busch series. Lance Hooper, who had been Gordon’s crew chief, practiced and qualified the No.13 truck fielded by ThorSport Racing on Thursday for today’s race at Dover International Speedway. Gordon, who had raced the truck in the first five events on the schedule, remained at home. We parted ways this week,” she said. “It was not a good deal for me at all.” Gordon, with her primary sponsorship from Vassarette, a maker of women’s intimate apparel, Microtel Inns and Sticks `n’ Stuff, is now looking at other opportunities. A deal to put her in a Busch car is, she said, “a high possibility,” perhaps as soon as the June races in Nashville or Kentucky. For now, contract disputes remain with ThorSport.(Alabama Live)(6-4-2004)
  • New Crew Chief for Crawford: Circle Bar Racing has promoted Craig Huartson to interim crew chief for its #14 Fords and driver Rick Crawford in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team. Huartson has most recently served as shop foreman. The team’s former crew chief, Gene Nead, unexpectedly left the team last week and returned to his former job at Ultra Motorsports as crew chief to driver Ted Musgrave.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-4-2004)
  • Chaffin wins at Dover: #18-Chad Chaffin pit early and out of sequence because the wrong tire was put on the right front of his #18 Dickie’s Dodge, but when a caution came out during green-flag pit stops late in the race, it was Chaffin who inherited the lead. Despite repeated attempts by #14-Rick Crawford to get by, Chaffin held him off by .382 seconds following a final five-lap shootout to claim the win in Friday’s MBNA America 200 at Dover International Speedway. It’s Chaffin’s first series win in 38 starts. His previous best finish this season came at Atlanta, where he was ninth. “This has been a long time coming. At this top level, there were a lot of people who said, ‘Chad is pretty good driver, but I don’t think he can win.’ But Bobby Hamilton (truck owner), he believed in me,” Chaffin said. “Dodge kicked up their support this year even though we didn’t win last year, so they didn’t give up on me. I just didn’t know if this day would ever come.” #21-Hank Parker Jr. was third in his best finish of the season; #42-Mike Skinner was fourth; and #52-Ken Schrader completed the top five. Series points leader #46-Dennis Setzer was 18th. He leads #99-Carl Edwards by 20 points. Crawford remains third, but moved to within 56 of Setzer. The race was slowed six times by caution for 42 laps. There were four lead changes among four drivers.(ThatsRacin.com)
    See results at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    MotorSports One
    Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com.(6-4-2004)
  • Edwards wins pole at Dover: #99-Carl Edwards’ lap at 152.892mph led a group of eight drivers to beat the previous track qualifying record (151.764 mph set by Kurt Busch in 2000) at Dover International Speedway for the MBNA America 200. It’s the second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pole of his career and first of the season. Following Edwards was #16-Jack Sprague, #62-Steve Park, #14-Rick Crawford and #23-Dave Blaney, substituting for rookie Shelby Howard. Series points leader #46-Dennis Setzer starts 15th. Park makes his best start of the season and a far cry from his qualifying efforts at speedways this season. His previous best on a track 1-mile or longer was 22nd at Daytona.(ThatsRacin.com)
    Qualifying Results/Starting Lineup at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com.(6-3-2004)
  • Keselowski ok’d by NASCAR to run at Dover: After two weeks of anticipation following the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event, 20-year old Brad Keselowski received approval from NASCAR to compete this weekend at the Dover International Speedway in the MBNA America 200. Keselowski, who will make his third career NCTS start this weekend, ran second to series veteran, Ted Musgrave, through much of the Mansfield event before finishing in the 16th position. Keselowski also competed in the Martinsville event where he finished 33rd completing nearly all the laps in the event. The NASCAR approval process for drivers required Keselowski to compete to NASCAR’s satisfaction at a half-mile race before allowing him to compete on a one-mile track. In order to further his approval for Dover, Keselowski also competed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series event last weekend at the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte where he spent much of the evening running in the top ten before a blown tire forced him to pit and take a 17th place finish. K Automotive has a string of solid finishes at the Dover International Speedway over the past three seasons earning two top ten finishes and an 11th place finish. This race will be different from the previous three years in that the team will be more focused on getting laps in for the youngest Keselowski and bringing the #29 K Automotive Ford back to Michigan intact.(LM Motorsports Marketing PR)(6-3-2004)
  • New scheme for the #14: Come Friday, Rick Crawford will be known as the “Man In Black” Friday when he gets behind the wheel of the #14 Sears Ford F-150 at Dover International Speedway for the running of the MBNA America 200. Crawford is set to debut a black and blue paint scheme in celebration of the Sears “Good Life, Great Race” national sales promotion scheduled to run through Father’s Day. Crawford will run the special paint scheme on his #14 truck this weekend in Dover as well as in Texas (June 11) and Memphis (June 19). Since its inception in 1995, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has been heralded as a training ground for young racers to learn and perfect the art of auto racing. This weekend NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team Circle Bar Racing welcomes intern Ari Summers, who most recently joined the team in the Charlotte area. Summers a future racer will join Rick Crawford as the team debuts the #14 Sears “Good Life, Great Race” Ford F-150 at the Dover International Speedway. Summers, 19 (Mathematics, Civics and Science Charter School in Philadelphia) joined Circle Bar Racing in their Concord shop May 17th through the 21st as the team prepared for the Infineon Tailgate 200 at the Lowes Motor Speedway. Summers a part of the Urban Youth Racing School (UYRS) was participating in a one week internship program sponsored by Craftsman Motorsports. The UYRS is a non-profit organization committed to the education, training and preparation of today’s urban youths through exposure to the automotive and motorsports industry. Summers a senior in the program spent the first part of the week in Charlotte learning from Circle Bar Racing’s mechanics and pit crew in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. That Thursday Summers joined the team in their track duties, and then participated as part of the pit crew during Friday’s Infineon Tailgate 200. This weekend Ari once again joins Rick Crawford and the Circle Bar Team at the Dover International Speedway for the MBNA America 200. An added bonus for Summers will be the opportunity to show Rick Crawford his Mini-Cup car when the Circle Bar driver visits the Philadelphia based Urban Youth Racing School Wednesday afternoon.
    Believe It or Not? In Rick Crawford’s 176 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts, Circle Bar Racing owner Tom Mitchell has never attended an event. ZERO – that’s right; Mr. Mitchell has been affiliated with Rick Crawford for more than 13 years, through Crawford’s run in the NASCAR Slim Jim All-Pro Series and seven straight seasons of Craftsman Truck Racing and has never seen one lap of active competition with Crawford behind the wheel.
    Crew chiefs often have an ace in their bag of tricks and for Ray Stonkus that ace seems to be on concrete. In four starts at the Dover International Speedway, Stonkus has led driver Rick Crawford to three top-ten finishes. The duo has combined to lead 182 laps, so both are hoping to pull that final ace this weekend, the one that helps them reach victory lane.(Circle Bar PR)(6-3-2004)
  • #24 to be sponsored by Nutzz.com: NUTZZ.COM, a wholly owned subsidiary of BANG LLC, a global operating company and the parent company of BANG RACING, today announced a primary sponsorship of 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Travis Kvapil’s #24 Tundra team for the MBNA America 200 race at Dover International Speedway on June 4. NUTZZ.COM is also the associate sponsor on both of BANG RACING’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Teams for 2004.(BANG RACING PR)(6-3-2004)
  • DOVER NEWS & NOTES:
    A 17th-place finish hardly is reason to celebrate, but for Robert Huffman (No. 12 Toyota Tundra Toyota) it’s a step in the right direction. Huffman, one of 17 Raybestos Rookie of the Year contenders on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, was just happy to be racing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway last Friday night. His lead lap finish, after an early spin, had to be a bonus. And it certainly beat Huffman’s previous weekend in which he – and 10 others – failed to qualify for the race at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway when inclement weather forced NASCAR officials to set the field via the rule book. “Although a 17th-place finish may not sound that great, it’s actually the first race we’ve finished this season,” said Huffman, a three-time Dash winner at the 1.5-mile facility. “I think we actually had a top-10 truck at the end of the race but, unfortunately, we weren’t in a position to finish (there).” Still, the 36-year-old Claremont, N.C., competitor picked up Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors as the top finisher among first-year drivers. He is the third different top rookie in the season’s first five races. Huffman, driving for the first-year Innovative Motorsports, Inc. team owned by George and Vicky deBidart, hasn’t exactly been silent in 2004 – even if his finishes say otherwise. Entering the Charlotte event, Huffman’s best effort had been 29th at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Huffman, who qualified second at Atlanta, shared history with fellow Raybestos Rookie contender David Reutimann (No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota) as the first rookie drivers to win front row starting positions in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. Huffman ran consistently among the top 10 until sidelined by a frontstretch accident with seven laps remaining in the event. “We were among the leaders all day when I made a mistake at the end,” Huffman said. “We’ve been qualifying well all season and now we finally have a good finish and that will surely give us some more confidence as we head into Dover.” Dover International Speedway, a one-mile banked concrete speedway, hosts the June 4 MBNA America 200, the next event on a 25-race schedule. Like most Raybestos candidates, Huffman has no experience at the “Monster Mile.” “I’ve never raced at Dover. In fact, I’ve never even seen the track in person,” he said. “From what people tell me, it sounds similar to Bristol. I do have some (Dash) experience racing at Bristol and I’ve always enjoyed that track. Hopefully, that will help me.” Reutimann, despite finishing 36th at Lowe’s due to early engine failure, continues to lead Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings by a 56 to 42 point margin over Brandon Whitt (No. 38 Cure Autism Now/McMillin Homes Ford). Huffman ranks eighth in a points chase that ultimately will be based upon a candidate’s 14 best finishes and bonus considerations.

    NEWS & NOTES, PART II
    Series has been golden for Setzer … Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet), winner of last week’s Infineon 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, is closing in on the $3 million mark in career winnings. He needs slightly more than $63,000 to join a current elite list of Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet), Ron Hornaday Jr. and Joe Ruttman, who have also broken the $3 million barrier. Noting that Hornaday and Ruttman are inactive, Setzer figures to rank second by mid-summer. Sprague remains the only $4 million winner. His Charlotte victory gives Setzer another spot in the series record book as the only driver to have won in seven consecutive seasons. Etc. … David Starr (No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet) led a group of 15 competitors who broke the existing one-lap record at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The Bud Pole was Starr’s third but first since 2002. Starr wound up third. … Fourteen of the 36 who took the green flag for the Infineon 200 have won NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. That’s 32% of the starting field. … Bill Lester (No. 22 Toyota Tundra Toyota) led at Lowe’s Motor Speedway; it was the defending Bud Pole winner’s first time at the head of the pack since last August. Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) failed to lead a lap for the first time in 2004 in that race. He was the only driver to have led all four races heading into the Infineon 200. … The Lowe’s Motor Speedway event had 22 finishers on the lead lap, a figure above the 19.2 average for the first four races. … Setzer’s winning margin – .869 second – is the widest thus far in 2004. … Ford leads series manufacturer standings by a single point over Chevrolet. Chevrolet is the only truck manufacturer to post a top-five finish in each of the season’s first five races.

    String of 2004 winners matches series record … Setzer’s recent victory at Lowe’s Motor Speedway equaled the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series record for most consecutive different winners to start a season. That’s the fourth time in nine seasons the number has been reached, most recently in 2002. Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge), the 2002 winner of the MBNA America 200, is among the more obvious candidates to increase the string to six. Musgrave is the only former winner expected to compete in this week’s race. Etc. … Friday’s race kicks off the season’s second tripleheader show that also features the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series. The event is the fifth (of 13) in which NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Craftsman Trucks compete in the same city during the same week. … Just four entered drivers – Crawford, Setzer, Terry Cook (No. 10 Power Stroke Diesel Ford) and Ken Schrader (No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet) – have competed in all four previous series races at Dover. Schrader leads the field in consistency with three top-10 finishes including a fifth place in 2000. … There have been four different second place finishers in the MBNA America 200. Two – Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) and Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) are slated to compete this year. … Dover’s inaugural event saw the most lead changes – 10 – while the 2003 race recorded the fewest – four. … Mike Skinner (No. 42 Toyota Tundra Toyota), the series’1995 champion and Raybestos Rookie leader David Reutimann (No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota) have one thing in common this week: neither has competed at Dover in a truck. … ppc Racing has announced the hiring of Jamie Jones as crew chief for Cook. … Gene Nead, formerly crew chief for Crawford, returns to lead the Musgrave effort. The combination finished third in last year’s championship. … A group of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers will visit Dover Air Force Base Thursday evening for a tour and visit with military personnel and family members. … Brandon Whitt (No. 38 Cure Autism Now Ford) will be the “prize” in the June 30 installment of SPEED Channel’s I Wanna Date A Race Car Driver. The show pits a handful of women vying for the privilege to date a race car driver, in this case, the 21-year old NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Raybestos Rookie from El Cajon, Calif.

    ON THE RIGHT TRACK
    Top 10s again for Crafton, Hamilton and Harvick … Teammates Kevin Harvick (No. 92 Snap-On Tools Chevrolet) and Matt Crafton (No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) along with Hamilton reprised last year’s top-10 finishes at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Crafton’s current fifth-place ranking in the championship standings is a personal best.

    FAST FACTS
    What: MBNA America 200 (Race No. 6 of 25).
    Where: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.
    When: 4 p.m. ET, Friday, June 4.
    Track layout: 1.0-mile banked concrete oval.
    Race length: 200 miles/200 laps.
    Posted awards: $603,594.
    TV: SPEED Channel, 4 p.m. ET.
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
    2003 winner: Jason Leffler.
    2003 polesitter: Bobby Hamilton.
    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday – Practice 11:30 a.m. –12:45 p.m. and 1:15 – 1:45 p.m. Qualifying 3:15 p.m. Final practice following qualifying, time permitting.(NASCAR PR)(6-2-2004)

  • New Crew chief for the #10: ppc Racing officials announced the hire of Jamie Jones as crew chief for the #10 Ford Power StrokeR Diesel by InternationalR team in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Jones, a well-noted NASCAR Busch Series crew chief, will make his truck debut at Dover International Speedway June 4th, giving Jones one week to prepare with driver Terry Cook and the ppc Racing team for the “Monster Mile” and the rest of the 2004 racing season. “Our search for a crew chief was quite extensive,” said Keith Barnwell, Co-Owner and General Manager at ppc Racing. “We interviewed several qualified candidates over the last month and felt Jamie was the best of the group. We want both our teams to be in championship-contending form. We’ve had Wes Ward serve as interim crew chief during this time period and he’s helped elevate our truck program to contending for the win. Jamie’s qualifications and leadership with a race team will lead our truck program to Victory Lane very soon, maybe as soon as Dover next weekend.”(ppc Racing PR)(6-1-2004)