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November 2006 Truck Series News Archive


 

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

  • Villeneuve one step closer to deal: Jacques Villeneuve appears to be one step closer to joining the stock car ranks in 2007. According to RDS, the former Formula One champion has reached an agreement with Roush Racing to help facilitate his move into NASCAR next spring. Team president Geoff Smith tells XM Satellite radio that Villeneuve would begin his career in the Craftsman Truck Series before graduating to the Busch Grand National Series. Smith adds that there’s a 50-percent chance Villeneuve could be in Montreal next August for the inaugural Busch Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Villeneuve reportedly needs to find between $16-million and $18-million in sponsorship before the deal can be finalized. (tsn.ca)(11-30-2006)
  • Xpress looking for sponsor to keep team alive: The Xpress Motorsports Truck Series team hasn’t shut its doors just yet, but owner Dave Fuge Sr. knows that time may be growing nearer by the day. If Fuge doesn’t have a sponsor signed by the end of December, a team that won a pair of championships will cease to exist. Fuge, who has already laid off most of his employees, has owned the team since 2005, buying the team he led to championships as its crew chief from Steve Coulter. The team was sponsored by Chevy through last season, but went through this past season with limited sponsorship at best. “Right now, I’m just looking for a buyer;” said Fuge. “I want to find somebody that wants to go racing and wants to go right. But pretty much everybody you talk to … thinks you can go buy a couple trucks and a [transporter] and some pit equipment, and that’s all they need to spend. “It usually costs them double of what [they think] by the time they get everything that they need to get that everybody forgot to tell them about.” (Scene Daily.com)(11-28-2006)
  • Haas CNC Racing Signs Blake Bjorklund to run for MRD: Haas CNC Racing has signed Blake Bjorklund to pilot the MRD Motorsports Truck Series entry [ran the #06 with Chad McCumbee in 2006] for the first 12 races in 2007. This will be the first foray into the Craftsman Truck Series for Haas Racing as they partner with MRD Motorsports to develop drivers. Bjorklund is coming off of an ARCA Series campaign where he garnered the Rookie of the Year award. The Isanti, Minn. native scored his first ARCA series victory at the Salem Speedway on September 16th. Bjorklund also captured the Bill France Triple Crown Award during the 2006 ARCA season. The award is given to the driver with the most points earned during a grueling three-race span over a nine-day period. The three events consisted of one race on dirt and two (one short track race and one superspeedway race) on pavement which tests the versatility of the drivers.(Moore Consulting Group PR)(11-27-2006)
  • News & Notes – Championship:
    Todd Bodine claimed a championship in the 1,852nd start by himself and brothers Geoffrey and Brett. Despite 55 wins and combined winnings of nearly $49 million, the trio had come close to – but never won – a national title.

    “For what this family’s gone through … it’s very special for us,” said the champion. “I told my mom (on the cell phone, ‘we finally did it!’ It’s the first time a family member has done something so important.”

    Bodine admitted it was difficult racing for points after winning the Ford 200 in 2003 and three times in the series this season. “It’s a shame to have to race that way but we did what we had to do,” he said.

    Bodine led the points for a record 21 consecutive races in 2006. His log shows three wins, 12 top fives and 16 top-10 finishes. The $13,990 he won Friday night boosted his season winnings to more than $600,000.

    He’ll add considerably to the total on Dec. 10 when he receives his championship trophy and other season-ending bonuses at the Champions Banquet at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando, Fla. Bodine is the series’ seventh different champion in the past nine seasons.(NASCAR PR)(11-18-2006)

  • News & Notes – Final Wrap:
    The strategy and the finish wasn’t what Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) was looking for, but a conservative run in the Nov. 17 Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway wrapped up the Craftsman Truck Series championship. Bodine, keeping rival Johnny Benson (#23 Exide Batteries Toyota) in sight through much of the race, prevailed with a 21st-place finish when Benson’s truck was caught up in another competitor’s mishap. The final point margin was 127 – third largest in series history. The title ended a Bodine family drought of more than 25 years as brothers Todd, Geoffrey and Brett pursued a NASCAR national touring series crown. Bodine’s success came in the trio’s 1,853rd start. “You just can’t put it into words,” said Bodine. “It’s just incredible. We’ve got the best crew, we’ve got the best owners in the Germains and I have the Hillmans (Mike Sr. and Mike Jr.) on my side. You can’t ask for more. “This cements the fact we’re champions – no ifs, ands or buts.”

    Darnell Fifth Roush Driver To Win Raybestos Rookie Honors: Erik Darnell (#99 Woolrich Ford) can’t wait for the 2007 season to begin. Right now, though, the 23-year-old Beach Park, Ill., native gets to savor his 2006 Raybestos Rookie of the Year title. Darnell is the fifth Roush Racing freshman to win the award and second-youngest rookie of the year at age 23 years, 11 months. Darnell led rookie points after all 25 races and finished 66 points ahead of Chad McCumbee (#08 The GPS Store/Garmin Chevy). He opened the season with a sixth-place finish at Daytona and finished with five consecutive top-10 performances – including three, third-place efforts. “We clinched rookie of the year honors and that was our ultimate goal,” said Darnell. “We’ll be back again next year and we fully expect to contend for the championship.”

    News & Notes – Part II:
    Season finale scrambles standings …Three drivers moved up in the rankings with solid performances at Homestead-Miami Speedway. David Starr (#11 Red Horse Racing Toyota) gained a spot, to fourth, while Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Toyota) moved from seventh to fifth. Terry Cook (#10 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) took eighth after entering the finale in 10th. Defending champ Musgrave slides …Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota) saw two personal streaks end in South Florida as engine failure relegated the defending champion to a finish of 33rd and sixth-place ranking in final point standings. Musgrave failed to win for the first time since joining the series fulltime in 2001 and finished outside the top five in points for the first time in six seasons. Musgrave is the eighth champion failing to defend his title. Homestead keeps pace…Homestead-Miami Speedway joined New Hampshire International Speedway as the only series facilities with 11 consecutive, different race winners. Martinsville Speedway saw its 14th and 15th different winners in 2006 as only one driver – Dennis Setzer (#85 FlexFuel E85 Chevy) – has been able to repeat. Dodge doubles up in finale…A tough year for Dodge ended on a high note as a pair of Ram trucks scored top-five finishes for the first time since September 2005. Brendan Gaughan (#77 South Point Resort Dodge) was second – his best run since late 2003 – while Bobby Hamilton Jr. (#18 Fastenal Dodge) took the fourth position. Dodge finished fourth among series manufacturers and failed to post a victory for the first time since 1996. Gaughan and Hamilton were the manufacturer’s best placed drivers with rankings of 15th and 16th. Special awards determined…Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) won season-ending Budweiser Pole and Wix Filters awards, while Sprague captured Featherlite Most Improved Driver honors with Bodine topping Mobil 1 Command Performance standings. The Roush-Yates #6 Scotts Ford won Clevite Engine Builder of the Year accolades as the team finished runner-up in ownerchampionship standings.

    The Bodines in NASCAR by the numbers:
    Starts: 1,853
    Poles 85
    Wins 55
    Top 5309
    Top 10 560
    Winnings $48,896,871
    Brett, Geoffrey and Todd Bodine in Nextel Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series competition.

    Final NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Leaders: (through 25 races of the 25-race season)
    Champion – Todd Bodine (3,666)
    Winnings – Todd Bodine ($604,310)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (661)
    Miles led – Mark Martin (885.792)
    Victories -Mark Martin (6)
    Budweiser Poles – Mike Skinner (8)
    Top-five finishes – Johnny Benson (13)
    Top-10 finishes -David Reutimann (19)
    Raybestos Rookie of the Year – Erik Darnell (66 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Mike Skinner (14)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 3 drivers (25)

    Mark Martin Comes Full Circle In Roush Truck Farewell:
    Mark Martin’s (#6 Scotts Ford) victory in the Nov. 17 Ford 200 completed a circle of sorts as the competitor closed out his Craftsman Truck Series career in Roush Racing’s Ford F-150. His tenure included the team’s first series victory in 1996. Martin also book-ended the 2006 season by adding the Homestead-Miami Speedway win – sixth of the year – to his opening triumph at Daytona International Speedway in February. Martin became the first driver to lead the series in season wins without finishing among the final top 10. He rang up the same first by heading laps and miles led categories.

    Racing Is All-time Leader In NASCAR Craftsman Truck Wins: Greg Biffle 16, ark Martin 7, Carl Edwards 6, Joe Ruttman 6, Kurt Busch 4, Jon Wood 2, Mike Bliss 1, Ricky Craven 1; Total 43.

    Champions Awards Banquet Up Next:
    Disney World Site of 2006 Champions Awards Banquet …2006 Champion Todd Bodine, the #30 Germain Racing team’s owner Stephen Germain and champion crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. will be feted Sunday, Dec. 10 at the Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World. The event is the second in Orlando and first on the Disney property. The team also will meet the media during a Dec. 8 luncheon. Later that evening, Bodine will attend the NASCAR Busch Series Champion’s Awards Banquet. Of note, Hillman is the second member of his family to win a NASCAR national touring series title. His father and Germain Racing general manager, Mike Hillman, was crew chief for 1988 NASCAR Busch Series champion Tommy Ellis. The younger Hillman is the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ youngest championship crew chief at 28 years, one month.

    In the Loop:
    Champion Todd Bodine didn’t dominate the 2006 season’s Scoring Loop Data but was a solid performer across the board. Bodine ranked #2 in Driver Rating at 104.0. He was fourth in Laps Run Among the Top 15, fourth Early in the Run, 12th Late in a Run, fifth in Speed on the Straightaways and third in Speed in the Turns. Mike Skinner was the season’s Driver Rating leader with a score of 104.9. Skinner ranked first in Fastest Laps Run and fourth in Average Running Position. Despite leading the second most laps/miles (to Mark Martin), Skinner was only able to hold on to 10th in the final point standings due to five costly DNF’s’ that more than offset a season-high eight Budweiser Poles. Brendan Gaughan finished the year 15th in the point standings but headed one Loop Data Category. Gaughan made the Most Green Flag Passes – 1,100.

    Toyota finished the 2006 season with 12 victories, the most by the third-year manufacturer. Ford won eight times with Chevy picking up the other five wins.(NASCAR PR)(11-20-2006)

  • DW will continue truck team in 2007: Darrell Waltrip is reporting that he will have a truck team in 2007, however no word on who the driver will be. “I’m not totally sure what we’re going to do for a truck team next year,” said Waltrip. We’re going to have a truck team. I’m just not sure what the structure is going to be just yet. I’m still in the planning stages, but we’ll have a truck team. It may not look like it did this year or over the past three years, but we’ll have a truck team.” (allwaltrip.com)(11-22-2006)
  • Almirola could make Cup debut in 2007: Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs said Tampa product Aric Almirola is likely to make his Nextel Cup debut next season as part of a plan to enter him in up to 20 Busch Series races and test a research and development car for the team’s three current Cup programs. NASCAR holds seven open test sessions for all Cup teams and a driver must try to qualify for a race after attending the first two. They must then try to qualify for a race for every subsequent test. “For our future, it’s our best option to concentrate on Busch stuff with him,” Gibbs said. “It’s only five races (less than) a full truck season so he’ll probably benefit more from working with our guys.” Almirola will race in both JGR’s #18 and #20 Busch Chevrolet entry, Gibbs said.(St Petersburg Times)(11-20-2006)
  • Gaughan switching from Dodge in 2007? UPDATE: The pre-race report revealed that Brendan Gaughan will definitely be returning to the Truck Series in 2007, however, the South Point Resort team may change to a different manufacturer.(SPEED/TV)(11-17-2006)
  • UPDATE: In post race notes, Brendan Gaughan talked about off-season plans including a possible switch in manufacturer. “We have an aggressive off-season plan. We’re going to beef up our engineering. We”re going to see what’s going to make us go win and pick a manufacturer. Then we’re going to come back in 2007 with guns blazing. We’re excited about it,” said Gaughan.(Brendan Gaughan PR)(11-19-2006)
  • Erik Darnell clinches Raybestos Rookie title: Darnell finished third in Friday night’s Ford 200 at Homstead Miami Motorsports Complex to clinch Raybestos Rookie of the Year. He racked up his fourth top-five and 12th top-10 finish of the 2006 season. Darnell claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the 15th time in 25 races. Darnell (unofficially) finished 12th in the Craftsman Truck Series championship standings.(Raybestos PR)(11-18-2006)

Martin wins the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami/Bodine wins the championship: Mark Martin picked up his sixth win for this season. Johnny Benson’s late race troubles, secured the Championship for Todd Bodine and the #30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota. Bodine, had troubles with tire vibration problems, but managed to finish in 21st place and become the champion. Erik Darnell, driver of the #99 Roush Racing Ford was named 2006 Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year. The Dodge teams were back on track with the #77 of Brendan Gaughan finishing 2nd and #18 of Bobby Hamilton Jr. finishing 4th. There were 14 lead changes among 8 drivers and 5cautions for 17 laps.(11-17-2006)

  • Ford 200 results from Homestead-Miami Motorsports Complex: (Top ten)
    1) #6-Mark Martin, Scotts Ford
    2) #77-Brendan Gaughan, South Point Resorts Dodge
    3) #99-Erik Darnell*, Woolrich Ford
    4) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., Fastenol Dodge
    5) #60-Jack Sprague, Con-Way Freight Toyota
    6) #46-Joe Nemechek, Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevy
    7) #11-David Starr, Red Horse Racing Toyota
    8) #17-David Reutimann, Team Tundra Toyota
    9) #85-Dennis Setzer, FlexFuel E85 Chevy
    10)#10-Terry Cook, Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int’l Ford
    1st Rookie: (3rd) #99-Erik Darnell, Woolrich Ford, ROTY
    Race Awards:
    Bud Pole Award: Mike Skinner #5 (171.865 mph)
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race: Erik Darnell #99
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award: Bobby Hamilton Jr., #18 (28 Places)
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race: Brendan Gaughan
    WIX Filters Lap Leader Award: Brendan Gaughan, #77 (12 Laps)
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Mark Martin #6
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge: Matt Crafton #88
    For complete race results:
    espn.com
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(official)(11-20-2006)
  • 2006 Truck Series Championship Point Standings: (Top ten)
    1) #30-Todd Bodine, 3666
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 3539
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 3530
    4) #11-David Starr, 3355
    5) #60-Jack Sprague, 3328
    6) #9-Ted Musgrave, 3314
    7) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 3313
    8) #10-Terry Cook, 3265
    9) #14-Rick Crawford, 3252
    10)#5-Mike Skinner, 3219
    For complete 2006 Truck Series Driver Point Standings:
    espn.go
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(official)(11-20-2006)
  • Starting lineup for the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Motorsports Complex (Top ten)
    1) #5-Mike Skinner, 171.865
    2) #22-Bill Lester, 171.674
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 170.428
    4) #46-Joe Nemechek, 170.283
    5) #99-Erik Darnell*, 170.164
    6) #6-Mark Martin, 169.667
    7) #21-Bobby East*, 169.454
    8) #77-Brendan Gaughan, 169.433
    9) #75-Aric Almirola*, 169.375
    10)#9-Ted Musgrave, 169.332
    1st Rookie: (5th) Erik Darnell, 170.164
    Going home: #1-Robert Richardson, 161.807
    For complete starting lineup:
    nascar.com
    truckseries.com(11-17-2006)
  • Final practice results for the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Motorsports Complex: (Top ten)
    1) #22-Bill Lester, 170.821
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 170.648
    3) #5-Mike Skinner, 170.530
    4) #17-David Reutimann, 170.170
    5) #46-Joe Nemechek, 170.138
    6) #60-Jack Sprague, 169.774
    7) #85-Dennis Setzer, 169.619
    8) #99-Erik Darnell*, 169.486
    9) #6-Mark Martin, 169.269
    10)#4-Chase Miller, 169.242
    1st Rookie:(8th) #99-Erik Darnell, 169.486
    For complete final practice results:
    nascar.com
    truckseries.com(11-17-2006)
  • First practice results for the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Motorsports Complex: (Top ten)
    1) #4-Chase Miller, 169.433
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 169.120
    3) #22-Bill Lester, 168.850
    4) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 168.850
    5) #99-Erik Darnell*, 168.803
    6) #6-Mark Martin, 168.371
    7) #46-Joe Nemechek, 168.271
    8) #11-David Starr, 168.135
    9) #10-Terry Cook, 168.067
    10)#5-Mike Skinner, 167.968
    1st Rookie: (5th) #99-Erik Darnell, 168.803
    For complete practice results:
    nascar.com
    truckseries.com(11-17-2006)
  • Entry List for the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Motorsports Complex:
    nascar.com
    truck series.com(11-16-2006)
  • Bodine signed for 2007: 2006 Champion Todd Bodine reported during his post-race interview that he has signed a contract to return to the #30 Germain Racing Toyota for the 2007 Truck Series Season.(11-17-2006)
  • Hamilton Sr. not returning to the #18 in 2007: UPDATE 2: Setzer? It was reported during SPEED/TV pre-race activities that Bobby Hamilton Sr. will not be returning to the #18 Fastenol Dodge next season. It was also reported that Ken Schrader was at the top of the list of possible candidates for the ride.(Speed/TV)(11-10-2006)
    UPDATE: Bobby Hamilton Sr. decided not to run Friday’s Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Bobby Hamilton Jr. will continue driving duties as he’s done since his father was diagnosed with head and neck cancer early this year. The senior Hamilton originally set a goal to return for the final race but has now decided to wait and try to come back in February’s season opener in Daytona. Hamilton’s cancer is in remission but he continues to undergo treatments for a sore throat. Bobby Jr. is set to return to the Busch Series full-time next season and original plans called for his father to take back over the truck ride. A Bobby Hamilton Racing spokesperson yesterday said those plans are “indefinite.” Hamilton could not reached for comment.(Tennessean)(11-15-2006)
  • UPDATE 2: Ray Dunlap reported that this week Dennis Setzer interviewed with Fastenol and the #18 BHR Dodge, and now appears to be the leading candidate for the ride in 2007.(SPEED/TV)(11-17-2006)
  • Looks like Martin to run for Wood Brothers in Truck Series: UPDATE: #6-Mark Martin still doesn’t know what his limited Craftsman Truck Series schedule will look like next year, but he said Friday that Wood Brothers/JTG Racing is working to secure the sponsorship. “We’re waiting on the Woods to come up with a sponsor,” Martin said. “… I can’t give you answers [yet], but I don’t expect things not to work out. They’re looking to secure the sponsorship and we’re looking at Daytona to be the first one.” The team currently runs two full-time truck teams with #21-Bobby East and #20-Marcos Ambrose. It has committed to run a truck for Stacy Compton next year, with the driver or drivers for the other truck still being determined. It is expected that rookie Kelly Bires will compete at least part-time in the second truck.(SceneDaily.com)(11-4-2006)
    UPDATE: SPEED/TV reported during qualifying that Mark Martin will drive at least ten races in the #21 Ford for Wood Bros./JTG Racing in 2007.(11-17-2006)
  • U.K.’s Mickel to attempt full season in 2007: Torquespeed, which has extensive shop and engineering capabilities in Essex, U.K., will combine their expertise with the teams of Morgan-Dollar Motorsports and Green Light Racing to campaign the effort. Torquespeed’s objective is to run Mickel in a full season in the 2007 Truck Series and challenge for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year. (Torquespeed.com)(11-16-2006)
  • Wallace to pilot Billy Ballew Motorsports entry in Season Finale: Mike Wallace, will again be behind the wheel of Billy Ballew’s #15 Chevy, and is being sponsored by Miccosukee Resort & Gaming/GEICO Chevrolet for Friday night’s Ford 200. (Billy Ballew Motorsports PR)(11-16-2006)
  • Allen to start for Thorsport Motorsports: Willie Allen is on the entry list for the Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Motorsports Complex.. He is scheduled to drive the #87 Menards Chevy for Thorsport Racing. Thorsport currently fields the #88 for Matt Crafton and the #13 of Kerry Earnhardt.(11-16-2006)
  • Nemechek to pull Triple Duty: For the first time in his racing career Joe Nemechek will compete in NASCAR’s three professional divisions in the same weekend at the same track. The triple-header weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway kicks off Friday evening for Nemechek, who will pilot the #46 Chevy for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series. It will be his third race of the season in the #46 entry. The second part of the weekend schedule for Nemechek will be his return to the Busch Series where he has claimed 16 career victories. Nemechek, who must qualify on time for Saturday night’s Busch event, will drive his #87 NEMCO Motorsports Chevy with sponsorship from Ginn Clubs & Resorts. The weekend culminates Sunday for Nemechek, who will drive the #01 U.S. Army Chevy in the final Nextel Cup race of the season – the Ford 400.(MB2Motorsports PR)(11-16-2006)
  • Ownersite Technologies continues partnership with MB Motorsports: F150online.com and its parent company Ownersite Technologies will debut a new logo as a primary sponsor of the #63 Ford driven by Brad Keselowski at the 2006 season finale this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The partnership between Ownersite Technologies and MB Motorsports will also extend into the 2007 season for a third consecutive year. Keselowski will attempt his sixth Truck Series start of the season this weekend in the Missouri-based #63 F150online.com Ford.(MB Racing PR)(11-16-2006)
  • Crocker in the #43 for the Busch Race: Crocker will be back in the Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger this weekend but with a new number – #43 [She’s usually in the #98].See an image of the car on the Busch Schemes Page.(Evernham PR)(11-16-2006)
  • Exide to sponsor Benson in final race: Exide Batteries serve as the primary sponsor of the #23 Bill Davis Racing Toyota team, with driver Johnny Benson in the season finale. This will be the fourth time this season in which Exide Batteries has performed primary sponsor duties.(BDR PR)(11-15-2006)
  • Jourdain back in the #50 at Homstead: Michel Jourdain, Jr. will attempt to make his seventh career Truck Series start this weekend driving the Roush Motorsports #50 Ford in the season-ending Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Motorsports Complex. Jourdain last raced in the Truck Series in Texas two weeks ago. (Roush Racing PR)(11-15-2006)
  • Waste Management sponsoring #22: Waste Management is back as the primary sponsor of the #22 Toyota team this weekend in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This will be the sixth time this season the Waste Management colors have adorned the hood of the #22 (BDR PR)(11-15-2006)
  • Skinner re-ups with BDR thru 2009: Bill Davis Racing announced that Mike Skinner will return to the organization as the driver of the #5 Toyota in the Craftsman Truck Series through the 2009 season. The 1995 Truck Series Champion has been behind the wheel of a Toyota since the manufacturing giant entered the NASCAR realm in 2004.(BDR PR)(11-15-2006)
  • Kvapil back to the Truck Series? UPDATE 2: on Speed Channel’s SPEED Report, Ray Dunlap reported that 2003 Truck Series Champ could be headed back to the Craftsman Truck Series full time in 2007, possibly driving the #6 for Roush Racing. No word if Kvapil would still drive full time in Nextel Cup and stay with Cal Wells and the #32 Chevy.(11-6-2006)
    UPDATE: Travis Kvapil will announce later this week that he will return to the Craftsman Truck Series next season, driving the #6 Ford for Roush Racing. Kvapil has two races remaining on his one-year contract with PPI Motorsports, but team owner Cal Wells has been unable to land a sponsor to replace longtime backer Tide, prompting Kvapil to explore his options elsewhere. Appearing at a charity event last night in his native Winsconsin, Kvapil said, “Something should be happening within a couple days. All I can say right now is that this is the opportunity I’ve been hoping for my whole career. It’s a chance to drive for a team that has a solid foundation.” In addition to steering the #6 Ford Truck, Kvapil may also drive a limited schedule of events in Nextel Cup and/or Busch Series action next season.(Motorsports Soapbox)
    UPDATE 2: With the departure of Mark Martin, Roush Racing was presented with the question of who would fill his shoes in the #6 Roush Racing Ford in the Craftsman Truck Series. That question was answered this week when Roush signed former Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil to pilot the Ford that Martin drove to five victories in 13 attempts this season. “It´s a great opportunity to join an organization that constantly demonstrates its ability to compete successfully in all areas of competition,” said Kvapil. “I´m looking forward to reestablishing a record of excellent competitive results in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and hope that I can continue competing successfully for a long time with Roush Racing.” At this point the #6 Roush Racing Ford is without a sponsor but Roush Racing president Geoff Smith believes that now that a driver has been chosen for the truck, a sponsor announcement will likely follow.(Roush Racing PR)(11-14-2006)
  • Crafton to the Busch Series? In other Truck Series news, Sirius Speedway has learned that Matt Crafton is the leading candidate to replace Kenny Wallace in the ppc Racing #22 Busch Series entry next season. Crafton, a native of Tulare, California, is currently 13th in NCTS points driving for ThorSport Racing, with four Top-Five and 10 Top-10 finishes. Wallace recently signed a contract with the Furniture Row Racing Nextel Cup team that will allow him to race on the Busch Series only with their permission.(Motorsports Soapbox)(11-14-2006)
  • Nemechek back in #46 at Homestead: Joe Nemechek will be back in the #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevy for the third time this season. Nemechek’s brother-in-law Eric Phillips is serving as crew chief. (GM Racing PR)(11-14-2006)
  • MB2 Motorsports announces 2007 lineup: MB2 will continue its partnership with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series. Kraig Kinser, along with MB2’s development driver Jesus Hernandez, will compete in selected truck races. Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael, who will join MB2’s development program next year, could also compete in a couple of truck races.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(11-10-2006)
  • Raybestos Rookie News & Notes: Erik Darnell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the November 10 Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix Int’l Raceway. Darnell scored a 10th-place finish, his 11th top-10 finish of the 2006 season. He took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the 14th time in 24 races. Chad McCumbee led once for one lap at Phoenix and was the only Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap in the race. McCumbee has led four times in four races this season for a total of four laps this season. Darnell leads Chad McCumbee by 58 points (206-148) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Nov. 17 Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Darnell is 14th in the Craftsman Truck Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie. Rookie contender point standings: Erik Darnell, 206; Chad McCumbee, 148; Marcos Ambrose, 147; Aric Almirola, 141; Bobby East, 123; Kerry Earnhardt, 101; Erin Crocker, 101; Joey Miller, 96; Kraig Kinser, 83; Robert Richardson, 80; Kyle Krisiloff, 70; Scott Lagasse Jr. 40, Ryan Moore, 38.(Raybestos PR)(11-15-2006)
  • Truck Series News & Notes – Homestead:
    The Championship comes down to the final race – again. There are no guarantees in Craftsman Truck Series competition but the odds are in Todd Bodine’s (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) favor as the battle for the championship goes down to the final race for the 11th time in 12 seasons. Bodine holds a 112-point lead over rival Johnny Benson (#23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota) and needs to finish 28th or better at Homestead-Miami Speedway to lock up the Bodine family’s long-sought, first NASCAR national touring series crown. Only twice in series history has the leader entering the season finale failed to seal the deal. Bodine’s lead is the fourth largest with one race remaining.Two-time Ford 200 Budweiser Pole winner David Reutimann (#17 Team Tundra Toyota) stands third, 183 points back, but will be eliminated when the green flag falls. Bodine, 42, is taking nothing for granted – perhaps recalling the wild finish of the 2003 Ford 200 in which four different drivers held the standings’ lead at one point and Travis Kvapil came from third to wear the crown. A year ago, Bodine’s teammate Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota) clinched the title with a 19th-place finish. One thing is certain: the champion will drive a Toyota for the first time in the series.

    It may have been too little, too late – but it was spectacular. Nobody can accuse Benson of leaving anything on the table in his last-ditch bid to overhaul championship leader Bodine. At Phoenix, Benson won his first Budweiser Pole since 1996 but spun out on the first lap of the Casino Arizona 150 and restarted 35th on the field. Benson’s comeback wasn’t unprecedented but come back he did, passing Mark Martin (#6 Scotts Ford) on the 121st lap to regain the lead and drive to his fifth victory of the season. Benson, who went 0-for-59 before scoring his first win in his native Michigan in June, posted his fifth victory of the season and matched Martin’s series-leading total. Benson could only wonder what might have been and look ahead to 2007. “This team has proven to be a championship caliber squad. We have done all we can do and that is all I can ask,” he said. “Two mechanical failures late in the season have hurt our chances at the championship.” “(Crew chief) Rick Ren and all the guys should hold their heads high knowing we have had a great season. I am already looking forward to next year and seeing if we can vie for the championship again.”

    Ford 200 News & Notes – Part II:
    And Musgrave’s Pick For His Successor?…No surprise here, it’s Germain Racing teammate Bodine. “Todd’s in a really good position compared to where I was last year (with a lead of 58 points entering the final race). I don’t think there’s going to be much pressure on him other than he’ll probably be a little nervous just being in that position to be a champion.” Every Pass Could Be For Position …Just 114 points is the spread between fourth and 10th in the championship point standings going into the Ford 200. Musgrave, hoping to extend his current streak of five top-five finishes, is fourth by 41 over David Starr (#11 Red Horse Racing Toyota). Terry Cook (#10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) holds 10th – the final spot on stage at next month’s Champion’s Awards Banquet in Orlando – by a margin of 48 on Mike Bliss (#16 strutmasters.com Chevy), the series’ 2002 champion. Martin will compete in his 14th race of the season hoping to retain position #10. Martin would be only the second fulltime Nextel Cup Series driver to finish in the top 20. Geoffrey Bodine was 20th in 1995, the series’ inaugural season. Qualifying Has Meant A Lot As The Season Winds Down…Although the Budweiser Pole winner has won the Ford 200 just once – Bobby Hamilton in 2003 – the #1 starter has gone to Victory Lane six times in the last eight races and nine times overall. The latter number is one short of the record set in 2000. Martin and six other competitors share the record for the most wins from the pole – three – in a single season. Kurt Busch and Joe Ruttman were the previous most recent “three-timers” in 2000.

    This Week’s Truck Series Leaders: (through 24 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (3,566)
    Winnings – Todd Bodine ($5)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (604)
    Miles led – Mike Skinner (870.448)
    Victories – Johnny Benson, Mark Martin (5)
    Budweiser Poles – Mike Skinner (7)
    Top-five finishes – Johnny Benson (13)
    Top-10 finishes -David Reutimann (18)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (58 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Mike Skinner (13)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 3 drivers (24)

    Raybestos Rookie Of The Year to be crowned at Homestead:
    Erik Darnell (#99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford) can point with pride to a singular achievement in his bid for Roush Racing’s fifth Raybestos Rookie of the Year award. Darnell has led Raybestos standings after 24 consecutive races beginning with the 2006 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. `The top rookie will be named this week at Homestead. Darnell carries a 58-point lead over Chad McCumbee (#08 The GPS Store/Garmin Chevy) into the finale. Darnell opened the year with a sixth-place finish. He’s posted a trio of top-five finishes and 11 times has run among the top-10 including the last four races in succession.

    On the right track:
    Ten Different Drivers Have Found Victory Lane In South Florida …Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of two Craftsman Truck Series facilities to have run 10 or more races without a repeat winner. Benson became winner #11 at New Hampshire International Speedway in September to set a record that could be matched this Friday. Entered drivers who could become the first repeat winner at Homestead are Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford), 1998; Mike Wallace (#15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy), 1999; Musgrave, 2001; Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 AES HR Solutions Chevy), 2002; and Bodine (2005). Musgrave needs a victory to preserve a five season winning streak. Dennis Setzer (#85 FlexFuel E85 Chevy) must win the Ford 200 to extend his eight season stretch of victories that began in 1998.

    Etc:
    Bodine, who tutored former Boston Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell prior to the latter’s two Craftsman Truck starts earlier this season, will get fishing tips from the former Major League All-Star. Greenwell will instruct Bodine on the finer points of angling for Snook…Jack Sprague (#60Con-way Freight Toyota) has posted the most top-five (seven) and top-10 (eight) finishes at Homestead. He’s finished second three times – most recently a year ago – and third on two other occasions. ..Defending Budweiser Pole winner and Homestead qualifying record holder Reutimann is one of two competitors to win two poles at Homestead. The other is Ruttman. Reutimann’s record lap of 173.116 mph was set a year ago in the initial test of the track’s latest configuration featuring turns banked 18-20 degrees…The Homestead-Miami Speedway will host the championship-deciding race for the fifth time. The season finale was moved from California Speedway beginning in 2002…There have been 46,057 laps of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Sprague has completed the most laps – 1,385 – of any driver. He and Crawford have the most starts – nine… Dodge must add to its total of three Homestead victories to avoid its first winless season since 1996. Chevy’s five wins are the fewest in a season by the truck maker. Toyota counts the most victories in 2006 – 12 – with Ford second with seven. The latter manufacturer won Homestead’s first four races but has been shut out of Victory Lane since…Michael Waltrip (#12 Jani King Toyota) will make his first start since 2004. Nextel Cup’s Joe Nemechek (#46 Silverado Chevy) also is entered.

    In the loop:
    Todd Bodine and Johnny Benson aren’t separated by much in several of Homestead’s 2005 key Loop Scoring Data categories (below): Driver Rating, Fastest Laps Run and Average Running Position. Bodine, last year’s race winner, is either first or second in all three categories topped by a Driver Rating of 143.2 (of 150.0) and Fastest Laps Run, 44. One key to Bodine’s third consecutive victory was his status as Fastest Late in a Run (166.080 mph) and Green Flag Speed, 165.713. Bodine and Benson were among four drivers who ran the Most Laps in the Top 10 – 131 of 134.

    Manufacturers’ Championship Point Standings following Phoenix:
    Toyota, 169
    Ford, 151
    Chevy, 124
    Dodge, 82

    Fast Facts:
    The Race: Ford 200
    The Place: Homestead-Miami Speedway
    The Date: Nov.17, 2006
    The Time: 8:05 pm/et
    Race Distance: 201 miles/ 134 laps
    TV: SPEED, 7:30 pm/et
    Track Layout: 1.5-mile paved oval
    Race Purse: $632,301
    2005 Winner: Todd Bodine
    2005 Pole: David Reutimann
    Schedule: Friday – Practice, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m. -10:15 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. Qualifying, 5 p.m.(NASCAR PR) (11-13-2006)

  • Michael Waltrip to run Truck Series: Darrell Waltrip Motorsports organization plans to field a second truck with Michael Waltrip and the #12 Jani-King Toyota Tundra at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Crew chief for the #12 Tundra will be Johnny Allen.(Michael Waltrip PR)(11-13-2006)
  • USAC Champion Josh Wise joins MWR: Michael Waltrip Racing, Inc. has announced that Josh Wise, who was crowned the 2006 USAC National Sprint Car Series champion on Saturday night, will drive in a variety of series for the organization in 2007. Josh will run in a variety of venues for Michael Waltrip Racing including the Craftsman Truck Series and ARCA as well as the short track racing.(Michael Waltrip PR)(11-13-2006)
  • Reutimann says goodbye to Truck Series: David Reutimann is preparing for his final Craftsman Truck Series race with his #17 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team of three years. He will also race the #99 Aarons Dream Machine in the Busch Series race for Michael Waltrip Racing at Homestead.(Darrell Waltrip Motorsports PR)(11-13-2006)
  • Dodge, BDR settle lawsuit: Dodge and Bill Davis Racing have agreed on a settlement in their long-standing lawsuit, and all appeals in the case have been dropped. A filing in U.S. District Court in Michigan earlier this week indicated a settlement had been reached. Bill Davis, who had planned to appeal a $6.5 million judgment against his race team, confirmed Friday he has dropped all of the appeals and that the case is over but declined comment on the settlement. A federal jury decided in February that BDR owed Dodge $6.5 million in damages for breach of contract for giving confidential information to Toyota.. Dodge had sued BDR after it found the race team to be building trucks for Toyota in 2003. The courts decided that the actual building of trucks for Toyota did not violate the Cup contract, but the jury delivered its verdict based on the confidentiality clause that was part of a six-year, $18.425-million contract between Dodge and BDR that was scheduled to go through 2005. Dodge cut off support of BDR in May 2003. BDR, which has competed in Toyotas in trucks since 2004 and has been without manufacturer support on the Cup side since that time, will field Toyotas next year as the manufacturer debuts in Nextel Cup.(Scene Daily)(11-10-2006)
  • Crafton back with ThorSport in 2007: According to the SPEED/TV pre-race report, Matt Crafton will be back in the #88 Thorsport Racing Chevy for most of the Truck Series races in 2007. Crafton is also working on a deal where he will run a few Busch Series races in 2007 as well.(Speed/TV)(11-10-2006)
  • Benson wins the Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix: Johnny Benson driving the Bill Davis Racing #23 Toyota Used Vehicles Toyota picks up his fifth win of the season. Benson started from the pole, but was relegated to the rear of the field on lap one when he got loose while battling teammate Mike Skinner for the lead. Benson, clearly the strongest truck on the track, marched back to the front to take the lead from Mark Martin and go on for the win. Martin finished second with Mike Skinner finishing third, Todd Bodine in fourth, with Matt Crafton rounding out the top five. The fourth place finish by Bodine almost assures him the win in the Championship battle with Benson. Erin Crocker was the top Dodge finishing in 16th place. Mark Martin led the most laps – 82. There were 9 lead changes among 6 drivers with a record number of cautions; 11 for 43 laps.(11-10-2006)
  • Casino Arizona 150 results at Phoenix Int’l Raceway: (Top ten)
    1) #23-Johnny Benson, Toyota Used Vehicles Toyota
    2) #6-Mark Martin, Scotts Ford
    3) #5-Mike Skinner, Toyota Tundra Toyota
    4) #30-Todd Bodine, Lumber Liquidators Toyota
    5) #88-Matt Crafton, Menards/Energizer Chevy
    6) #11-David Starr, Red Horse/toyotaforklift.net Toyota
    7) #60-Jack Sprague, Con-Way Freight Toyota
    8) #17-David Reutimann, Team Tundra Toyota
    9) #15-Kyle Busch, Freedom Grill/kylebusch.com Chevy
    10)#99-Erik Darnell*, Northern Tool & Equipment Ford
    First Rookie: (10th) #99-Erik Darnell
    First Dodge: (16th) #98-Erin Crocker, Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge
    Race Awards:
    Bud Pole Award: Johnny Benson (132.660 mph)
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race: Erik Darnell #99
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award: Dennis Setzer, #85 (20 Places)
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race: Todd Bodine
    WIX Filters Lap Leader Award: Mike Skinner, #5 (34 Laps)
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Johnny Benson
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge: Ron Hornaday Jr.
    For complete race results:
    espn.go.com
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(official)(11-13-2006)
  • Driver point standings following Phoenix: (Top ten)
    1) #30-Todd Bodine, 3566
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 3454
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 3383
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, 3250
    5) #11-David Starr, 3209
    6) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 3192
    7) #60-Jack Sprague, 3173
    8) #5-Mike Skinner, 3156
    9) #14-Rick Crawford, 3134
    10)#10-Terry Cook, 3126
    For complete driver standings:
    espn.go.com
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(official)(11-13-2006)
  • Starting lineup for the Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix: (Top ten)
    1) #23-Johnny Benson, 132.660
    2) #5-Mike Skinner, 130.809
    3) #30-Todd Bodine, 130.752
    4) #16-Mike Bliss, 130.662
    5) #88-Matt Crafton, 130.572
    6) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 130.421
    7) #20-Marcos Ambrose*, 130.411
    8) #46-Kraig Kinser*, 130.246
    9) #6-Mark Martin, 130.189
    10)#10-Terry Cook, 130.105
    First Rookie: (7th) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 130.411
    For complete starting lineup:
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(11-10-2006)
  • Final practice results for the Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix: (Top ten)
    1) #5-Mike Skinner, 131.057
    2) #11-David Starr, 130.534
    3) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 130.421
    4) #6-Mark Martin, 130.416
    5) #16-Mike Bliss, 130.397
    6) #75-Aric Almirola, 130.303
    7) #23-Johnny Benson, 129.978
    8) #88-Matt Crafton, 129.870
    9) #85-Dennis Setzer, 129.478
    10)#17-David Reutimann, 129.282
    First rookie: (3rd) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 130.421
    For complete final practice results:
    nascar.com
    truckseries.com(11-9-2006)
  • First practice results for the Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix: (Top ten)
    1) #6-Mark Martin, 128.173
    2) #9-Ted Musgrave, 128.155
    3) #23-Johnny Benson, 128.082
    4) #16-Mike Bliss, 128.068
    5) #15-Kyle Busch, 128.018
    6) #10-Terry Cook, 127.805
    7) #88-Matt Crafton, 127.800
    8) #5-Mike Skinner, 127.664
    9) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 127.646
    10)#30-Todd Bodine, 127.325
    1st Rookie: (17th) #75-Aric Almirola, 126.400
    For complete practice results:
    nascar.com
    truckseries.com(11-9-2006)
  • Entry list for the Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix:
    truckseries.com(updated)(11-9-2006)
  • Garwood Electrical Contractors returning as #40 sponsor: Russell E. Garwood Electrical Contractors Company will return to sponsor the Key Motorsports Chevy in the Ford 200 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 17. It will mark the fourth race this season that the south Florida company will provide major associate support of the #40 Chevy that will be driven at Homestead by rookie Shane Huffman.(Key Motorsports PR)(11-9-2006)
  • Hamlin back in the #46 at Phoenix: UPDATE: Change: The Casino Arizona 150 entry list has Denny Hamlin listed at the driver of the #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevy at Phoenix. No sponsor has been announced.(Morgan-Dollar Motorsports(11-6-2006)
    UPDATE: Final entry list shows Kraig Kinser as the driver of the #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevy at Phoenix.(11-9-2006)
  • Waste Management again sponsors #22: For the fourth and final time this season, the #22 truck will carry the green and white colors of Waste Management. The company served as Lester’s primary sponsor in his Nextel Cup Series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(11-8-2006)
  • Dodson set to cap season at Phoenix: Cameron Dodson will complete his fourth and final event of the Truck Series’ 2006 season with the #63 MB Motorsports Ford at Phoenix.(Cameron Dodson PR)(11-6-2006)
  • Crocker to run Busch & Truck Series at Phoenix: Erin Crocker will compete in her fifth Busch Series race of the season, driving Evernham Motorsports’ #98 Mega Pizza Rolls Dodge. Her best finish this year has been a 19th at Gateway. Crocker will race in the Busch Series for the final time this season next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(Clear!Blue/Evernham Motorsports PR)(11-8-2006)
  • Cook exploring options for 2007: With two races left in the 2006 Truck Series season, Terry Cook is looking ahead to the 2007 season. “It’s getting down to the end of the year and we don’t have anything set in stone,” Cook said. “We have been proud to be associated with International and Power Stroke Diesel for the past six years, and we could very well be associated with them in the future. They are in the process of deciding what they will do for 2007. Hopefully they’ll decide they want to stay in the sport and we can continue that relationship, but while they are looking at their options for next year it only makes sense that we look at our options for 2007 as well.” With nothing set in stone for 2007, Cook is exploring all his options in all three NASCAR series.(Terry Cook PR)(11-7-2006)
  • Hornaday to pull double duty at Phoenix: Ron Hornaday will pull “double-duty” this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Hornaday will drive the #33 AES HR Solutions Chevry in the Truck Series event on Friday night and the #33 Outdoor Channel Chevy in the Busch Series event on Saturday. Hornaday has pulled “double duty” in the two Series five other times this season (Dover, Milwaukee, ORP, Bristol, Texas). Hornaday’s best finish in those four weeks was a third-place effort in the Bristol Busch race.(Kevin Harvick Inc. PR)(11-7-2006)
  • Lester tests for Grand-Am at Daytona: Truck Series driver Bill Lester turned laps in a Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series car during a test Monday at Daytona International Raceway. Lester, who is looking for a ride next season, drove for Michael Shank Racing. The team has set its full-time drivers for 2007, but Lester is hoping he might get a ride for the 24-hour event at Daytona and possibly other endurance races.(SceneDaily.com)(11-7-2006
  • News & Notes – Phoenix:
    For Todd Bodine, the magic number is 54. It has not been a productive last three races for Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) who finished 14th, 25th and 14th at Texas, Atlanta and Martinsville. But thanks to some phenomenally bad luck suffered by closest challenger Johnny Benson (#23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota), Bodine is on the verge of winning his first NASCAR national touring series championship. With a lead of 137 points entering this week’s Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix International Raceway, Bodine needs to add an additional 54 points to the current margin to become just the second series driver to close out the title prior to the season’s final race. Only Greg Biffle in 2000 clinched the title with one race remaining on the schedule. Bodine enters this week’s race as the track’s defending race winner while Benson’s best Phoenix finish, second, came in 1996. He was fifth last year. David Reutimann (#17 Team Tundra Toyota) remains in the title mix but trails Bodine by 165 points. Bodine is putting the championship out of his mind this week. “I’m not going to let it bother me,” he said. “I’ll be honest with you, I was antsy before Atlanta but I’m not going to worry about it anymore. “I’m planning on racing at Phoenix and Homestead to win; period.” Bodine won five times in 2005, his first full season on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and finished third in the standings 86 points behind now Germain Racing teammate Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota).

    Phoenix International Raceway started it all. It’s old home week in a way for a number of drivers competing in this week’s Casino Arizona 150 – among them Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota), Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 AES HR Solutions Chevy) and Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota). Skinner won the series’ first race at the one-mile oval in 1995. Returning in October, the Susanville, Calif. native won again – and closed out Joe Ruttman for the inaugural season championship. Hornaday won the series’ first Budweiser Pole in the Valley of the Sun. He didn’t win the race but returned to Arizona a few weeks later and raced his Dale Earnhardt-owned Chevy to Victory Lane at Tucson Raceway Park. Sprague, meanwhile, scored the first of his 27 victories at Phoenix in April 1996 and ultimately ran the streak to three – a record for consecutive wins at one track that wasn’t broken until 2003. He’s also the track’s leading pole winner with five.

    Casino Arizona 150 News & Notes – Part II:
    Several streaks on the line as the 2006 season winds down…Competitors Dennis Setzer (#85 E85 FlexFuel Chevy) and Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota) have just two races to preserve several streaks. Setzer has won at least one race in eight consecutive seasons but none in 2006 and needs to gain two positions to add to a top-10 championship streak that began in 1999. Musgrave, meanwhile, hasn’t finished lower than third in the standings or failed to win a race since joining the series fulltime in 2001. He currently ranks fourth. Crafton, Gaughan edging toward winnings milestones…Matt Crafton (#88 Menards/Energizer Chevy) and Brendan Gaughan (#77 South Point Dodge) could become the 14th and 15th competitors to reach $2 million in career winnings. Entering the Casino Arizona 150, Crafton has won $1,975,295 while Gaughan’s total is $1,961,360. Last year’s race paid a winner’s purse of $50,850. Owner championship remains in play…Just 140 points cover first through third in the battle for the series owner championship. Bodine’s Germain Racing team is the leader with Benson’s Bill Davis Racing outfit second, 137 points behind. Jack Roush’s #6 Scotts Ford, which will be driven by Mark Martin in the season’s final two races, is 140 points out. Front row seems the place to be…Last week’s Texas race was won from the Budweiser Pole marking the sixth time in seven races that the winner has started from the front row. Eight of the year’s 23 races have been won from the #1 starting position including four of the last five. At Phoenix International Raceway, the pole winner has scored four victories – but none since Joe Ruttman in 2000.

    Record Number Of Title Holders Eye Top-10 Mark:
    With four among the current top 10 and one a spot outside, it’s possible that six current or former series champions could finish among the top 10 in this year’s championship battle. The previous most champions among the top 10 is five in 2005. It’s a veteran group by any measure. The current top 10 has accrued 1,729 starts and 121 victories. Bodine has the fewest starts: 63. Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford) and Jack Sprague (#60 Con-wayFreight Toyota) share the record for most starts – 245.

    This Week’s Craftsman Truck Series Leaders:(through 23 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (3,406)
    Winnings – Todd Bodine ($575,045)
    Laps led – Mike Skinner (553)
    Miles led – Mike Skinner (836.448)
    Victories – Mark Martin (5)
    Budweiser Poles – Mike Skinner (7)
    Top-five finishes – Johnny Benson (12)
    Top-10 finishes – Johnny Benson, David Reutimann (17)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (56 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Mike Skinner (12)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 3 drivers (23)

    Bowyer Is Series’ 12th Different Winner Of 2006:
    Clint Bowyer (#46 Jack Daniel’s Chevy) became the year’s 12th different winner with a Budweiser Pole to Victory Lane performance on Nov. 3. Bowyer joins two other active Nextel Cup Series drivers – Kyle Busch (#15 Freedom Grill/kylebusch.com) and Martin – as 2006 winners. This is the fifth time in series history that 12 or more drivers have won races. The record is 14 set in 1998 and matched a year ago. The victory broke a Morgan-Dollar Motorsports drought that began in August 2005. Team owner David Dollar collected his 13th win, while crew chief Eric Phillips has won seven times with three different drivers.

    On The Right Track:
    Six former winners in this week’s field…Six different competitors with a combined 10 Phoenix victories are expected to compete in Friday’s Casino Arizona 150. Sprague is the track’s all-time series winner with three scores. Hornaday and Skinner count two wins apiece. One-time winners include Bodine, Mike Bliss (#16 Xpress/Strutmasters Chevy) and David Starr (#11 Red Horse Racing Toyota). Sprague is king in Phoenix…Sprague has started 13 of the track’s 14 events and dominates Phoenix International Raceway statistics. In addition to his three wins and five poles, Sprague counts nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He has led nine of the 13 races he’s entered. Toyota claims first NASCAR national touring title in Texas … Skinner’s third-place finish in last week’s Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway wrapped up the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series manufacturer championship – the first national title for the truck maker. It was déjà vu for Skinner, who clinched Chevy’s second manufacturer crown in 1996. Skinner is the first competitor to clinch championships for two different manufacturers and joins Sprague in wrapping up a pair of titles. This is the first time a race finish of lower than second has clinched a manufacturer championship. Toyota trucks have won 11 races with five different drivers – Skinner, Sprague, Benson, Bodine and Starr.

    In The Loop:
    Todd Bodine and Johnny Benson should compete neck-and-neck in the Casino Arizona 150 based upon last year’s Loop Data report. They ran first and second in all three key categories (below): Driver Rating, Fastest Laps Run and Average Running Position. Ron Hornaday Jr. is the only other driver to find his name on all three of the lists. Hornaday ranked third in Driver Rating, fourth in Fastest Laps Run and fourth in Average Running Position. Kyle Busch, looking for his second win of the year, ranked fifth in Driver Rating and third in Fastest Laps Run.

    Fast Facts:
    The Race: Casino Arizona 150
    The Place: Phoenix International Raceway
    The Date: Nov. 10, 2006
    The Time: 8:15 pm/et
    Race Distance: 150 miles/ 150 laps
    TV: SPEED, 7:30 pm/et
    Track Layout: 1-mile oval
    Race Purse: $500,327 2005
    Winner: Todd Bodine
    2005 Pole: Brandon Whitt
    Schedule: Thursday – Practice, 2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., 3:20 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Friday – Qualifying, 10:30 a.m.(11-6-2006)

  • Damon & Robin Lusk welcome new addition to family: Damon Lusk, driver of the #25 Woodard Racing Chevy, and wife Robin Lusk became proud parents of a healthy baby girl. Taylor Diane Lusk was delivered at 5:00am weighing in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces.(truckseries.com)(11-7-1006)
  • Raybestos Rookie Contenders News & Notes: Erik Darnell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the November 3 Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway. Darnell finished ninth, his 10th top-10 finish of the 2006 season. He took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the 13th time in 23 races. Marcos Ambrose claimed a top-10 finish at Texas. Ambrose finished 10th, his fourth top-10 in 20 Craftsman Truck Series starts. Darnell leads Chad McCumbee by 56 points (203-147) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Nov. 10 Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. Darnell is 13th in the Craftsman Truck Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie. He trails 12th-place Dennis Setzer by 22 points and leads 14th-place Matt Crafton by 17. Point standings; Erik Darnell, 203; Chad McCumbee, 147; Marcos Ambrose, 142; Aric Almirola, 139; Bobby East, 119; Boston Reid, 99; Kerry Earnhardt, 99; Joey Miller, 96; Erin Crocker, 95; Kraig Kinser, 78; Robert Richardson, 78; Kyle Krisiloff, 70; Scott Lagasse Jr., 30; Ryan Moore, 38.(Raybestos PR)(11-6-2006)
  • Kvapil back to the Truck Series? on Speed Channel’s SPEED Report, Ray Dunlap reported that 2003 Truck Series Champ could be headed back to the Craftsman Truck Series full time in 2007, possibly driving the #6 for Roush Racing. No word if Kvapil would still drive full time in Nextel Cup and stay with Cal Wells and the #32 Chevy.(11-6-2006)
  • NCTDA Announces 2006 Hauler Driver Awards: The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Driver Association handed out its awards for the 2006 season. Jamie “Montana” Price, was named Driver of the Year, with NASCAR’s Joey Hollar getting the trophy for the runner-up. Greg “Killer” Page was given the award for the Best in Show for the neatest and best presented rig.(nctda.com)(11-5-2006)
  • Toyota takes Manufacturer’s title at Texas: Toyota clinched the Craftsman Truck Series manufacturer’s championship in Friday evening’s race at Texas Motor Speedway when Mike Skinner crossed the finish line third in his #5 Bill Davis Racing Tundra. It marks the first manufacturer’s title for Toyota since joining the Truck Series at the beginning of the 2004 season. This year, Tundra drivers have recorded 11 wins in the first 23 races of the year to clinch the title. Tundra drivers who have finished first in 2006 include Johnny Benson (four wins), Todd Bodine (three wins), Jack Sprague (two wins), Mike Skinner (one win) and David Starr (one win). In addition, Tundra drivers have started from the pole position 11 times in 2006. (Toyota Motorsports PR)(11-4-2006)
  • Phoenix names grand marshal for truck race: NHL veteran Jeremy Roenick will serve as grand marshal for the Casino Arizona 150 Craftsman Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. “We are delighted that an amazing sports star of Jeremy Roenick’s caliber is joining us for the Casino Arizona 150,” PIR President Bryan Sperber said. “Mr. Roenick’s career in the NHL is well known, and after this race weekend he can add NASCAR grand marshal to his already impressive resume.” (Phoenix Int’l Raceway PR)(11-3-2006)

    Wyler Racing and Con-way Freight back together in 2007: Wyler Racing and Con-way Freight, an operating unit of Con-way Inc., jointly announced the extension of Con-way Freight’s partnership with the sponsorship of Wyler’s #60 Con-way Freight Toyota Tundra in the Craftsman Truck Series for the 2007 racing season. The announcement was made by Jeff Wyler, owner of Wyler Racing and David McClimon the president of Con-way. The 2006 season marked the beginning of the partnership between the two companies which, to date, has netted two poles, two wins (Memphis and Martinsville) and great pride among the employees of Con-way Freight. Wyler Racing also announced that three-time Craftsman Truck Series champion Jack Sprague will be back behind the wheel of the Con-way Freight machine in 2007. (Wyler Racing PR)(11-2-2006)

  • Chad McCumbee debuts new website: see the site at chadmccumbee.com.(11-2-2006)
  • Clint Bowyer wins the Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway: Clint Bowyer started from the pole position, picked up his first win in three starts driving the #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevy at Texas. A green-white-checkered finish saw the second place finisher, #15-Kyle Busch trying to make a run on Bowyer, but came up short. Mike Skinner, who lost momentum after being run down in the grass while trying to overtake Bowyer with about 30 laps to go, came back to finish third. Skinner’s 3rd place finished clinched the manufacturers championship for Toyota–their first. Jack Sprague in the #60 Con-Way Freight Toyota finished fourth, and the #33 of Ron Hornaday, coming back from a lap down, finished fifth. It looks like Todd Bodine can’t be beat in the points battle. Once again Johnny Benson had a chance to pick up points on Bodine, but a blown engine late in the race relegated him to a 31st place finish. After starting from the rear, Bodine was moving up through the pack when he was hit in the rear, bending his exhaust, causing him to both lose power and handling. He hung on to finish 14th and is now 137 points ahead of Benson. First out of the race was the #98 team with driver Erin Crocker after losing an engine just half a lap into the race. There were 2 lead changes among 2 drivers and 7 cautions for 30 laps.(11-3-2006)
  • Silverado 350 Results:(Top ten)
    1) #46-Clint Bower, Jack Daniels Chevy
    2) #15-Kyle Busch, kylebusch.com Chevy
    3) #5- Mike Skinner, Toyota Tundra Toyota
    4) #60-Jack Sprague, Con-Way Freight Toyota
    5) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., RoadLoans.com Chevy
    6) #6-David Ragan, Scotts Ford
    7) #17-David Reutimann, Team Tundra Toyota
    8) #10-Terry Cook, Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int’l Ford
    9) #99-Erik Darnell, Northern Tool & Equipment Ford
    10)#20-Marcos Ambrose, Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford
    1st Rookie: (9th) #99-Erik Darnell, Northern Tool & Equipment Ford
    1st Dodge: (12th) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., Fastenal Dodge
    Race Awards: Bud Pole Award: Clint Bowyer (184.464 mph
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race: Erik Darnell #99
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award: Ted Musgrave, #9 (11 Places)
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race: Ron Hornaday Jr.
    WIX Filters Lap Leader Award: Mike Skinner, #5 (45 Laps)
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Clint Bowyer
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge: Jack Sprague
    For complete Results:
    espn.go.com
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(official)(11-6-2006)
  • Driver Point Standings following Texas Motor Speedway:(Top ten)
    1) #30-Todd Bodine, 3406
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 3269
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 3241
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, 3144
    5) #14-Rick Crawford, 3070
    6) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 3068
    7) #11-David Starr, 3059
    8) #60-Jack Sprague, 3027
    9) #10-Terry Cook, 3005
    10)#5-Mike Skinner
  • For complete Driver Point Standings:(Top ten)
    espn.go.com
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(official)(11-6-2006)
  • Starting lineup for the Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway: (Top ten)
    1) #46-Clint Bowyer, 184.464
    2) #5-Mike Skinner, 184.332
    3) #10-Terry Cook, 194.074
    4) #21-Bobby East, 184.011
    5) #17-David Reutimann, 183.667
    6) #9-Ted Musgrave, 183.580
    7) #14-Rick Crawford, 183.436
    8) #15-Kyle Busch, 183.436
    9) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 183.331
    10)#22-Bill Lester, 183.001
    1st Rookie: (4th) #21-Bobby East, 184.011
    1st Dodge: (13th) #77-Brendan Gaughan, 182.753
    For complete starting lineup:
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(11-2-2006)
  • Final practice results for the Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway: (Top ten)
    1) #5-Mike Skinner, 185.008
    2) #17-David Reutimann, 184.830
    3) #21-Bobby East, 184.742
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, 183.836
    5) #14-Rick Crawford, 183.511
    6) #98-Erin Crocker, 183.505
    7) #22-Bill Lester, 183.455
    8) #46-Clint Bowyer, 183.212
    9) #16-Mike Bliss, 183.156
    10)#85-Dennis Setzer, 183.101
    1st Rookie: (3rd) #21-Bobby East, 184.7422
    For complete final practice results:
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(11-2-2006)
  • First practice results for the Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway: (Top ten)
    1) #23-Johnny Benson, 183.748
    2) #5-Mike Skinner, 183.580
    3) #9-Ted Musgrave, 183.337
    4) #17-David Reutimann, 183.281
    5) #60-Jack Sprague, 183.169
    6) #15-Kyle Busch, 183.076
    7) #46-Clint Bowyer, 182.784
    8) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 182.488
    9) #22-Bill Lester, 182.352
    10)#16-Mike Bliss, 182.199
    First Rookie: (12th) #75-Aric Almirola, 181.965
    First Ford: (13th) #14-Rick Crawford, 181.935
    First Dodge: 181.616
    Driver Change: #03-Johnny Chapman replacing Wayne Edwards
    For complete practice results:
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(11-2-2006)
  • Entry list for the Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway:
    nascar.com
    truckseries.com(10-30-2006)
  • Richardson to pull double duty at Texas: Robert Richardson will attempt to qualify for both events this weekend at his home track of Texas Motor Speedway. The 24-year old McKinney, Texas native will race in Friday night’s Craftsman Truck Series race and attempt to qualify for his career first Busch Series race on Saturday. Richardson will pilot the #1 Kinky Friedman for Governor Chevy Silverado in the Silverado 350k Friday evening and the #80 R3 Racing Chevy in the O’Reilly Challenge Busch Series event on Saturday. (Texas Motor Speedway PR)(11-1-2006)

 


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Born On Date: November 1, 2006

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