May 2004 Truck Series News Archive
- Nead and the #14 part ways? UPDATE back to the #1: hearing that crew chief Gene Nead and the #14 Circle Bar Racing team [driver Rick Crawford] have parted ways.(5-25-2004)
UPDATE: With hopes to revive a struggling season at Ultra Motorsports, Gene Nead returns to replace Shawn Parker as crew chief on Ted Musgraves #1 Mopar Truck. Nead will lead the Team Mopar Dodge to Dover for the first race after returning to Ultra Motorsports. The combination of Musgrave and Nead was very successful the last 2 seasons winning 6 races and finishing in the top 3 in points both years. After the 2003 season, Nead was promoted to crew chief of Ultra’s Nextel Cup team with driver Jimmy Spencer. With no sponsor signed, the team did not race after Daytona and left Nead with having to part ways with the team. The first 5 races Nead led the Circle Bar team with Rick Crawford to 3rd in points with 1 victory in Martinsville.(Ultra-Motorsports Site)(5-28-2004)
- Parker and #1 Ultra part ways; Nead back?: hearing that crew chief Shawn Parker and the #1 Ultra Motorsports team have parted ways and former crew chief, Gene Nead could be headed back, Nead supposedly left the the #14 team.(5-26-2004)
- #03 Steps Back a bit, without Bodine: Steve Prescott, owner of Team EJP Racing, has announced a change in his team’s plans for the remainder of the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) season. The team had entered the season with hopes of pursuing the entire NCTS schedule, but sponsorship concerns have forced the team to cut back on those plans. “We started the season planning on doing all the races,” Prescott said. “We were excited to get hooked up with Geoffrey Bodine because he is one of the best in the business. We were able to create a relationship that helped each of us; we gave him a quality ride and he was able to bring some attention to the team in our pursuit of landing that major sponsor. Unfortunately, this is a dollars and cents business sometimes, and that sponsorship hasn’t materialized.” Prescott reinforced that the team will continue to participate in selected NCTS events throughout the remainder of the season, and with proper funding, could return to the series on a full-time basis immediately. Prescott also reiterated his gratitude to Bodine for his contributions to the team. “I always respected Geoffrey as a driver before we ever worked together, and that respect has only been increased after working with him,” Prescott said. “He is a total professional. While I am disappointed that our relationship cannot carry on as we originally hoped, I do hope that Geoffrey finds a competitive ride somewhere and wins races. The competitive fire is definitely still there.” Team EJP Racing now concentrates on preparing to tackle the next races on their schedule. There is a possibility that the team will indeed participate in the Dover race, and the Texas event is a certainty. Anything beyond Texas, at least for now, is dependant upon funding. “We’ll do as many races as we can this season, but it’s all going to depend on getting sponsorship,” Prescott said.(Team EJP PR)(5-25-2004)
- Inadvertent Caution at Lowe’s Race Verified by NASCAR, results stand: After further review, officials of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today verified the caution lights were unintentionally illuminated momentarily on Lap 130 of Friday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. NASCAR officials were not aware of the caution lights being triggered briefly on Friday evening as well as the following day based on the available data, including videotape footage, which was reviewed. NASCAR officials did not have confirmation that such an incident occurred during the 134-lap race until reviewing in-car camera footage that became available Monday. The additional footage did confirm the caution lights flashed momentarily. Officials at NASCAR have concluded the switch that controls the caution lights in the flagman’s stand was momentarily triggered. NASCAR officials spoke with driver Carl Edwards, team owner Jack Roush and crew chief Kevin Starland to apologize for the mistake. “We made a mistake on this one,” NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Director Wayne Auton said. “It is regrettable, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We apologize to Carl Edwards and everyone associated with the No. 99 Superchips Ford, including their fans.” NASCAR officials also confirmed with Edwards and Roush officials that changes can not be made to the official race results in this instance. Even with the discovery of the footage that revealed the caution lights were momentarily illuminated, the official results can not be altered.(NASCAR PR)
AND Did Carl Edwards properly yield to a caution signal or did he make a mistake by assuming a caution signal was displayed ? That question was answered by NASCAR today. A caution was indeed displayed. Edwards, who finished second in Friday’s Infineon 200 Craftsman Truck Series race after yielding the lead following display of the caution signal issued the following statement: “NASCAR officials, like officials in all other professional sports, have a tough job. I have personally seen how much goes on and how fast decisions must be made by race control officials. They made a mistake in the heat of the moment that turned out to be a critical one for me and I lost a race on account of the mistake. I appreciate that they accepted responsibility for the mistake in a public way. I wasn’t looking forward to this race being remembered as “the one that got away” or hearing other people tell the story of the “rookie who blew it.” And, now I’m relieved that NASCAR has set the record straight. Our Superchips team is a great team and hopefully this setback won’t affect the outcome in our championship hunt. We’re going to put this behind us and we’re looking forward to racing in Dover next week. If anything, this is just more motivation for me to win.”(Roush Racing PR)(5-25-2004)
- Truck Race in Canada? NASCAR officials spent last Sunday touring racetracks in Canada, looking for a place to hold a Craftsman Truck Series race. Two issues are holding up a possible tour date north of the border. First, NASCAR uses leaded fuels, and Canada has a strict unleaded policy. The second issue involves the tires, though garage sources aren’t clear what the problem is. Insiders were confident a deal will be worked out.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-24-2004)
- Setzer wins at Lowe’s: #99-Carl Edwards saw a wreck, thought there was a caution, and slowed. So did #46-Dennis Setzer, but his quick glance at the track’s lights showed no yellow, and he sped back up. That quick reflex was enough to power Setzer into the lead with four of 134 laps remaining and he held off Edwards by .869 seconds to win Friday night’s Infineon 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. It’s the 11th career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory for Setzer and he becomes the first driver in the series to win at least one race for seven consecutive seasons. “This so great to be able to do this at home. (Edwards) thought the caution came out and so did I,” Setzer said. “I looked and the lights weren’t on, so I kept on going. I went by Carl. I didn’t know what the deal was. I don’t know, I guess the racing gods shine on you every once in a while.” Edwards had trouble comprehending his mistake. “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve done in my racing career. I saw pieces of tire and saw a truck on the bottom. I can’t believe I did that,” Edwards said. “I’ve told people I’m my toughest critic and I’m going to have a hard time getting over this.” On Lap 130, #18-Chad Chaffin struck the Turn 3 wall and drove to the bottom of the track, but NASCAR officials did not throw a caution and Chaffin made it back to pit road. Although NASCAR officials never called for a caution and no flag was put out at the start/finish line, there was much controversy after the race as to whether the yellow caution lights came on, if only briefly. Setzer was certain he never saw any lights, which is why he said he passed Edwards and continued on. Several other drivers — including #14-Rick Crawford, #50-Jon Wood and #29-Terry Cook — claimed they saw yellow caution lights come on. However, series director Wayne Auton, through a spokesman, relayed a message to the press box that the caution lights did not come on. NASCAR’s new policy prohibiting racing back to the caution “freezes” the field once a caution is called and the caution lights come on or the caution flag displayed. Setzer had to work his way past #47-Michael Waltrip, his one-race teammate as part of a Chevrolet all-star program, for the victory, whose truck dominated the middle part of the race. While Edwards and Waltrip nearly wrecked while battling for the lead on Lap 121, Setzer cruised into the lead. Edwards passed him on Lap 128 then lost the lead in the caution controversy. Pole-winner #75-David Starr finished third, #92-Kevin Harvick fourth and Waltrip fifth. Setzer holds a 37 point lead over Edwards in points. Rick Crawford is third.(ThatsRacin.com)
See race results at:
- Sports Clips team up with Parker Jr. and the #21 IMI Team at Lowe’s: Sport Clips (All*Star Haircuts for Men and Boys) has agreed to sponsor the #21 Innovative Motorsports Toyota Tundra driven by Hank Parker, Jr. in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Sport Clips will be the primary sponsor of the #21 Toyota Tundra in the Infineon 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Friday night. Sport Clips, who is a major associate sponsor on the #4 Biagi Bros. Racing entry in the NASCAR Busch Series, is in the first year of building their brand through NASCAR. Parker Jr. is excited at the news that Sport Clips is back on board. “We are very pleased to have Sport Clips back on board with us as a sponsor in Charlotte. They were with us in Atlanta and we are looking forward to doing a good job for them Friday at Lowe’s,” Parker said on Wednesday. Sport Clips first sponsorship of Parker, Jr. was at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 13th. Team owner, George deBidart, is equally excited about the continuing partnership with Sport Clips. “We really appreciate Gordon Logan and the people at Sport Clips stepping up again to help us out in Charlotte. I got to know Gordon last year and it is nice to have him be a part of our team again for this race,” deBidart said on Wednesday. He added, “We are looking for a primary sponsor to fill out the 2004 season and beyond so we appreciate Sport Clips picking up this one race deal for Charlotte. We are looking forward to having a great run for Sport Clips and showing potential sponsors that we are a serious team that they need to be involved with.” For more information or to find a location near you, please visit www.sportclips.com and at www.SportClipsRacing.com.(IMI PR)(5-20-2004)
- Starr wins pole at Lowe’s Motor Speedway: #75-David Starr won the pole for Friday night’s Infineon 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (8:30pm/et, Speed). The pole is the third of Starr’s career and first since California in November 2002. His lap Thursday at 178.577 mph set a new track record, one of 15 drivers to better the mark set for last season’s inaugural race (175.593 mph). After four races, Starr, who drives the #75 Chevrolet, is 14th in points. He is coming off consecutive ninth-place finishes after starting the year finishing 12th and 36th, respectively. #99-Carl Edwards qualified second – his best start of the season – and #42-Mike Skinner third, also his best. #6-Matt Crafton and #4-Bobby Hamilton completed the top five. Series points leader #46-Dennis Setzer starts ninth. All four series manufacturers – Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota and Dodge – qualified in the top-five. #12-Robert Huffman was the top rookie qualifier (seventh).(ThatsRacin.com)
See qualifying results/race results at:
- Infineon 200 Fast Facts:
Location: Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
Date: Friday, May 21, 2004
Time: 8:30 p.m. (EDT)
Sanctioning Body: NASCAR, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Series: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Length: 134 laps, 201 miles
Purse: $489,966 (event record)
2003 Winner: Ted Musgrave, Mopar Performance Dodge
Time of Race: 1 hour, 46 minutes and 39 seconds
Average Speed: 114.768 mph
Margin of Victory: 0.233 seconds over Brendan Gaughan
2003 Pole Sitter: Bill Lester, Dodge Motorsports Dodge
30.753 seconds, 175.593 mph (event record)
Radio/Television: Motor Racing Network (MRN) will broadcast the race live to its affiliate radio stations beginning at 8:15 p.m. (EDT). MRN’s broadcast can also be heard on XM Satellite Radio channel 144. SPEED Channel will televise the race live with coverage set to begin at 8:30 p.m. (EDT).(LMS PR)(5-21-2004)
- LOWE’S NEWS & NOTES
Jack (Sprague) definitely is back … Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) measured the competition at Mansfield, Ohio to post his 24th career win and first since 2001. The victory vaulted Sprague to seventh in the points as he bids for a fourth series title. IWX Racing, which now has won with five different drivers – Sprague, Travis Kvapil (No. 24 Line-X Toyota), Mike Bliss, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Randy Tolsma – looks for the “hat trick” as the championship team of 2003-04.It seems not to matter what you drive … The first four spots in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings are occupied by drivers representing all four manufacturers. Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet) moved to the lead with a second-place finish in the UAW/GM Ohio 250. Previous leader Carl Edwards (No. 99 Superchips Ford) dropped to second followed by Raybestos Rookie David Reutimann (No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota) and Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge). Setzer is on top for the first time in his series career of 146 races dating to July 1, 1995 at The Milwaukee Mile.
Kvapil’s finishing streak ends … An accident prematurely ended Kvapil’s day and with it a run of 35 consecutive races without a DNF. The streak began Sept. 5, 2002 at Richmond International Raceway after Kvapil suffered engine failure three weeks earlier at Nashville Superspeedway. The Ohio DNF was only the second for the reigning champion in 75 series starts. As a measure of how tough this year’s title race will be, Kvapil entered the Mansfield Motorsports Speedway event in second place and – following his 32nd-place finish – left the track in 10th. Setzer now owns the longest current finishing run of 27, beginning with a March 23, 2003 victory at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif.
Three’s the charm at Mansfield … The UAW/GM Ohio 250 saw NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history made when three female drivers – Tina Gordon (No. 13 Vassarette/Microtel Chevrolet), Teri MacDonald (No. 72 MacDonald Motorsports Chevrolet) and Kelly Sutton (No. 02 Team Copaxone Chevrolet) – took the green flag. The last time three women started the same NASCAR national touring series race (NASCAR NEXTEL Cup) was July 4, 1977 when Christine Beckers, Janet Guthrie and Lella Lombardi competed in the then-Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Sutton had the best finish at Mansfield – 20th – completing all 252 laps.
Urban Youth Racing members join teams … Four members of Philadelphia’s Urban Youth Racing School, comprised of inner city young people considering a career in the racing or automotive industries, have joined NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams in internship roles this week. The interns work in shops Monday through Wednesday then participate in crew activities at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Teams hosting the UYRS are Morgan-Dollar Motorsports (Setzer), Innovative Motorsports (Robert Huffman, No. 12 Toyota and Hank Parker Jr. No. 21 Toyota), Circle Bar Racing (Rick Crawford, No. 14 Ford) and Darrell Waltrip Motorsports (Reutimann).
Etc. … Inclement weather cancelled Bud Pole qualifying for the UAW/GM Ohio 250 marking the 11th time – and first since Sept. 4, 2003 at Richmond – that the starting field has been set by the NASCAR rule book. … The Infineon 200 is the fifth race of the season and first in which provisional starting positions and bonus plan monies are based upon 2004 owners points. … Orleans Racing (Steve Park, No. 62 Dodge) released crew chief Johnny Allen following the Mansfield event. A permanent successor has not yet been named. … Four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers will attempt to qualify for this week’s race. A year ago, Kevin Harvick (No. 92 Snap-On Tools Chevrolet) led 70 laps and finished fifth. Also entered are Ken Schrader (No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet), Michael Waltrip (No. 47 AXCIOM Chevrolet) and Todd Bodine (No. 67 Fiddle Back Racing Ford). … Charlie Bradberry (No. 78 Bradberry Racing Chevrolet) is the 17th and latest driver to join the Raybestos Rookie of the Year competition. Bradberry, 21, is the 2003 NASCAR Elite Division, Southeast Series champion.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Harvick is Lowe’s ‘pole cat’ … Harvick won the Busch Pole for both 2003 NASCAR Busch Series events at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He qualified third for last year’s Infineon 200.
Lester’s also quick at Charlotte … Last year’s Infineon 200 saw Bill Lester (No. 22 Toyota Tundra Toyota) win his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Bud Pole.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Should one of the Toyota drivers win the Infineon 200, it won’t be the first time the manufacturer has visited Victory Lane at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. In fact, it would be the third. Robert Huffman captured last year’s NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series event en route to his fifth – and Toyota’s first – series championship. Huffman’s Toyota also won the 2002 race.
What: Infineon 200 (Race No. 5 of 25).
Where: Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C..
When: 8:30 p.m. ET, Friday, May 21.
Track layout: 1.5 -mile banked paved oval.
Race length: 201 miles/134 laps.
Posted awards: $489,966.
TV: SPEED Channel, 8:30 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Ted Musgrave.
2003 polesitter: Bill Lester.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday – Practice 1:30 – 3:45 p.m. Qualifying 5:45 p.m. Final practice 8 – 9 p.m., time permitting.(NASCAR PR)(5-19-2004)
- Fiddle Back Racing Teams with Todd Bodine: Fiddle Back Racing owner Tom Eldredge announced today that Todd Bodine will be driving the #67 Fiddle Back Racing F-150 this Friday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. At this point this is a one race deal. Fiddle Back Racing hopes to have Kevin Love back in the truck at Dover in 2 weeks. Due to previous commitments Kevin was not available to drive the truck for the Lowe’s event. Fiddle Back Racing is still in search of sponsorship for this race and the rest of the year. If you are interested please contact Brian Jones, team PR/Marketing, at 704-799-2667 or 980-521-4911.(Fiddle Back PR)(5-19-2004)
- On Track Technology Sharing Helps All Chevy-Powered Teams: Although it is well documented that Chevrolet Silverado has enjoyed unparalleled success in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) since its inaugural 1995 season winning an amazing 104 races and five manufacturers championships, the experts at GM Racing have not rested on past achievements. Chevrolet has responded to the continual growth of the competition level in NCTS with an arsenal of technological advances and resources for Team Silverado. In 2004, GM Racing has taken a unique approach to further advance technology and performance in the Silverado race program that will maintain Chevrolet’s winning ways in the NCTS.
Much of Silverado’s success early in the NCTS came with established teams in the form of Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Richard Childress Racing. Their truck programs thrived on the valuable “trickle-down” effect from those organization’s vast resources gathered from their NASCAR Cup and NASCAR Busch teams. Now the key players in Chevy’s future include teams such as Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, IWX Racing, Spears Racing and Kevin Harvick, Inc. All are independent organizations without the advantage of parent teams in NASCAR’s other divisions from which to gather technical information.
The Chevrolet Silverado All Star program featuring seven of Chevrolet’s top NASCAR NEXTEL Cup stars driving the #47 Acxiom Silverado, is a key component to invigorating Chevrolet’s research and development (R&D) program in the NCTS. It’s not just a marketing ploy to run these Chevy drivers at specific tracks where they are popular or have had a lot of success. By running them at tracks where these drivers have always performed well, the system allows for greater delivery of feed-back to the Chevrolet technical team. The equation is simple, more information flowing from this high-caliber combination to the other Chevrolet truck teams, the more success on-track for all of Team Silverado.
The debut of the Chevrolet Silverado All Star program will be May 21 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the Infineon 200 with Michael Waltrip driving the #47 Acxiom Silverado sporting a special paint theme dedicated to Sheryl Crow. The #47 Silverado will compete in six more NCTS events with Chevrolet’s elite pedigree of NASCAR Cup stars doing the driving. The stellar driving cast includes: Robby Gordon, August 25 – Bristol Motor Speedway; Tony Stewart, September 9 – Richmond International Raceway; Ricky Craven, September 18 – New Hampshire International Raceway; Bobby Labonte, October 23 – Martinsville Speedway; Brian Vickers, November 5 – Phoenix International Raceway and Ward Burton, November 12 – Darlington Raceway. The truck paint schemes will feature the likeness of megastar musical artists and groups such as Sheryl Crow, Leann Rimes, Sara Evans, George Thorogood and Joe Nichols.
While GM Racing and Chevrolet are proud of the Silverado All Star program from a marketing and promotional standpoint, the opportunities of the Silverado All Stars technological opportunities for the R & D project are immense.
“GM Racing and Chevrolet are proud to be strongly committed to the Silverado racing program,” said Pat Suhy, Oval Track Group Manager for GM Racing. “With an increased focus on R & D for our Silverado NCTS program, our goal is to develop the #47 Acxiom Silverado into an effective R & D team in 2004 translates to valuable information for all Silverado teams.”
“We have drastically increased wind tunnel time,” Suhy continued. “Additionally we are providing NNC levels of access to a wide variety of R & D equipment which hasn’t been as readily available to teams in the past. We have a dedicated aerodynamic and shock team of highly respected industry experts who work exclusively on NASCAR Craftsman Truck research and development. Just one of the key elements of their focus is utilization of results of Seven Post and Shock testing.”
“Our truck teams are now also utilizing the Desert Proving Ground in Phoenix,” concluded Suhy. “We have added Randy Goss to our staff as the head of the #47 R & D team. Randy brings a resume loaded with NCTS success and a championship winning attitude to the Chevrolet Silverado Technology team. With him heading our testing efforts, the critical feedback he delivers will translate in to superior on-track performance for all Silverado teams.” Goss won the 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship at Roush Racing with driver, Greg Biffle. He and Biffle also captured the NASCAR Busch Series title in 2002 for Roush”(GM PR)(5-19-2004)
- Orleans Racing Begins Search for New Chief: Orleans Racing released Johnny Allen from his duties as crew chief of the #62 Dodge in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, team General Manager Fritz Kroyer announced May 17. Allen joined Orleans Racing in January and served as Steve Park’s crew chief for the first four races of the 2004 season. “Johnny Allen was a popular member of the team,” Kroyer said. “We like him a lot. Unfortunately, we have a big puzzle, and all of the pieces need to fit. Johnny may be the right fit for another team, but we are still searching for the right fit for our team. “Once we have the crew chief piece of the puzzle in place, we should be in good shape. We have a great group of guys on the team, and Steve Park is doing an outstanding job behind the wheel. We have extreme confidence in his ability. If I had a field of drivers to choose from tomorrow, I would still choose Steve Park.” Charlie Wilson, crew chief for Orleans Racing’s NASCAR Grand National West Series Dodge driven by Scott Lynch, will serve as interim crew chief. “We are going to interview various candidates and try to find a qualified individual who can lead this team to another winning season,” Kroyer said. “We hope to make the decision by Texas (June 11), but we are going to take our time to find the best person for the job. Until then, I’m confident in Charlie Wilson’s ability.” Wilson, of Bakersfield, Calif., led the Winston West team to a championship in 2003, Lynch’s rookie season in the series. That same year, he served as crew chief for Lynch’s only NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts, Las Vegas and Homestead. Lynch finished 12th in both events. The next race for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is the Infineon 200 May 21 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.(Orleans Racing PR)(5-17-2004)
- Showtime sponsors the #24 at Mansfield: BANG RACING announced that Showtime Networks Inc., a leading provider of premium television entertainment, will sponsor BANG RACING’s #24 Tundra team piloted by Travis Kvapil for the UAW/GM Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway on May 16. “We are very pleased to partner with SHOWTIME at the Mansfield race and bring an exciting new feature to NASCAR fans,” said Alex Meshkin, CEO and owner of BANG RACING. “We will partner with SHOWTIME in the near future for another race later in the season.”
“SHOWTIME is proud to be a part of BANG RACING’s effort for the race this weekend,” said Michel Champagne, Vice President of Marketing for Showtime Networks. “This is the network’s first involvement with NASCAR, and we believe that the fan base for NASCAR is very compatible with our target audience for our great, original programming such as the hit series DEAD LIKE ME and our upcoming series HUFF. We are very excited about the potential of this newly formed relationship and look forward to experiencing the excitement of the BANG RACING Showtime Networks Toyota Tundra competing in Mansfield.”
“This is the first featured sponsor that we will run on the champion’s truck,” said Meshkin. “We have structured our partnership with LINE-X to offer more companies like SHOWTIME the opportunity to be featured as a primary sponsor on the No. 24 Tundra. We feel it is good for the sport, good for the company and good for the team.”(BANG Racing PR)(5-16-2004)
- Sprague wins at Mansfield: #24-Jack Sprague won the inaugural UAW/GM Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, his first win since 2001 and his 24th of his career. #46-Dennis Setzer finished second, followed by #10-Terry Cook, #4-Bobby Hamilton and #88-Stacy Hines. Setzer takes over the points lead.
See results at:
- Sprague on pole as qualifying is rained out: The lineup for the UAW/GM Ohio 250 Craftsman Truck Series race at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, Mansfield, Ohio after foul weather canceled qualifying, setting the field according to series rules. Positions 1-30 are based on 2003 owner points, while positions 31 and 32 are available to former series champions. Positions 33-36 are based on 2004 owner points. So the top five are: #16-Jack Sprague, #46-Dennis Setzer, #1-Ted Musgrave, #62-Steve Park, #50-Jon Wood. #99 of driver Carl Edwards will more to the rear of the field due to an engine change.
Large list of drivers going home, some because of lack of 2003 owners points: #67-Kevin Love, #12-Robert Huffman, #57-David Froehlich Jr., #19-Richard Hampton, #73-Craig Wood, #91-J.C. Stout, #30-Sean Murphy, #66-David Regan, #05-Chris Winter, #83-Randy VanZant, #74-Jim Walker.
- Fiddleback running two trucks at Mansfield AND Looking for sponsor: The Fiddle Back Racing #67 of Kevin Love and #66 of David Ragan have arrived in Mansfield. After arriving around lunch in Cleveland [OH] and making the hour long drive to Mansfield, the drivers took part in the Craftsman Truck autograph section at the Richland Mall Sears. The response by the local fans was overwhelming. An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people attended the autograph section and stayed to see the start of the Parade of Trucks to the race track. Both Love and Ragan are looking forward to the open test on Friday. With expectations high and the drivers enthusiastic about their chances this weekend, the Fiddle Back Racing Team is prepared for a big weekend.(Fiddle Back Racing PR)(5-14-2004)
AND Fiddle Back Racing is in search of a primary sponsor for the remainder of the 2004 season. Due to circumstances out of the control of Fiddle Back Racing the team will be removing the Forced Ignition decals from the #67 truck. This is very unfortunate for the team. Team owner, Tom Eldredge, has committed to running the #67 truck for all the races this season. Many sponsor opportunities are available. Please contact Brian Jones, team PR/Marketing, at 1-980-521-4911 or see www.fiddlebackracing.com.(5-16-2004)
- FL driver to run some Truck races: Derrick Kelley is moving his racing career in a fast-forward mode going into NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racing, starting at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. Kelley will drive in the Infineon 200 Wednesday. Kelley, of Auburndale, is scheduled to compete in 10 races in 2004 in the ADESA Impact Chevrolet Silverado truck owned by David Malcolmson of Concord, NC. Kelley will also drive at Dover on June 4, Memphis on June 19, Kentucky on July 10, Nashville on Aug. 14, Bristol on Aug. 25, Loudon on Sept. 18, Martinsville on Oct. 23, Darlington on Nov. 11 and Homestead on Nov. 19. It’s a workable deal for Kelley, who has Late Model, NASCAR Dash and USAR ProCup racing credentials to his credit and has a lot more race savvy than your average driver. “Derrick is very personable”, said Malcolmson. One of the things to take into account is that these races are televised nationally and drivers must be able to conduct themselves appropriately with a national audience. Kelley has always taken a close look at all his options, so this step up the ladder is no great surprise in the racing community. “Things happened at the right time for me to secure this ride, and David Malcolmson has the team on the right track in the ADESA truck ride,” said Kelley. Kelley ran a practice session in his truck at Rockingham on Thursday to check it out. “I had a real comfortable feeling in the ADESA Impact truck and we were turning some times that fit in with the competition,” said Kelley. “I’m really looking forward to competing in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racing and facing many of these fine truck drivers at tracks across the country.”(Lakeland Ledger)(5-15-2004)
- Students to work for Truck teams in the pits: Four students from Philadelphia’s Urban Youth Racing School will get a taste of what it is like to compete on a NASCAR race team next week as they complete a one-week internship program for Craftsman Truck Series teams in Charlotte. The internships will culminate with the students working in the pits at the Infineon 200 Craftsman Truck race at Charlotte on May 21. Leon Simmons Jr. (17, Mathematics, Civics and Science Charter School in Philadelphia), Ari Summers (19, Mathematics, Civics and Science Charter School in Philadelphia), Paris Young (18, Kingsway High School in Swedesboro, N.J.), and Anthony Martin Jr. (18, West Philadelphia High School) are all seniors in the program and will spend the week in Charlotte learning from some of the teams, crews and drivers. The students will be paired with four race teams, including those of drivers #46-Dennis Setzer, #12-Robert Huffman and #21-Hank Parker Jr., #14-Rick Crawford and #17-David Reutimann. The students will participate in pit stop practice and will be involved with every aspect of the process that helps create a successful race team on race day.(Delaware News Journal)(5-13-2004)
- Bradberry Highly Anticipating 2004 Truck Series Debut: Charlie Bradberry is finally getting back behind the wheel of a racecar, or truck for that matter. Bradberry, last year’s NASCAR Southeast Series (formerly All Pro Series) champion will make his 2004 Craftsman Truck Series debut with his family-owned team this weekend at Mansfield Motorsports Park in Mansfield (OH). It will be the first of two-straight Truck Series weekends for Bradberry, who will also race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway the following Friday. “People probably think I fell off the face of the earth and I just quit racing,” said Bradberry of his long absence from the seat. “I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without being behind the wheel of a racecar since I was about 11 or so. It will be nice to get back in the swing of things. I’ve been waiting for this race for months now. With all the work that my guys have done and everyone who has helped pitch in with this truck, I just want to get out there and run competitively with the guys like Rick (Crawford), Jon (Wood) and everyone else.” Bradberry and several of his crewmembers have been working non-stop for the last couple months on two new Craftsman Trucks in preparation for the Mansfield debut. “We want to come into these two races and shock some people with our stuff. I went and tested with the new truck at Montgomery (Speedway, AL) and was very encouraged by our results. I got a lot of laps and a lot of seat time and I think we will be a force that most people won’t expect. It should be an interesting weekend because I’ve never been to Mansfield before. I’ve seen a picture of the place and it looks like any old short track to me. I’m sure we’ll be ok.” This weekend’s Truck Series event will be Charlie’s first race with new crew chief Philip Hamilton. “I’m real excited to work with Philip and I think he’ll bring a lot to the team because he has some past experience with these trucks. He also helped my brother (Gary) out quite a bit in the 1990s when he was racing. He’s been a big part of this team effort. There are probably about five people working full-time on this thing, which is pretty impressive for a little, family-run deal. I don’t think we will look like a small, family run team on the racetrack though.” The last time Charlie was behind the wheel of a racecar was on March 6 when he ran the annual “Rattler” race at South Alabama Speedway where he finished third. Bradberry is looking for other driving opportunities and sponsorship to help compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this year. For inquiries, call 205-678-9205 and be sure to visit www.charliebradberry.net for more information.(51 Sports PR)(5-13-2004)
- EMCO Western Series champ set for inaugural Truck race at Mansfield: On Sunday, May 16, reigning CASCAR EMCO Western Series champion and current points leader Kevin Dowler will participate in the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Ohio’s Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. Dowler will be driving the #48 Dodge, owned by Sun Valley Speedway (Vernon, BC) owner Ron Rhodes, with sponsorship from Northern Provincial Pipelines (NPP). NPP is located in Edson, AB and is owned by Dwight Kennedy, who backed Dowler in the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway, during Speedweeks in February. According to Dowler, who hails from Sherwood Park, AB, making his first Truck Series outing at Mansfield will put him at less of a disadvantage than he would otherwise be, were he to make his inaugural NASCAR appearance at a track where his competitors have a lot of experience. “This is a great opportunity given that the track will be new to everyone,” said Dowler, who won the season-opening CASCAR EMCO Western Series race a few weeks ago at Sun Valley. At this point, Dowler is looking at the ride as a one-off, but is open to doing more in the future if things go well.(Inside Track Communications PR)(5-13-2004)
- #05 gets an assoc sponsor: Girlsgarage.com will be an associate sponsor of the #05 Winter Motorsports Ford truck, running in the inaugural event at Mansfield Speedway on May 16, 2004. The website’s creators make an effort to promote the racing efforts of drivers in various areas of motor sports all over the country. Including Chris Winter, driver of the #05. “It’s an honor for us to have our name on Chris’s truck. We appreciate them getting Girlsgarage.com out in the racing community, we created this Website to help out driver’s and I think we are attaining that goal”, explains Co-Creator and Webmaster Sheree Woodington. Arianne B Hegeman, Co-Creator/Editor adds; “It’s such an awesome opportunity to have a part in Chris’s weekend. We will enjoy promoting the team whenever possible. Our mission is to provide coverage to the drivers who need it most, who deserve it most. Chris is one of those kind of drivers.” Girlsgarage.com will venture to Ohio to support Chris Winter and his race-team. The team also benefits from sponsors such as Crazy Horse Racing, Level Ten Transmissions, Coleman Recipes, Keith Flynne- Snap-On Tools, Ed’s Performance Automotive, and Vinyl Decision.(Girlsgarage.com PR)(5-13-2004)
- #59 to have Goodyear paint scheme: Jim Harris of HT Motorsports’ #59 Dodge NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry in the inaugural running of the UAW/GM Ohio “250” at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, will showcase a one-time graphics package touting tire supplier Goodyear’s 50th anniversary of NASCAR involvement. “This special graphic was done to honor Goodyear’s 50th anniversary in our sport of NASCAR racing, and as our way of showing Harris Trucking Company’s appreciation of our 40-year business relationship with the tire company,” explained Harris. Goodyear’s 50th anniversary logo, designed by motorsports artist Sam Bass, covers the hood of the #59 Harris Trucking machine that has run full-time on the circuit since 2003. Mark McFarland, the 2004 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Champion will drive the Goodyear Wrangler-shod truck following his 15th place finish and 2004 season debut at Martinsville Speedway on April 17, working with crew chief Greg Conner.(PR)(5-12-2004)
- Supplementstogo.com be an assoc. sponsor on the #21 at Mansfield: Supplementstogo.com has agreed to be an associate sponsor of Hank Parker, Jr. for the May 16, 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race to be held at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. Supplementstogo.com will be featured on the truckbed of the #21 Toyota Tundra. Parker is excited at the news that Supplementstogo.com is sponsoring his truck. “I am very pleased to have Supplementstogo.com on board for this race. This is a fantastic opportunity with outstanding potential to reach a lot of our fans and further expand the awareness of Supplementstogo.com and their product manufacturers,” Parker, Jr. said on Thursday. “We feel fortunate to have this affiliation for this race and we look forward to a productive outing.” Joe Godar, President and CEO of Supplementstogo.com, said Thursday afternoon, that he is looking forward to the affiliation with Hank Parker, Jr. “Hank is a quality guy with a tremendous reputation and this fits our corporate image and everything that we strive for as a company,” Godar said. “We have always known what a great opportunity NASCAR presents and with Innovative Motorsports and Hank Parker, Jr., it made it all come together for a perfect fit.” Supplementstogo.com is a major retailer of nutritional products, diet pills and body building supplements on the Internet. They carry most major brands and will ship your order usually in 24-48 hours. Supplementstogo.com offers reliable service that’s convenient and easy to use. You can learn more by visiting www.Supplementstogo.com or by calling (877) 517-4652.(Innovative Motorsports PR)(5-12-2004)
- Truck Series Season-Ending Awards Announced: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams will receive record season ending awards of more than $1.9 million following the 2004 season, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced today. The figure includes a $1.6 million-plus NASCAR/Craftsman points fund, paid to the top-20 drivers and owners in final series standings, as well as $262,500 in series manufacturer awards – well in excess of the $180,000 paid at the conclusion of the 2003 season. Craftsman Tools has been the sole sponsor of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series through all 220 races and nine-plus seasons since the series’ debut in 1995. The series, in its 10th season, is off to its best-ever start with a record number of viewers – over 1.3 million – tuned into SPEED Channel for February’s season opening race at Daytona International Speedway. SPEED Channel’s household viewership has increased by 58%, according to Nielsen Media Research which compared this year’s three events with the first four of 2003. Competition continues to be a hallmark of the series with three different winners in as many races, an average margin of victory of .278 seconds and fewer than 100 points covering the top-10 drivers in the championship standings. The schedule continues with the sold-out May 16 inaugural UAW/GM Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway.
Several new sponsors have joined the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for 2004. They include Gillette and its Mach 3 Turbo Award; Sunoco Racing Fuel, NASCAR’s Official Fuel; MSD Ignitions, Toyota Racing Development, and International Truck.(NASCAR PR)(5-7-2004)
- Chris Wimmer Ready for NCTS Debut at Mansfield Despite Martinsville Setback: The plan was for #63-Chris Wimmer to make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) and MB Motorsports debut at the Kroger 250 in Martinsville last month. Those plans, however, were derailed due to a truck that did not want to grip in the turns, causing Wimmer to miss the show by .02 seconds. The team put that disappointment behind them, however, and are working hard to prepare for their trip to Mansfield, Ohio, May 16th for the Inaugural UAW/GM Ohio 250 NCTS race. “We’re definitely excited about Mansfield,” said Wimmer, taking a break from his duties in the MB Motorsports race shop. “I ran that track last year in ASA and had a great race. We started and finished in the top 10 and felt comfortable the entire race. It’s real disappointing to not have made the Martinsville field,” Wimmer continued. “I had never run the track before and the truck just was not handling right in the corners, but we’re not making excuses. It was a bad weekend and we’ve moved on. We’re looking forward to getting into the field at Mansfield and hopefully, getting a good finish.” MB Motorsports owner and crew chief, Mike Mittler, said the team is prepared for the half-mile short track. “We’ve been working very hard, putting a lot of hours in the shop, making sure this truck will do the job. We’ve also been out testing to get Chris some extra seat time. He’s got a great mind for racing and he’s got tremendous talent…I know we’re going to do well. Chris has had some success at Mansfield in ASA and we’re hoping that will translate to a good finish next weekend,” continued Mittler. “Chris is a heckuva driver and we’re expecting some great things from him this year.” The primary sponsor for the MB Motorsports #63 Ford will once again be Race Fans for a Cure. “We’re glad to have Race Fans for a Cure on the hood again,” said Wimmer. “We hated it that we weren’t able to make the race with them last month, but we’re really happy that they’ve come back with us and we plan on giving them something to be proud of this time.”(MB Motorsports PR)(5-7-2004)
- Testing at Texas UPDATE: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers are scheduled to test at Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday, May 6th and Friday, May 7th from 9am to 5pm, include Ultra Motorsports drivers #1-Ted Musgrave and #2-Andy Houston along with Orleans Racing driver #62-Steve Park.(TMS PR)(5-5-2004)
UPDATE: #62-Steve Park has enjoyed success at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series. But it took just six laps around “The Great American Speedway” Wednesday in The Orleans Dodge NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series machine for Park to fall in love and know that Texas and trucks were made for each other. Park was among seven Dodge truck teams that kicked off a two-day test session Wednesday in preparation for the June 11 O’Reilly 400k. Joining Park were #1-Ted Musgrave, Mopar Dodge; #2-Andy Houston, Team ASE/Carquest Dodge; #4-Bobby Hamilton, Square D Dodge; #18-Chad Chaffin, Dickies Dodge; #8-Chase Montgomery, Gladiator Garageworks Dodge and #59-Mark McFarland, Harris Trucking Dodge. “This is the first time I’ve driven a Dodge truck around Texas Motor Speedway,” said Park of his experience. “I’m used to the cars here. I took the truck out, shook it down, made a small adjustment and went another three laps. I came off turn four and said, woo hoo, that’s a lot of fun! Trucks in Texas, this is a fast place, in just the six laps on the race track, I was having a ball. Man, this is a lot of fun. The most fun I’ve had here in Texas was doing the first six laps in the truck. We’ve raced cars here a few times and had some decent runs, but I’ll tell you what, the way the truck is handling and the aerodynamics, they’re made for Texas Motor Speedway. The fans are in a for a good show.” Park has a tall order to try to fill in the O’Reilly 400k. Brendan Gaughan has won the last four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at Texas in The Orleans Dodge before moving to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series this season.
AND Mark McFarland was involved in a fourth-turn incident during the final hours of Wednesday’s Dodge NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series test at Texas Motor Speedway. McFarland, driver of the Harris Trucking Dodge, was transported by ground to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth following the accident as a precautionary measure. McFarland made hard contact with the fourth-turn wall with his truck coming to rest on the apron. McFarland was out of the truck and walking around with safety personnel following the incident.(TMS PR)(5-7-2004)
- Fiddleback tests: Kevin Love and David Ragan are testing Fiddleback Racing Trucks at Milwaukee and Chicago this week. Todd Bodine is assisting in the test. The drivers had successful tests at Milwaukee on Monday and Tuesday and are testing at Chicago Thursday after testing there Wednesday. Fiddleback has entered two trucks in the craftsman truck race at Mansfield, Ohio for the May 16th race. This will be Love’s second Truck race, having made his first start last month at Martinsville and it will be the 18-year old Ragan’s debut in the Craftsman Truck Series. Love is a successful late model driver from North Carolina and Ragan, also from North Carolina, is running the ARCA Series in 2004.(Team RP)(5-6-2004)
- TV Ratings for Martinsville: The NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series race from Martinsville scored a .77 (470,000 households) on SPEED Channel. Ratings for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series are up 61 percent from 2003 (.69 three-race average in 2003, 1.11 three-race average in 2004).(Speed Channel PR)(5-1-2004)
- The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Drivers Association to make Food Donation: The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Drivers Association will make a $1,200 food and cash donation to Harmony House of Mansfield, in Mansfield, Ohio, on Thursday May 13 prior to the opening festivities of the Inaugural UAW/GM Ohio 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. NCTDA president Dave Quay says the association tries to give back something to several of the communities the series visits throughout the racing season. “Mansfield is a new area for us, and we want to leave a lasting positive impression with the people in the area,” Quay said. “We know that for many people, times are tough right now. I have asked each of our 30 members to donate $20 worth of canned goods to Harmony House of Mansfield, which we will present during the autograph session at the Westfield Shoppingtown Richland on Thursday of race week. The Association will match that with a cash donation for a total of $1,200.” Quay has also worked with Mansfield Motorsports Speedway to offer a prize package for the individual that makes the greatest single donation in conjunction with the NCTDA. Fans that would like to make a donation to Harmony House of Mansfield in conjunction with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Drivers Association should bring nonperishable food items to the parking lot at the Sears store at Westfield Shoppingtown Richland on Thursday May 13, where the transporters will be staged prior to the parade to Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. The individual with the largest single donation will win a prize package including a ride in the team transporter of his or her choice, and four tickets to Clear Channel Pole Day at MMS on May 15. Tickets for the UAW/GM Ohio 250 are sold out. Tickets to Clear Channel Pole Day on May 15 are still available for $10. The general public is invited to come to Mansfield Motorsports Speedway on Friday May 14 to watch the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams participate in an open test day, and then stay into the evening for the Pepsi Tailgate Party. Admission for Friday’s events is free. For information on Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, please visit www.mansfield-speedway.com and for information on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Drivers Association, please visit www.nctda.net.(5-1-2004)
Besides Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, other oval tracks shorter than a mile that are or once were a part of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series include:
CURRENT TRACKS STATE LENGTH YEARS Bristol Motor Speedway Tenn. .533 1995-98, 2003-04 Indianapolis Raceway Park Ind. .686 1995 to 2004 Martinsville Speedway Va. .526 1995 to 2004 Memphis Motorsports Park Tenn. .75 1998 to 2004 Richmond International Raceway Va. .75 1995 to 2004 FORMER TRACKS STATE LENGTH YEARS Colorado National Speedway Colo. .375 1995 to 1997 Evergreen Speedway Wash. .646 1995 to 2000 Flemington Speedway N.J. .625 1995 to 1998 I-70 Speedway Mo. .543 1995 to 1999 Louisville Motor Speedway Ky. .438 1995 to 1999 Mesa Marin Raceway Calif. .50 1995 to 2003 Nashville Speedway USA Tenn. .596 1996 to 2000 North Wilkesboro Speedway N.C. .625 1995 to 1996 Portland Speedway Ore. .50 1995 to 1998 Saugus Speedway Calif. .333 1995 South Boston Speedway Va. .40 2001 to 2003 Tuscon Raceway Park Ariz. .375 1995 to 1997
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