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Nov 2000 CTS Archive

 

  • #18 Crew Chief: Danny Rollins will serve as crew chief for Joe Ruttman’s Bobby Hamilton #18 Dana Dodge in 2001. Rollins, who takes over for interim crew chief Fred Wanke, served as the team’s truck chief and front-tire changer this past year(Winston Cup Scene)(11-30-2000)
  • Hamilton Tests Drivers: Willy T. Ribbs, Bill Lester and Tim Woods are the three finalists competing for a driving job with Hamilton’s CTS team. The driver who gets the job will be the only black racer competing full-time in any of NASCAR’s top divisions. Hughes said a decision on the new driver is expected by the end of the week. The driver will become a partner of Joe Ruttman, who will drive another truck fielded by Hamilton. Ribbs, Lester and Woods have test-driven Hamilton’s trucks in recent weeks. Hamilton said he has been especially impressed by Ribbs, who is by far the most prominent driver of the trio(Tennessean)(11-28-2000)
  • #14 Crew Chief: Ray Stonkus, has joined the #14 Milwaukee Electric Tool/Circle Bar race team. The move is somewhat of a reunion for most involved in the Circle Bar Racing organization. Rick Crawford, who has driven for Circle Bar over the past nine seasons, and Stonkus, worked together in the All-Pro Series back in 1995. This too, was a driver/crew chief combo under the Circle Bar Racing banner. Ray is a 40-year racing veteran who most recently worked as a crew chief for Kevin Lepage of the BGN. For the past five years Ray has worked in the BGN, mostly with the #59 ST Motorsports race team. Milwaukee Electric Tool returns as primary sponsor of the #14 Circle Bar Ford and the team will continue to utilize Roush manufactured horsepower next season. Stonkus is right about one thing, the pieces are there for a very good team to be even better in 2001(Milwaukee Electric Tool Team PR)(11-27-2000)
  • #73 Driver Change? hearing that #73 driver, B.A.Wilson asked for and recieved his immediate release from Sontagg Racing(11-17-2000)
  • Darlington Day Two Testing: Rookie NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Travis Kvapil stayed on top with the fastest practice time in day-two of testing at Darlington Raceway. Kvapil, driver of the #60 Addington Racing Chevy, quickened his speed by more than four tenths of a second in his second day ever at the famous track “Too Tough To Tame,” putting him at 162.834 mph. Jack Sprague was the second quickest out of the two days, circling the track at 161.763mph. All twenty-five teams participating in day one of testing returned to Darlington for another chance to gain experience on the track known for its unique toughness, and each team showed a little more assurance on the second day out. Bobby Hamilton in the #18 and Bryan Reffner in the #3 tied for third place of the two days with a speed of 160.706 mph, and Scott Riggs posted the fourth fastest speed at 159.455mph(Darlington PR)(11-17-2000)
  • New Team: Green Light Racing, who finished 2nd in NASCAR Winston West points standings plans to compete in the entire Craftsman Truck Sereis in 2001. Former BGN driver Bobby Dotter will pilot the #45(actually #08) Chevy’s for owner Gene Christanson. Sponsorship is in the final stages and should be announced prior to Daytona testing in January 2001(11-17-2000)
  • Murry Looking: With the NASCAR “silly season” in full swing, road racing veteran David Murry hopes to get in on the action real soon. The former Porsche factory driver is currently eyeing a handful of openings in CTS for the 2001 season. “I’d love to get my foot in NASCAR’s door with a ride in the truck series,” said the Atlanta resident. “It’s such a competitive series. It’s a series you can use as a stepping stone into Busch or Winston Cup. Look at Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch and what that series did for them in a short amount of time. I know there are a handful of teams still looking for qualified drivers and it’s my intention to contact each of them.” Murry (www.davidmurry.com) is coming off a productive season in the American Le Man Series where he drove for a Porsche 911 GT3R race team. But, despite the sports car success, the ultimate objective remains a ride in one of NASCAR’s premier series. “That’s it,” he added. “I have had my share of stock car racing over the years with ARCA and Winston Cup (in 1999, he qualified and finished the Watkins Glen race with Phoenix Air Racing out of Cartersville, GA). I know that’s where I want to be.”(K-G PR)(11-17-2000)
  • #31 News: Benny Gordon, a NASCAR All-Pro Series racer from Summerville, SC was among the drivers taking part in the test at Darlington. He and NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series driver Zach Brewer, who was also on hand Wednesday, are possible candidates to drive the #31 truck owned by Shelly Brevak on the circuit next season(Charleston Post and Courier)(11-16-2000)
  • #60 Audition UPDATE 5 Driver Announcement: hearing that current Cup driver, Mike Bliss, has turned down the #60 ride to concentrate on getting a Cup or BGN ride. Also hearing that the #60 CAT Rental team will audition four drivers within the next week or so, one being Marty Houston who drives the #75 truck and another being ASA driver Joey Clanton, no word on the other two(10-23-2000)
    UPDATE: being told there will be three drivers auditioning not four, and that Clanton will not be one of those drivers(10-24-2000)
    UPDATE 2: the four drivers auditioning at Greenville Pickens on Wednesday(Nov 1st) will be: Marty Houston – former #75 CTS driver(and Andy’s brother); Travis Kvapil from the ReMax series; Tyler Walker from Open Wheel Dirt seires(and drove a few BGN/CTS races in the past); and Tony Hunt from the Open Wheel Asphalt ranks(10-30-2000)
    UPDATE 3 – Driver? hearing that Travis Kvapil will be the 2001 driver for the #60 team(11-10-2000)
    UPDATE 4: Addington Racing will announce driver & sponsor at Darlington test session on Wednesday, November 15th(Addington PR)(11-11-2000)
    UPDATE 5: Addington Racing is pleased to announce Travis “Taz” Kvapil as the driver of the #60 CAT Rental Stores Chevrolet in the CTS. CAT Rental Stores, a division of Caterpillar, Inc., had extended their contract with Addington Racing through 2002(Addington PR)(11-16-2000)

 

  • Darlington Testing: Twenty-five trucks made their way around the 1.366 mile, egg-shaped Darlington Raceway, as it was their first opportunity to practice at the track where they’ll race for the first time in May. The unofficial fast time of the day was posted by rookie Travis Kvapil in the #60 Caterpillar Chevrolet. Two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Jack Sprague, unofficially had the fifth quickest time, but felt like he never got his truck set-up perfected. A few Darlington Stripes were earned during the day, but there were no major mishaps. The most notable was Ricky Sanders in the #27 Ford. After a spin in Turn Four, Sanders’ Ford rear-ended the inside retaining wall, causing enough damage to go to a back-up truck for the remainder of practices, which in the end also brushed the Darlington wall. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will compete for the first time at Darlington Raceway in the only event of the Carolinas on May 12, 2001. Tickets are currently on sale and may be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway Ticket Office at (843) 395-8499. Following are random, hand-held times from Wednesday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series test at Darlington Raceway:

    1.  Travis Kvapil     #60 Chevrolet    156.063 mph
    2.  Scott Riggs       #2 Dodge         155.253 mph
    3.  Bobby Hamilton    #18 Dodge        155.253 mph
    4.  Dennis Setzer     #46 Chevrolet    154.701 mph
    5.  Jack Sprague      #24 Chevrolet    153.906 mph
    6.  Randy Tolsma      #16T Chevrolet   153.708 mph
    7.  Carlos Contreras  #43 Dodge        153.412 mph
    8.  Ricky Hendrick    #17 Chevrolet    153.225 mph
    9.  Bryan Reffner     #3 Chevrolet     153.216 mph
    10. Nathan Haseleu    #99 Ford         151.663 mph
    11. Matt Crafton      #88 Chevrolet    151.519 mph
    12. David Donahue     #16D Chevrolet   151.327 mph
    13. Chuck Hossfeld    #99 Ford         150.946 mph
    14. Coy Gibbs         #20C Chevrolet   149.672 mph
    

    (Darlington Raceway PR)(11-15-2000)

  • Ribbs to NASCAR? UPDATE 4: AutoRacing1 is reporting that an announment concerning Willy T. Ribbs could come as soon as this weekend that Willy T. Ribbs will be driving in NASCAR in 2001. It may or may not be Cup, but more likely BGN or the trucks(AutoRacing1). NOTE: Rumors have circulated off and on during the past few years that Ribbs may try NASCAR again. Ribbs ran three Winston Cup races in 1986(11-7-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing Ribbs may drive a 2nd Bobby Hamilton Motorsports Dodge in the truck series, no word on a sponsor(11-8-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Dodge is reportedly working on a plan that could put either Willy T. Ribbs, Bill Lester or Tim Woods in a full-time ride in the CTS Series in 2001. If the program is finalized, it could be announced as soon as Homestead. Dodge has said it will have five factory-backed teams next year and has announced a two-truck program with Ultra Motorsports in addition to backing an entry from Bobby Hamilton Racing. Hamilton’s team has fielded a second truck at times in the past and he’s talked of wanting to field two teams on a full-time basis. As of Nov. 4, Hamilton said he didn’t have a deal with Dodge to run a second truck, but didn’t rule out something in time for next year(Winston Cup Scene)(11-9-2000)
    UPDATE 3: Ribbs, who returned to active competition this year in the BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series, is expected to land in a second Bobby Hamilton Motorsports Dodge as a teammate to Joe Ruttman. Ribbs has tested a Dodge Truck and is planning to compete in all 24 races next season. DaimlerChrysler, or one of its divisions is expected to be the sponsor(National Speed Sport News)(11-10-2000)
    UPDATE 4: hearing that Ribbs was testing the #4 Bobby Hamilton truck at Darlington on Wednesday(11-16-2000)

  • Spraker News: CTS Owner/Driver Jeff Spraker will be back in 2001 running in the Truck Series. Spraker moved his complete race operation to Mooresville, NC this summer while working both as a consultant and a supplier to several Winston Cup, Busch and Truck series teams. Spraker spent much of the summer working with Haas-Carter Motorsports and driver Darrell Waltrip. The team called upon Spraker for three races in July and then he re-joined the team for the last eight races, in which the 66 car qualified for each event without using any provisionals. Spraker will be with the team as DW enters his final race at Atlanta this weekend. It looks like the tables will turn a bit in 2001 for DW and Spraker, as it appears that Waltrip has made himself available to act as spokesperson for sponsors of Spraker’s truck team and this will allow Spraker to get back behind the wheel. The team is continuing its search for a primary sponsor at this time(Spraker PR)((11-16-2000)

  • Wood in the CTS? Jon Wood, along with his father Eddie, decided it was time for Jon to take the next step in his auto racing career this past week. Wood completed an extensive road course training session in Phoenix, Arizona at Bob Bondurant Driving School. “I have only run a couple of road courses in my career and I’ve yet to run a road course race in a stock car,” stated Wood. “We thought it was time for me to spend some time on a road course because there is a chance I could end up in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series next season. We’re not sure if I’ll have a chance to run a limited or a full schedule. Regardless, if the opportunity comes for me to run a road course next year I will not be apprehensive after completing the Bondurant school this week.” According to Team Owner and father Eddie Wood, “Jon has been successful at fast tracking through every series he’s raced in so far. He’s won races in every series except for Hooters ProCup but it hasn’t been because he hasn’t run well enough to win there. He’s been bitten a couple of times while leading the race with mechanical failure, or swept up in a wreck not of his making. He’s progressed this season and has shown a lot of patience. I believe he’s ready for the next step so we’re actively looking at some opportunities for next season in NASCAR’s junior divisions.”(Cox Marketing), NOTE: the CTS will not run a Road Course in 2001(11-14-2000)

  • #23 News: Team 23 will be making a major Sponsorship announcement in January. As a result the team is auditioning new drivers beginning this week at Darlington. Phil Bonifield remains as co-owner, and will transition from driver to a management role during 2001. Other major changes may include switching manufacturers,and running multiple trucks at selected events. Drivers interested in auditioning may fax resumes to Team 23 at (704)948-0018 (Team 23 PR)(11-14-2000)

  • Hendrick moving? hearing the Hendrick Motorsports truck teams will be housed in the former Tyler Jet Motorsports building(11-14-2000)

  • #75 News: hearing that crew chief Freddy Fryar and the #75 Spears truck team have parted ways. Also hear that Micheal Dokken is scheduled to test for the team in Darlington next week(11-11-2000)

  • Darlington Test: On Wednesday, November 15, at Darlington Raceway, NASCAR will hold an open truck test for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The track will be open all day. The test preceeds Darlington’s May 12, 2001 truck race date(Darlington PR)(11-8-2000)

  • #88 Driver: Matt Crafton will be the #88 SealMaster Racing driver for 2001, replacing Terry Cook, who left to pursue other oppurtunities(Winston Cup Scene)(11-3-2000)

  • GMAC News: GMAC, a longtime member of the Hendrick family of racing sponsors, announced today a comprehensive sponsorship agreement with Hendrick Motorsports for 2001 that includes involvement in NASCAR’s Winston Cup, Busch Grand National and Craftsman Truck Series. GMAC, which will expand its presence on Hendrick entries in NASCAR’s three major touring series, will be the primary sponsor on the #17 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Ricky Hendrick in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as well as a major associate sponsor on the #24 Chevrolet of Jack Sprague. In 2001, netzero.com will assume primary sponsorship of the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet truck now driven by Sprague. Additionally, GMAC will also serve as the primary sponsor for Ricky Hendrick in a select number of NASCAR Busch Grand National and ARCA events during the 2001 season. Dennis Connor, the all-time winningest crew chief in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history, will oversee the new GMAC racing operation, which will operate out of its own separate facility. And as it has since 1993, GMAC will continue to be an associate sponsor on all three HMS Winston Cup cars: the #24 DuPont Chevrolet driven by three-time champion Jeff Gordon, #5 Chevrolet of two-time champion Terry Labonte and the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet of Jerry Nadeau(RaceWorks, LLC)(11-3-2000)

  • Tutt ARCA Debut: Preston Tutt, who will drive the #15 Truck in the CTS in 2001 will make his major racing series debut in the Nov. 18 Georgia Boot 400 ARCA race. A native of Augusta, Ga., Tutt recently fulfilled a lifelong dream by signing with Billy Ballew Motorsports to drive a CTS(AMS PR)(11-1-2000)


Born On Date is Nov 14, 2000

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