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November 2003 Truck Series News Archive


 

  • New #7 Cup Crew Chief? hearing that Ted Musgrave’s Truck Series crew chief Gene Nead has been promoted to the #7 Nextell Cup Crew chief position.(11-24-2003)
  • Drivers Fined: Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 Dodge, and Ted Musgrave, driver of the #1 Dodge, have been fined for infractions that occurred at the Nov. 14 event at Homestead-Miami Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today.
    Gaughan was fined $10,000 under Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing) for use of inappropriate language.
    Musgrave was fined $2,500 under Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing) for use of inappropriate language.(NASCAR PR)(11-18-2003)
  • Gaughan Apology; Reffner injured? from Brendan Gaughan [a PR]:” I would first like to say that my prayers are with Bryan Reffner and his family. Thank you for trying to miss! Second, congratulations to Travis and his entire team on a great and exciting season. Finally, I would like to apologize to my family, team, sponsors, NASCAR officials and, most importantly, to the fans for my use of improper language during my post care center interview. I have been close friends with Jim Smith since I was about 8 years old, and the comment was made more because of conversations leading up to Homestead. Marty Houston has been a friend since I began driving in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and I personally believe that Marty is a great race car driver. Although I was not aware that Bryan Reffner had even hit me, I refuse to use a head injury as an excuse for my actions and I take responsibility for my actions. I have been in many situations this year that my ability to act well under pressure was tested, such as the Richmond accident with Bobby Hamilton, and I was able to take the higher road.
    To the families that watched, I deeply apologize and hope that you continue to watch what I personally feel is the most exciting and most fan friendly sport in the world, NASCAR.”
    Thank You, Brendan Gaughan
    (PR), Reffner dislocated 4 bones in his foot and will be in a cast for 6 weeks and doing fine.(11-18-2003)
  • Oops….: NASCAR officials plan to review several post-race comments made by drivers in Friday’s Ford 200 Truck series season finale for possible penalties for improper language. Brendan Gaughan, who led the series points entering the race until a late-race wreck took him out, and Ted Musgrave, who appeared to have title in hand until he was black-flagged on the next-to-last lap, are among those whose language was being reviewed, NASCAR officials said.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-15-2003)
  • Goodyear Race Tires to Tout Wrangler Brand in 2004: The rising popularity of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series combined with the continuing growth of the consumer truck and sport utility vehicle tire markets has prompted The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company to take its Wrangler brand to the track for the 2004 season. Although the truck series will race on Wrangler brand tires Goodyear will provide a means of converting tires with the Eagle name to Wrangler, and vice versa, at the company’s race tire warehouse facility in Concord, N.C. That will allow truck teams to continue the practice of racing on tires that are purchased by Nextel Cup and Busch series teams in 2004, but not used by them.(Goodyear PR)(11-15-2003)
  • Team Hollywood? UPDATE a Truck Team: hearing movie producer John Shestak (Blair With Project) and actor Anthony Edwards (formerly of ER) are expected to announce involvement in a NASCAR team for 2004 at Homestead. The names of Bradley Whitford (West Wing) and actress Rene Russo have also been mentioned as involved. The driver will be a young up-and-comer from California.(11-7-2003)
    UPDATE: there will be a press conference at Homestead-Miami Superspeedway on Friday, November 14th with actor Anthony Edwards (NBC’s “ER”) and producer John Shestack (Air Force One) for An Announcement Regarding Clean Line Motorsports and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Current Clean Line Motorsports driver is Brandon Whitt.(11-10-2003)
    UPDATE 2 – Cure Autism Now Joins Whitt In 2004; Organization involved with Truck team for full season: Brandon Whitt and the Clean Line Motorsports NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team announced a special new relationship and a full 2004 Truck season. Whitt, a 21-year-old native of El Cajon, Calif., will be joined by The Cure Autism Now Foundation, an international charitable organization of parents, clinicians and leading scientists committed to accelerating the pace of biomedical research in autism through research, education and outreach. (www.cureautismnow.org). While no money from Cure Autism Now (CAN) will go into the race team, supporters of the international organization will use the program to increase awareness of its mission and Clean Line Motorsports will gain an exciting new marking platform. Sponsors will get a great deal more out of this program than just stickers on a race car, as groups like Simple Green, Marsh Super Markets, White Castle Hamburgers and Motor Trend Magazine can attest. A CAN Indy car has found its way onto Letterman, Regis & Kelly, The Today Show and Conan O’Brian alongside well-known actor and CAN spokesperson Anthony Edwards. Whitt and his Clean Line Motorsports team made the announcement in Homestead before the start of the season finale with the help of Edwards, a leader among many celebrities who are supporting Cure Autism Now, and who is assisting with raising the Foundation’s profile. Edwards is also on the board of directors for the organization, along with scientists, parents, and CAN founder and film producer Jonathan Shestack, as well as such names in entertainment as Rene Russo, Jane Kazcmarek and Brad Whitford.
    “Our goal through this program is to continue spreading the word and letting people know we need help for Cure Autism Now,” said Edwards. “There is no better method in sports marketing than motorsports. We have been involved in the Indianapolis 500 for the past four years, and the response has been tremendous. Our feeling is a full year in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with Brandon Whitt and Clean Line Motorsports will also lead to a great response in terms of donations and awareness of autism and the efforts to end it.”
    “He adjusts and learns very quickly,” said crew chief Jerry Pitts, a veteran who has worked with some of the top names in stock car racing. “Brandon can take a couple of laps around a race track and have a pretty good idea of what that track is all about. Give him 20 laps and he is ready for the place. I give him credit in other ways too. For example, we went to Las Vegas a few weeks ago and he was pretty fast his first laps around the track,” Pitts added. “I found out later that, on his own, he chased down a few veteran drivers and asked them some pretty good questions about the place. They like him, so they told him what he needed to know.” Whitt is already prepared mentally for the full season next year. “We’re going to run all of the races and take a run at Rookie of the Year. I’ve got a good group of people to work with and some winning experience behind me, so I don’t see any reason we can’t reach our goals as a race team and help Cure Autism Now achieve its goals as well.” Pitts is a veteran crew chief who worked in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series with Bill Elliott, then moved to lead Eric Norris to the 2002 NASCAR Winston West Championship. Marty Gaunt is general manager, coming to the team after a winning stint with Penske Racing. The Cure Autism Now Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and funding autism research and accelerating the pace of scientific progress toward effective treatments and a cure. The organization is the largest private funder of biological research in autism, providing more than $12 million in grants since its inception in 1995.(Williams Company PR)(11-15-2003)
  • Honda too? Toyota, which has just passed Ford Motor Company as the world’s second biggest auto maker, yesterday announced its NASCAR truck-tour lineup for 2004, a long-awaited announcement. But Toyota sources added a twist – Honda is considering an expansion with a U.S. truck-building operation, which could open the door to a Honda on NASCAR’s truck tour, too.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-15-2003)
  • Hamilton wins race at Homestead; Kvapil wins the Championship: #16-Travis Kvapil claimed his first NASCAR Truck series championship and the second consecutive for IWX Racing and its #16 Chevrolets with his sixth place finish in Friday’s Ford 200 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Pole-winner #4-Bobby Hamilton won the race, holding off veteran #14-Rick Crawford by .186 seconds. The race’s final restart on Lap 133 of 134 ended up deciding the championship. Hamilton led on the restart, while the three drivers still in the championship hunt – Kvapil, #46-Dennis Setzer and #1-Ted Musgrave – were lined up seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively. As the lead-lap trucks crossed the finish line, NASCAR officials black-flagged Musgrave, claiming he attempted a pass to the left of Setzer on the restart to gain position. Only passing to the right is permitted. Initially after the race, Musgrave was listed as the series champion with a 16-point advantage. Following a review of the call, which was upheld, Musgrave was moved to 13th – the last truck on the lead lap – and Kvapil took the title by nine points over Setzer. “Ted was desperate. He needed to pick up two spots on me and it wasn’t going to happen under the green flag,” Kvapil said. “This is unbelievable. I’m just speechless.” Kvapil ended the season with one win (at Bristol), 13 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes in 25 races. Mike Bliss won the Truck title with the same team last season.
    Kvapil is leaving the team and joining the Toyota camp next season. Three-time series champion Jack Sprague will take over the #16 next season. Musgrave claimed he was trying to prevent an accident on the restart, not trying to pass. “Everybody’s on the gas and everybody’s moving forward and (Kvapil) stopped,” Musgrave said. “I turned left to avoid from having a big wreck and as soon as I did that, he stood on the gas. So, I had to get on the gas, too. It’s one of those deals where I think I know how to win championships now and that’s to play dirty like those guys.”
    Brendan Gaughan led the series points entering the race, but his #62 Dodge was demolished in a wreck on Lap 101. He was still leading the points when the wreck occurred. #10-Marty Houston, driving a Dodge for owner Jim Smith (who also owns Musgrave’s truck), clipped the wall as the caution flag came out, shot down the track and into Gaughan. Gaughan then rolled to the bottom of the track and was hit again, this time by #80-Bryan Reffner. The wreck immediately took Gaughan out of contention for the championship.(ThatsRacin.com)
    See Results at ThatsRacin.com, Truckseries.com, Motorsports One or NASCAR.com.
    Average Speed of Race Winner: 120.439 mph.
    Time of Race: 1 hour, 40 minutes, 8 seconds.
    Margin of Victory: 0.186 Seconds.
    Caution Flags: 5 for 23 laps.
    Lead Changes: 10 among 5 drivers.
    Lap Leaders: B. Hamilton 1-50; R. Crawford 51-55; D. Starr 56-60; J. Wood 61-62; C. Edwards # 63-65; R. Crawford 66-92; D. Starr 93-99; R. Crawford 100-116; B. Hamilton 117-132; R. Crawford 133; B. Hamilton 134.(11-14-2003)
  • Top five Driver Points Standings after Homestead – Final Race:
    #16-Travis Kvapil, 3837, finished 6th at Homestead
    #46-Dennis Setzer, 3828, -9, 7th
    #1-Ted Musgrave, 3819, -18, 13th
    #62-Brendan Gaughan, 3797, -40, 29th
    #50-Jon Wood, 3659, -178, 8th
    For standings see ThatsRacin.com.com.(11-14-2003)
  • old track layout record was 149.813, new track layout set Thursday was 169.252, 19.439mph faster.
  • Harvick Press Conference UPDATE: On Friday morning [11/14], Kevin Harvick and GM Goodwrench will take part in a press conference at the Media Center with Chevrolet and GM Racing on sponsorship for the 2004 NASCAR season.(Kevin Harvick site), this could be for Harvick’s Truck Series team that Matt Crafton will drive for in 2004, only other ‘rumors’ I have heard was that Smirnoff Ice was a possible associate sponsor on the #29 Cup car in 2004, but that has died down quite a bit and haven’t heard much about that in a while.(11-12-2003)
    UPDATE: GM Goodwrench, a division of General Motors Service Parts Operations (GMSPO), announced today its return to the NASCAR Truck Series through 2005. As the primary sponsor of a Kevin Harvick, Inc. owned #6 Chevrolet Silverado driven by NASCAR Touring Champion Matt Crafton. When it came to picking a driver to compete full time on the circuit, Harvick didn’t have to look far. He competed against Matt Crafton on the West Coast and knew of the Tulare, Calif., native’s potential. Crafton has been following the same path of his new truck owner, with a 2000 Featherlite Southwest Tour Series championship already under his belt. His first appearance on the Truck Series circuit came in 2000, and since then he’s posted 29 top-10 finishes in 71 starts with two teams, including a career-best 12th place finish in the points standings in 2001. “This is the most excited I’ve been about anything,” exclaims Crafton, currently 11th in the 2003 Truck Series standings with the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet Silverado owned by Duke Thorson. “I can tell you right now this is the biggest and best step I’ve taken in my racing career. I know we can go out and win races. GM Goodwrench as a sponsor is unreal. They’ve been so successful with all they’ve done in racing. I just hope I can continue that trend.”
    “We looked long and hard to find a person that would most benefit the opportunity and our operation” adds Harvick. “Matt was the most ambitious. He wanted the job more than anyone else did. We didn’t feel he was showing his full potential where he was. Matt’s got a ton of talent and I’ve been impressed with how he handles himself. I think he’ll be a great addition to our program and will bring a lot to the table.”(Kevin Harvick Site)(11-14-2003)
  • Goss to GM UPDATE: GM recently hired former #16 Cup Crew Chief Randy Goss to oversee the Silverado fleet and to help transition the body changes every team will undergo for 2004.(Speed Channel)(10-17-2003)
    UPDATE: General Motors has hired former Roush Racing crew chief Randy Goss to work in a technical liaison role with its expanded program in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. But the chief mechanic who won two rookie of the year and two series championships in trucks and the Busch Series with Greg Biffle won’t leave his crew chief’s role. Goss will be the crew chief in as many as 10 Craftsman Truck races next season in which Nextel Cup drivers will wheel a GM-backed truck. It’s unknown whether those 10 events include a limited program of races that Kevin Harvick said he would run in a second Kevin Harvick Inc. truck, backed by GM Goodwrench, as a teammate to KHI’s lead driver, Matt Crafton.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(11-14-2003)
  • Toyota Press Conference UPDATE: hearing that Toyota will be holding a press conference on Friday morning at 10:00am/et at Homestead-Miami Speedway to announce the four teams for next year.(11-13-2003)
    UPDATE: Toyota has announced that Bang Racing, Bill Davis Racing, Innovative Motorsports Inc. and Waltrip Racing Inc. will field Toyota Tundra race trucks in the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In addition to running Tundra trucks in 2004, Davis will be assisting Toyota Racing Development (TRD) U.S.A. in the construction of the Toyota Tundra race trucks and the building of the NASCAR-spec Tundra Racing V8 engines. “We are extremely excited to be entering the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series next year with these four quality teams, all of which will be significant new additions to the series,” said Jim Aust, vice president of Motorsports at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., and president and CEO of Toyota Racing Development (TRD) U.S.A. “Each of them brings a wealth of racing experience and knowledge that will be invaluable to our program.”
    Toyota announced its entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series last February at the Chicago Auto Show. The Toyota Tundra race-truck body and chassis were submitted to NASCAR in July, and the first track test was conducted in August at Caraway Speedway. TRD U.S.A. has designed and developed the Tundra Racing V8 for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in its Costa Mesa, Calif., facility. The engine was unveiled on Nov. 5 at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.(ThatsRacin.com Report)(11-14-2003)


    The Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Truck Series Engine
    Courtesy TRD/Stock Car Racing

  • #14 to support foundation at MHS: #14-Rick Crawford and the Circle Bar Racing team will proudly display their support this weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway of The Bubel/Aiken Foundation founded by American Idol star Clay Aiken. The team joins The Foundation’s campaign to raise awareness for children with developmental disabilities by carrying The Bubel/Aiken logo on the #14 Circle Bar Ford F-150.
    Long before he became an internationally recognized musical artist, Clay Aiken’s life ambition was to work with individuals with disabilities. While on staff at the YMCA, Clay had to watch children with special needs be turned away because trained staff wasn’t available to integrate the children into programs with typical children or because the child to staff ratio was too high to effectively adapt. Although Aiken is presently occupied with the music industry, he remains passionate about assisting youth with special needs to live full lives in the real world.
    “The Bubel/Aiken Foundation envisions a world where young people with developmental disabilities are totally immersed in all life has to offer. We will build our legacy by breaking down the barriers that prevent families from obtaining the services and financial assistance they need while serving as a watchdog to make sure the public continues to keep those barriers down,” says Aiken.
    The relationship between Circle Bar Racing and The Bubel/Aiken Foundation began through Foundation volunteer Penny Rogers, wife of Circle Bar employee Gerald Rogers. Circle Bar Racing began running the Foundation’s logo in Phoenix two weeks ago and will continue through the season ending Ford 200.
    “One of our employees and his wife support the great causes of the Bubel/Aiken Foundation and we wanted to show our support,” said Crawford. “NASCAR is the fastest growing sport in America and Clay Aiken is one of the fastest growing artists. By running this decal we can generate awareness for The Bubel/Aiken Foundation and help raise awareness for children with special needs.
    “Rick Crawford and his team understand the importance of using their visibility to help change attitudes that unfairly stereotype children with disabilities. Our partnership with the Circle Bar Racing Team will help us redirect attention toward the abilities these children possess and how, each day, our lives are enriched by their full participation,” adds Fran Skinner-Lewis, Executive Director of the Foundation.(PR)(11-14-2003)
  • Lester in a Toyota? And the hot word from the Toyota camp is that the company, possibly with a push from NASCAR, has picked up Bill Lester from Dodge to run the Trucks series next season, possibly with the Bill Davis team. Shelby Howard, who will run a Davis Toyota next year, tested Atlanta this week. NASCAR’s Brian France has been meeting with Toyota officials in recent weeks, and certainly his “diversity” program was on the table.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-14-2003)
  • Third Penske Team in 2004? UPDATE Gaughan and Penske? The Kodak fact finding mission stopped at Roush Racing, BAM Racing, Bill Davis Racing, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and reportedly to Penske Racing South – where there is interest in starting a third team.(Ford Racing)(11-10-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Brendan Gaughan is “supposed” to go to a third Penske team next year, with Kodak sponsorship. Somehow, the whole (Kodak) deal is contingent on his winning the Truck Series championship.(11-14-2003)
  • #46 to NC; new engines, Setzer still driver? UPDATE: The other General Motors team with a shot at this years Championship is Dennis Setzer’s #46 Acxiom Chevy. While Setzer lost a little ground with his 8th place finish at Texas, he comes into Martinsville with the truck they call “Stan” (three wins this year: Bakersfield, Martinsville, South Boston) and two consecutive previous victories on the ½ mile. The Morgan Dollar team will move to the former Addington race shop in Statesville and will have Childress power under the hood next season.(Speed Channel)(10-17-2003)
    UPDATE – Setzer re-ups with Morgan-Dollar: Dennis Setzer has signed a three-year contract extension with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports that will keep him in the #46 Chevrolets through the 2006 season, team officials said. Setzer, 43, has three NASCAR Truck series wins this season and is fourth in points, 39 behind leader Brendan Gaughan. This is his fifth season in the series and third with Morgan-Dollar. Setzer has 141 career starts, including 10 wins, 51 top-five and 89 top-10 finishes and three poles.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-14-2003)
  • DW’s driver is…. hearing David Reutimann will be Darrell Waltrip’s driver in the #17 Toyota. No word on a sponsor. Supposedly Waltrip will drive a few races in a 2nd team truck, #11.(11-13-2003)
  • Hamilton takes the pole at the NEW Homestead; Points leader to the back: #62-Brendan Gaughan, who leads #1-Ted Musgave by 26 points with only Friday’s Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (3:15pm/et, Speed Chennel) remaining, lost an engine early Thursday and will have to start the race from the rear of the field, despite qualifying 13th fastest. Four drivers remain in the hunt for the title. Besides Gaughan and Musgrave, #16-Travis Kvapil (34 points behind Gaughan) and #46-Dennis Setzer (39 back) also have a shot to win the championship in Friday’s finale. Of the four, Kvapil got the biggest boost to his title hopes in qualifying, claiming the fourth starting position. Musgrave was 10th fastest and Setzer, 11th. #4-Bobby Hamilton claimed the pole Thursday at the newly reconfigured Homestead-Miami Speedway with a track record lap at 169.252 mph. Since last season, the previously flat track has added 20-degrees of variable banking and a new asphalt surface. #2-Andy Houston, Musgrave’s Ultra Motorsports teammate, qualified third. #29-Terry Cook completed the top-five.(full story at ThatsRacin.com)
    Eight drivers failed to qualify: #93-Derrike Cope; #51-Jason Hedlesky; #95-Wayne Edwards; #01-Lance Hooper; #23-Dana White; 25-Jamie Aube; #81-Danny Bagwell; and #5-Carl Long.
    For qualifying results/starting lineups, see
    ThatsRacin.com
    Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com or/and
    the Homestead-Miami Speedway site.(11-13-2003)
  • Kvapil to BANG? UPDATE not back in the #16; Testing at Homestead on Monday: hearing Travis Krapil, current driver of the #16 Chevy, will be the 2nd driver with the BANG Racing team and teammate with #42-Mike Skinner.(11-10-2003)
    UPDATE: Whether he wins the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck series title this season or not, Travis Kvapil will not return to his IWX Racing team next season. Kvapil, third in the Truck points race, said Thursday he will not return to his #16 Chevys next season. Three-time Trucks champion Jack Sprague will drive for the team in 2004. Kvapil is expected to join Bang Racing and the Toyota camp, which will unveil its 2004 drivers in a Friday news conference. Asked about his future, Kvapil said, “You can probably figure it out if you stick around on Monday.” Toyota has a scheduled test Monday at Homestead.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-13-2003)
  • Testing at Atlanta UPDATE: Kevin Harvick’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck team tested Tuesday evening with driver Matt Crafton, getting a jump on testing for next March’s inaugural truck race, and the Toyota development team of Bill Davis Racing joined the test Wednesday night. The 200-mile event is scheduled for Saturday, March 13, at Atlanta Motor Speedway. During the four-hour evening test, Crafton and his #6 GM Goodwrench Chevy truck reached a top speed of 177.408mph around the 1.54-mile high-banked track. Crafton was joined during Wednesday night’s test by Shelby Howard, who will pilot the Bill Davis Racing/Toyota development truck. Crafton has driven the #88 Menards/Enzyme Majic ThorSport Chevy in the truck series for the past four seasons, this year earning 18 top-15 finishes in 24 races. However, Crafton announced in September that he would not return to Dick Thorson’s team next year and was quickly named the driver of Kevin Harvick’s full-time truck series entry. Howard, a three-time ARCA Re/Max Series winner, recently signed with BDR to drive the Toyota Tundra next season. Tickets are already on sale for the truck race and the rest of the March 12-14 Golden Corral 500 weekend. For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, or call Ticketmaster.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(11-13-2003)
    UPDATE: Already a veteran of Atlanta Motor Speedway at the ripe old age of 18, Shelby Howard toured the high-banked speedway in a different vehicle Tuesday: a Toyota Tundra. Howard, the development driver for Toyota and Bill Davis Racing, is helping the team gather information for its truck program next year, which will race for the first time at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck race on Saturday, March 13. Howard hopes to be the driver in those events, but so far no official announcement has been made. Either way, Howard is trying to learn as much as he can for Toyota and BDR, and also trying to acclimate himself to a completely new vehicle. “It’s a lot different than what I drove here in the past,” Howard said. “It has a lot more drag overall and a smaller motor, so we shouldn’t have to lift – but so far we are.” The team wasn’t looking for speed during Tuesday’s test, when Howard had a fast lap at 32.23 seconds (172.014 mph). Also testing was Matt Crafton, who turned the fast lap of the day in 31.44 seconds (176.336mph). Crew chief Dave Fuge Jr., recently added to the BDR operation, said Tuesday ’s test was mostly a fact-finding mission. “This is our first time all working together, so we’re just starting at ground zero and trying to learn everything we can to make this Toyota program top-notch,” Fuge said. “It’s just like starting over. We’re trying to learn everything we can on the basics of this truck so we can start climbing the mountain.”(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(11-13-2003)
  • Toyota On Track At Daytona International Speedway: Toyota made its first visit to historic Daytona International Speedway this week for a two-day manufacturer test session for the Toyota Tundra, which will make its racing debut in the inaugural nighttime running Florida Dodge Dealers NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday night, Feb. 13. On Tuesday and Wednesday, test driver Joe Ruttman turned laps around the 2.5-mile tri-oval in a Toyota Tundra truck with times posted in the 49-second range (180-181 mph). Ruttman, who won the 2001 Florida Dodge Dealers 250 and owns the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 qualifying record (187.583 mph, 2000), has been doing the test driving for Toyota at other facilities and was thrilled to be the first driver to turn laps at the “World Center of Racing” in a Tundra. “It’s really special,” Ruttman said. “Right from the start, it’s something that they can’t ever take away from you . . . getting the opportunity to do the development on the Tundra. It’s educational and it’s fun for me. I’m geared up every time they say we’re going to go somewhere.” A fleet of Toyota Tundras will compete against Chevrolets, Fords and Dodges under the lights on Friday night, Feb. 13 in the fifth annual Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season opener. Tickets to the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 and other Speedweeks 2004 events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1800-PITSHOP. See an image of the #11 Toyota Tundra turning laps during the test session on my Toyota Page.(DIS PR)(11-13-2003)
  • WRS Champion to run at Homestead: the 2003 NASCAR Dodge WRS Champion Mark McFarland will run in the Truck Series race at Homestead for his Late Model owner Jim Dean in the #55 Dean Motorsports Dodge. This is Dean Motorsports second foray into CTS and McFarland’s 3rd CTS race this year. McFarland and Dean Motorsports are looking for sponsorship to race full time in the CTS next year.(11-13-2003)
  • Bang Racing Switches from #3 to #42: Bang Racing announced it will field the #42 truck for driver Mike Skinner instead of the #3 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series during the 2004 through 2006 seasons. According to Alex Meshkin, the owner of Bang Racing and Chief Executive Officer, “We are listening to our fans and there are mixed feelings. We certainly understand that there is a lot of history and passion with the No. 3 and want to respect those feelings…we are excited to be a part of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and feel that any number that comes onto the track with driver Mike Skinner and Bang Racing will be a winner and a competitive force.” The Craftsman Truck Series is the first racing division to be officially announced within Bang Racing. Bang Racing is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bang LLC, a global operating company that creates long term value by focusing on building and acquiring motorsports related companies and technology-related assets. “We are looking forward to a very competitive season with our drivers in the truck series,” said Meshkin. “In the days to come we will be announcing an exciting new manufacturer, a dynamic young driver and numerous respected sponsors.”(Bang Racing PR)(11-13-2003)
  • John Adalio named Vice president of Sponsorship at Bang Racing: Bang Racing, LLC today announced that John Adalio has been named as Vice President of Sponsorship. Adalio will manage the sponsorship group that creates innovative, cross-platform sponsorships for Bang Racing’s marketing partners. “The sponsorship group utilizes our proprietary technology, the Integrated Marketing Vehicle Platform (IMVP) that enables our sponsors to manage, modify and measure their marketing messages,” said Alex Meshkin, CEO of Bang, LLC. “This is a vital position and a comprehensive role in our company, and [John] Adalio has been a valuable player and dedicated professional.” Bang Racing is the motorsports division of Bang, LLC, a global operating company that creates long term value by focusing on building and acquiring motorsports related companies and technology-related assets. “I am very excited about being a part of this dynamic team of individuals at Bang,” said Adalio. “Being involved from the onset has allowed me to help develop our marketing strategy from the ground up. We came into this with a new approach to NASCAR team sponsorships. . .it is still early but the response to Bang from corporate sponsors has been overwhelming.” Adalio brings an extensive career in professional sports marketing and sponsorship acquisition to his position with Bang Racing. Prior to joining the team, Adalio was a Partner in Slingshot Motorsports, a motorsports marketing and sponsorship agency, where he established a clientele consisting of drivers and teams involved in NASCAR, the Indy Racing League and the Toyota Atlantic Series. “[Alex] Meshkin and I have been touring the country for the past several months meeting with companies and their agencies, presenting them with a motorsports marketing opportunity that is interactive and measurable,” said Adalio. “[John] Adalio is at the forefront of our sponsorship acquisition and has established an impressive pipeline of sponsors,” said Meshkin. “He has the energy, enthusiasm and unwavering dedication that make Bang Racing progressive and competitive.”
    “[Larry] McReynolds’ knowledge of the sport and track record of success, combined with [Alex] Meshkin’s innovative approach, is a recipe for success,” said Adalio. “I am excited about Bang Racing, and you can expect sponsor announcements in the near future.”
    “Bang is a forward looking company,” Meshkin said. “We are currently developing programs with sponsors for the truck series as well as the Nextel Cup and Busch series to offer our innovative, interactive sponsorship solution in the 2004 season and beyond.” Bang Racing is a dynamic race team offering a unique opportunity for sponsors to market their brands in the world of NASCAR. For further information about the team and sponsorship opportunities.(Bang Racing PR) and see their contact info on my Truck Series Address page.(11-12-2003)
  • Sutton Award: Race car driver Kelly Sutton, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 16, was the recipient of the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award by the Women’s Sports Foundation on Oct 20th.(ESPN) (11-12-2003)
  • Homestead Truck Series Stuff: Tenth place, spot on banquet stage up for grabs … #18-Chad Chaffin and #98-Matt Crafton are separated by 43 points in the fight for the 10th and final spot on-stage at the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series awards banquet, being held Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Sheraton Bal Harbour Resort in Miami Beach. Chaffin has held the 10th position since mid-September, following the New Hampshire 200.

    Contending teams add to arsenal at Homestead … Up to a quarter of the 36-truck Ford 200 field could be filled by trucks fielded by the four championship-contending teams. Gaughan’s Orleans Racing partner will be Scott Lynch, the 2003 Grand National NASCAR Winston West champion. Ultra Motorsports’ two-truck lineup, Musgrave and Andy Houston, will be augmented by three drivers, among them Marty Houston, who’ll make his first series start since October 2000. Three-time series champion Jack Sprague will be Kvapil’s teammate in a second IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet.. Sprague’s #11 entry won last year’s Homestead race in the hands of Ron Hornaday Jr.

    Going for the record(s) … Two longtime NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series records could fall at Homestead. With a lead lap finish, Kvapil will count the fewest uncompleted laps (one) and miles (.5) in a season. Joe Ruttman’s mark (two/.666-mile) was set in 1995. And, Setzer needs a top-10 finish to reach a record 20 consecutive top-10 finishes. He matched Hornaday’s 1996 mark at Phoenix.

    Some Notes: Andy Houston has been named the 2004 driver of the No. 2 Ultra Motorsports truck following his fifth consecutive top-10 finish last week at Phoenix International Raceway. … Also renewed for next season is #75-David Starr, who will drive for Wayne Spears for the third consecutive season. … #99-Carl Edwards will put the finishing touches on this year’s Raybestos Rookie of the Year award when the dust settles at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Edwards holds a 134-point lead in the competition – one fewer than Kurt Busch’s 2000 freshman mark. … Homestead-Miami Speedway holds the series records for the fewest cautions (one) and caution laps (four). The mark was set a year ago as Hornaday averaged a race record 133.260 mph. … Sprague has led the most laps (241) and miles (361.5) but has yet to win at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He’s twice finished second, in 1996 and 1998.

    Spoilers Same as Daytona:Teams must run the same rear spoiler package as required at Daytona International Speedway and Lowe’s and Texas Motor Speedways. The 68-3/4 wide spoiler measures nine inches in height on 12-inch outer sections and eight inches in height on the center section of 44-3/4 inches.

    Four Homestead winners saddle up for Ford 200 … Musgrave and Andy Houston are joined this week by #14-Rick Crawford and #31-Mike Wallace in search of a second Homestead-Miami Speedway victory. The track counts seven winners in seven events.
    The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship will be decided for the eighth time in the final race of the season. The closest finish came in 1998 when Hornaday edged Sprague by three points. Sprague’s eight-point margin in 1999 marked the only time in series history that a leader entering the season finale has not won the title. Greg Biffle came to California Speedway with a 21-point advantage and lost to Sprague by eight.

    Fast Facts
    Next Race: Ford 200 (Race No. 25 of 25).
    Where: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL
    When: Friday, Nov. 14, 3:15pm/et
    TV: SPEED Channel, 3:00pm/et
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
    Posted awards: $573,650.
    Race length: 134 laps/201 miles.
    Track layout: 1.5-mile oval.
    2002 winner: Ron Hornaday Jr.[not in race]
    2002 polesitter: Mike Bliss.[not in race]
    Pre-race schedule: Thursday Practice, 9:00 to 10:50am/et. Qualifying, 1:00pm/et. Final practice following NASCAR Busch Series qualifying, time permitting.(NASCAR PR)(11-12-2003)

  • Since it is the last race of the year, figured I’d post the Entry List [44 entries for 36 spots]:
    #01 Lance Hooper
    #02 Kelly Sutton
    #03 Eric Jones
    #07 Shane Sieg
    #08 Jody Lavender
    #1 Ted Musgrave
    #2 Andy Houston
    #4 Bobby Hamilton
    #5 Carl Long
    #7 Tyler Walker
    #8 Bill Lester
    #9 Johnny Sauter
    #10 Marty Houston
    #11 Jack Sprague
    #14 Rick Crawford
    #15 Rich Bickle
    #16 Travis Kvapil
    #18 Chad Chaffin
    #21 Morgan Shepherd
    #23 Jamie Aube
    #25 Dana White
    #27 P.J. Jones
    #29 Terry Cook
    #31 Mike Wallace
    #38 Brandon Whitt
    #46 Dennis Setzer
    #50 Jon Wood
    #51 Jason Hedlesky
    #52 Ken Schrader
    #55 Mark McFarland
    #59 Robert Pressley
    #61 Scott Lynch
    #62 Brendan Gaughan
    #69 Frank Kimmel
    #72 Randy MacDonald
    #75 David Starr
    #80 Bryan Reffner
    #81 Danny Bagwell
    #86 Phil Bonifield
    #88 Buddy Rice
    #93 Derrike Cope
    #95 Wayne Edwards
    #98 Matt Crafton
    #99 Carl Edwards
    See more info on Entry Lists at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com (11-12-2003)
  • Check Out the Truckseries.com site for up to date notes on the testing at Homestead on Monday.
    The top 10 speeds from the Truck Series site [have other info there on the testing also – lots of notes]:
    #62-Brendan Gaughan, Dodge, 168.224
    #14-Rick Crawford, Ford, 168.119
    #1-Ted Musgrave, Dodge, 167.546
    #2-Andy Houston, Dodge, 167.338
    #46-Dennis Setzer, Chevrolet, 167.286
    #4-Bobby Hamilton, Dodge, 167.183
    #18-Chad Chaffin, Dodge, 166.358
    #16-Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, 166.154
    #50-Jon Wood, Ford, 166.154
    #8-Bill Lester, Dodge, 165.441 (11-11-2003)
  • Two Billy Ballew Motorsports entries at Homestead: Johnny Sauter will help Music Mega Star Nelly promote his new line of clothing by driving the #9 Apple Bottoms Ford in the Ford 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday. Apple Bottoms is a highly anticipated line of women’s clothing created by the award-winning musician. Apple Bottoms complements Nelly’s already successful line of male clothing, VOKAL. VOKAL will once again serve as the sponsor of the other Billy Ballew Motorsports entry, the #15 Ford driven by Rich Bickle.(PR)(11-13-2003)
  • Another Open Wheeler to NASCAR? UPDATE: Open Wheel driver, Buddy Rice, on Thursday flew to Cleveland, where he was to be fitted inside a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Chevrolet owned by Doug Thorson [#88/#98 Team]. He is slated to test Monday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Craftsman season ends next Friday at the 1.5-mile oval, and Rice may make his NASCAR debut at the recently revamped track with Thorson’s regular driver, #88-Matt Crafton [who will drive for Kevin Harvick in 2004], as his teammate. “I’ve never driven anything this big,” said Rice, who lives in Phoenix. “I’m kind of excited about the opportunity. It’s a new adventure for me. It’s like when I drove Chris Neville’s Trans-Am car in 2000. I was real excited about doing that, too.” Rice drove this past season in the Indy Racing League for car owner Eddie Cheever Jr., but the team struggled and Cheever chose to replace Rice with Alex Barron for the final three races. Rice and Cheever have since mutually agreed to end their contract, which still had one year and an option remaining. “I’m a free agent,” Rice said. Rice has talked to several IRL teams, including one owned by Chip Ganassi. Ganassi, however, filled the team’s lone open seat recently by hiring Darren Manning to replace Tony Renna, who was killed last month while testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(Arizona Republic)(11-7-2003)
    UPDATE: IndyCar veteran Buddy Rice will attempt to make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut this weekend in the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday. Rice, who was benched by Team Cheever in favor of Alex Barron halfway through the 2003 IRL season, had been linked with a move to the Trucks for 2004, but the ThorSport Racing team opted to drop him directly into the action after he impressed in a test of the team’s #88 Menards/Enzyme Magic Chevrolet on Monday. He will drive a second Truck alongside ThorSport regular Matt Crafton. “We’re delighted to be able to bring Buddy Rice to NASCAR racing this week at Homestead,” said Duke Thorson, owner of ThorSport Racing. “He’s a tremendous talent who showed us Monday that he can successfully make the transition from Indy racing to NASCAR racing in our truck.” Rice was among the drivers that participated in an open test session at the reconfigured Homestead track on Monday. “It feels real good so far, and I’m pleased,” said Rice, 27. “You have to drive the truck, and that makes it fun. There’s definitely a lot happening out there. I’ve always been an open-wheel racer, and I’m trying to get to know the people over here. I’m enjoying myself. The team’s done a good job preparing the truck, and that says a lot for this team. I’m getting a taste for driving the truck. I always thought I’d like this, and now I’m seeing what it’s like.”(Speed Channel), Rice will drive the #88 Truck, while regular driver [and future Kevin Harvick driver] Matt Crafton will drive the #98 Truck for the team.(11-11-2003)
  • Roush, Edwards and Superchips back in 2004: Roush Racing announced today that rookie Carl Edwards will return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to compete for the championship in 2004. Superchips will also return as the primary sponsor of the #99 Ford F-150 for the 2004 season. With one race to go in his rookie season, Edwards has already won three races, one pole and earned 13 top-five finishes. He is eighth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings, and will also officially win the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year title this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Superchips became the primary sponsor of Edwards’ truck in late August, and is looking forward to continuing the relationship with the team. Based in Sanford, Fla., Superchips, Inc. was one of the first companies specializing in the “tuning” of computer-controlled vehicles for more power. Superchips offers tuning for many different makes and models from exotic race cars to diesel powered tow vehicles.(Roush Racing PR)(11-11-2003)
  • Toyota Testing at Daytona: Toyota will hold a two-day manufacturer test session today and Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the 2004 Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Feb. 13. Joe Ruttman will serve as the test driver. The test session is free and open to the public both days, with access to the Oldfield Grandstand available through Daytona USA.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-11-2003)
  • Trucks testing today at Homestead, hear there was some rain that delayed the start but that the trucks are doing some testing with the highest unofficial speeds being around 166.000mph, the Winston Cup Qualifying record on the old layout was 156.440mph.(11-10-2003)
  • Quotes from the Bobby Hamilton Racing Drivers about Homestead:
    Bobby Hamilton said, “The track’s new configuration is like an old Atlanta Motor Speedway. It’s fast, but that’s not a huge change from the other times we’ve been here. I like that way the track drives now. They did a great job making all these changes and putting this place back so smoothly. We’ve had some extra time today to work on our qualifying and race runs, so I see us being pretty strong in the race Friday.”
    Chad Chaffin said, “It’s hard for us to say right now what we think about the track because our truck is pushing really bad. We just need more time to figure out what we need to do. Bobby (Hamilton) is very fast and I jumped in his truck to see the difference. It helped us a little on our setup and he coached me on how to drive around this place. We’ve had some strong races this year on tracks like this one, so I see us picking up by the afternoon. The track looks and feels great. It’s very smooth.”
    Bill Lester tapped the wall in turns one and two in the first few laps of practice. He said, “I tried to turn the truck and it kept going straight on me. I tapped the wall, but it was just cosmetic damage. It wasn’t that bad; I was nursing the brakes and so it was slowed down. We’ve made a few laps since then, but are still working on it.”(Bobby Hamilton Racing PR)(11-10-2003)
  • Comments by CTS Driver Brandon Whitt on the new Homestead track: “I was pretty surprised with what I saw. They did a great job with the track surface. I’m not particularly surprised they did a good job but with how good a job they did. Most new tracks, you just don’t see side-by-side racing for at least a few races; for some, a few years. I think you are going to see it all weekend long, from our race on Friday, through the Busch race on Saturday and on into the Cup race on Sunday. The track is capable of handing it already and, once it gets a lot more trucks and cars running laps on it, it’s going to be even better. These early practice sessions are probably better for the track than they are the teams. It is really coming in. At first, everybody ran up top (in the turns) because there was no grip. But as more rubber was put down, more teams were able to move down. A lot of guys are running at the bottom now, and I think the Busch cars will be able to do that from the start tomorrow (Tuesday’s test session) and the Winston Cup cars for sure on Wednesday. Of course, if it rains hard, then it will have to start all over again, but I think even then it will come back in pretty fast. They did a great job. The track is really smooth all the way around. It’s going to be fast but it’s going to be racy too. Of course, we were practicing in the top 10, so maybe I’m a little biased (laughing).”(Williams Company of America PR)(11-10-2003)
  • Two Houston’s with Ultra at Homestead: Ultra Motorsports and Team ASE/CARQUEST are using in this weekend’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to run the Houston brothers. Andy Houston will make his sixth start of the year in the #2 Dodge and brother Marty Houston will make his first NCTS start of the year in the #10 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge and his first series start since November 2000. The two brothers are the sons of NASCAR Busch Series legend Tommy Houston. They became the first brother combination in NCTS history to score top-ten finishes in the same race on February 26, 2000 when Andy won at Homestead and Marty came home in the 10th position. The two Hickory siblings have spent many an evening at Hickory Speedway rubbing sheet metal and battling for the win. Dominance at Hickory is a family tradition and sometimes it comes hard earned. The upcoming race at Homestead provides the Houston family with the chance to work together on the same team and for the same goal. They look forward to improving each other’s chances at victory.(Ultra Motorsports PR)(11-10-2003)
  • Toyota Unveils Tundra Racing V8 at SEMA Show: The SEMA Show unveiling of the Tundra Racing V8 for the Toyota Tundra race truck represents one of the most critical steps in Toyota’s journey to NASCAR’s victory lane. It follows a historic press conference at the 2003 Chicago Auto Show where Toyota first rolled out a race-prepared Tundra pickup to formally announce its plans to begin participation in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The normally aspirated, Tundra Racing V8 engine was designed entirely in America by Toyota Racing Development. TRD’s technical capabilities came to the forefront as they designed and produced “from a clean sheet of paper,” an overhead valve racing engine in a remarkably short period of time. The engine design focused on high quality, performance, lightweight, reliability, and ease of manufacture. Measuring 358 cubic inches of displacement, the V8 is capable of producing up to 650 horsepower. The cast aluminum cylinder head and cast iron cylinder block both use a computer-optimized cooling system. The engine is also equipped with forged aluminum pistons, forged steel connecting rods, and a high strength billet steel crankshaft. Its fuel pump and exhaust were each developed by TRD. The engine’s Craftsman Series debut will take place at historic Daytona International Speedway in February 2004 where it will be represented by at least six American-built Tundra race trucks. Team affiliations will be determined soon. TRD will design, develop, and build the Craftsman Truck Tundra V8 to NASCAR specifications in its Costa Mesa, Calif., facility.(Motorsports Forum)(11-9-2003)
  • Parker Jr. in a Toyota? UPDATE: hearing Hank Parker Jr. will run a Toyota truck in the 2004 Truck Series for George deBidart/Innovative Motorsports, the other driver is supposedly Dash driver Robert Huffman.(11-7-2003)
    UPDATE: Hank Parker Jr., who ran a partial Busch Series schedule this season, will drive one of the two Toyota Tundra entries owned by George diBidart in the NASCAR Truck series next season, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Parker Jr., 29, ran several races for the Busch team co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt, this season. He also substituted for Truck series driver David Starr for several races, while Starr recovered from injuries sustained in a practice session accident earlier this season. Parker Jr., reached Friday by phone, would not confirm the move. “I’ve talked to a lot of owners and been looking into a lot of different things,” he said. “I need to be racing every week.” Parker Jr. has two career Busch series wins.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-7-2003)
  • Winston West Champ to run Homestead: Newly crowned NASCAR Grand National, Winston West Series Division champion Scott Lynch will run the Truck Series race at Homestead in the #61 Orleans Dodge. This race will mark Lynch’s second foray in the Craftsman Truck Series. “We ran earlier this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,” says Lynch, who qualified 14th out of a field of 51 and finished 12th. “I really appreciate Orleans Racing and Dodge Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to compete in this event.”
    “We have been watching Scott Lynch throughout the season,” explains Dodge NASCAR Truck Program Manager Scott Richter. “Our Dodge development program is constantly on the lookout for new talent and we feel that Lynch is definitely a young rising star in the NASCAR arena. He has done a tremendous job this year, giving Dodge their first Winston West title since 1976 and it is our pleasure to help field him in this race.” Hailing from Burley, Idaho, Lynch, a recent graduate from the University of Utah, has been competing for the past six years. “We’ve had a really great season,” continues Lynch, who earned three poles, three wins, seven top five and ten top 10 finishes in the Winston West Series. Winning both the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title and the Championship is just awesome and I couldn’t be more pleased. Now, we want to end the year with a top ten in the Truck Series.”(PR)(11-6-2003)
  • Instructor Injured: A pit crew instructor was hit by a car Tuesday while training in Mooresville. Authorities say Lance Munksgord sustained a broken shoulder and leg after getting knocked about 60 feet. The accident happened behind a training building where the pit crew was practicing. As the truck [not car] approached, the crew jumped the wall, but the it didn’t stop. Munksgord is the pit coach for three different race teams at Ultra Motor Sports.(WSOCTV.com)(11-5-2003)
    AND it was actually a truck that hit Munksgord as the #2 team was doing pit stop practice when the accident happened. The brakes failed on the truck. The tire changer got around the front, Munksgord was carrying the front tire and got hit. He was released from the hospital the night that the accident happened with a broken shoulder, right arm and right leg and some miscellaneous stiches. Get well Lance!(11-6-2003)
  • Holigan Racing Formed For NASCAR, AMA And National Television Series: Taking reality television to unmatched heights, Holigan Racing will field a NASCAR Busch Series car and an AMA Motocross team in 2004. The day-to-day efforts behind both teams will be part of a national television series on Spike TV, a national television network. The team will run 15 NASCAR Busch Series races, the full 16-event AMA Supercross schedule and the full 12-event AMA Outdoor Nationals.
    Holigan Racing is owned by Michael Holigan, an expert home-builder and contractor with his own nationally-syndicated television series. Holigan is purchasing the assets of TKO Motorsports, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team based in Ft. Worth, and will run the NASCAR and AMA teams from his new facility in Dallas.
    David Starr, one of the top names from NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series, will drive the Busch car, and will continue driving the Truck for Spears Racing. Todd Myers, a veteran who has worked previously with such names as Jamie McMurray, Brendan Gaughan and Starr, will serve as crew chief.
    Lifekey Health Care, Inc. will sponsor the Busch team through its brand of Enzyte, once-a-day option for natural male enhancement. Team Enzyte will be featured each week in “The Reality of Speed,” a 52-week reality show debuting on the Spike TV network beginning Saturday, January 3rd at 10:30 AM. The series follows the lives of drivers, riders and members of both the NASCAR and AMA Holigan Racing teams as they prepare and compete on the grueling circuits.
    “This is a unique positive position for a motorsports team and for a motorsports sponsor,” Holigan said. “Bringing talents like David Starr and Todd Myers together, incorporating immediate, automatic national television exposure and bringing in a high-quality corporate sponsor like Lifekey Health Services and a product like Enzyte may very well be a first for this sport. We are proud to break ground with this exciting new series on Spike TV, and with an exciting new race team.
    The national television show is the first for Enzyte, and the first reality TV show starring a racing team. Enzyte joins such sponsors as Budweiser, Goodyear, and the U.S. Army, and is the first men’s supplement to sponsor a race car team. Holigan Racing LP is a newly-formed motorsports team created by Holigan, a former NASCAR Winston Cup team sponsor. Spike TV, the first network for men, is available in 86 million homes and is a division of MTV networks. Enzyte is the non-prescription, once-a-day tablet for natural male enhancement. Its proprietary blend of natural ingredients enables men to reach their full potential, achieving stronger, fuller, better quality erections. As part of a man’s daily regiment, Enzyte is not situation specific, promoting spontaneity. Enzyte is a brand of Lifekey Health Care, Inc. (www.enzyte.com; 1-800-ENZYTE)(PR), Holigan used to sponsor the #25 Cup car.(11-5-2003)
  • Kimmel to drive truck at Homestead UPDATE: Plans are in the works for 5-time and 2003 ARCA Champ Frank Kimmel to run the final race of the year in the Craftsman Truck Race at the Homestead Speedway in Miami, FL. They have acquired a Ford truck from K Automotive Racing, who normally fields the #29 in the series. The Ford F-150 will carry sponsorship with Advance Auto Parts and the National Pork Board and will carry the number 69. The number being the same as driven by Frank’s dad and brother for many years.(Frank Kimmel Site)(10-28-2003)
    UPDATE: Five-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion, Frank Kimmel, will tackle the competition of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the newly configured 1.5-mile oval of Homestead-Miami Speedway for the series’ season finale on November 14. Kimmel, who earned the 2003 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship just a few weeks ago, will make his ninth career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at the same speedway where he earned his best series finish of ninth in March of 1996.
    “This is a really great way to finish out the 2003 season,” said Kimmel. “It is always exciting to try your hand with a different group of racers than you are used to running with each weekend and when you know you have competitive equipment it is just that much better. Having my Tri-State Motorsports Championship team working on this truck and Joe Rhyne building the motors, I know we will be competitive. We will also have the support of our ARCA team sponsors, Advance Auto Parts and Pork. The Other White Meat on the No. 69 Ford race truck and I hope we can give them a good showing in Miami.”
    Kimmel will be learning the new configuration of the Homestead-Miami Speedway along with the rest of the NASCAR competitors throughout the week beginning with a test session on Monday, November 10. Kimmel hopes that the new race track will even the playing field for the Ford 200, giving the ARCA Champion a chance to showcase his talents at the front of the field.
    “The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is a competitive series and it shows each weekend,” said Kimmel. “We battled stiff competition every weekend this year in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and I am really looking forward to one last race before the start of the 2004 season.”
    Kimmel will have the supervision of his brother and championship crew chief, Bill Kimmel calling the shots throughout the week. Prior to his start at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kimmel had made eight starts in the series including two previous at Homestead, two at the Louisville Speedway, the road course at Topeka, Gateway International Speedway and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kimmel concluded his 2003 ARCA RE/MAX season with an accumulation of six poles, seven wins and 19 top-five finishes in 22 starts.(LM Motorsports Marketing), see an image of the truck on my Truck Paint Schemes page.(11-5-2003)
  • Musgrave Battling Cancer: Truck series championship contender Ted Musgrave battled cancer early this season, his team owner revealed Saturday. “We were winning races while he was going to the doctor on Monday getting chemotherapy,” Jim Smith, owner of Ultra Motorsports, said in an interview with a publicist for Dodge. Musgrave, 48, formerly of Franklin, Wis., was not available a day after finishing second at Phoenix International Raceway in the series’ second-last race of the season. His wife, Debi, was stricken with leukemia years ago. Musgrave has won three times this season and ranks second in the standings, 26 points behind Brendan Gaughan, and has scored 13 victories since coming to the series three years ago. “I think if anybody’s deserving of (a championship), it’s Ted Musgrave,” Smith said.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-1-2003)
  • Houston has NO problem but a 2004 gig, Musgrave returns…and part time 3rd team: Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith said Saturday that Andy Houston, who has driven a few races in Ultra’s #2 Dodge in the NASCAR Truck series this season, will return to the team full time in 2004. Smith also said that Ted Musgrave, who is second in points with one race remaining in Smith’s #1 Mopar Dodge, will return to that team next season as well. Smith may also field a part-time third Truck entry, running at least 10 races with driver Tracy Hines next season. Hines would drive the #7, a research and development team run in conjunction with Dodge Motorsports.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-1-2003)
  • Regan Smith and Bang Racing? BGNRacing.com is hearing that 20 year-old Busch Series driver Regan Smith had been interviewed to drive the second truck in the Larry McReynolds Toyota Truck team along with Mike Skinner. Smith ran a partial Busch Series [#22 team] schedule this year with several impressive finishes. Smith has generated interest among several other top Truck and Busch team owners.(BGNRacing.com)(11-1-2003)

 


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