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March 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.

  • Matt Puccia named crew chief of third Roush truck: Roush Racing has announced that Matt Puccia has been named crew chief of it’s #50 Ford, beginning with the April 1 event at Martinsville Speedway. The truck will be driven by ‘Roush Racing: Driver X’ standout, David Ragan.(Roush Racing PR)(3-31-2006)
  • Superchips teams up with Mittler Bros. for Martinsville UPDATE Parts Pro additional sponsor: The Mittler Bros. Motorsports team will carry sponsorship from Superchips on its #63 Ford for the upcoming Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday April 1. Superchips was the sponsor of one of Mittler’s protégés in the past, Carl Edwards, when Edwards drove for the Roush Racing team. Mittler will be debuting a new driver in Martinsville; one he hopes will follow in Edwards’ footsteps. “We’ll be bringing another young guy that no one has ever heard of to Martinsville, a guy we’re really excited about, Justin Martz,” Mittler said. “We’re really excited about him and we hope he’ll do as well in our truck as Carl and Jamie (McMurray) have in the past.” (truckseries.com)(3-22-2006)
  • UPDATE: Parts Pro joined Superchips as a sponsor on the MB Motorsports #63 being driven by Justin Martz in this weekend’s Truck Series Race in Martinsville, Virginia. Parts Pro is a marketing division of AAM, USA, Inc. one of the world’s largest distribution groups in high performance parts and aftermarket vehicle accessories for the race, street performance, sport compact and sport truck/SUV markets.(Justin Martz PR)(3-312006)
  • New sponsors for Ambrose debut: When Marcos Ambrose makes his debut Saturday in the Truck Series, it will come with the Animal Adoption League, Petfinder.com and Fresh Step cat litter as sponsors. Wood Brothers/JTG Racing has long been a supporter of animal rescue and adoption, decided to mark that passion with Ambrose’s first race, the Kroger 250 at the Martinsville Speedway.(Wood/JTG PR)(3-30-2006)
  • Simply Wow to sponsor Darnell at Martinsville, Gateway: Roush Racing has announced that Simply Wow, a division of Source Direct Holdings, has signed on to sponsor Roush Racing’s #99 Ford F-150 driven by Erik Darnell in the Truck Series races at Martinsville Speedway and Gateway International Raceway. Darnell will debut the #99 Simply Wow Ford F-150 in the 150-lap event at Martinsville on April 1, and will also include the event at Gateway International Raceway on April 29.(Roush Racing)(3-30-2006)
  • 1st Friday practice: for the Kroger 250 is over.(Top five)
    #6-Mark Martin 93.618
    #11-David Starr 93.539
    #16-Mike Bliss 93.465
    #14-Rick Crawford 93.350
    #85-Dennis Setzer 93.304
    1st Dodge: (6th) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr. 93.299
    1st Rookie: (10th) #12-Joey Miller
    for entire practice results visit: nascar.com or truckseries.com(3-31-2006)
  • Friday final practice: for the Kroger 250 is over. (Top five)
    #23-Johnny Benson 95.280
    #60-Jack Sprague 94.903
    #14-Rick Crawford 94.851
    #16-Mike Bliss 94.832,BR> #15-Mike Skinner 94.780
    1st Dodge: (11th) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr. 94.458
    1st Rookie: (7th) #99-Erik Darnell 94.699
    for entire practice results visit: nascar.com or truckseries.com(3-31-2006)
  • News & Notes – Martinsville:
    Most competitors would be pleased to count a quartet of third-place finishes at any racetrack. Not that Jack Sprague (# 60 Con-Way Toyota) is complaining about his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series record at Martinsville Speedway. But what’s missing from those third-place finishes is a victory. And that represents a big blank for a driver whose 25 wins rank # 2 on the series’ all-time list. Sprague obviously knows his way around the .526-mile track, which hosts Saturday’s Kroger 250. He’s won a Bud Pole (2004) and led 118 laps. Martinsville well may be the key to Sprague’s goal of winning a fourth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title. The series stops there twice – Saturday and again on Oct. 21. He finished third at Martinsville in his first championship season and 10th in his second. This year’s schedule, which has teams practicing on Friday and qualifying and racing the next afternoon, could be challenging – especially for teams who don’t have a guaranteed entry into the field based upon 2005 owner points.

    News & Notes Part II:
    Setting the Field: After Martinsville, Top 30 in 2006 Owner Points Locked In … After Saturday’s race, the teams ranked in the top 30 of the current 2006 truck owner standings will be guaranteed starting positions each week. Heading into Martinsville, the # 13 ThorSport Racing Chevrolet owned by Duke Thorson and driven by Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Kerry Earnhardt is ranked 30th in truck owner point standings. Darrell Waltrip’s # 12 Curb Records Toyota, driven by freshman Joey Miller, is 31st. Other teams vying to come out of Martinsville with their top 30 rankings intact include James Smith’s # 98 Cheerios Betty Crocker Dodge driven by Erin Crocker (29th in owner points) and the # 1 winyourmortgage.com Dodge of James Smith and driver Robert Richardson (28th). The battle to remain in – or advance into – the top 30 will be extremely competitive. The 28th through 33rd ranked teams are separated by just 21 points in the truck owner standings.
    2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Truck Owner Point Standings Snapshot:
    27. Ed Sutton, # 02 Team Copaxone Chevrolet (Driver Kelly Sutton), 255
    28. James Smith, # 1 winyourmortgage.com Dodge (Driver Robert Richardson*), 249
    29. James Smith, # 98 Cheerios Betty Crocker Dodge (Driver Erin Crocker*), 249
    30. Duke Thorson, # 13 ThorSport Racing Chevrolet (Driver Kerry Earnhardt*), 246
    ———————-
    31. Darrell Waltrip, # 12 Curb Records Toyota (Driver Joey Miller*), 243
    32. Gene Christensen, # 07 Green Light Racing Chevrolet (Driver Clint Bowyer), 228
    33. James Harris, # 59 Harris Trucking Dodge/Ford (Driver Steve Park), 228
    34. Curtis Key, # 40 Russell E. Garwood Chevrolet (Driver Chad Chaffin), 215
    * denotes Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender

    He’s not the only one with busted ‘brackets’ … Brendan Gaughan (# 77 The Orleans Dodge) was disappointed on two counts as the NCAA men’s basketball tournament winds up this weekend. Gaughan, a former Georgetown University player, saw his Hoya team lose its Sweet 16 game last week to Florida 57-53. And none of his Final Four picks will make it to Indianapolis either. Always the optimist, Gaughan sees one silver lining in the otherwise dark cloud. “If the Hoyas made it to the championship games, the Martinsville race may have had to wait,” Gaughan said. Martinsville’s Kroger 250 is record-matching race … Saturday’s Kroger 250 marks the 15th time the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has competed at the historic, .526-mile paved oval, which equals the record for the most events at a single track (Texas and Phoenix). Martinsville, whose first race was held Sept. 25, 1995, is one of four tracks to schedule a series race in all 12 seasons. The other facilities are Indianapolis Raceway Park, The Milwaukee Mile and Phoenix International Raceway. Martinsville has seen only one repeat winner in 12 races. Dennis Setzer (# 85 GM FlexFuel E85 Silverado Chevrolet) won the Kroger 250 back-to-back in 2002-03. Mike Skinner (# 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) and Rick Crawford (# 14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford) are the only other Martinsville winners expected to compete in this year’s race. ETC. Bill and Cheryl Lester (# 23 Checkers/Rally’s Toyota) anticipate the arrival this week of the couple’s second son Austin Richard. … The recent John Deere 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway garnered a 1.0 rating – with 920,000 viewers – placing the race among SPEED’s top five, highest-rated, non-Daytona broadcasts. SPEED’s rating for the event increased 11 percent over 2005 according to Nielsen Media Research. … Mark Martin (# 6 Scotts Ford) goes for win # 3 of 2006 at Martinsville this week. No driver has started the season with three victories in his first four starts. … Two competitors hope to make their NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debuts this week. Marcos Ambrose (# 20 Wood Bros./JTG Ford) would be the first native Australian to compete in the series. Justin Martz (# 63 Dave Porter Truck Sales Ford) is the son of former Montana governor Judy Martz and is a graduate of NASCAR’s Dodge Weekly Series and AutoZone Elite Division.
    This week’s race is the first of six scheduled on tracks measuring less than one mile in length. Setzer (Indianapolis) and Skinner (Bristol Motor Speedway) are last year’s only short track winners entered at Martinsville. … Thirteen Raybestos Rookie of the Year contenders are entered in the Kroger 250. None has completed a lap on the track in NASCAR Craftsman Truck competition. There have been no rookie winners with Travis Kvapil (2001) and Carl Edwards (2003) logging runnerup finishes. … Martinsville races have been won from the front row five times but only once from the Bud Pole – by Rich Bickle in 1997. … Lance Hooper has rejoined ThorSport Racing as crew chief for Earnhardt’s Chevrolet. Hooper was previously crew chief at ThorSport in 2004, and most recently held the position with Key Motorsports’ Chevrolet driven by Chaffin. … Bobby Hamilton Jr. (# 18 Fastenal Dodge) is among four drivers who will participate in a Goodyear tire test Wednesday at the repaved Lowe’s Motor Speedway, which the series visits May 19.

    On the right track:
    Bodine solid performer in his own backyard … Martinsville Speedway isn’t far – about 45 minutes – from Rocky Mount, Va. where Todd Bodine (# 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) went to high school so it’s fitting the 42-year-old New York native is among the most consistent performers at the track. Bodine counts four top-10 finishes in four appearances with a high of fourth in last year’s Kroger 250. Bodine won a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole at Martinsville in 2001.

    In the loop:
    Dennis Setzer posted two of the three fastest laps the series recorded at Martinsville in 2005. His 94.686 mph was quickest of all. … Bodine led last year’s Driver Rating at Martinsville Speedway with a 121.6 out of a possible 150 among entered competitors. … Bodine and Setzer were tops in Consecutive Laps Run Without Being Passed, with 18. … Last year’s Kroger 250 winner Bobby Labonte executed 42.9 percent of his passes – six of 14 – in Turn 2. … Ron Hornaday Jr. (# 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet) was Martinsville Speedway’s leader in Quality Passes (a top-15 truck under green flag conditions) with 49 – 12 more than the category’s runnerup Ted Musgrave (# 9 Team ASE/Germain Toyota)

    From the archives:
    Four teams – Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Roush Racing and Ultra Motorsports – have won Martinsville Speedway events with multiple drivers. David Dollar’s Morgan-Dollar Motorsports is the outright owner leader at the Southern Virginia track with three victories-two by Dennis Setzer and one by Bobby Labonte.(3-27-2006)

    Fast Facts;
    What: Kroger 250 (Race 4 of 25)
    Where: Martinsville Speedway
    When: 3:15 p.m. Saturday, April 1
    Track layout: .526-mile paved oval
    Race length: 250 laps/131.5 miles
    Posted awards: $485,445
    TV: SPEED Channel, 3:15 pm/et
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite
    2005 winner: Bobby Labonte
    2005 polesitter: Bobby Hamilton

    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday – practice 1:45-2:45 p.m. rookie practice 3 – 3:30 p.m. final practice 5:15 p.m., time approximate following NNCS qualifying. Saturday – Qualifying 12:05 p.m. trucks impounded after qualifying.(3-27-2006)

  • New leadership structure for #98 team: Evernham Motorsports has announced that the #98 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Truck Series team will adopt the leadership approach featuring a team director, car director and engineer used by Evernham’s Cup teams beginning with this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway. Evernham Motorsports has promoted Ronnie Hornaday III to take over the duties of truck director. Hornaday has been serving as the truck chief and front tire carrier for the #98. Following Martinsville, Evernham will also add a new engineer. The # 9 Busch Series Team Director Trip Bruce and engineer Mike Wolf will also be in Martinsville assisting with the setup and changes on the #98 truck. Dan Glauz has left the team effective immediately to pursue other opportunities.(Evernham Motorsports PR)(3-30-2006)
  • Hamilton taking time off from 2006 season for health reasons UPDATE Hamilton upbeat: 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton regretfully is stepping out of his #18 Fastenal Dodge for the 2006 season effective after the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway due to health reasons. Hamilton has been diagnosed with cancer in the right side of his neck and will be replaced for the season by his son Bobby Hamilton Jr. “Nobody wants to go through this and the word cancer is a stout word to hear,” Hamilton said. “But I will be starting my treatment right after the race in Atlanta so I have to take care of me for awhile. The hardest thing I’ve done is stepping out of this truck, but I will be back by Homestead or by Daytona bext year. When I told Dodge and Fastenal that I had to do this, they were right on board with me. It says a lot for companies of this magnitude to stay with our program during such a difficult time. We have a huge family at BHR and their support will enable our program to continue to be a success.”(NASCAR PR)(3-17-2006)
    UPDATE: Bobby Hamilton has undergone two chemotherapy treatments for cancer and said he’s doing well. “I walk in (at Vanderbilt University Medical Center) just like everyone else who gets the treatment, and I walk out the same way,” Hamilton said. “I don’t want any special kind of treatment out of this so it is very important for me to do this just like everyone else. I never even told my nurse who I was.” After Hamilton’s first treatment two weeks ago he returned to his racing shop in Mt. Juliet and went back to work. “It is business as usual,” he said. While still active at the shop, Hamilton is concerned that the ongoing treatments will leave him too weak to race. Starting Friday at Martinsville, Va., he will turn the driving duties over to son Bobby Jr. in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Hamilton’s goal is to be back behind the wheel for the season finale at Homestead, Fla., or at least by the ’07 opener at Daytona.(The Tennessean)(3-29-2006)
  • Lester has new son: Truck series regular Bill Lester, and fresh off his first Nextel Cup start, added more excitement to his life with the birth of his second son, Austin Richard Lester, on Tuesday. Lester and family are all doing well. (Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-29-2006)
  • Sauter to sub for Sutton: Johnny Sauter makes his Martinsville Truck Series debut in this Saturday’s Kroger 250. Sauter steps in to pilot the #02 Team Copaxone Chevy for the injured Kelly Sutton. Sauter has two previous Nextel Cup starts at the track.(Sauter PR)(3-29-2006)
  • Martin adds seven more races to schedule: Mark Martin and Roush Racing have decided to add an additional seven races to Martin’s 2006 Truck Series schedule. Martin, who boasts two victories in the first three races of the season, will now run a total of 14 races in the Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford this season. Martin was originally scheduled to run only seven events in the truck, but will now add races at both Martinsville events, Dover, Bristol, Loudon, Talladega and Phoenix, bringing his total to 14. Roush newcomer David Ragan will also increase his schedule, adding events in the #50 Ford. Ragan will drive the # 6 Scotts Ford in the other 11 races of 2006, when Martin is not competing. Roush will enter Ragan in additional events to allow him more seat time and experience. Ragan made his first start of 2006 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, and will compete in the #50 again at Martinsville Speedway on April 1.(Roush Racing PR)(3-28-2006)
  • Dollar General launches Operation Big Chance: Dollar General’s Operation Big Chance is giving a 2006 competitor at Nashville’s Music City Motorplex the opportunity to be a part of the Dollar General/ KHI truck effort at the Martinsville, Va. race in spring 2007. The Music City Motorplex season gets underway on Friday, March 31st with a Dodge Weekly Racing event. The driver who earns the highest points in either the Late Model or Super Truck divisions at the Music City Motorplex at the end of the 2006 race season will get a chance to test with the Dollar General/KHI Truck Series team and a chance to qualify and race at Martinsville next spring. As is the case with all new drivers, NASCAR must issue final approval for participation in the race.(Music City Motorplex PR)(3-28-2006)
  • Kinser gets sponsorship for Martinsville UPDATE: MB2 Motorsports announced that Ginn Clubs & Resorts has agreed to be a primary sponsor on Sterling Marlin’s #14 Chevy for three Nextel Cup races and Kraig Kinser’s Silverado for one Truck Series race. The sponsorship package kicks off this weekend at Martinsville Speedway with Ginn Clubs & Resorts being the primary sponsor on Marlin’s #14 entry for Sunday’s Cup race and Kinser’s #29 [not #47?] entry for Saturday’s truck race. Kinser, an MB2 Motorsports development driver, is part of the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports truck team. Being told that the number change is not permanent.(MB2 PR)(3-27-2006)
    UPDATE: Kraig Kinser will run one more race as #29 because the #47 Morgan Dollar Silverado team ran only a part-time schedule in 2005 and did not have enough owner’s point to guarantee the truck a starting spot the beginning of this season. Morgan Dollar Motorsports made a deal with the #29 team owned by the Keselowski family to guarantee Kinser a starting spot to ensure the NCTS Rookie of the Year contender laps and races under his belt. The arrangement was blessed by NASCAR but the team has to run the #29 through Martinsville. After Martinsville, the truck will go back to the #47. The #29 points will convert to the #47 after Martinsville. So theoretically, the #47 will be in the top 30 after Martinsville. Wherever the #29 is after Martinsville is where the #47 will be at St. Louis. It’s the same deal that the #98 worked with the #2 and the #25 did with the #62, using points and changing #s, only this deal happened a few races into the year and those did at the beginning.(3-28-2006)
  • Stremme to drive #04 at Martinsville: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has announced that Cup Series rookie David Stremme will drive the #04 Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge in the Truck Series event on Saturday, April 1 at Martinsville Speedway. Scott Lagasse Jr. will resume driving duties for the #04 Dodge at Gateway International Raceway on April 29. (Ganassi PR)(3-28-2006)<
  • Raybestos Rookie contenders news & notes: Erik Darnell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the March 17 John Deere 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Darnell finished eighth, his second top-10 finish in three career Truck Series starts. He has claimed top rookie honors in all three races this season and is the only Raybestos Rookie to score a top-10 finish. Darnell enjoys a 16-point lead (41-25) over Kyle Krisiloff in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the April 1 Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Todd Kluever was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2005 Kroger 250 at Martinsville, claiming a 16th-place finish. Two Raybestos Rookies have won a pole at Martinsville in the Truck Series: Greg Biffle (1998) and Carl Edwards (2003). The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie at Martinsville Speedway is second, shared by Travis Kvapil (2001 spring race), Carl Edwards (2003 fall race) and Kluever (2005 fall race). Point standings #99-Erik Darnell 41, #15-Kyle Krisiloff 25, #75-Aric Almirola 21, #99-Erin Crocker 19, #13-Kerry Earnhardt 16, #1-Robert Richardson 16, #12-Joey Miller 15, #06-Chad McCumbee 13, #25-Boston Reid 11, #47-Kraig Kinser 10, #07-Sean Murphy 10, #21-Bobby East 8, #04-Scott Lagasse Jr., #63-J.R. Patton.(Raybestos PR) (3-28-2006)
  • Adam Crawford to make Late Model start: Rick Crawford’s son, Adam, will make his first Late Model start at Mobile International Speedway this weekend. The Circle Bar race team will be will be doing double duty with part of the team helping out in Mobile. The crew will be led by former crew chief, Ray Stonkus.(Circle Bar PR)(3-28-2006)
  • Earnhardt gets new crew chief: Lance Hooper has rejoined ThorSport Racing as crew chief for Kerry Earnhardt and the #13 Chevrolet Silverado. Hooper was previously crew chief at ThorSport in ’04, and has also been crew chief for Glynn Motorsports and Key Motorsports in the Truck Series. Hooper replaces interim crew chief Steve May, who will return to his duties as Director of Competition at ThorSport.(NASCAR PR)(3-27-2006)
  • State Champions to be Grand Marshal UPDATE Gaughan to join team: Martinsville High School’s basketball team recently captured the Virginia Group AA state basketball championship. Now that their 13th state basketball championship is in the books, the Bulldogs will get to try their hand at racing. The Bulldogs will serve as grand marshals for the Kroger 250 Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway on April 1.(truckseries.com)(3-24-2006)
    UPDATE: Brendan Gaughan, who has been named a honorary member of the team, will share the pre-race spotlight with Martinsville High School “Bulldogs” basketball team, who just clinched their 13th state championship. The team will be on hand to give the command to start engines for the Truck Series Race.(Orleans Racing PR)(3-27-2006)
  • Key Motorsports hires Dodson: Veteran NASCAR crew chief and mechanic Barry Dodson has been named to lead the efforts of the Key Motorsports Truck Series organization. Dodson succeeds Lance Hooper as crew chief of the #40 Key Motorsports Chevy trucks currently driven by Chad Chaffin as Hooper has taken a similar position with the ThorSport organization [#13/#88]. “Lance did a good job getting us to this point, and we wish him well in his new endeavor”, Key Motorsports founder and President Curtis W. Key, Sr. said Monday. “But getting someone of the caliber of a Barry Dodson to guide this young team is a significant step for us. We believe that Barry’s experience and past success in the Craftsman Truck Series will enable us to get to the next level”, Key added. Dodson is a 35-year veteran of NASCAR racing and is best known for guiding Rusty Wallace to his only NASCAR Nextel Cup Series crown in 1989. Dodson claims that this accomplishment was the crowning moment in his illustrious career, one that also has seen the Wake Forest, NC native amass 19 Nextel Cup and six Truck Series victories as a crew chief. “I have been looking for the right opportunity to come along, and nothing really gave me the comfort level and good feeling from what I saw and felt at Key Motorsports. Few people realize in this sport what Curtis (Key) has put into his teams over the years, and it is time for that to finally show itself”, Dodson said. Key operated a Busch Series operation from 1991 to 1999, running predominantly a limited schedule due to a lack of sponsorship but featuring some of the top drivers ever in Busch Series action. Former Series champions Tommy Ellis, Chuck Bown and Larry Pearson were amongst them. Key did run a half season in 1997 with sponsorship from SPEED Vision and the Outdoor Channel with then rookie driver Jimmie Foster. After a 4-year hiatus from the sport to devote more time to his Plumbing Contracting business in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, Key returned to the industry in 2003 as the owner of a Truck Series team, operating first out of a brand new race shop in Chesapeake, VA before moving back to Mooresville, NC last year. Key now operates out of an ever-expanding operation previously owned by Tom Logano, using one of the two race shops he owns on 5.5 acres of land in the new Performance Park off of Shinn Farm Road and Highway 152 East. Chaffin, Dodson and company will test on Wednesday this week at Caraway Speedway to shake down the Martinsville truck and to get used to working with one another.(Key Motorsports PR)(3-27-2006)
  • Shepherd in the #50 at Gateway? hearing CASCAR/USAC driver, Peter Shepherd III will be running the #50 Roush Ford truck at Gateway International Raceway if he can get his speedway license. Shepherd was Gong Show driver will be piloting the Roulio Brothers Ford in selected ARCA races and for NASCAR Cup driver Carl Edwards in the USAC Silver Crown Series. Thee hope is NASCAR will give him a speedway license as he raced USAC at Homstead and finsihed 7th.(3-27-2006)
  • Hamilton Jr. to help Sherman UPDATE Denied: Busch Series driver Brent Sherman and his team have been struggling with setups this season, and have dropped to 34th in points. As a result, they’ve decided to bring in Bobby Hamilton Jr. this week to help figure out how to improve the setup of the car. He’s a Dodge driver and a longtime friend of the team. He’s going to coach Sherman a little bit and may even get into the car for a couple of laps in practice to see how he feels the car is handling. “We need someone to come in and give us a hand, so I’m for anything that helps us out,” said Sherman. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)(3-17-2006)
    UPDATE: been told this is not true and that Bobby Jr. has not spoken with Brent Sherman.(BHR)(3-27-2006)
  • Bowyer and Miller to drive for Greenlight Racing at Martinsville UPDATE: Scheduled to drive for Greenlight Racing at the Truck Series Race in Martinsville are Clint Bowyer in the #07 truck (sponsor tba) and Butch Miller in the #08 sponsored by ASI Limited, a company who specializes in building enclosures.(Green Light Racing PR)(3-22-2006)
    UPDATE: SS Racing President, Ken Smith has announced that three time ASA Champion, Butch Miller, will again pilot the #08 ASI Limited/Spectrum Metal Finishing/CBO Glass truck for the April 1st Kroger 250 race at Martinsville Speedway in an alliance with Bobby Dotter and Green Light Racing. (SS Racing PR)(3-26-2006)

  • Park to the #59? UPDATE: hearing Steve Park will drive the #59 Harris Trucking Truck at Atlanta and it could be a Ford…not a Dodge.(3-6-2006)
    UPDATE 1: from the steve-park.com site: “I am really excited to drive for Jim Harris and the #59 Ford in Atlanta. I am thrilled to get behind the wheel in Atlanta, which is the fastest track on the schedule. I am still working with my sponsors in reaching a full-time deal for the remainder of this season and beyond.”(Steve-park.com)(3-7-2006)
    UPDATE 2: The #59 HT Motorsports team announced two changes heading into the third event of the Truck Series, the John Deere 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 17th. Steve Park will take over driving duties for the team and the race shop is busy putting the finishing touches on a Ford F-150, rather than the Dodge Ram they have entered in events since their inception. So far, the team still plans to field Dodge Ram trucks at racetracks less than a mile and a half in length. The Ford trucks will be built for the intermediate and superspeedway racetracks.(HT Motorsports PR)(3-10-2006)
    UPDATE 3: Steve Park has announced that he will be back behind the wheel of the #59 Harris Trucking Truck at Martinsville on April 1. (steve-park.com)(3-23-2006)
  • Footballers start Race Team: Football hall of famer Gale Sayers and World Champion MVP Ray Lewis, along with entrepreneur Mark Bloomquist, have formed The Milestone Company. The operation will run both cars and trucks under its new name: S&L Racing. The team will be headquartered in North Carolina. S&L Racing’s mission is to develop a winning race team that provides opportunities for minorities and women in the sport. To achieve their objective, S&L Racing will start from scratch, working their way up to the Nextel Cup Series. The team plans to start racing this season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The Milestone Company will work with NASCAR, other racing teams and organizations, and corporations to assist in providing opportunities for those looking to make a career out of racing. For more information on S&L Racing, contact the team at 336-389-1700.(FoxSports/Newswire/S&L Racing)(3-232006)
  • Superchips teams up with Mittler Bros. for Martinsville: The Mittler Bros. Motorsports team will carry sponsorship from Superchips on its #63 Ford for the upcoming Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday April 1. Superchips was the sponsor of one of Mittler’s protégés in the past, Carl Edwards, when Edwards drove for the Roush Racing team. Mittler will be debuting a new driver in Martinsville; one he hopes will follow in Edwards’ footsteps. “We’ll be bringing another young guy that no one has ever heard of to Martinsville, a guy we’re really excited about, Justin Martz,” Mittler said. “We’re really excited about him and we hope he’ll do as well in our truck as Carl and Jamie (McMurray) have in the past.” (truckseries.com)(3-22-2006)
  • Martin signs #6 winning hood at Daytona: Per tradition, following this year’s GM FlexFuel 250 Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway, the hood from the winning truck is inducted into DAYTONA USA for the year. Mark Martin’s winning #6 Scotts Ford hood, with signatures from the entire team, will remain inside “The Official Attraction of NASCAR” through Speedweeks 2007. Martin, who is competing in select Truck Series races in 2006, will make the move to fulltime in 2007.(DIS PR)(3-22-2006)
  • Hornaday to run Bristol Busch race: This weekend marks the 2006 debut of Ron Hornaday in the #33 Outdoor Channel Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway. Hornaday will drive the Outdoor Channel Monte Carlo SS in 13 races this season. Hornaday has 158 career Busch Series starts and four Busch Series wins to his credit. He made his last Busch Series start in 2005 at Phoenix International Raceway.(KHI PR)(3-21-2005)
  • Raybestos Rookies; where they stand: Following Atlanta the Rookie of the Year point standings are; Erik Darnell 41, Kyle Krisiloff 25, Aric Almirola 21, Erin Crocker 19, Kerry Earnhardt 16, Robert Richardson 16, Joey Miller 15, Chad McCumbee 13, Boston Reid 11, Kraig Kinser 10, Sean Murphy 10, Bobby East 9, Scott Lagasse Jr. 6, J.R. Patton 1.(NASCAR PR)(3-20-2006)
  • BDR’s Lester to qualify for Cup race: Bill Lester will pilot the #23 Nextel Cup entry for Bill Davis Racing at Atlanta. He’ll be the first black driver to attempt to qualify for a Cup Series race in 20 years. Before this week, the last black to start a Cup event was Willy T. Ribbs at Michigan on June 15, 1986. Prior to that, George Wiltshire and Randy Bethea each had a run at a Cup race in 1975. Wendell Scott started 495 times in NASCAR’s premier series and remains the only black to win a Cup race, at Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 1, 1963. Lester was the first black to compete in a Busch Series event in 1999, the first to start a Truck Series race in 2000, the first to win a pole for a modern-era NASCAR race in 2003, the first to win $1 million, and the first to lead a top division race in more than two decades.(nascar.com)(3-14-2006)
    UPDATE: Lester qualifed 19th in the #23 Waste Management Dodge with a speed of 190.502.(3-18-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Lester finished the event in the 38th position, six laps down from the race winner, but with a tremendous amount of experience from his career first Nextel Cup race. His next Cup series event is scheduled for June 18 at the Michigan International Speedway.(BDR PR)(3-20-2006)
  • Benson to get additional sponsorship from Exide: For the Atlanta race, Exide, the leader in consumer batteries, came on board as a sponsor for Johnny Benson and the #23 Toyota Tundra. We’ve been told that Exide will sponsor the truck for additional races. The specific races have not been determined as of yet, but they will have a presence on the truck all year.(3-19-2006)
  • Wood Bros/JTG switch back for Martinsville: For the Atlanta race, Bobby East drove the #20 Ford, with Jon Wood switching to the #21 to gain points for Marcos Ambrose before his debut in Martinsville. Atlanta was Bobby’s first speedway race and the team had a lot of confidence in his abilities, but, wanted to ensure the best case scenario for their teams. The switch was not permanent and we’re told that Bobby East will be in the #21 State Fair Corn Dogs Ford at Martinsville and Ambrose will make his first start in the #20 JTG/Wood Bros. Ford.(JTG/Wood Bros. PR)(3-19-2006)
  • Bodine gets the win: The third green-white-checkered this season, but with a different result. Todd Bodine driving the #30 Lumber LiquidatorsToyota beat Mark Martin to gain the victory in the John Deere 200 at Atlanta. This is victory #8 in the Truck Series for Bodine. A multi-truck wreck on the last lap caused several trucks to lose position. Rounding out the top five were #6-Mark Martin, #23-Johnny Benson, #21-Jon Wood, #9-Ted Musgrave.(3-172006)
  • Bodine gets new sponsor: Germain Racing and Lumber Liquidators are pleased to announce their partnership for the remaining 23 races on the 2006 Truck Series schedule. The #30 Germain Racing Toyota Tundra will be sporting its familiar black and yellow paint scheme with new sponsor Lumber Liquidators for the John Deere 200 at Atlanta. Lumber Liquidators is the largest direct retailer in the United States specializing in hardwood flooring, and they will be the primary sponsor on the #30 Germain Racing Toyota Tundra.(Germain Motorsports PR)(3-17-2006)
  • Crocker to be featured on Driven to Win: Erin Crocker, driver of the #98 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, will be featured on the Biography Channel’s ‘Driven to Win” program where they offer upclose and personal profiles of young drivers. The program is set to air on Wednesday, March 22, 10:30 pm/et.(The Biography Channel)(3-16-2006)
  • Truck Series News & Notes:
    Sometimes the calendar can stop momentum cold but not in 2006 and not for Todd Bodine (# 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota). Bodine closed out 2005 with three consecutive victories and hated to see the Truck Series season end at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His Germain Racing team, assuming its late-season record would put a figurative bullseye on the tailgate of Bodine’s yellow and black Tundra, refused to lose its edge during the winter months. Bodine’s March 17 win at Atlanta Motor Speedway followed a pair of runner-up finishes, both to Mark Martin (# 6 Scotts Ford), and further established the 42-year-old New Yorker as the driver to beat for this year’s title. Assuming, of course, that Martin sticks to his original schedule of seven races. “I don’t know,” was Martin’s post-Atlanta response, accompanied by a sly grin, to the question of his next series appearance, previously penciled in for Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 19. That, of course, was before Martin got off to the best start in series history. He holds a 25-point championship lead – 560 to 535 – over Bodine with three of 25 races complete. Martin is having the time of his life, a fact not lost on team owner Jack Roush, who persuaded his longtime driver to stick around for another season in the Cup Series. Martin previously had planned to move fulltime to Craftsman Trucks this year. “I love this racing,” said Martin after finishing .354-second behind Bodine after the pair swapped the lead 12 times during the John Deere 200. Martin’s performance also has been redemptive for Ford, which matched its all-time low in the series in 2005 with just two wins. Four F-150 drivers rank among the current top 10 after placing none in final rankings a year ago.
    Martin’s teammate, Raybestos Rookie of the Year leader Erik Darnell (# 99 Woolrich Ford) is the first freshman to show among the top 10 since David Reutimann (# 17 Team Tundra Toyota) stood fourth in September 2004.
    Back to Bodine, he’s not alone at Germain Racing at the top of the point chase. Teammate Ted Musgrave (# 9 Team ASE/Germain Motor Company Toyota) logged his third top-five finish in Atlanta. The defending series champion put something of an exclamation point on his fourth-place performance, which came from a start of 36th.Musgrave stands third in points after finishes of third, third and fourth.
    It’s a fact that Germain and Roush have done their homework well. Safe to predict, however, their rivals will be burning the midnight oil and hitting the books as the schedule shifts from Atlanta’s 180 mph-plus speeds to the April 1 Kroger 250 at .526-mile Martinsville Speedway, the first of five short tracks on the 2006 schedule.

    News & Notes Part II:
    Hamilton bows out to treat illness … 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Bobby Hamilton (# 18 Fastenal Dodge) announced Friday that his son, Bobby Hamilton Jr. (# 08 Corky’s Ribs & BBQ Dodge), will take over his ride for the remainder of the season as the 47-year-old Nashville native begins therapy to treat neck cancer diagnosed earlier this year. Hamilton hopes to return to competition in the Nov. 17 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He finished 14th in the John Deere 200. “I’m still the owner so I plan on being there to see it all happen,” said Hamilton.

    Etc:
    Lumber Liquidators has signed to sponsor Bodine’s team for the remainder of the 2006 season. Headquartered in Toano, Va., the company is the largest direct retailer in the United States and specializes in hardwood flooring. The company has one of the largest inventories of pre-finished and unfinished hardwood flooring in the industry. … Chad Chaffin, who failed to qualify his # 40 Russell E. Garwood Chevrolet, finished 21st in the # 02 Team Copaxone Chevrolet after regular driver Kelly Sutton withdrew due to a leg injury suffered in practice. … Former University of Michigan and Green Bay Packers football player Julius Curry will partner with Montgomery Racing to field the # 8 Dodge in 10 races for driver Chase Montgomery. … Three of 12 Raybestos Rookie of the Year contenders logged top-20 finishes in Atlanta. Kyle Krisiloff’s (# 15 ditech.com/National Land Liquidators/Krud Kutter Chevrolet) 16th place was the freshman’s best career finish. Bobby East qualified his # 20 State Fair Corn Dogs Ford fifth – the first Raybestos candidate to log a top-five start in 2006. … Atlanta’s green-white-checker finish marked the 59th time in 270 races that a NASCAR Craftsman Truck event has gone into overtime. It marks the second time three consecutive races have gone beyond their scheduled distance joining last year’s trio of events at Kansas and Kentucky speedways and Memphis Motorsports Park. … Bodine won his first series Bud Pole in Atlanta with a non-record lap of 181.360.

    In the Loop:
    A four-wide pass in heavy traffic gave Bodine his first victory of 2006 and effectively ended Martin’s bid for three consecutive victories. Loop data showed Bodine to be the fastest driver of the night in traffic with a lap speed of 176.284 mph. Martin, conversely, ranked fourth at 175.697. … Forty-five percent of Bodine’s passes came in turns two or three. … Joey Miller (# 12 Curb Records Toyota) and Mike Skinner (# 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) bowed out in the same accident finishing 36th and 35th. The irony is the pair ranked one-two in fastest laps recorded at 182.183 and 182.009. … Mike Bliss (# 16 Xpress Motorsports Chevrolet) finished seventh for the second consecutive race and led the field in quality passes with 37.(3-20-2006)

  • Woolrich to extend sponsorship of Darnell: Woolrich, The Original Outdoor Clothing Company, has extended its primary sponsorship of the #99 Roush Racing Ford F-150 and driver Erik Darnell for seven additional Truck Series races, beginning with the John Deere 200 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 17. Along with the Atlanta race, Woolrich will also be the primary sponsor at Lowes Motor Speedway on May 19, Texas Motor Speedway on June 9, Michigan International Speedway on June 17, New Hampshire International Speedway on September 16, Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 23 and the season-ending Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17.(Roush Racing PR)(3-16-2006)
  • Kinser to carry U.S. Army colors in Atlanta: The U.S. Army will be the primary sponsor on Kraig Kinser’s #47 Silverado for Friday’s John Deere 200 Truck Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It will be the third truck event for the rookie Kinser, who starred as a sprint car racer the past two seasons in the World of Outlaw Series. Kinser’s #47 U.S. Army Silverado is a joint effort between Morgan-Dollar Motorsports and MB2 Motorsports. Kinser joined the MB2 driver development program last season.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(3-15-2006)
  • Shell RotellaT Silverado to make debut: Shell RotellaT will begin their new relationship with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports by kicking-off their seven race primary sponsorship of the #85 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Dennis Setzer this Friday night in the John Deere 200. This will be the third race of the season, first for Shell RotellaT as primary sponsor.(MD Motorsports PR)(3-15-2006)
  • Cook makes 200th-consecutive start: Terry Cook, driver of the #10 Power Stroke Diesel Ford will his career 200th consecutive start this Friday night at AMS. Cook is the leader in consecutive starts among active drivers. (Rick Crawford holds the all-time record at 209.) Dennis Connor is the team’s new crew chief.(ppc Racing PR)(3-14-2006)
  • East set to start at Atlanta: After watching the first two Truck Series races from the sidelines, Bobby East will finally get a chance to drive the Wood Bros/JTG #21 Ford for this Friday’s John Deere 200 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The sanctioning body approved his driving credentials this week. East will be driving the same truck Compton used at California. That truck was crashed on the final lap, but the race team worked around the clock in the last two weeks to make repairs.(Wood Bros/JTG PR)(3-14-2006)
  • MRD loses appeal: On March 13, 2006, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of MRD Racing(#06). The appeal concerned three penalties issued by NASCAR following opening day inspection on Feb. 22, 2006 for the Truck Series event at California Speedway. The penalties assessed were: loss of 25 Truck Series owner points for owner David Malcolmson; loss of 25 Truck Series driver points for driver Chad McCumbee; $5,000.00 fine for crew chief Brian Berry. The Commission found that the penalties assessed are consistent with recent penalties for similar infractions in the Truck Series, and upheld the original penalties.(NASCAR PR)(3-14-2006)
  • New crew chief for Richardson: #1-Robert Richardson will be working with a new crew chief this weekend at Atlanta, with Wayne Setterington coming over from Evernham Motorsports. Setterington has served as a crew chief in the ARCA Series and most recently has worked on the surface plate on the Evernham Motorsports Truck team. Richardson is currently fifth in Rookie of the Year points.(truckseries.com)(3-14-2006)
  • Darnell takes top honors in CA: Erik Darnell (#99) was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the February 24 racetickets.com 200 at California Speedway. Darnell finished 11th and took top rookie honors for the second consecutive race. Darnell holds a 12-point lead (27-15) over Kyle Krisiloff in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the March 17 John Deere 200 at Atlanta. Sean Murphy was the Rookie of the Race in the 2005 John Deere 200, claiming a 13th-place finish on the lead lap. Murphy was the only first-year driver to lead a lap in the event. Raybestos Rookies David Reutimann and Robert Huffman made history in 2004 at Atlanta. Reutimann won the pole and Huffman grabbed the second starting spot, securing the first all-Rookie front row in the history of the Truck Series. The best finish by a Rookie in the spring race at Atlanta is third by Reutimann in 2004. He also led that race twice for eight laps. A Rookie has led a lap in each of the two previous spring races at Atlanta: Reutimann and Murphy, who led the March 2005 race at Atlanta once for one lap. Where they stand: Darnell 27; Krisiloff 15; Earnhardt 14; Miller 13; Richardson 13; Crocker 13; Almirola 12; Murphy 8; McCumbee 8; Kinser 6; Reid 4; Lagasse 4; Patton 1.(Raybestos PR)(3-13-2006)
  • Ragan to run 3rd Roush truck at Atlanta: Roush Racing announced that it will field a third Truck Series team at Atlanta on March 17 for driver David Ragan. A Georgia native, Ragan will drive the #50 Ford in the John Deere 200. “Fielding a third truck in Atlanta will enable David to run in front of his hometown crowd, friends and family,” said team owner Jack Roush. “It will also gain him some additional seat time in preparation for his stint driving the #6 Scotts Ford. We’re looking forward to getting David a jump-start on his 2006 schedule.” The race in Atlanta will mark the first time that Roush has fielded three truck teams in a race since the season-ending Ford 200 at the Homestead in 2005, when Todd Kluever, Ricky Craven and Mark Martin ran the event. After winning the first two events of 2006, Martin currently leads the Truck Series points. Rookie Erik Darnell has been the highest finishing Rookie of the Year contender in both events, and currently sits eighth in the standings.(Roush Racing)(3-13-2006)
  • May replaces Tesch as interim crew chief for Earnhardt: Steve May has assumed interim crew chief duties for the #13 ThorSport Racing Chevy driven by Kerry Earnhardt. May has been involved in NASCAR’S upper echelon for over thirty years, and has worked with Cale Yarborough, Bill Elliott and Geoff Bodine’s Craftsman Truck Series operation, among others. He was recently named Director of Competition at ThorSport Racing. May will handle crew chief duties for Earnhardt’s #13 at the John Deere 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 17, and until a permanent replacement is named. (truckseries.com)(3-11-2006)
  • For Sox, a test drive: At Daytona, Todd Bodine’s #30 iracing.com Toyota also sported a small green Fenway Sports Group logo on his truck. Fenway Sports Group negotiated the deal between Germain Racing and iracing.com, and as part of the arrangement, Fenway Sports Group got its logo on the truck as well. The Red Sox ownership group may look at doing more in the sport. ”It’s no secret we’ve been kicking the tires in NASCAR — this was a way to get our feet wet,” said Mike Dee, president of the team’s sports marketing subsidiary, Fenway Sports Group. ”We love the sport. We think the sport is certainly one that’s growing exponentially, both nationally and within New England. If it makes sense to do more, we will.” For the complete article visit: The Boston Globe.(3-11-2006)
  • AAA Mid-Atlantic to sponsor Dover: AAA Mid-Atlantic is proud to announce its title sponsorship of the Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway on Friday, June 2, 2006. The race will be called the AAA Insurance 200. The multi-year deal was signed late last week. “Auto racing is the fastest growing spectator sport in the country and so many AAA members are avid fans, so this sponsorship is a natural fit for us,” said Spencer M. Roman, COO and Executive Vice President of the AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance Group. AAA Insurance decided to seize the opportunity to capitalize on AAA’s recent re-entry into NASCAR sponsorship by adding the insurance group to a title sponsorship race. AAA intends to use its motorsports sponsorships as one way to reach young drivers with safety information. No one is more aware of the need to drive with care and skill than a professional race car driver. AAA believes motorsports can be an excellent venue for delivering important safety information to the driving public.(Dover Motorsports PR)(3-9-2006)
  • Starr to receive Sportsmanship Award: Joining the ranks of some of the greatest names in motorsports, Truck Series driver David Starr has been chosen to receive this year’s Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame Sportsmanship Award. “I am so very honored,” says Starr, who drives the #11 Toyota Tundra for Red Horse Racing. “I never dreamed that I would be chosen to receive this highly coveted award. To have my name immortalized in the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame is incredibly prestigious and exciting and definitely something I will treasure for the rest of my life.” Awarded annually, Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame inductees and award recipients are determined by a panel of motorsports media from throughout Texas, including representatives from print and broadcast outlets in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. This year’s inductees include Drag Racing legend Kenny Bernstein and Indy-car designer and team owner Jim Hall. Also honored are NASCAR team owner Jack Roush and former NHRA racer Raymond Beadle. Starr, other award winners and inductees will be honored at the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame Gala on April 5 at the Texas Motor Speedway Club Ballroom. Proceeds from the event go to Happy Hill Farm in Granbury, an academy and home for disadvantaged children.(Red Horse Racing PR)(3-8-2006)
  • Reutimann to compete in Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race: As part of the Toyota/Pro Celebrity Race’s 30th Anniversary, selected past participants will join a host of new faces from film, television, and sports on Saturday, April 8 as part of the 32nd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. David Reutimann will be joining John Elway, William Shatner, Patrick Dempsey and Frankie Muniz who are among the celebrity alumni back in the driver’s seat this year. After competing in the 2005 race, Patrick Dempsey now dabbles in professional racing as a hobby. ”Toyota puts on a great event that’s a lot of fun, very competitive and most importantly for a great charity cause,” said Dempsey. Toyota will donate $5,000 to “Racing for Kids” in the name of each celebrity racer, and another $5,000 to the winning racer’s charity of choice. Racing for Kids is a non-profit program benefiting children’s hospitals in Long Beach, Calif. and Orange County. Finally, a $15,000 donation is made in conjunction with the ninth annual People Pole Award. Sponsored by People magazine, the award honors the pole-position winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race qualifying session on Friday, April 7. In the past 14 years, the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race has generated more than $1.3 million for children’s’ hospitals in Southern California. (Darrell Waltrip Motorsports PR)(3-1-2006)
    Bodine to compete–UPDATE:Todd Bodine, driver of Germain Racing’s #30 Toyota truck will also be competing in the Toyota/Pro Celebrity Anniversary Grand Prix of Long Beach.(teamonion.net)(3-6-2006)
  • Bodine Wins John Deere 200 (Top Five)
    1) #-30-Todd Bodine,Lumber Liquidators Toyota
    2 )#6-Mark Martin,Scotts Ford
    3) #23-Johnny Benson, Exide Toyota
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, Team ASE/Germain Motors Toyota
    5)#17-David Reutimann, Team Tundra Toyota

    1st Chevy, #16-Mike Bliss (7th)
    1st Dodge, #77-Brendan Gaughan (13th)
    1st Rookie, #99-Erik Darnell (8th)

    Race Awards:
    Bud Pole Award; #30-Todd Bodine (181.360)
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race; #99-Erik Darnell
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award; #88-Matt Crafton
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race; #30-Todd Bodine
    Wix Filters Lap leader Award; #30-Todd Bodine
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award; #30-Todd Bodine
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge; #17-David Reutimann

    For complete results see:
    (Truckseries.com)
    (motorsportsone.com)
    (NASCAR.com)(official)(3-20-2006)

  • Driver Standings after Atlanta [race 3 of 25]
    1) #-6Mark Martin, 560
    2) #30-Todd Bodine, 535
    3) #9-Ted Musgrave, 495
    4) #17-David Reutimann, 458
    5) #60-Jack Sprague, 438

    See full standings at:
    (Truckseries.com
    (motorsportsone.com)
    (nascar.com)

  • Qualifying for the John Deere 200 is over: (Top five)
    #30-Todd Bodine 181.260
    #5-Mike Skinner 181.171
    #99-Erik Darnell 181.147
    #85-Dennis Setzer 180.958
    #20-Bobby East 180.798
    1st Dodge(28th) #1-Robert Richardson 178.654
    Going Home:#06-Chase Montgomery, #28-Carl Long, #40-Chad Chaffin
    For complete starting lineup visit:
    (nascar.com)
    (truck series.com)(3-17-2006)
  • Friday Final Practice: for the John Deere 200 is over. (Top five )
    #4-Mike Skinner 180.910
    #6-Mark Martin 180.551
    #99-Erik Darnell 180.522
    #21-Jon Wood 179.965
    #60-Jack Sprague 179.907
    1st Chevy(7th) #06-Chad McCumbee 179.697
    1st Dodge(8th) #01-Robert Richardson 179.633
    slowest: #28-Carl Long 166.938
    For entire practice results visit: (truckseries.com)(3-17-2006)
  • 1st Friday Practice: for the John Deere 200 is over.(Top five)
    #20-Bobby East 182.195
    #12-Joey Miller 181.420
    #21-Jon Wood 181.271
    #5-Mike Skinner 180.728
    #60-Jack Sprague 180.663
    1st Chevy(8th) #16-Mike Bliss 180.222
    1st Dodge(21st) #08-Bobby Hamilton Jr. 178.677
    For entire practice results visit: (truckseries.com)(3-17-2006)
  • Truck Series News & Notes:
    John Deere 200 marks series’ 100th race with at least one female starter. Terry Cook to become second series driver to log 200 consecutive starts

    Veteran Kelly Sutton (# 02 Team Copaxone Chevrolet) and Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Erin Crocker (# 98 Cheerios Betty Crocker Dodge) will push the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to a very special century mark this week. Friday’s John Deere 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, in which both will participate, marks the 100th time, and 55th consecutive race, in which one or more female drivers have competed. Only one other series has had greater female participation. The NASCAR Busch Series has logged 237 races with a female driver in its 24-plus seasons of 737 races. Sutton, who’ll start her 42nd event, is in her third full season with the series. Her October 2003 start at Phoenix International Raceway marked the beginning of the series’ current, 54-race female driver streak. The 34-year-old Crownsville, Md. driver has the most starts by a female driver and most money won ($350,831). The high point of her NASCAR Craftsman Truck career came in 2005 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway where she finished 15th. “I’ve never viewed myself as a pioneer for women’s racing because so many talented women have already fulfilled that role,” said Sutton. “What I can do is build off their collective legacy to prove that women can be talented drivers and a crucial component for the future of NASCAR.” Sutton admittedly has struggled with a team owned by her father Ed Sutton. “We have a great team but we realize our jobs are made much more difficult due to the limited resources we have in comparison to those of larger teams,” she said. The team has made significant progress in 2006 with the addition of veteran crew chief Gary Showalter. Sutton reached 12th place in the lead draft in the late stages of the season opener at Daytona International Speedway before being sidelined by engine failure. “Describing the ups and downs of my career is a simple task,” said Sutton. “The most important positive came this past off-season when we hired Gary and most the most notable negative is that we didn’t hire him sooner.”

    Crocker, the first female driver to win a World of Outlaws sprint car race, is the first female to drive in the series for a Nextel Cup Series-affiliated team. The Wilbraham, Mass. native, who’ll celebrate her 25th birthday on March 23, was tapped as a development driver by Ray Evernham. She comes to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with a solid resume in the ARCA RE/MAX Series where she finished in the top five four times and top 10 five times in six appearances for Evernham. Her quick success in a stock car was both positive and negative.”I think being a female definitely adds more pressure,” said Crocker, who finished 27th at Daytona and California. “You are kind of under a microscope. You know if you start wrecking, people definitely take notice right away. The opposite works if you start doing really well. It gets noticed right away. There are definitely a lot of opportunities for women right now.” Crocker recognizes the difficulty of finding Victory Lane in NASCAR but she is undaunted. “It certainly is steep,” she said. “Back when I ran the World of Outlaws, it was steep (too) and I was able to accomplish it in my first year. I know there is a lot for me to learn and as a team we have a lot to improve and grow on but it is possible. “If I didn’t think it was possible I wouldn’t be trying.”
    Sutton and Crocker are pursuing a pair of records held by Tammy Jo Kirk, whose finish of 11th at Heartland Park Topeka and start of third at Portland Speedway, both in 1997, are tops for a female driver in the Truck Series.

    News & Notes Part II: Cook reaches milestone in Atlanta … Friday’s race marks the 200th consecutive start for Terry Cook (# 10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford). He’s the second competitor to reach that milestone and is on track to break Rick Crawford’s (# 14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford) 209-race record on July 8 at Kentucky Speedway. Ironically, last year’s Kentucky race ended Crawford’s streak due to injuries he incurred in a qualifying accident. Martin looking for win # 3 … Only four drivers in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history – Mike Skinner (# 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota), Ron Hornaday Jr. (# 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet), Todd Bodine (# 30 Germain Motor Company Toyota) and Greg Biffle – have won three consecutive races. A victory in Friday’s John Deere 200 will add Mark Martin (# 6 Scotts Ford) to membership in the exclusive club.
    Count on last-lap theatrics in Atlanta … The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ three Atlanta races twice have seen official lead changes on the final lap and once on the next-to-last trip around the 1.54-mile superspeedway. Hornaday’s .008-second John Deere 200 win over Bobby Labonte last March remains the series’ third-closest finish and closest on a track of one mile or longer.
    ETC. … Morgan-Dollar Motorsports has signed Shell Rotella T motor oil for seven events with the sponsor appearing for the first time on Dennis Setzer’s # 85 Chevrolet this week. … R3 Motorsports, which fields the # 1 winyourmortgage.com Dodges driven by Raybestos rookie contender Robert Richardson, has named Wayne Setterington crew chief. Setterington, who formerly worked for Evernham Motorsports, replaces Carl Barnes. … Steve May has been named interim crew chief for Kerry Earnhardt’s # 13 ThorSport Chevrolet succeeding Shane Tesch. … H-T Motorsports for the first time this week will field a Ford F-150 and will alternate between Ford and Dodge as the season progresses depending upon track length and configuration. Steve Park will be behind the wheel of the # 59 Harris Trucking entry at Atlanta. … Roush Racing has entered a third truck in the John Deere 200 for David Ragan (# 50 Roush Racing Ford), who’s due to take over Martin’s seat April 1 at Martinsville Speedway. “Fielding a third truck in Atlanta will enable David to run in front of his hometown crowd, friends and family,” said team owner Jack Roush of the Unadilla, Ga. driver. “It will also gain him some additional seat time in preparation for his stint driving the # 6 Scotts Ford F-150. We’re looking forward to getting David a jump-start on his 2006 schedule.” … Bobby East (# 21 State Fair Corn Dogs Ford), begins his Raybestos rookie quest this week in the Wood Brothers-JTG Racing truck driven at Daytona and California by Stacy Compton. East is the 2004 U.S. Auto Club national midget champion and Cook’s brother-in-law. … Friday’s qualifying session will be broadcast live by SPEED beginning at 5:10 p.m. ET. Crawford is the defending Bud Pole winner turning in a record lap of 182.735 mph a year ago.

    On the right track: Atlanta track absolutely suits Hamilton … With an average finish of 3.7 based upon runs of first, third and seventh, Bobby Hamilton (# 18 Fastenal Dodge) is the best performing driver to have competed in all three series events at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Skinner has led but hasn’t won … Skinner is the only driver to have led all three Atlanta races and is the track’s lap leader by an almost two to one margin over Hamilton. Skinner has paced 119 laps (180.18 miles) to Hamilton’s 62 (94.28). He finished runner-up to Hamilton in March 2004 but was unable to finish higher than 12th a year ago. He was October’s Bud Pole winner. Hometown winner Billy Ballew taps Atlanta third driver … October race winner Kyle Busch won’t be aboard Billy Ballew’s # 15 ditech.com/National Land Liquidators/Krud Kutter Chevrolet this week but don’t count out the chances of Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Krisiloff. The Atlanta-owned team has entered two different drivers – Busch and Shane Hmiel – in three previous Atlanta events with finishes of first and sixth off a pair of top-five qualifying performances.

    In the loop: Toyota drivers Bodine and Johnny Benson (# 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota) headed a number of categories based on NASCAR scoring Loop Data from last year’s pair of races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. … Bodine was the leading competitor among closers with eight passes followed by Benson’s six. … Bodine logged 80 quality passes while Benson, with a driver rating of 110.3, headed all entered drivers who competed in both races. … Hamilton posted the most consecutive laps without being passed – 21. … Bill Lester (# 22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota) topped speed charts of drivers expected to participate in the John Deere 200 with a fast lap of 182.667 mph on Oct. 29, 2005.

    From the archives: Raybestos rookies David Reutimann (# 17 Team Tundra Toyota) and Robert Huffman made history in March 2004 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Reutimann won the Bud Pole and Huffman grabbed the second starting spot, securing the first all-Raybestos rookie front row in the history of the Craftsman Truck Series.(NASCAR PR)(3-13-2006)

    Fast Facts:
    What: Atlanta 200 (Race 3 of 25).
    Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway
    When: 9:15 p.m. ET, Friday, March 17
    Track layout: 1.54-mile banked paved speedway
    Race length: 200 miles/130 laps
    Posted awards: $514,269
    TV: SPEED Channel, 9:15 p.m. ET
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite
    2005 winner: Ron Hornaday Jr
    2005 polesitter: Rick Crawford
    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday – Practice 8:45 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. Rookie practice 10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Final practice 11:00 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. Qualifying 5:10 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.(3-6-2006)

  • Truck Series News and Notes: With no speedway experience and limited sponsorship, Timothy Peters (#4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge) was unable to run a complete NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule in 2005. However, Peters doesn’t believe the past season in which he finished second to Raybestos Rookie of the Year Todd Kluever was wasted. Peters, a former NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series late model champion in North Carolina and Virginia, immersed himself in the series – both on and off the track. The 25-year-old competitor, tapped for career development by 2004 series champion Bobby Hamilton (#18 Fastenal Dodge), augmented his abbreviated schedule with fulltime duties in the team’s Mount Juliet, Tenn. shop. “I was there every day not because I had to be but because I wanted to be,” said the Providence, N.C. native. “With me being there and knowing how these trucks are being built and put together only helps me communicate more efficiently with (crew chief) Kip McCord and all the other folks who work so hard.” When Peters wasn’t in the driver’s seat – he didn’t get his first start until last April at Martinsville Speedway – he was in the pits, on the spotters stand and most importantly, keeping his ears close to teammate and mentor Hamilton. “Bobby teaches you in two ways,” said Peters, whose best finish of sixth place came at Dover International Speedway. “One is by example and the other is a more hands-on approach. He teaches you to be patient on the racetrack, how to watch who you race with and don’t race the ones you can’t or shouldn’t race with and how to take care of your equipment so that you can be around when it counts the most – at the end of the race.” Peters learned his lessons well, finishing 28th in the standings despite starting only 16 of 25 races. He failed to finish just two races – one fewer than Kluever. With two races completed in 2006, Peters ranks 16th among 33 drivers who started both Daytona and California events. He finished a solid 12th in his first trip to Daytona International Speedway, but Peters has his sights set higher. “I would like to get two wins, lead as many laps as possible and win a pole as well,” he said. “Really, I just want to be competitive.” Peters gives his team a six on a scale of one to 10 after a California Speedway race in which the highest finishing Dodge – Bobby Hamilton Jr. (#08 Corky’s Ribs & BBQ Dodge) – was 22nd. Hamilton and Peters were 23rd and 24th. “We are trying to identify the areas of concern for us and fix those areas,” he said. Peters looks forward to next week’s John Deere 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway having logged a lead lap finish of 18th in his debut at the 1.54-mile speedway last October. Hamilton won the series’ first Atlanta race in 2004, finished third in last spring’s race and was seventh there in the fall. “When I see the fire that Bobby Hamilton has in his eyes to run well and at a championship level I have no concern at all,” Peters said. “His concern is for all the BHR teams to run up to their potential. I am pleased to be a part of this organization and this team.”
    NEWS AND NOTES, PART II
    Annual Urban Youth Racing visit Atlanta-bound … Four students from Philadelphia’s Urban Youth Racing School will spend a portion of next week at race shops and at the track. They begin Monday at NASCAR Craftsman Truck shops in the Charlotte area and conclude their visit in the garage and on pit road at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Craftsman-sponsored initiative previously coincided with May’s race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The interns (and their respective teams) are Daniel Colon, (# 14 Circle Bar Racing, Rick Crawford), Shawna Stanton, (#12 and 17 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, Joey Miller and David Reutimann), Nkosi Harmon, (# 11 Red Horse Racing, David Starr) and Khristopher Fuller, (# 47 and 85 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, Kraig Kinser and Dennis Setzer). From welding on a race truck to loading the hauler to go to the track, the UYRS students will gain knowledge about the inner mechanics of a race shop. With the garage as their classroom, they will help with everything from pushing the truck through inspection to setting up pits for the race.
    ETC. … Mike Mittler, co-founder and president of Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool and owner of MB Motorsports, Inc. (J.R. Patton, # 63 Dave Porter Truck Sales Ford), was recently installed as chairman of the board of the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA). The NTMA is a 1,700-member trade association representing the precision and machining industry. … Orleans Racing (Brendan Gaughan, #77 Orleans Hotel Dodge), located adjacent to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will host its annual open house Friday in conjunction with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. The event drew 600 to 700 attendees in 2005. … The recent Racetickets.com 200 at California Speedway drew an average rating of 1.1 according to Nielsen Media Services, an increase of 10 percent from 2005 making it the series’ second-highest-rated, non-Daytona series on SPEED. … Jack Sprague (# 60 Con-Way Toyota) will travel to West Yellowstone, Mont.; this week for the 2006 West Yellowstone Snow Blast presented by Arctic Cat. A personal sponsor of Sprague, Artic Cat will introduce its 2007 line of snowmobile sleds at the annual event. “It will take my mind of the fact that we are not at the track for the next few weeks,” Sprague said. “Behind the wheel of my Con-Way Toyota is where I want to be but being on a sled with fresh snow is the second best.” … Richie Wauters, crew chief of the # 15 ditech.com/National Land Liquidations/Krud Kutter Chevrolet driven by Kyle Krisiloff, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last week to repair ligament damage. Wauters, back at the race shop on crutches, was Kyle Busch’s winning crew chief at Atlanta in October.(NASCAR PR)(3-6-2006)
  • Orleans Racing to host Open House: Orleans Racing is pleased to announce their second annual open house meet and greet. The event will take place on Friday March 10th, 2006. Hours will be between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. “We’re very proud of our shop and we enjoy showing it off whenever we can,” said driver Brendan Gaughan. “We believe that our facility is of the same caliber as any of the Charlotte area based teams, which is supported by those from the industry who have visited our Las Vegas facility.” Last year’s event was an overwhelming success as an estimated 600 to 700 people toured the home of Orleans Racing. The open house will give race fans the opportunity to see a working race shop as well as meet driver Brendan Gaughan, who will be on hand to sign autographs. Orleans Racing’s facilities are located at 6975 Speedway Blvd, Building D104, which is directly adjacent to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(Orleans Racing PR)(3-3-2006)
  • Hornaday helping Lamar in Mexico: After racing two straight weekends on the Truck Series circuit, teams will have the benefit of a weekend off. That’s not the case for two-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday. Instead of relaxing at home, the driver of the #33 KHI Chevrolet will travel south of the border. Hornaday is traveling to the Busch Series event in Mexico City, Mexico on his off weekend to help Rookie of the Year contender Burney Lamar. “Burney is my buddy and I want to do everything I can to help him in his career,” said Hornaday. “He’ll listen to me and hopefully I can teach him a thing or two. And besides we are going out of the country, what if he gets sick…I need to be there to fill in for him,” Hornaday joked.During the off season, the #77 Dollar General team tested at Virginia International Raceway and Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway to help Lamar hone his road racing skills. Although Lamar has some experience turning left and right in the Southwest Series, he was shown the ropes by two of the best–Ron Fellows (Lamar’s KHI teammate for the Telcel-Motorola 200) and teammate Ron Hornaday.(truckseries.com)(3-3-2006)
  • Drivers help celebrate “Read Across America” Day: Drivers NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors David Reutimann and Timothy Peters visited elementary schools in North Carolina and Tennessee this week to help students celebrate the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day. The annual observance, begun in 1968, coincides with the March 2 birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. Reutimann, the series 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year, visited Troutman (N.C.) Middle School on Wednesday where he appeared before the Golden Mind Assembly for 100 students recognized for exceptional grades. On Thursday, Peters, driver of the #4 BHR Dodge, visited Bordeaux Enhanced Option Elementary in downtown Nashville where many of the students come from low-income families and foster homes. Both competitors were well received and enjoyed their visits.(NASCAR PR)(3-2-2006)
  • BDR files motions to change verdict: Bill Davis Racing has filed three motions in U.S. District Court in Michigan in response to a verdict of $6.5 million in damages it has been ordered to pay DaimlerChrysler. A jury awarded the damages to Dodge on Feb. 9 after a four-week trial in Detroit. BDR has filed three motions: one requesting a new trial, another to request a reduction in damages and another for a judgment that it did not violate its Dodge agreement by signing the GM contract. Among the arguments are improper jury instructions and issues dealing with the way Dodge compiled its amount of damages. If Judge George Caram Steeh upholds the verdict, BDR has announced plans to appeal. (NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-2-2006)
  • #06 Penalties announced: NASCAR announced today that three penalties have been issued to the #06 Truck Series Chevrolet team as a result of rules violations this last week at California Speedway. The penalties were assessed due to the use of an unapproved carburetor main body modification, a violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q 20B-5.10.1B(1) (truck, truck parts, components and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rule Book. Crew chief Bryan Berry was fined $5,000; driver Chad McCumbee was penalized with the loss of 25 driver championship points; and truck owner David Malcolmson was penalized 25 owner championship points. This rule violation was discovered during opening day inspection for the Racetickets.com 200.(NASCAR PR)(3-2-2006)
  • Ragan to debut at Martinsville: Ragan will get his chance to drive the #6 Scotts Ford beginning with the April 1 event at Martinsville Speedway. It will be his first start at the half-mile track, although he does have some experience there, when he competed in Roush Racing: Driver X. While Mark Martin was in the seat the first two events, David’s been at the track working with his new team, and soaking up what he can from Martin’s experiences on the track. “Getting to co-drive a truck with Mark Martin, that’s a deal I think anyone would love to have,” said Ragan. While Ragan has competed in 10 Truck Series races, he is approaching 2006 as if it was his rookie season. “This year is like a whole new deal for me. I know I’ve got the best equipment out there and the strength of a great crew. I didn’t have that when I first came to this series, so it’s going to be a very different situation this time around,” said Ragan.(Roush Racing PR)(3-2-2006)
  • Jobs: #59 Truck team looking for pit crew members; Softball League is looking for help; Petty Enterprises Fabricators; #61 Team Looking for pit workers, #00 looking for shop foreman, more info on my Racing Schools/Jobs page.
  • John Deere to sponsor Atlanta race: Atlanta Motor Speedway officials have announced that John Deere, the world’s leading manufacturer of agricultural, consumer and commercial turf care and forestry equipment, will sponsor the speedway’s Friday night March 17 Truck Series race. The race, which will be held during the March 17-19 Golden Corral 500 weekend, will be officially known as the John Deere 200.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(3-1-2006)

 


2006

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Born On Date: March 1, 2006

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