May 2003 Truck Series Archive
- Leffler wins at Dover: #2-Jason Leffler, in his first race with new crew chief Dennis Connor, won his first Truck Series race [after 29 tries and six 2nd place finishes] at Dover International Speedway. Leffler is the 40th different winner in the series history. #4-Bobby Hamilton was 2nd, followed by #75-David Starr, #50-Jon Wood and #16-Travis Kvapil.
Results at Truckseries.com, MotorsportsOne and NASCAR.com.(5-30-2003)
- Qualifying Rained out at Dover: Rain on Thursday washed out qualifying for Friday’s NASCAR Truck series MBNA Armed Forces Family 200 at Dover International Speedway, putting points leader #4-Bobby Hamilton on the pole. #14-Rick Crawford, second in points, will start alongside Hamilton on the front row. #1-Ted Musgrave will have the third starting spot. #62-Brendan Gaughan will start fourth and #16-Travis Kvapil fifth. TV coverage is on Speed Channel starting at 4:30pm/et on Friday.
For starting lineup see: Truck Series or NASCAR.com.(5-29-2003)
- Connor to Dodge in the CTS? UPDATE hearing former #0-Jack Sprague crew chief, Dennis Connor has been hired by Ultra Motorsports to be the crew chief for Jason Leffler and the #2 Team ASE Dodge Truck Series team.(5-27-2003)
UPDATE: Dennis Connor has been hired as crew chief for the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge. Connor will begin working with the Ultra Motorsports NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team and driver Jason Leffler immediately. Ultra Motorsports General Manager Tim Kohuth had been serving as Leffler’s crew chief since Daytona but will relinquish the role to concentrate on his duties as general manager. onnor, 51, is a longtime NASCAR top gun who has successfully guided the fortunes of several drivers during his career. The Sylva, NC native guided Jack Sprague to three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships (1997,1999 and 2001), two runner-up points finishes (1996 & 1998), 23 victories and 20 pole positions. Away from the racetrack, Connor resides in Davidson, NC with his wife, Brenda Gail.(Ultra Motorsports PR)(5-29-2003)
- Roush Teams Looking for sponsors: The Roush Racing NASCAR Craftsman Truck teams head to Dover International Speedway this weekend with the future of the program up in the air unless sponsorship can be found. #50-Jon Wood and #99-Carl Edwards are going into the sixth race of the season 10th and 12th in the point standings, respectively. Edwards is currently leading the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year point standings.(NASCAR.com)(5-28-2003)
- Students to Learn Aspects of the Motorsports Industry on May 30 at Dover International Speedway Bring-a-child-to-work day will take on a whole new look at the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway Friday, May 30. Craftsman Motorsports, in conjunction with NASCAR and Dover International Speedway, will sponsor “Urban Youth Racing School Day at the Races.” Fourteen students of the Urban Youth Racing School in Philadelphia will get a special behind-the-scenes look at the motorsports industry. The Urban Youth Racing School 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. In 2002, 78 urban boys and girls successfully completed the 10-week motorsports orientation and training programs.
From turning wrenches on a NASCAR Craftsman Truck to enforcing rules as a NASCAR official to generating awareness for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, these students will get a first-hand look at the talented people who have driven NASCAR to become the No. 1 spectator sport in the country. The Urban Youth Racing School students will have a full day, beginning with a stop at the Sears and Sears Auto Center in Dover to learn about automotive technology careers. Following a visit at the store, the students will travel to the race track where they will spend the morning before the race talking with and learning a specific motorsports job from an assigned mentor.
Mentors will include NASCAR officials, public relations and marketing representatives and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers and crew chiefs. Featured drivers and teams will include Bill Lester (No. 8 Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge), Tina Gordon (No. 31 Brevak Racing Dodge), Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Orleans Racing Dodge) and Terry Cook (No. 29 K-Automotive Motorsports Ford).
“I’ve supported the Urban Youth Racing School for several years now, and I think what they do is vital to the diversity movement within NASCAR racing,” Lester said. “I think it’s great that our team is going to have one of the students with us during the weekend. It should be a lot of fun for him or her, and it will give our guys a chance to talk to someone about what they do for a living and how they got involved in racing.”
The students also will be part of the driver/crew chief meeting and driver introductions for the MBNA America 200.
“Events like these are the most important for the kids in our school because they get a hands-on look at what happens on race day,” said Anthony Martin, executive director of the Urban Youth Racing School. “To have the opportunity to spend time with drivers, crew members, NASCAR officials and Sears Craftsman executives, the title sponsors for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, is really fantastic for these kids. A lot of these kids dream about this, so to actually be involved for a day and see what goes on means a whole lot to them and the school”
In addition to the students who will learn about the motorsports industry in the garage, other Urban Youth Racing School students will enjoy the MBNA America 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race from the grandstand that Friday.
More info about the Urban Youth Racing School at www.urbanyouthracingschool.com.(PR)(5-28-2003)
- Congrats: Jennifer and Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 16 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, welcomed a son into the world on Thursday. Carson Wade Kvapil was born at 4:48 p.m., weighing 8 lbs., 2 oz. and he is 20 inches long. Carson joins older sister Kelsey (six years old) in the Kvapil family. Photos of Carson with his sister and a proud father can be found at www.TravisKvapil.com.(5-23-2003)
- NASCAR Announces Amendment to Air Dam Rule: NASCAR announced today an amendment of the rule governing the measurement of 2001-2002 and 2003 Chevrolet truck front air dams in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, effective May 28. The rule, 20B“3.1.1, covers the leading edge of the air dam “ or kick-out “ as it extends forward of the front bumper. Chevrolets from the 2001-2002 model year may not extend more than two inches forward of the leading edge of the bumper while the 2003 Chevrolet may measure no more than 2½ inches. The previous measurements were three inches for the 2001-2002 model year and 1½ inches for the 2003 model.(NASCAR PR)(5-22-2003)
- Crew Chief Fined: NASCAR officials announced today that Gary R. Showalter, crew chief of the #15 Truck Series team, has been fined $250 due to a rule infraction discovered last week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, prior to the Hardee’s 200. During the event’s initial inspection process, the #15 Ford was found to have an unapproved fuel filter check valve assembly. That was a violation of Section 12-4-Q in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book (parts and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules) and Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing).(NASCAR PR)(5-22-2003)
- Drivers to visit DAFB: As many as 15 drivers from the Craftsman Truck Series will be at Dover Air Force Base next Thursday for a special autograph session for military families from 7:00-8:00pm/et. It is part of the MBNA Armed Forces Family NASCAR race weekend at Dover International Speedway next week. The Craftsman Truck Series will race at Dover next Friday. “This is an opportunity for us to spend a little time with the families of the troops that are out there fighting for our freedom,” said Bill Lester, driver of the No. 8 Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge Ram. “I guess in a very small way, this is how we can thank them for everything they are doing and have done for our country.” Following the autograph session, the drivers will be treated to a tour of a C-5 Galaxy aircraft, the largest cargo airplane that the Air Force flies. A Galaxy could carry the entire 36-truck NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series field from track to track.(Delaware News Journal)(5-22-2003)
- Houston leaves Ballew? UPDATE: hearing Andy Houston has left the $9/#15 Billy Ballew racing team and that several employees were let go.(5-20-2003)
UPDATE: Billy Ballew’s Statement Concerning Andy Houston:
“Unfortunately for all us, Billy Ballew Motorsports and Andy Houston have parted ways. I want to make it perfectly clear to everyone that the only reason Andy and I are splitting is because of economic reasons certainly not performance related concerns. Andy Houston is an outstanding person and a terrific driver. If there were any economic way for me to keep him at Billy Ballew Motorsports I would do so. We currently have some potential sponsor opportunities with Rich Bickle that we are ardently pursuing so that we can keep this team operating at the level it needs to be to remain competitive in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. At this point we will focus our energy on one truck, the No. 15, with Rich behind the wheel. We do not have the funding necessary to operate two teams at this time. If we did Andy Houston would still be with this organization. I wish Andy the very best as he pursues other driving opportunities and I would highly recommend him to any NASCAR owner looking to fill a driver opening. This is one of the more difficult things that I have had to do in my racing career but it is just a reflection of the current economic climate in Motorsports.”(PR)(5-22-2003)
- To the Truck: A last-lap wreck in Friday night’s Truck Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway involving five teams brought some visits to the series hauler from several drivers. Pole-winner #8-Bill Lester was summoned to the hauler to meet with series director Wayne Auton. Lester was involved in the last-lap wreck, as well as two other incidents earlier in the race. #31-Tina Gordon, also caught up in the last-lap incident, went to the hauler to discuss Lester’s involvement in the wreck. NASCAR spokesman Owen Kearns said no penalties were expected from the incident.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-18-2003)
- Open Wheeler to run Trucks UPDATE: Another open wheel driver is announcing a move into stock car racing. 1999 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Robby McGehee is expected to announce a Truck Series affiliation for the remainder of 2003 on Saturday afternoon at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(FoxSports)(5-15-2003)
UPDATE: Robby McGehee, the 1999 Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year and a four-year veteran of the Indy Racing League, will be named today as the driver for a new team in the Truck Series. McGehee, 29, is expected to make his truck debut June 21 in Memphis, TN. “I’m looking forward to trying something different,” said McGehee, who lives in Chesterfield. “I know I have a lot to learn. Humble is the best way to describe how I feel going into this.” McGehee’s career has been rooted in open-wheel racing. He has never driven a truck or a stock car in competition. “The first thing I want to do is go to a stock-car school,” he said. Then, the team – Travel Club Motorsports – will do extensive testing “until I’m comfortable,” he said. The team plans to participate in 10 races this year, including the Ram Tough 200 on July 19 at Gateway International Raceway, this year, then run the full truck series schedule next year, McGehee said. “A lot of the skills I learned racing in the IRL the last four years certainly will help,” McGehee said. “If you’re a driver, you know how to drive. … This is a new project for me, and I’m looking forward to it very much.”(St Louis Post-Dispatch)(5-17-2003)
- Robinson and all women crew to run three races: Two additional races have been added to the schedule for driver Shawna Robinson and the Aaron’s Dream Team, the first all-female team to compete in a NASCAR touring series. In addition to the previously announced June 6 O’Reilly 400k NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, the team will enter the Oct. 11 Silverado 350k at Texas and the Sept. 27 Las Vegas 350k at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Aaron’s Dream Team presented by Texas Motor Speedway is owned by Team Texas High Performance Driving School with owner Mike Starr serving as crew chief. The seven members of the pit crew and one alternate, who were recruited through fitness facilities from the Fort Worth-Dallas area, say they are up to the challenge. Tickets are available for the Las Vegas 350 by calling (800) 644-4444 or go online to www.lvms.com. Tickets are available for the O’Reilly 400 and Silverado 350k at Texas Motor Speedway by calling the speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or going online to www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(see next story for past news and image)(5-16-2003)
- Musgrave wins at Charlotte: #1-Ted Musgrave won the Hardee’s 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, his 11th career Truck Series win. The rest of the top five were #62-Brendan Gaughan, #14-Rick Crawford, #16-Travis Kvapil and #6-Kevin Harvick.(see full story at ThatsRacin.com)
See results at: ThatsRacin.com, MotorsportsOne, NASCAR.com, Truckseries.com.(5-16-2002)
- Lester wins first pole at Charlotte: #8-Bill Lester became just the second African American to win a pole in a major NASCAR series – and the first since 1962 – turning a lap at 175.593mph Thursday night to claim the top starting position for Friday night’s Hardee’s 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The late Wendell Scott was the last African American to win a pole, qualifying first in a Grand National (now Winston Cup) race at Savannah, Ga., on July 20, 1962. On the outside pole was #2-Jason Leffler at 175.530, followed by #6-Kevin Harvick, #50-Jon Wood and #4-Bobby Hamilton. Two drivers missed the race: #93-Michael Dokken and #23-Phil Bonifield.(see a story at ThatsRacin.com)
For qualifying results/lineups at ThatsRacin.com, Truckseries.com and NASCAR.com.(5-15-2003)
- Shawna in a truck? UPDATE 4 yep, Aaron’s to sponsor and – also three races including Vegas and a Image… Shawna Robinson will drive the #49 Team Texas truck at TMS in June if testing goes well (see story below)(4-22-2003)
UPDATE: hearing the sponsor of the truck will be Aaron’s with Shawna driving the Aaron’s Dream Machine with……a pit crew that will be made up entirely of women. They are in the process of training and practicing to get ready for the event.(4-23-2003)
UPDATE 2: Seven Dallas-area women will make history at Texas Motor Speedway by competing against men in the pits of a NASCAR race. An all-female pit crew will work with driver Shawna Robinson in the O’Reilly 400. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at TMS on June 6. It will be the first time an all-female pit crew has gone over the wall in a major NASCAR event. Aaron’s Sales and Leasing has agreed to sponsor the truck that is owned by Team Texas president Mike Starr. Team Texas is one of the driving schools at TMS, and TMS officials are behind the plan to debut the all-female team. “This idea came up a long time ago,” TMS general manager Eddie Gossage said. “Then we saw all the attention Annika was getting about playing at Colonial, so we wanted to make this happen, but we didn’t want this just to be a token female team. We wanted the women to be able to work a competitive pit stop in the same time frame the guys do it.” A formal announcement was planned for May 16 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. Mark Stafford, TMS director of sales, and Kenton Nelson, TMS assistant GM, came up with the idea of an all-female pit crew. An agency was hired to find potential candidates. “They began going to fitness clubs in the area and talking to women who were interested,” Gossage said. “They wanted women who were physically fit and also women who were competitive.”
Of the 20 women initially selected, only two walked away when told how demanding pit work is and that they should expect to hear whistles and catcalls from spectators. The seven women chosen have been practicing pit stops the last few weeks. An all-female pit crew competed in a few Automobile Racing Club of America events several years ago, but it never has happened in NASCAR. Each of the women has to pay a licensing fee to NASCAR to be certified to work in the pits. Starr hopes the women can perform a 16-second pit stop, which would be a couple of seconds slower than those by the top Winston Cup teams. “The jack is the toughest job for them,” Gossage said. “I’m a big guy, but I can put all my weight on that thing and hardly move it. You have to be really strong. One of the women is doing a good job with it.” Gossage admits all seven of the women are attractive and in their 20s. The women will be flown to Charlotte for the official announcement in May.
They also will make appearances, with show cars, in Dallas-Fort Worth in the weeks before the race. TMS and Aaron’s plan to make T-shirts and posters with Robinson and the pit crew.
The women plan to practice at TMS at least twice a week for several hours each day over the next six weeks. They met Robinson for the first time Monday when she came to Fort Worth to test in the truck. “Shawna was skeptical about this idea until she met the women we selected and talked to them,” Gossage said. “Then she went out and ran a lap that would have put her on the front row here last year.” Robinson and her crew will have a Chevrolet truck that is capable of running up front in the race. Irving’s David Starr, the nephew of the truck owner, drove the truck to a third-place finish at TMS in 2001. Robinson, 38, raced in Winston Cup last season and is one of the respected women in auto racing. Last year she was the first woman to race in the Daytona 500 since Janet Guthrie in 1980.
The seven women who will work as the pit crew for driver Shawna Robinson in the O’Reilly 400 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6:
Ann Pratt (Fort Worth)— BA in finance, body fitness competitor
Sue Webb (Carrollton)— Fitness trainer, married mom
Gina Tomaseski (Prosper) — Model, fitness spokeswoman, married mom
Shanda Bronston (Garland) — Talent agency owner, competitive runner
Geri Parris (Plano) — Student at Collin County CC
Alaenda Grable (Dallas) — Student at North Texas
Gail Stracener (Plano) — Fitness trainer
UPDATE 3: The first all female pit crew to compete in a NASCAR event is hard at work practicing their pit stop duties for the June 6 O’Reilly 400k Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The Aaron’s Dream Team presented by Texas Motor Speedway will be crewing at Texas for driver Shawna Robinson, who will drive the #49 truck sponsored by Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership. The seven members of the pit crew were recruited through local fitness facilities and are all from the Fort Worth-Dallas area. Their backgrounds and personal histories run the gamut. Their ages range from early twenties to thirties; three are married or engaged – four single; three are moms; two are full-time students; three work full-time in the fitness business; and one is a senior financial analyst working on her masters degree in Technology Management. The truck is prepared by Team Texas High Performance Driving School, and owner Mike Starr will serve as crew chief for the team. It’s the same truck that won the fall Truck Series race at Texas in 2000 when it was driven by Bryan Reffner for Team Menard Racing. Starr purchased the truck from John Menard and nephew David Starr drove it to a third place finish at Texas in June 2001 and a fourth place finish in October that same year. Robinson tested in the truck at Texas April 21-22 and ran speeds that would have qualified her on the front row of Sept. 2002 race at Texas.(TMS PR)(5-9-2003)
UPDATE 4: Robinson and the all women crew will also run at Las Vegas and ine other race, ‘official’ announcement will be made at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Friday, May 16th.(5-16-2003)
- Sockwell’s truck to feature missing child AND: America’s Most Wanted/Body Dynamics Racing along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Lowdermilk Electric and TDS will adorn the #54 Craftsmen Truck of Brian Sockwell in the Hardee’s 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Friday May 16, 2003. They will be feature missing child Tabitha Tuders, who is considered endangered missing from Nashville, TN and went missing on April 29, 2003.(Body Dynamics Racing PR)(5-15-2003)
AND Scott Davis of America’s Most Wanted Motorsports had the opportunity to talk with Gov. Mike Easley at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Thursday about the scope of the AMW motorsports program. Governor Easley and board members of the NCMA (North Carolina Motorsports Association) were at the Speedway addressing the media on the importance of motorsports to our State. œWe had a nice conversation about his visit to the Speedway and we discussed how our team is utilizing NASCAR motorsports to assist in the recovery of missing children, said Davis, œHe was very supportive of our campaign and what we are doing for these children and their families and was very complimentary to John Walsh on all his great works and he mentioned he watches the show regularly. The AMW team is still searching for primary sponsorship and this Friday night they will be featured on the #54 Craftsmen Truck of Brian Sockwell.(Body Dynamics Racing PR)(5-16-2003)
- Total Race Babe Joins Tina Gordon For A Ride: Total Race Babe Inc., is happy to announce thier association with Tina Gordon and Brevak Racing. Total Race Babe, a manufacturer of apparel for female race fans, will be on the hood of the #31 Dodge for the Hardee’s 200 this Friday night at Lowes Motor Speedway. Then Total Race Babe will be an associate sponsor for the next two races at Dover and Texas. David Mitchell of Total Race Babe said ” We are very excited to be associated with Tina and Brevak Racing. We feel that we are part of history, with Tina being the first woman to drive in a truck race at Lowes Motor Speedway. We have also teamed up with Pearson Motorsports to handle our apparel line at all racing venues and hope to provide Tina with a merchandise trailer for all her fans to come for autograph sessions and to buy her merchandise.” Total Race Babe will also team up with Hawk Sports Management in sponsoring Angie Wilson the following night in the Goody’s Dash race. For more information go to www.totalracebabe.com. www.tinagordon.com, www.brevakracing.com, www.angiewilsonracing.com, and www.hawk-sports.com.(PR)(5-15-2003)
- Hooper to run Lowe’s Truck Race UPDATE: Lance Hooper rolled out the #01 Fans Motorsports Chevy at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the open testing session. The team will be attempting its first race next weekend at Lowe’s in the Hardee’s 200. Hooper has competed in Winston Cup, Busch and ARCA events. Lucas Oil has signed on as the teams primary sponsor for Lowe’s race. For more information on the team visit their website www.fansmotorsports.com.(FM PR)(5-8-2003)
UPDATE: Lance Hooper will be fielding his own truck at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this week. Hooper, who has turned in top twenty championship finishes for the last two years in the CTS, will be sponsored by Lucas Oil. “It is amazing when you consider we have had a partnership with Lucas Oil that goes back six years. You can’t find too many drivers with that kind of long term sponsor relationship. They have been a faithful supporter”, Hooper stated. “Having my own outfit backed by such loyal sponsors as Lucas Oil, Fan Motorsports, Roger Smith, Richard Jackson, Speedwaymedia.com, and Jerry Camera has the potential for great success. In addition, Charlotte is one of my favorite tracks. I made some great runs here in BGN and ARCA.” VP of Lucas Oil, Bob Patison, voiced similar confidence that the #01 truck driven by Hooper has the potential to make a good run at Charlotte. “We are glad to support Lance. The fact we are entering our sixth year as a sponsor for him, speaks to our belief in his abilities. We believe with the right support and equipment, he can succeed.”(5-15-2003)
- Ronnie Hornaday to drive the #63 at Lowe’s: MB Motorsports and marketing partners, Summer Bay Resort and Dave Porter Truck Sales have for the second time this year called upon Ronnie Hornaday III to drive the #63 Ford Truck. Ronnie III piloted the #63 Truck at Daytona; finishing 27th after a clutch gave up late in the 100-lap race.(PR)(5-15-2003)
- Jamie Aube To Drive for Team Racing At Lowe’s Motor Speedway: Team Racing announced today the hire of Jamie Aube to drive the #25 Chevy Silverado at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Friday’s Hardee’s 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. The signing of Aube will include primary sponsorship by Alpha Canvas and Awning for a one-race agreement. Alpha Canvas and Awning had recently signed as associate sponsor on the #’s 23, 25 and 86 Chevy’s of Team Racing. “It’s always exciting to get involved in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series,” said Aube, a three-time NASCAR Busch North Series Champion. “Charlotte is an awesome racetrack. To drive in one of these trucks is good and a lot of fun. There are good competitors in this series. My goal is to stay out of trouble and in one piece. I am looking forward to the race.” Aube tested with Team Racing last week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and turned an unofficial lap of 164.134mph. The North Ferrisburg, Vt. native has competed in several Busch Series events from 1990 through 1998.(Team Racing PR)(5-14-2003)
- The Navy as a Sponsor in Cup/Busch? UPDATE ;eaves the #50 team: hearing the U.S. Navy will sponsor a Winston Cup team in some capacity and an announcement will come soon. The Navy sponsors Jon Wood in the #50 Roush Racing Ford in the Truck Series.(5-13-2003)
UPDATE: Roush Racing announced today that the U.S. Navy will not continue its sponsorship of driver Jon Wood and the #50 Truck Series team. “We are extremely disappointed that the Navy elected to withdraw from the Craftsman Truck Series in the middle of the year,” said Jon Wood. “Our team has really jelled this year, and I hope that someone will step in to help keep us going.”
“The Navy, through General Motors’ lead agency, Campbell-Ewald, submitted bid criteria to us only two weeks ago, that had no chance of being fulfilled by the Jon Wood’s Craftsman Truck team,” said John Miller, director of sponsor development for Roush Racing. “The criteria were clearly targeted to allow the winning bidder to be only by a Winston Cup or Busch team.”(Roush Racing), looks like maybe a GM Cup or Busch team?(5-13-2003)
- #88 New Name and an addition: the #88 Menards/Enzyme Magic Chevy team, owned by Duke and Rhonda Thorson, which has operated as SealMaster Racing since it was founded in 1996 has changed to ThorSport, effective immediately. “We’ve felt for some time that we needed to create a new identity,” Duke Thorson said.. “The SealMaster name is something that we need to reserve for our pavement maintenance products company. The race team and the pavement company aren’t the same.. As long as they had the same name, we never could make it clear that they were separate.. By creating ThorSport, we can make that distinction more clear.” When ThorSport returns to action this week, it will do so with a new face in management. Dave Fuge Jr. has joined the group as a consultant.. Fuge Jr. comes to ThorSport after a successful stint with Xpress Motorsports, the team which won the 2002 NASCAR Truck Series championship. “We’re delighted to have Dave Fuge Jr. join ThorSport,” Thorson said.. “He’s a winner, a guy we think can help us improve ourselves on the race track immediately.” Matt Crafton, currently 15th in the series point standings, continues as the driver of the #88 Chevy. Jerry Cook remains as the crew chief.(Team PR)(5-13-2003)
- Mayfield to run a Truck? UPDATE: Among the quickest of the more than 30 Truck Series teams testing Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway was surprise visitor and Winston Cup veteran Jeremy Mayfield, who joined Ted Musgrave and Jason Leffler in a trio of Ultra Motorsports Dodges. The same #7 Mayfield piloted was driven by Stuart Kirby on Tuesday and, at this point, there has been no announcement of who will actually be in the seat for the May 16 Hardee’s 200.(Lowes Motor Speedway PR)(5-8-2003)
UPDATE – Mayfield to drive truck at Charlotte: Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith announced that Jeremy Mayfield will drive the team’s third Dodge Ram entry in the inaugural Truck Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this Friday night. Mayfield tested the #7 Dodge for Ultra Motorsports last week at the 1.5-mile speedway. Jimmy Spencer, who drives Smith’s #7 Winston Cup Dodge Intrepid, was scheduled to drive, but soreness in his ribs from a hard crash at Richmond International Raceway two weeks ago prevented him from testing the truck last week. Mayfield will be driving the #7 American Tire Distributors Dodge, the third truck in an elite lineup of Ultra Motorsports entries. Friday night’s Hardee’s 200 is slated to start at 8:30pm/et and will be televised live on SPEED.(Golin Harris PR)(5-12-2003)
- Special Scheme for Gaughan at Lowe’s: Saluting association sponsor American Racing Wheels, the #62 Orleans Racing Dodge and driver Brendan Gaughan will showcase a special paint scheme for the race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “This will definitely be an important race for me,” adds Gaughan with a smile. “American Racing Wheels has been a sponsor of mine for the past 15 years and it is with great pleasure that we fly their colors at the Hardee’s 200. Nothing would please me more than to take the Checkered Flag for them.”(PR)(5-12-2003)
- Driver swap within team, for Charlotte: In order to find the most competitive combination in his stable, longtime Truck Series owner Billy Ballew has made sweeping changes to his organization placing Rich Bickle in the #15 FASSCORE Marketing/Vokal Clothing Ford and moving Andy Houston to the #9 Spondivits Bar and Grill Ford for the Hardee’s 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this Friday. Veteran NCTS crew chief Gary Showalter will team with Bickle and NASCAR Busch series veteran crew chief Tommy Morgan will join forces with Houston. “We are going to find out which of our combinations of drivers and crew chiefs is fastest,” Ballew said. “As competitive as this series has become you have to keep pushing the envelope and that is what we are going to do. Andy has done a great job in the 15 truck and Rich did a super job at Martinsville in the 9 truck. We thought if we tried some other combinations we might get even better.”(PR)(5-12-2003)
- Special Paint for Leffler: In commemoration of Team ASE’s ninth consecutive season of Truck Series competition, #2-Jason Leffler’s ride will sport a unique silver paint scheme at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the inaugural truck race, and Action Performance will produce a 1/24th scale die cast collectible that will be available at CARQUEST Auto Parts later this summer. Team ASE is the longest continuing team sponsor in the Truck Series division.(PR), see the scheme on my Truck Series Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-12-2003)
- Rose Suspended UPDATE 3 Appeal Denied: NASCAR Craftsman Truck series driver Brian Rose has been informed by NASCAR officials that he has been indefinitely suspended from the series, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Rose has been suspended for “actions detrimental to stock car racing” and a formal announcement regarding his suspension is expected to be made Monday. Rose’s suspension does not come as a result of actions during a race or on the track, but NASCAR officials are unlikely to be more specific about the cause, sources said Saturday. Rose has started in two of the series’ four races in 2003. He finished 14th at Darlington, S.C., and 24th at the most recent race at Martinsville, Va. He competed in 21 races in 2002 with one top-five and five top-10 finishes while driving for Bobby Hamilton Racing. He made his series debut in 2001.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-26-2003)
UPDATE: NASCAR officials announced today that NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Brian C. Rose has been suspended indefinitely for actions detrimental to stock car racing (Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rule Book).(NASCAR PR), no idea why he was suspended, meaning the details.(4-28-2003)
UPDATE 2: Brian Rose tells this week’s NASCAR Winston Cup Scene that he is working to resolve the issues surrounding his indefinite suspension by NASCAR so he can return to competition. While NASCAR did not specify the reasons for its actions, the 23-year-old driver told Scene he was suspended for not following NASCAR’s instructions on taking a drug test. “I was told to go to a specific location by NASCAR,” Rose said. “I went across from that location and checked into an emergency hospital when I should have remained at the designated location. I should have paid more specific attention and detail to what NASCAR told me to do. It was my own fault I didn’t follow specific procedures.” He said all of the tests were negative.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-30-2003)
UPDATE 3: On May 9, 2003, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Brian Rose. The penalty did not stem from a racing competition, but instead from a clinical laboratory test the Appellant was directed to take by NASCAR in accordance with NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy. The penalty imposed by NASCAR was indefinite suspension. During the Hearing, the Appellant admitted that he failed to properly comply with the testing procedures set forth in the Substance Abuse Policy. NASCAR, at its discretion, may wish to schedule another substance abuse test for the Appellant at some future time, as well as any additional requirements to assure compliance with NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy. However, the Commission finds that NASCAR acted correctly in imposing an indefinite suspension in light of the facts. It is therefore the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalty assessed by NASCAR. The Appellant has the right, under Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book, to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(5-9-2003)
- no speeds reported from Wednesday testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway…(5-8-2003)
- Busch Cars and Trucks? Cats and Dogs? With rain on both Monday and Tuesday shuffling the schedule, the Busch Series cars, preparing for the May 24 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, and the Truck Series machines, testing for the inaugural Hardee’s 200 on May 16, shared the 1.5-mile superspeedway from 8:30am until rain ended the session 30 minutes early at 9:30pm. According to those in the garage area, it was the first time since the truck series debuted in 1995 that the pickups had shared a race track with the cars. “It was a really neat experience,” said David Starr, driver of the #75 Spears Manufacturing Chevy truck. “The cars were obviously much faster and I really had to watch my mirror and rely on my spotter in order to give them the right of way. We gave each other room and it worked really well after we got the hang of it. It was a cool situation and I would like to thank Lowe’s Motor Speedway because it gave drivers in both series more track time and considering the weather the last two days we all really needed it.”(LMS PR)(5-8-2003)
- New #16 Crew Chief: Chris Showalter, 29, has been promoted to the position of crew chief for the #16 IWX Motor Freight Chevy Truck Series team with driver Travis Kvapil. Showalter, a native of Amherst, Ohio, was the car chief for the 2002 series championship team. He takes over for Dave Fuge Jr., who has left to pursuit other opportunities. “Chris was very critical in our championship last season,” said Dave Fuge Sr., team manager. “He has contributed so much to our team as far as his technical knowledge and also his leadership skills. He will be a very good crew chief for this team.” Showalter, who currently resides in Charlotte, takes over immediately as the team is involved with testing for the upcoming Hardee’s 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. An interesting note about Showalter is that he is one of only two people who have attended every NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event in the nine year history of the series. (The other with “perfect attendance” is Owen Kearns, Manager of Communications, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series).(PR)(5-7-2003)
- Tuesday Testing at Charlotte: Bobby Hamilton topped the speed charts Tuesday as the Truck Series teams tested at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in preparation for the inaugural Hardee’s 200 on May 16. Heavy afternoon rain cut the Truck Series test session to just three hours. It was shortly after 7:00pm/et before the 32 truck teams took to the 1.5-mile superspeedway in the first test session for the Hardee’s 200 and it was immediately evident Hamilton’s vast Winston Cup experience would pay dividends. Driving his #4 Dodge, Hamilton recorded a lap of 31.403 seconds, 171.958 mph, on the unofficial watches in the truck series’ first official activity at the track. Another veteran, Ken Schrader was second fastest at 170.875 mph in the #52 Chevrolet while young Jon Wood was third at 169.795 in the #50 Ford. Brendan Gaughan (169.758) and Rick Crawford (169.412) rounded out the top five. Two minor incidents interrupted the truck session. The first came when Bill Lester blew an engine and the other was to remove Tina Gordon’s stalled truck from the track apron. With rain limiting track time for both divisions, the remaining schedule now calls for the Busch Series cars and Craftsman Truck Series machines to run alternating sessions on Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. The trucks are then slated to continue testing until 10 p.m. The main grandstand will be open free to the public. Tickets for all May events at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, including the May 16 Hardee’s 200 and the May 24 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.
The unofficial top-10 speeds, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:
#4-Bobby Hamilton, 171.958
#52-Ken Schrader, 170.875
#50-Jon Wood, 169.795
#62-Brendan Gaughan, 169.758
#14-Rick Crawford, 169.412
#1-Ted Musgrave, 169.380
#6-Kevin Harvick, 169.263
#16-Travis Kvapil, 169.173
#2-Jason Leffler, 169.078
#46-Dennis Setzer, 168.676.(LMS PR)(5-7-2003)
- Team Racing Inks Alpha Canvas and Awning As Associate Sponsor: Team Racing announced today the signing of Alpha Canvas and Awning, Race Products Division for the remainder of the 2003 Truck Series season. The Charlotte, N.C.-based business will be an associate sponsor on Team Racing’s three race trucks [#’s 23, 25 and 86] starting in the Hardee’s 200 at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 16, 2003.(Team Racing PR)(5-7-2003)
- Biffle to run Truck race UPDATE 2 deal squashed: Winston Cup rookie and former NASCAR Truck series champion Greg Biffle has entered the inaugural Truck race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Biffle, the 2000 series champion, will drive the #7 Dodge for Ultra Motorsports, which fields Dodges for #1-Ted Musgrave and #7-Jason Leffler. Biffle, 33, is expected at the speedway Tuesday and Wednesday for an open test in preparation for the May 16 Hardee’s 250, sources said. Biffle’s last appearance in the series came in November 2001, when he won the race at Phoenix driving the #99 Ford for Roush Racing. He now drives the #16 Ford for Roush in Winston Cup. In 80 career Truck starts, Biffle has 16 wins, 12 poles, 42 top-five and 53 top-10 finishes.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-5-2003)
UPDATE: Greg Biffle’s one-race deal to run the inaugural Truck series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway has come to an abrupt end. Unforeseen sponsor conflicts will prevent Biffle from driving the #7 Dodge for Ultra Motorsports in the May 16 Hardee’s 200, team officials confirmed Tuesday.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-6-2003)
WHY? Roush Racing’s Greg Biffle had agreed, and it had been announced, on Tuesday that he would drive the #7 Ultra Motorsports Dodge in the upcoming Hardees 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 16. Later in the day, Roush Racing announced that Biffle would not be racing in the inaugural Craftsman Truck event in Charlotte, citing sponsor conflicts. Ford Racing confirmed last night that the Dearborn-based automaker surfaced the concerns that resulted in the turnabout.(Ford Racing)(5-7-2003)
- New Driver for the #63 at Charlotte: Blake Mallory, a 23-year old World of Outlaws driver, will pilot the #63 Summer Bay Resort.com/Dave Porter Truck Sales Ford during testing May 6 & 7th and the May 16th race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Mallory, over the past 7 years, has shown his versatility by running races in the World of Outlaws, IMCA Dirt Sprint cars, Legend cars, IMCA Modifieds, and the American Truck Race Series, accumulating 36 feature wins. In 2002, Blake competed in the Truck Series at IRP and Phoenix, finishing 21st and 27th respectively.(Catchfence)(5-6-2003)
- Rain Postpones Testing: Rain has postponed the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series test scheduled for today (Monday) at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Drivers and teams are now slated to test for the May 16 Hardee’s 200 on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Testing begins at 3:00pm and continues until 10:00pm both nights.(LMS PR)(5-5-2003)
- #87 Names Crew Chief: Burr Motorsports has named Danny Glautz as Crew Chief for the #187 Craftsman Truck Sponsored by National Peening. Glautz has worked with NASCAR’s Technical and Safety Center as well as various race teams including Jimmy Spencer’s Busch team. “We are excited to have Danny on board at Burr Motorsports as Crew Chief and look forward to putting his expertise to work with our truck team” reports Jim Burr, team owner.” Burr Motorsports plans to enter the Hardee’s 200 Craftsman Truck Series Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 16. The last entry at Martinsville ended with a 33 place qualifying speed which failed to qualify by one spot. “As disappointing as it was to miss the race by such a small margin, we were pleased with the progress made after arriving in Martinsville with a new truck, new team and no practice. Heading into Charlotte we will be better prepared and look forward to successfully qualifying for the Hardee’s 200”, said Jim Burr. More info www.burrmotorsports.com.(5-1-2003)
Born On Date: May 13, 2003
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