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May 2007 Truck Series News Archive


 

  • Winners of a race in Cup, Busch and Truck Series races: see my Misc Stats page for this and many others.

  • Double-duty for Martin at Dover: In addition to the Cup race, Mark Martin will once again be behind the wheel of the #21 Bush’s Baked Beans Ford for the AAA Insurance 200 at Dover. The one-mile oval at Dover is one of Martin’s favorite tracks. He has one Craftsman Truck Series win there, as well as one in the Busch Series and four in the Nextel Cup Series.(Wood Bros./JTG Racing PR)(5-31-2007)
  • Lagasse returns to series in the #16-Ford: Entry list for the AAA Insurance 200 at Dover Int’l Speedway shows Scott Lagasse as the driver of the #16 Xpress Motorsports Ford[Sponsor TBA].(5-31-2007)
  • Showalter reaches milestone – 300th race: When Chris Showalter [#47-Truck Chief] first entered the Craftsman Truck Series in 1995, he never would have guessed that by 2007, he would be the only individual to have attended all 300 events in one of NASCAR’s toughest divisions. Showalter, or “Showie” as he is fondly referred to by friends and comrades in the garage area, has pretty much seen and heard it all during his 12-year tenure in the NCTS. Showalter has worked with six teams, nine drivers, and has amassed an impressive 13 victories and two NCTS Championships with drivers Mike Bliss in 2002 and Travis Kvapil in 2003. Showalter has been with his current team, Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, since the beginning of the 2006 season, and team owner David Dollar has been nothing but impressed with Showalter and his unwavering work ethic.(Morgan Dollar Motorsports PR)(5-31-2007)
  • Compton takes his turn in the #09 at Dover: Stacy Compton, who shares driving duties with Joey Clanton, will take his turn in the #09 Zaxby’s Ford at Dover in Friday afternoon’s AAA Insurance 200 at the Dover Int’l Speedway.(JTG Racing PR)(5-30-2007)
  • Lynch set to start in #63; new crew chief on board: Scott Lynch has not raced at Dover International Speedway before, but will get his chance to conquer the “Monster Mile” Friday June 1, 2007 driving the Cooper Bussmann #63 Ford Truck in the “AAA Insurance 200” Craftsman Truck race. Veteran crew chief, Tim Weiss, has been brought on board to share his knowledge and guidance. Tim has been at Dover many times and his knowledge will help our team and Scott.(MB Motorsports PR)(5-30-2007)
  • Bliss to pilot #4-Dodge for eleven races starting at Dover: Bobby Hamilton Racing along with Dodge Motorsports announces 2002 Craftsman Truck Series Champion Mike Bliss will pilot the #4 Open Joist Dodge in 11 of the remaining 18 NCTS events, all of which are in conjunction with the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Bliss will make his first start for Bobby Hamilton Racing this weekend at Dover. Bliss has 179 previous NCTS starts and visited victory lane 13 times.(Bobby Hamilton Racing PR)(5-30-2007)
  • Bristol announces test schedule: As work continues on the new concrete surface at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile, plans are in place for NASCAR tests, as well as a series of Late Model events, to take place this summer. In preparation for NASCAR’s most popular week of racing, which takes place Aug. 21-25 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the Craftsman Truck Series drivers will be the first to give the new oval a workout with a test session on Monday, July 23, followed by a Busch Series test on Tuesday, July 24.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(5-30-2007)
  • NASCAR suspends Tyler Walker indefinitely: UPDATE: Bill Davis Racing statement: Tyler Walker, a driver in the Craftsman Truck Series, has been suspended from competition indefinitely by NASCAR, for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. On May 18, Walker was found to have violated Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-E (failure to comply with the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the series rule book.(NASCAR Media)(5-29-2007)
    UPDATE: Bill Davis Racing has released the following statement in regards to the indefinite suspension from NASCAR competition for Tyler Walker. “We agree with the vigilance that NASCAR is taking in this instance,” said Bill Davis. “We also have a zero tolerance substance abuse policy at Bill Davis Racing and will take the appropriate action concerning Tyler’s future status with our company.”(Bill Davis Racing PR)(5-29-2007)
  • Raybestos Rookie News & Notes: Kevin Hamlin was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the May 26 Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Park. Hamlin scored a 10th-place finish, his first top-10 of the 2007 season. He grabbed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the first time this season. Aaron Fike leads Willie Allen by 24 points (78-54) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the June 1 AAA Insurance 200 at Dover Int’l Speedway. Fike is 10th in the Craftsman Truck Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie. He is 34 points behind ninth-place Johnny Benson and holds a two-point advantage over 11th-place Dennis Setzer. Aric Almirola was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2006 AAA Auto Insurance 200, posting a 12th-place finish.(Raybestos PR)(5-29-2007)
  • Gaughan, crew members visit with D.C. Urban Youth Racing School: Before tackling the concrete oval of Dover Int’l Speedway on June 1, Craftsman Truck Series driver Brendan Gaughan and a member of his South Point Racing team will make a pit stop at the Urban Youth Racing School (UYRS) in Washington, D.C. Gaughan, along with rear tire carrier Chris Justice, will visit with students at the UYRS-D.C. on Wednesday, May 30 at 3 p.m. at the IDEA Public Charter School, 1027 45th Street, NE, where UYRS-DC is housed. (South Point Racing PR)(5-29-2007)
  • Double duty for Gaughan – Dover/Baja 500: Brendan Gaughan [#77] will be logging both miles on track and in the air this weekend as he will pull double duty in the AAA Insurance 200 race at Dover on Friday and in the Baja 500 in Mexico on Saturday morning. This will be the third of Gaughan’s six scheduled SCORE desert races this year. Following the NCTS race on Friday afternoon, Gaughan will board his family’s plane with his mother and fellow desert racer Robby Gordon to fly to San Diego. The drivers will be picked up there and both will race in the Baja 500 on Saturday morning.(South Point Racing PR)(5-29-2007)
  • Rookie Fike to make first series start at Dover: Aaron Fike will be making his first Truck Series start at Dover in the #1 RHR Toyota. Fike has competed at Dover International Speedway three times in the Busch Series. His best finish of 17th came in 2004 while driving the #43 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Dodge for Mike Curb.(Red Horse Racing PR)(5-29-2007)
  • Matthews in the #36 again at Dover: Development driver, Ryan Matthews, is once again scheduled to pilot the #36 Bill Davis Racing Toyota in the AAA Insurance 200 at Dover Int’l Speedway.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(5-29-2007)
  • 2FatGuys to sponsor #40 at Dover: The 2FatGuys American Grill has signed on as an associate sponsor of the Key Motorsports #40 Chevrolet Silverado race truck for the running of the Craftsman Truck Series event at the Dover International Speedway on June 1. Offering a diverse menu from burgers and sandwiches to full-course meals, the 2FatGuys American Grill is located at 701 Ace Memorial Drive in Hockessin, DE.(Key Motorsports PR)(5-29-2007)
  • Bowyer back in the #2 at Dover: Clint Bowyer will pilot the #2-Camping World Chevy in Friday’s AAA Insurance 200 at the Dover Int’l Speedway. This marks Bowyer’s second race of the season in the Kevin Harvick Inc, #2 Camping World Chevy. Bowyer is scheduled to drive the #2 truck in two more races (New Hampshire and Martinsville) this season. In Bowyer’s first Truck Series start for KHI, he started in the 12th position at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway. Bowyer led 17 laps and earned a fifth-place finish.(KHI PR)(5-28-2007)
  • Sprague scores third straight runner-up finish at Mansfield: Jack Sprague’s streak of strong performances continued on Saturday at Mansfield Motorsports Park after the three-time Series’ Champion qualified the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota 11th and finished second for the third consecutive year at the 0.5-mile mid-Ohio short track. Sprague’s second-place finish helped propel him to sixth in the Craftsman Truck Series Point Standings, only 50 points behind fifth place Rick Crawford and 252 behind points leader, Mike Skinner. (Wyler Racing PR)(5-28-2007)
  • Norris to sub for McCumbee? hearing Eric Norris will sub for Chad McCumbee at Texas Motor Speedway in the #08 CLR Chevy when McCumbee runs the Nextel Cup race for Kyle Petty at Pocono Raceway. Supposedly Norris will have sponsorship from World Combat League and Barrett Enterprises.(5-27-2007)
  • Craftsman to host Urban Youth Racing School students at Dover: Five students from the Urban Youth Racing School, three from Philadelphia and two from the newly established Urban Youth Racing School in Washington, D.C., will intern with Truck Series teams during the race at Dover International Speedway June The five students will be assigned to Craftsman Truck Series teams for the day to see how a team prepares for and operates during the running of the race. Teams involved; Circle Bar Racing, Red Horse Racing & South Point Racing.(Craftsman PR)(5-25-2007)
  • Riethmeyer to debut at Mansfield: Bradley Riethmeyer will make his first-ever Truck Series start this weekend at Mansfield Motorsports Park in the #49-All American Driver Challenge Dodge. Riethmeyer has qualified 29th for the Ohio 250. Riethmeyer, a full-time college student at Texas A&M just a year ago, emerged as the Champion in the inaugural year of the All-American Driver Challenge in 2006. The All-American Driver Challenge is a driver search and competition that is geared toward fostering the best up-and-coming talent, ages 15-23, for a future career in a professional American racing series.(5-26-2007)(AADC PR)(5-26-2007)
  • Walker out of the #36 for a couple of races? UPDATE 2: Sponsor for Matthews: Hearing that Tyler Walker is sitting out a couple of races from the #36-360 OTC Toyota. Ryan Matthews is listed as the driver on the entry list for the Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Park.(5-22-2007)
    UPDATE: Bill Davis Racing announced today they will continue their driver development program with rookie driver Ryan Mathews. Mathews will be behind the wheel of the #36 Toyota Tundra starting this weekend at the Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. Matthews most recently competed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. Tyler Walker will continue to be a part of the Bill Davis Racing’s driver development program. Rockford Montgomery and its 360 OTC brand will remain a valued partner of Bill Davis Racing. They will continue to have presence in both the Nextel Cup Series as well as the Craftsman Truck Series. The company will return as the sponsor of the #36 truck at the Memphis Motorsports Park in late June with an exciting new product.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(5-22-2007)
    UPDATE 2: RaceTalkRadio.com has learned that the #36 Toyota will carry Buffalo Wild Wings as a one race sponsor in support of Ryan Mathews debut n the Craftsman Truck Series with Bill Davis Racing.(5-25-2007)
  • Smith to debut with MB Motorsports: Jack Smith, ASA Late Model veteran who boasted four wins and a potent 42% Top-10 average in ASA Late Model competition in 2006, has partnered with Foristell, Missouri’s MB Motorsports for this weekend’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ “Ohio 250” at Mansfield Motorsports Park. Smith, a native Buckeye, has collected a lot of hardware on paved short-tracks like the half-mile oval but never in the Craftsman Truck Series. Mittler’s Cooper Bussmann/Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool/Dave Porter Truck Sales #63 Ford has already made two appearances on the 2007 tour but each with a different driver and none on a short-track.(MB Racing PR)(5-24-2007)
  • Montgomery Gentry concert to follow truck race: Michigan International Speedway has teamed up with its official beer sponsor, Miller Lite, to host a Miller Rock N’ Racing concert, which will feature a post-race performance by country music sensation Montgomery Gentry on Saturday, June 16. The concert will take place after the conclusion of the Craftsman Truck Series Michigan 200, which is slated to begin at 3:00pm. Fans who have purchased tickets to the NCTS Michigan 200 can use their ticket stub for gate admission to the post-race concert and witness one of country music’s hottest bands perform outside of Turns 1 and 2.(MIS PR)(5-24-2007)
  • Dodson/new crew for Pennington Motorsports? UPDATE: Dodson official: Hearing that owner J Pennington fired the entire Hooters Energy Drink truck series #7 team Sunday after failing to qualify at Charlotte. Also hearing that Barry Dodson has been hired as the new crew chief and that a new crew has already been hired for the race in Mansfield.(5-21-2007)
    UPDATE: Pennington Motorsports team owner J. Pennington officially has announced the signing of Barry Dodson as crew chief of the #7 Hooters Energy Drink Chevy in the Craftsman Truck Series with driver Jason White effective with this weekend’s event from Mansfield Motorsports Park. In addition to the announcement of Dodson, Pennington also disclosed that Dwayne Gaulding, head of sales and marketing for GunBroker.com will serve as general manager of the team effective immediately. (Pennington Motorsports PR)(5-24-2007)
  • Butler to make series debut at Mansfield: Ken Butler III will make his Craftsman Truck Series debut in the #00 Aaron’s Lucky Dog Toyota Tundra fielded by Darrell Waltrip Motorsports at Mansfield Motorsports Park this Saturday. Additionally, Butler won his first ARCA RE/MAX event this past Sunday at Toledo Speedway. Butler is a part of a future stars program that Michael Waltrip Racing has implemented. He is scheduled to compete in Craftsman Truck Series and ARCA Series events with Darrell Waltrip Motorsports and Eddie Sharp Racing respectively.(Butler Brothers Racing PR)(5-24-2007)
  • Sutton heads to second short track of 2007 with BBM: Kelly Sutton heads to the second short track race of the 2007 season for the running of the Craftsman Truck Series Ohio 250 at the Mansfield Motorsports Park on Saturday, May 26, 2007. Sutton is one of only 10 drivers to compete in all three prior events at the half-mile short track. Sutton sits in the best equipment of her career as she takes the wheel of the #51 Team Copaxone Chevy fielded by Billy Ballew Motorsports.(Billy Ballew Motorsports PR)(5-24-2007)
  • Christian Debt Consolidation returns as #15 sponsor: Bill Lester, piloting the #15 Christian Debt Consolidation Chevrolet Silverado, joins the rest of the Craftsman Truck Series drivers in the seventh race of the 25-race season at the Mansfield Motorsports Park for the running of the Ohio 250, Saturday, May 26. Christian Debt Consolidation and its 501 (C) (3) non-profit servicing agent, A New Horizon, brings over 25 years of combined experience and services to meet your financial obligations and move you just one step away from a debt free life.(Billy Ballew Motorsports PR)(5-23-2007)
  • Goody’s Cool Orange to Sponsor McCumbee & #45 at Pocono: Goody’s Cool Orange, the revolutionary new flavor from Goody’s Headache Powders, will be the primary sponsor for driver Chad McCumbee and the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge at the Pocono 500 Nextel Cup race on June 10 at Pocono Raceway. McCumbee, making his Nextel Cup debut, will fill in for Kyle Petty as he goes to the booth for TNT for the first of five races. Goody’s Cool Orange, the market’s first flavored headache powder, provides the same fast pain relief as the original Goody’s with a new, fresh orange flavor. As part of a national launch, the special Cool Orange paint scheme at Pocono will mark the first major racing activity for Goody’s outside its traditional, Southeastern U.S. market. McCumbee, 22, is in his second season in the Craftsman Truck Series after racing in the ARCA-RE/MAX Series where he finished third in a race at Pocono in 2004. He has recently been involved in various testing duties with Petty Enterprises including test sessions at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Off the track, McCumbee starred as Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the ESPN motion picture “3” displaying a natural talent for acting along with his driving skills. The Pocono 500 will mark the first of five races that Petty will be in the television booth broadcasting the races on TNT while McCumbee pilots the #45 Goody’s Cool Orange Dodge. Petty, along with the entire Petty organization, have been loyal supporters of Goody’s since the brand entered the sport in 1977. Goody’s Cool Orange is now available in stores nationally. For more information on Goody’s Headache Powders and the new Goody’s Cool Orange, visit www.goodyspowder.com.(Lighthouse Marketing PR)(5-23-2007)
  • Showalter to Key Motorsports? UPDATE: Rogers returns as driver & Showalter official: Hearing that Gary Showalter [just released from Pennington Motorsports] has been hired to be the crew chief for the #40 Key Motorsports Chevy.(5-21-2007)
    UPDATE: Gary Showalter comes over to Key Motorsports to succeed the recently departed Barry Dodson, and Tommy Morgan is stepping up from the Shop Foreman’s position to become the organization’s new Competition Director. Showalter is a veteran Crew Chief and top mechanic who has worked in all three levels of NASCAR. He more recently guided the efforts of Kelly Sutton and Sutton Motorsports and drivers Casey Kingsland, Brad Keselowski and Jason White at Pennington Motorsports. The 57-year-old Morgan was a consistent winner in NASCAR Busch Series competition for many years with his most notable success coming during a 5-year stint with Roush Racing in the mid to late 90’s when he served as crew chief for Jeff Burton. Clay Rogers returns for his third race of the season behind the wheel of the #40 Curtis Key Plumbing Chevy.(Key Motorsports PR)(5-23-2007)
  • Crew Chief fined, suspended for Lowe’s infraction: NASCAR announced today that Lance Hooper, crew chief of the #13 Chevy, has been fined $1,000, suspended from NASCAR until June 6, 2007, and from the next two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. He also was placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2007. Hooper was found to be in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-C (Any member who signs the NASCAR release sheet for anyone else). The incident occurred during opening day inspection for the May 18 NASCAR Craftsman Truck event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(NASCAR Media)(5-22-2007)
  • K&N continues sponsorship of #6: UPDATE: Official announcement: During the qualifying session on SPEED/TV, Travis Kvapil reported that K&N Engineering will sponsor the #6-Roush Fenway Racing Ford throughout the remainder of the season.(5-18-2007)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing officially announced that K&N Filters has signed on to sponsor their #6 Craftsman Truck Series team and driver Travis Kvapil for the remainder of the 2007 season. K&N signed on to sponsor the #6 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16. Kvapil led the most laps en route to a third-place finish, crossing the finish line inches behind Jack Sprague and Johnny Benson. K&N continued their sponsorship for the next five races, and signed on long-term following the race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(5-22-2007)
  • Christian Debt Consolidation returns as #15 sponsor: Bill Lester, piloting the #15 Christian Debt Consolidation Chevrolet Silverado, joins the rest of the Craftsman Truck Series drivers in the seventh race of the 25-race season at the Mansfield Motorsports Park for the running of the Ohio 250, Saturday, May 26. Christian Debt Consolidation and its 501 (C) (3) non-profit servicing agent, A New Horizon, brings over 25 years of combined experience and services to meet your financial obligations and move you just one step away from a debt free life.(Billy Ballew Motorsports PR)(5-23-2007)
  • Goody’s Cool Orange to Sponsor McCumbee & #45 at Pocono: Goody’s Cool Orange, the revolutionary new flavor from Goody’s Headache Powders, will be the primary sponsor for driver Chad McCumbee and the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge at the Pocono 500 Nextel Cup race on June 10 at Pocono Raceway. McCumbee, making his Nextel Cup debut, will fill in for Kyle Petty as he goes to the booth for TNT for the first of five races. Goody’s Cool Orange, the market’s first flavored headache powder, provides the same fast pain relief as the original Goody’s with a new, fresh orange flavor. As part of a national launch, the special Cool Orange paint scheme at Pocono will mark the first major racing activity for Goody’s outside its traditional, Southeastern U.S. market. McCumbee, 22, is in his second season in the Craftsman Truck Series after racing in the ARCA-RE/MAX Series where he finished third in a race at Pocono in 2004. He has recently been involved in various testing duties with Petty Enterprises including test sessions at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Off the track, McCumbee starred as Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the ESPN motion picture “3” displaying a natural talent for acting along with his driving skills. The Pocono 500 will mark the first of five races that Petty will be in the television booth broadcasting the races on TNT while McCumbee pilots the #45 Goody’s Cool Orange Dodge. Petty, along with the entire Petty organization, have been loyal supporters of Goody’s since the brand entered the sport in 1977. Goody’s Cool Orange is now available in stores nationally. For more information on Goody’s Headache Powders and the new Goody’s Cool Orange, visit www.goodyspowder.com.(Lighthouse Marketing PR)(5-23-2007)
  • Showalter to Key Motorsports? UPDATE: Rogers returns as driver & Showalter official: Hearing that Gary Showalter [just released from Pennington Motorsports] has been hired to be the crew chief for the #40 Key Motorsports Chevy.(5-21-2007)
    UPDATE: Gary Showalter comes over to Key Motorsports to succeed the recently departed Barry Dodson, and Tommy Morgan is stepping up from the Shop Foreman’s position to become the organization’s new Competition Director. Showalter is a veteran Crew Chief and top mechanic who has worked in all three levels of NASCAR. He more recently guided the efforts of Kelly Sutton and Sutton Motorsports and drivers Casey Kingsland, Brad Keselowski and Jason White at Pennington Motorsports. The 57-year-old Morgan was a consistent winner in NASCAR Busch Series competition for many years with his most notable success coming during a 5-year stint with Roush Racing in the mid to late 90’s when he served as crew chief for Jeff Burton. Clay Rogers returns for his third race of the season behind the wheel of the #40 Curtis Key Plumbing Chevy.(Key Motorsports PR)(5-23-2007)
  • Crew Chief fined, suspended for Lowe’s infraction: NASCAR announced today that Lance Hooper, crew chief of the #13 Chevy, has been fined $1,000, suspended from NASCAR until June 6, 2007, and from the next two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. He also was placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2007. Hooper was found to be in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-C (Any member who signs the NASCAR release sheet for anyone else). The incident occurred during opening day inspection for the May 18 NASCAR Craftsman Truck event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(NASCAR Media)(5-22-2007)
  • K&N continues sponsorship of #6: UPDATE: Official announcement: During the qualifying session on SPEED/TV, Travis Kvapil reported that K&N Engineering will sponsor the #6-Roush Fenway Racing Ford throughout the remainder of the season.(5-18-2007)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing officially announced that K&N Filters has signed on to sponsor their #6 Craftsman Truck Series team and driver Travis Kvapil for the remainder of the 2007 season. K&N signed on to sponsor the #6 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16. Kvapil led the most laps en route to a third-place finish, crossing the finish line inches behind Jack Sprague and Johnny Benson. K&N continued their sponsorship for the next five races, and signed on long-term following the race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(5-22-2007)
  • 360 OTC back on the #23 at Mansfield: 360 OTC and TCUV return as the co-sponsors this week of Benson’s #23 Toyota Tundra for the Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Park.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(5-22-2007)
  • Transporters Parade and Autograph Session highlight Mansfield Downtown Street Festival: As has been the case every year since the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has visited Mansfield Motorsports Park for the Ohio 250, the transporters that haul all of the race teams’ equipment and race trucks will parade through downtown Mansfield leading up to the Downtown Motorsports Street Festival on Thursday May 24. Drivers will appear for autographs and pictures with fans between 5:00 – 7:00pm. [Schedule can be found on the Driver Appearances Page.](MMP PR)(5-22-2007)
  • Kreyer entered with #44 Key Motorsports: With his racing debut now behind him, veteran Wisconsin super late model stock car driver Frank Kreyer is looking forward to finally “racing” when he makes his NASCAR-mandated second and final Craftsman Truck Series start at the Mansfield Motorsports Speedway in Ohio on Saturday for in the #44 Culver Restaurants Chevy. Kreyer and Culver’s Restaurants will be running four Busch Series races later this season with a partnership with Mac Hill Motorsports, but NASCAR ordered the short track ace to run two short track truck series events first in order to get certified for his first Busch outing at Milwaukee next month.(Key Motorsports PR)(5-22-2007)
  • New Ford motor at Lowes? Hearing that a couple of Fords were trying out a new Ford engine during the Truck Series race at Lowes. The new motor is supposedly due to be released some time in June.(5-21-2007)
  • Raybestos Rookie News & Notes: Aaron Fike was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the May 18 Quaker Steak & Lube 200. Fike was credited with a 14th-place finish and took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the fourth time this season. Fike leads Tyler Walker by 19 points (70-51) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the May 26 Ohio 250 at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park. Fike is ninth in the Craftsman Truck Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie. He is 17 points behind eighth-place Travis Kvapil and holds a 30-point advantage over 10th-place Johnny Benson. Joey Miller was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2006 City of Mansfield 250, scoring a fifth-place finish.(Raybestos PR)(5-21-2007)
  • Operation Big Chance recipient, Pope to start at MMF: Daniel Pope II, the recipient of Dollar General’s Operation Big Chance program, has earned the opportunity to drive the #2-Dollar General Chevy fielded by Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), in the Truck Series race at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. Pope was deemed eligible to participate after Mark Day, the 2006 Fairground’s Music City Motorplex Super Truck Champion, was unable to compete due to scheduling conflicts. Crew Chief Charlie Wilson and KHI driver Ron Hornaday recently spent a day with Daniel Pope at Caraway (NC) testing. This was Pope’s first time in a NASCAR Truck.(Kevin Harvick Inc PR)(5-21-2007)
  • Gaughan takes on new role in front of camera: Brendan Gaughan is taking on a new role – television broadcaster for the World Series of Off-Road Racing. Gaughan, who started his racing career in the desert, is going back to his racing roots and what is familiar to him as he launches his broadcast career. Gaughan will be part of 18 one-hour programs for the series that will air later this fall on SPEED. He went to his first race in Minnesota last weekend following the Charlotte truck race. “This was a great opportunity for me,” Gaughan said. “I always say that my desert racing is my fun time. It’s my hobby. Now, not only do I get to do some off-road racing in my spare time this year but I also get to be part of the broadcast team calling the races.(South Point Racing PR)(5-21-2007)
  • Hornaday sets new series record for most wins: Ron Hornaday in the #33-Camping World Chevy held off AJ Allmendinger with 36 laps to go in the Quaker Steak and Lube 200 on Friday night. Hornaday, known as the “master of restarts,” held off Allmendinger on two more restarts, including a green-white-checkered finish. This is his first win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Hornaday has now extended his career record of Truck Series wins to 30. Rick Ren also set a new record with his first win at Charlotte, for the crew chief in the Truck Series with the most wins with a different driver (five).This was also Chevy’s first win of the 2007 season in the Truck Series.(Kevin Harvick Inc PR)(5-21-2007)
  • Dodson steps down as crew chief – Morgan interim: Veteran Tommy Morgan stepped up from shop foreman to crew chief for the night Friday, helping driver Shane Huffman and his Key Motorsports contingent rally during the second half of Truck Series race at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The end result was a better-than-expected, 24th place finish. Barry Dodson abruptly stepped down from the crew chief post and left the Key organization altogether shortly before the start of the race. Morgan will fill in on an interim basis until a full-time replacement is found. [No further info on Dodson](Key Motorsports PR)(5-20-2007)
  • Fike top Raybestos Rookie at Lowes: Aaron Fike in the #1-RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Unofficially, Fike scored a 14th-place finish and took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the third consecutive race. Fike has been the top rookie in four of the six Craftsman Truck Series races this season.(Raybestos PR)(5-19-2007)
  • Skinner presented with commemorative ring for Atlanta victory: American Commercial Lines presented Mike Skinner [#5-Toyota] today with a 14-carat gold ring to recognize his victory in the American Commercial Lines 200 Craftsman Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March. Skinner as well as team owner Bill Davis were both presented with the ACL Leadership Ring, a 14-carat gold ring featuring an ACL crest surrounded by 31 diamonds with a one-carat total weight. The ring is presented in a rosewood display box which includes the ACL logo and is valued at approximately $4,000. The ACL Leadership Ring is part of an employee service recognition program that was launched in 2007. Skinner and Davis are the first non-ACL employees to receive a commemorative ring.(AMS PR)(5-18-2007)
  • Clay Rogers entered with Bonifield Racing #86: Clay Rogers is entered in the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 presented by Circle K at Lowe’s Motor Speedway driving the #86-Phil Bonifield Racing Chevy. The truck is sponsored by 888-karport.com.(5-18-2007)
  • Germain Racing adds Hobgood to roster at Lowes: UPDATE: Sponsor – Southeast Toyota Dealers: Germain Racing is adding rookie Justin Hobgood in the #03 Germain Toyota to the team roster along with Ted Musgrave in the #9 Team ASE/Germain Toyota and defending Truck Series champ Todd Bodine in the #30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota for this weekend’s [May 18] Quaker Steak and Lube 200 at Lowes Motor Speedway. Doug Chouinard, a Connecticut native and fabricator at Germain Racing, will serve as crew chief for Hobgood. Last year, Chouinard served as crew chief in the Whelen and True Value Modified Series, and will work closely with Hillman throughout the race.(Germain Racing PR)(5-14-2007)
    UPDATE: Sponsorship for the #3-Germain Racing Toyota is supplied by Southeast Toyota Dealers.
  • Hamlin to drive #4 Open Joist Dodge at Lowes: UPDATE: Mansfield too? Kevin Hamlin will drive the #4 Open Joist Dodge this weekend at Lowes Motor Speedway. Hamlin tested the Dodge entry last week at Charlotte, and will be making his first career Craftsman Truck Series start at LMS on Friday. Hamlin has one previous Busch Series start at Charlotte in 2005 where he finished 15th in the Dollar General 300. The Quaker Steak and Lube 200 will mark Hamlin’s third Truck Series start and second for Bobby Hamilton Racing.(BHR PR)(5-14-2007)
    UPDATE: During qualifying at Lowes, SPEED/TV reported that Kevin Hamlin is scheduled to be back in the #4Open Joist Dodge at Mansfield Motorsports Park on May 26th.(5-18-2007)
  • New associate sponsor for the #21: Wood Brothers/JTG Racing is proud to announce the addition of Ravenswood, the leading producer of Zinfandel from Constellation Wines, as an associate sponsor for their #21 Craftsman Truck Series team. In 2007, Ravenswood’s “Triple Raven” Icon will adorn the rear quarter panels of the #21 Truck. Located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley in California, Ravenswood will continue to build a promotional campaign through its NASCAR sponsorship.(Wood Bros./JTG PR)(5-18-2007)
  • Double-Duty for Silas: In addition to making his second Toledo Speedway start in the ARCA series, Bryan Silas is also attempting to make the Craftsman Truck Series event for the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 at Lowes Motor Speedway. Silas will be driving the #71-Fast Track Racing Chevy for owner, Andy Hillenburg. Silas is one of 37 competitors going for 36 spots in the event.(Fast Track PR)(5-17-2007)
  • Schrader to run ARCA event at Toledo: Following the Truck Series event on Friday and with no Cup commitments Saturday, Kenny Schrader is opting for an all-weekend ARCA Series adventure at Toledo Speedway, which includes practice and SIM Factory Pole Award Qualifying Saturday afternoon in preparation for Sunday’s Hantz Group 200 presented by Federated Car Care. Schrader is three for three in the win column in his last three Toledo attempts in ’04, ’05 and ’06. In ’05 and ’06, Schrader missed qualifying and had to start at the back. Schrader will be in the #52-Federated Auto Parts Chevy. Race can be seen Live on SPEED beginning at 12 noon on Sunday, May 20.(ARCA Racing)(5-17-2007)
  • Xpress Motorsports & Bliss reunite at Lowes: Xpress Motorsports reunites with Cup driver Mike Bliss for the Friday night shootout at Lowes Motor Speedway May 18th . Having made the transfer of manufacturers this season Dave Fuge, Owner/Crew Chief of the #16 IWX Motor Freight Ford F-150, looks for Bliss to bring the team a solid finish. Xpress Motorsports also reunites with IWX Motor Freight as primary sponsor for this event.(Xpress Motorsports PR)(5-17-2007)
  • Martin returns to the series at Lowes: Mark Martin returns to the Truck Series where he will drive the #21 Bubba Burger Ford at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway. It will mark the second time this year Martin’s driven a Ford F-150 for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing in the Craftsman Truck Series. The others scheduled for Martin are Dover, Del., on June 1, Michigan on June 16, Bristol, Tenn., on Aug. 22 and Atlanta on Oct. 27. (Wood Bros./JTG PR)(5-16-2007)
  • Clanton back in #09 Zaxby’s Ford at Lowes: Joey Clanton will be back in the Wood Bros./JTG #09-Zaxby’s Ford For the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 at Lowes Motor Speedway. Clanton will be making his sixth career start in the Craftsman Truck Series. His sixth-place finish at the season-opening race at Daytona Beach, Fla., was a career-best. Clanton hasn’t raced the #09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150 since March 31.(Wood Bros./JTG PR)(5-16-2007)
  • MMP to continue Fan Walk on race day: One of the most popular fan-oriented aspects of the Craftsman Truck Series event weekend will continue in 2007 as race fans will again be invited to walk the Mansfield Motorsports Park racing surface on race morning. The MMP Fan Walk will allow race fans in attendance to get down on the track just hours before the start of the Ohio 250, giving them a chance to meet drivers and see the teams’ preparation up close. Mansfield Motorsports Park gates will open at 9:00am on Saturday May 26, with the track opening for the MMP Fan Walk at 9:00am local time. Fans will be able to walk the track for 90 minutes before the track is cleared for the start of the public driver’s meeting, held on the turns three and four access road just in front of the general admission seating area.(MMP PR)(5-15-2007)
  • #23 team penalized after test session infraction: UPDATE: BDR Statement: NASCAR announced today that the #23 Toyota team in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has been penalized for rule violations committed last week during a test session at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Three penalties have been assessed to the #23 Toyota team for violating Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-J (permitting a non-NASCAR licensed driver to drive the #23 truck) of the 2007 NASCAR Rule Book. Crew chief Trip Bruce has been fined $10,000 and suspended from the next two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship events until May 30, 2007. Driver Johnny Benson has been penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver points. Truck owner Gail Davis has been penalized with the loss of 50 championship owner points.(NASCAR PR)(5-15-2007)
    UPDATE: Bill Davis Racing has released the following statement in regards to the penalties for their #23 Craftsman Truck Series team driven by Johnny Benson. “We agree with the penalties NASCAR has issued to the 23 team and we will deal with them accordingly,” said Bill Davis. “NASCAR has rules and policies in place to keep the drivers and crew members safe and we appreciate their vigilance in this instance.” In Trip Bruce’s absence, truck chief Billy Hagerthey will assume the role of crew chief.(BDR PR)(5-15-2007)
  • Tocado Companies to sponsor Busch at Lowes: Billy Ballew Motorsports announced that Richard Tocado Companies will be the primary sponsor on the #51 Craftsman Truck piloted by Kyle Busch at the Lowes Motor Speedway for the running of the Quaker Steak and Lube 200 Friday, May 18, 2007. The Charlotte based company will also be an associate sponsor for the No. 15 Craftsman truck driven by Bill Lester. Richard Tocado Companies is now a dominant force for home owners and home buyers in the Carolinas.(Billy Ballew Motorsports PR)(5-14-2007)
  • Walker scores at USCA races during off weeks: During the two weeks off between Kansas and Charlotte, Tyler Walker [#36-360 OTC Toyota] went to Iowa Speedway and pulled double duty in the USAC Series. Driving both Kasey Kahne’s owned Midget Car to a fourth place finish in one race and Kahne’s Sprint Car to a victory in another. The victory was Walker’s first in USAC competition since winning a 2004 Silver Crown race at Tulsa, Okla.(BDR PR)(5-14-2007)
  • Skinner going for three poles in a row at Lowes: Series Points leader, Mike Skinner [#5-Toyota] not only sat on the pole last time out at Kansas, but he has also captured the pole position his last two starts at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Skinner remains the NCTS point’s leader after finishing fifth in Atlanta. He remains 108 points ahead of second place Todd Bodine in the Championship points. Skinner was fastest in speed both days of testing at Lowes.(BDR PR)(5-14-2007)
  • Fike to make first truck series start at Lowes: Although Aaron Fike [#1-Red Horse Racing Toyota] has never raced at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the Craftsman Truck Series, he does have two starts under his belt at the 1.5-mile oval in a Busch Series ride. Fike scored his second-best career NBS finish of 14th at LMS in 2005 while driving the #43 Channellock Code Blue Ford.(Red Horse Racing PR)(5-14-2007)
  • Gaughan’s favorite Charlotte eatery & military featured on truck: The #77 South Point Chevy will also carry the colors of a favorite local restaurant of Gaughan [Dressler’s Restaurant] logo on the #77 deck lid as a way of saying thank you to his friends. For the second consecutive season, South Point Racing will also continue to recognize various military units through its Military Appreciation Program This weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the South Point Racing Team is recognizing the 82nd Airborne, locate at Fort Bragg.(South Point Racing PR)(5-14-2007)
  • Darnell to attempt Kentucky ARCA race: UPDATE: Darnell wins at Kentucky: Erik Darnell will attempt to make his first ARCA Series start at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, May 12. Darnell participated in the Kentucky ARCA test last week, where he unofficially topped the speed charts. Darnell recorded his career best ARCA finish at Kansas, crossing the finish line in the second position.(Roush Fenway PR)(5-8-2007)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing driver, Erik Darnell led 80 of 100 laps en route to guiding his #99 Ford to his first Kentucky Speedway and ARCA RE/MAX Series win by 3.206 seconds over Evernham Motorsports driver Erin Crocker [#98]in front of 16,221 fans at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(5-13-2007)
  • MMP to host students on Pole Day: Mansfield Motorsports Park will open its gates for local school field trips on Graham Auto Mall Pole Day on May 24, part of the fourth annual Craftsman Truck Series Ohio 250 weekend. Students will be admitted for free, as well their designated school chaperones. Additionally, students will be provided ticket vouchers to return to the speedway later that evening to witness qualifying runs to set the 36-truck starting field, should they chose to return with their parents. The students will have the opportunity to speak with several drivers participating in the action at MMP prior to the start of practice at 1:30 P.M. Drivers that have committed to answering questions from the students include 1995 series champion Mike Skinner, as well as several other drivers.(Mansfield Motorsports Park PR)(5-11-2007)
  • Craftsman hosts Urban Youth Racing School Students during All-Star Week: Four students from Philadelphia’s Urban Youth Racing School will intern with Truck Series teams [Circle Bar, Red Horse Racing, South Point Racing] during Charlotte’s All Star week, May 14-19. In the 2007 Craftsman Career Development Program, the students will see racing’s “business” side through a schedule that follows a team’s preparation for and participation in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Quaker Steak and Lube 200 on May 18. Other activities during the week will expose them to other aspects of the motorsports industry. The Urban Youth Racing School is headquartered in Philadelphia with a newly opened branch in Washington, D.C. The school provides inner-city youths with an awareness of the motorsports industry through education, service learning, training and racing. The school is free for all participants, and currently has 175 students enrolled.(Craftsman PR)(5-10-2007)
  • Crocker joins PRN as pit reporter for Lowes qualifying: During an interview on Sirius Radio driver, Erin Crocker announced that she has reached an agreement with the Performance Racing Network (PRN) to become part of the broadcast team for the radio network. Crocker will also continue her current driving responsibilities in the ARCA Series [14 races] along with a handful of scheduled Busch Series events. Erin will work as a pit reporter during qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 with a possibility of other dates to be added later.(5-9-2007)
  • Miller released from Bobby Hamilton Racing: Bobby Hamilton Racing and Dodge Motorsports are redirecting its focus in the Craftsman Truck Series from driver development in the #4 Open Joist Dodge. BHR and driver Chase Miller will part ways effective immediately. A replacement will be determined. Evernham Motorsports driver Kasey Khane and Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kevin Hamlin will test the Open Joist Dodge later this week at Lowes Motor Speedway. (BHR PR)(5-9-2007)
  • Park to fill-in for Huffman at Lowes test: Key Motorsports will test two trucks during the open testing session scheduled for the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte this Thursday and Friday [May 10-11] in preparation for the May 18th Quaker Steak & Lube 200 Presented by Circle K, Craftsman Truck Series race. Veteran Steve Park and up-and-coming driver Clay Rogers will pilot the two Chevy trucks for team owner Curtis W. Key during the two days of testing. Park will help ready the team’s primary #40 truck for the race that NASCAR Busch Series driver Shane Huffman has been entered to drive. Huffman was unavailable for the test because of his full-time commitment to JR Motorsports and that team’s #88 Chevy that is racing in Darlington, SC this weekend.(Key Motorsports PR)(5-9-2007)
  • McCumbee tests 3rd Petty car at LMS: Chad McCumbee, 22, has been assigned by Petty Enterprises to drive the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge this June at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway. McCumbee made his first Nextel Cup laps Monday afternoon at the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway located in Concord, NC in the #47 Petty Enterprises Test Dodge. McCumbee, along with the rest of the Nextel Cup regulars, were testing for the upcoming May events highlighted by the Coca-Cola 600. McCumbee made nine laps Monday afternoon posting a fast lap of 175.137mph. McCumbee will continue to test Tuesday.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(5-8-2007)
  • Wyler Racing plans 3-5 more Cup races: UPDATE: Focus remains Truck Series Championship: The Wylers [brothers Jeff and David] last year thought, in their long-range plan in racing, that the Car of Tomorrow was something that could usher them toward, if not into the Nextel Cup Series. “We wanted to get our feet wet,” Furr said. “But the Wylers want to grow into a Cup team and keep the [#60] Truck team, too, so we have talked about it and probably will run anywhere from three to five more of these [Cup] races.” Moving forward, Benson just hopes he’s part of the equation. “I know I’m a part of this deal and it would be great to be a part of some other stuff,” [Johnny] Benson said. “They’ve got Jack [Sprague] and the Truck team so I hope we both get to drive it. I’d like to run them all, but these are the guys that work with Jack all the time, so I hope he gets the same opportunity. I’m just helping out.(NASCAR.com)(5-6-2007)
    UPDATE: The odds were stacked against Johnny Benson & Wyler Racing but they managed to out-qualify some of the heavily funded teams that do this week in and week out, run a clean race, and get a respectable finish [31st]. The Wyler’s may give Cup racing another try, but for now; “Our main focus is to win Jack Sprague his fourth championship in the Craftsman Truck Series,” explained Wyler. “We are going to do everything in our power to do that this year. What we are going to do on the Cup side is take it week by week, race by race, and if we feel we can go and contend and run competitively in the Cup car, we’ll do it. But, we are not going to do it at the expense of the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota.”(Wyler Racing PR)(5-7-2007)
  • Kyle Busch buys into Truck team? UPDATE denied: hearing that #5-Kyle Busch has bought 49% of the Billy Ballew Motorsports #15 Craftsman Truck Series team.(5-4-2007)
    UPDATE: folks from Kyle Busch Motorsports have informed me that neither Kyle Busch nor KBM has purchased any part of Ballew’s team, shop, trucks or equipment. However, he will be driving a handful of truck races for Ballew this season.(5-4-2007)
  • McCumbee, Andretti named as drivers for #45 Dodge: Petty Enterprises announced that Chad McCumbee and John Andretti will drive the #45 Marathon/Wells Fargo/Tire Kingdom Dodge this summer. The duo will be filling the seat of full time driver Kyle Petty. Petty, with permission from primary and associate sponsors will step out of the car in a five race hiatus to join TNT during their six-race broadcast schedule. Petty will return to the car during the road course event at the Infineon Raceway and provide in-car race analysis. Petty will complete the season after the July 15 event at the Chicagoland Speedway in the #45 Marathon/Wells Fargo/Tire Kingdom Dodge. McCumbee, 22, will attempt to make his Nextel Cup debut at Pocono Raceway on June 10 during the Pocono 500. Veteran driver John Andretti will race the remaining four open races for Petty. McCumbee, currently in his second year in the Craftsman Truck Series, will have plenty of seat time before heading into Pocono. McCumbee will be assigned to various testing duties for Petty Enterprises including testing next week at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway. McCumbee continues his duties for Green Light Racing.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing)(5-2-2007)
  • Skinner tests at New Smyrna: Teams are always looking for the upper hand, which explains why a pair of NASCAR teams showed up for a two-day test at New Smyrna Speedway. Bill Davis Racing was represented by its #36-Cup [COT] Toyota, with Jeremy Mayfield at the wheel, and the #5-Tundra truck raced by Mike Skinner. Skinner said the new blacktop surface makes New Smyrna Speedway an ideal testing facility. Also on hand, Joe Gibbs Racing; they arrived at the half-mile track Tuesday with two haulers, three Nextel Cup Chevys, three drivers (including Tony Stewart) and more than a dozen mechanics.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-2-2007)
  • Former series driver injured in off-road accident: Former series driver Tracy Hines was in stable condition at Methodist Hospital on Tuesday after surgery for injuries in an off-road motorcycle crash on his New Castle, Ind., property. Hines competes in the USAC Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown series for Tony Stewart Racing.. “We’re grateful that Tracy is going to be OK,” Stewart said. “All we’re concerned about is his health. We’ll give him and his family all the support they need to ensure a full and successful recovery.” Hines broke his pelvis and left thigh and dislocated his right knee when he crashed his motorcycle Monday night. He was taken by helicopter to Methodist, where he underwent surgery.(usatoday.com)(5-1-2007)
  • News & Notes Part I: May 1, 2007
    Erik Darnell proves ‘Can’t Miss’ pronouncements accurate: Three-time Craftsman Truck Series champion Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota) predicted we’d hear a lot from 2006 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Erik Darnell (#99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford). Sprague’s pronouncement proved accurate April 28 as Darnell raced to his first Craftsman Truck Series victory in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. Indeed, Sprague was not only correct, but he proved to be Darnell’s final obstacle as the winner led three times for a race-high 92 laps. Darnell won in his 31st series start and became the fourth driver under the age of 25 to win a series race at Kansas Speedway. The Illinois native is 24 – the same age as Roush-Fenway stable mate Carl Edwards when Edwards won the race in 2004. Ricky Hendrick and Jon Wood were 21 when they captured the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250. Darnell is the 57th driver to win a series race.

    Skinner’s win streak finished: Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) won for the third-consecutive time in June 1996 at Heartland Park Topeka. Kansas, however, wasn’t good for the 1995 Craftsman Truck Series champion on April 28. Despite winning his 35th Budweiser Pole and leading 58 laps, Skinner finished fifth ending his quest for a record, fourth-consecutive victory. Skinner, however, added 12 points to his standings lead of 108. “We came here to run in the top 10 and we got a top five,” he said.

    Erik Darnell became the earliest non-winning Raybestos Rookie of the Year to break into the victory column. His Kansas win ousted Roush Fenway Racing’s Greg Biffle from the record book. Nine of 11 top rookies have Craftsman Truck wins. The remaining non-winners are Mike Stefanik (1999) and Todd Kluever (2005).

    News & Notes – Part II:
    Season’s Final Test Takes Place Next Week…May heralds the beginning of the heart of the 2007 Craftsman Truck season, and with it, a significant number of races on mile-and-a-half racetracks. That’s why the May 10-11 test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway may be critical in the battle for the championship. The track will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. both days with Saturday, May 12 reserved in case of inclement weather. Dover International Speedway Hosts Series’ 300th Race…The June 1 AAA Insurance 200 will mark the 300th time the field has taken the green flag. Winners of the 100th race – Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 AES HR Solutions Chevy) – and 200th (Ted Musgrave, #9 Team ASE/Germain Toyota) will be in the field. Race #100 took place at Evergreen (Wash.) Speedway on April 3, 1999. Race #200 was held at Memphis Motorsports Park on June 21, 2003. The top two from 1999 – Hornaday and Jack Sprague – will compete in the 300th race as will 2003’s top three: Musgrave, Travis Kvapil (#6 K&N Filters Ford) and Dennis Setzer (#75 Spears Manufacturing Co. Chevy). American Commercial Lines Backs Wyler Racing…The sponsor of March’s series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will appear as an associate backer on Jack Sprague’s #60 Con-way Freight Toyota beginning with the June 8 Sam’s Town 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. American Commercial Lines is one of the largest and most diversified marine transportation and manufacturing companies in the United States. Crawford Cracks $4 Million…Rick Crawford (#14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) has become the fifth $4 million career winner. His total winnings following the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 are $4,022,282.

    Battle for top-30 ranking continues:
    With a “home” race on the horizon for most Craftsman Truck teams looming, a ranking among the top 30 in owner points appears doubly important. Lowe’s Motor Speedway, host to the May 18 Quaker Steak and Lube presented by Circle K, can be a challenge to the best of teams. Thus, having a guaranteed starting position certainly is pressure relief. At Kansas Speedway, veteran owner David Dollar and sophomore driver Kraig Kinser (#47 VFW/Ginn Resorts Chevy) moved from 32nd to 30th. The previously 30th-ranked #7 Hooters Energy Drink Chevy of J.L. Pennington, now 31st, will have to qualify on speed at Lowe’s.

    Raybestos Rookie of the Year Standings:
    Aaron Fike (#1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota) finished eighth at Kansas Speedway to become the first Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate to post back-to-back top 10s in 2007. Rookie point standings: Aaron Fike, 59; Willie Allen, 42; Tyler Walker, 41; Kelly Bires, 37; Blake Bjorklund, 36; Joey Clanton, 35; Tim Sauter, 35; Jason White, 12; Casey Kingsland, 5; Brian Sockwell, 1.

    This Week’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Leaders: (through 5 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader – Mike Skinner (905)
    Driver Rating – Mike Skinner (132.3)
    Winnings – Mike Skinner ($228,925)
    Laps led – Mike Skinner (423)
    Victories – Mike Skinner (3)
    Budweiser Poles – Mike Skinner (3)
    Top-five finishes – Mike Skinner (5)
    Top-10 finishes – 3 drivers with 5
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Aaron Fike (12 over Willie Allen)
    Races led – Mike Skinner (5)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 9 drivers tied with 5

    Etc.
    Roush Fenway Racing Rules at Kansas Speedway; adds to Series Win Record: no doubt about it, Jack Roush knows how to pick them. And if there are so-called “horses for courses,” Roush Fenway drivers definitely have Kansas Speedway’s number. Erik Darnell is the third from the team to win the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250. No other team has won more than once. Roush has spread around the wealth during his 13 seasons as a Craftsman Truck owner. Darnell is his ninth different winner as the team’s victory total rises to 44. Among active teams, Bobby Hamilton Racing is Roush Fenway’s closest rival. BHR has won 19 times, but not since 2005. Crew chief John Quinn counts victories with drivers from both ends of the learning curve: Darnell at Kansas and veteran Ricky Craven in 2005.

    First-Time Winner shines with high driver rating: Erik Darnell, zero wins on his resume, was dominating like a seasoned veteran. Darnell turned Kansas Speedway into his personal playground last Saturday night and registered the fifth-widest margin of victory in Craftsman Truck Series history – 10.440 seconds. Surpassing the statistics he amassed was likewise unheard of for a first-time winner. Darnell earned a race-best Driver Rating of 135.6 (150.0 is the maximum rating) and his Average Running Position of 6.677 was third-best. He turned the fastest laps 50 times, was easily the most and 29 more than second place Mike Skinner. Darnell also had the fastest Green Flag Speed. Darnell’s 140 Laps in the Top 15 is one stat that is particularly impressive considering that he had to start at the back of the field because of unapproved adjustments to his #99 Northern Tool+ Equipment Ford.

    In the loop:
    As far as the season-to-date Loop Data goes, standings leader Skinner is the class of the field. He has a Driver Rating of 132.3, by far the best in the series (Jack Sprague is second with 107.5), and an Average Running position of 3.443. Skinner’s 156 Fastest Laps Run are nearly three times more than the second-place driver in that category (Darnell is in second with 53 Fastest Laps Run).

    Manufacturers:
    Ford scores first One-Two Finish since Kansas ’06: when Erik Darnell and Rick Crawford crossed the line at Kansas Speedway it marked Ford’s first one-two finish since July 1, 2006 – at Kansas Speedway. Darnell’s victory snapped Toyota’s four-race winning streak leaving the latter truck maker with a 42 to 29 point Manufacturers’ Championship lead over Ford. Chevy and Dodge remain winless entering the next event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

    Craftsman Truck Series Manufacturers’ Championship
    Toyota, 42
    Ford, 29
    Chevy, 24
    Dodge, 15
    (NASCAR Media)(5-1-2007)

 


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