October 2002 CTS Archive

  • Vegas CTS under the lights in 2003: For the first time since 1998, the bright lights of Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile superspeedway will shine on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2003. Next year’s event, which is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27, will start at 7:15pm/pt. The 2003 event will mark the seventh visit by the CTS. The race will be 350 kilometers (146 laps). Ticket information will be announced at a later date.(Las Vegas Motor Speedway PR)(10-31-2002)
  • Smith in the #63 at Phoenix? hearing Regan Smith is going to run the #63 Mittler Bros. truck in Phoenix.(10-28-2002)
  • LVMS Looking to Change CTS Date: In an effort to boost attendance for the annual CTS race, Las Vegas Motor Speedway general manager Chris Powell is exploring moving the date. Sunday’s Las Vegas 350 went head-to-head with the Invensys Classic PGA tournament in town, and the NFL and the Major League Baseball playoffs on television and drew an estimated 15,000 spectators (LVMS officials do not release attendance figures). Powell said he would like to move the race to a time of the year where it wouldn’t compete with pro football. “It would be nice to stay away from football (season), but that’s not a deal breaker,” Powell said Monday. “I’m currently in some conversations with people from NASCAR about the truck race in 2003 … and I’ve got some ideas and NASCAR has some ideas. I’ve thought about a number of things and my next conversation (with NASCAR) will be to see what are the available dates.” Powell said it was unlikely the race would be moved to the spring, when the track hosts Cup and a BGN race in March and the NHRA in April.(Las Vegas Sun)(10-16-2002)
  • Bliss or Kvapil to Gibbs in the BGN? UPDATE: CTS drivers Mike Bliss and Travis Kvapil are supposedly the two leading canadidates to drive the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevy in 2003. Bliss’ CTS owner, Steve Coulter says the #16 CTS team will return in 2003 but they are looking for a sponsor.(Winston Cup Scene need to sub to real online)(10-10-2002)
    UPDATE: Hearing Mike Bliss has already signed with Joe Gibbs Racing to run the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevy and is not planning on returning to the #16 XPRESS Motorsports truck in the CTS.(10-15-2002)
  • Starr wins at Vegas: #75-David Starr broke a 65-race winless streak Sunday, outdueling points leader #16-Mike Bliss in the Las Vegas 350. Starr and Bliss circled the track just feet apart over the final four laps. Starr held a lead of about a truck-length beginning the final lap and edged Bliss by 0.492 second – two lengths. The victory also was the first for his team owner, Wayne Spears, whose trucks have appeared in 187 of the series’ 189 events. Spears’ previous best also was a runner-up finish. Bliss, who led 66 of the 146 laps, extended his points lead to 85 over #14-Rick Crawford. Crawford’s Ford, which started third, finished sixth. #1-Ted Musgrave is third in the standings, and Starr fourth. #46-Dennis Setzer was third in the race, followed by #60-Travis Kvapil and #2-Jason Leffler(ThatsRacin.com)
    For results see ThatsRacin.com.(10-13-2002)
  • Starr wins pole at Vegas: #75-David Starr won the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a speed of 163.112mph. #62-Brendan Gaughan was 2nd, #14-Rick Crawford third at 162.543, followed by #4-Ryan Hemphill abd #1-Ted Musgrave. See lineup at ThatsRacin.com or MotorsportsOne.(10-12-2002)
  • Sad News: Bill Smith, whose company Keller/Smith supported the #14 Circle Bar Racing team in the CTS team all season through an associate sponsorship passed away recently. The team will wear black arm bands in memory of Mr. Smith and run a special decal on the side of the #14 Circle Bar Ford this weekend in Las Vegas.(10-9-2002)
  • NAPA Leaving the #62? UPDATE: hearing that NAPA Auto Parts will not return to sponsor the #62 Orleans Racing team in 2003.(10-4-2002)
    UPDATE: NAPA Auto Parts will not renew their sponsorship with Orleans Motorsports and their CTS program for the 2003 season, announced team owner Michael Gaughan. Citing huge motorsports budget cuts, NAPA regretfully withdrew their support. “We are sorry not to be flying the NAPA banner,” continued Gaughan. “They have been an excellent sponsor and we have enjoyed a strong three year association with them. We were able to give them two Winston West Championships and hopefully a top ten in the CTS this year.” Based in Las Vegas, Orleans Racing is in their first year of truck competition and have already more than proven themselves. Leading the Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year challenge by a wide margin, Gaughan earned an unprecedented two back-to-back wins at Texas Motor Speedway and has taken four top five and seven top ten finishes in 18 starts. “We have every intention of racing our #62 Dodge next season,” continues Gaughan. “Because of our success this season Dodge has elevated us to factory team status for next year. Even though it is late in the year, we are actively pursuing another sponsor and hopefully will be able to find what we need in the near future. We have a full fleet of Dodge trucks and all the necessary elements to bring home the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship.”(Orleans Motorsports PR)(10-9-2002)
  • Carlos Contreras to jump to the BGN? UPDATE 2: hearing Petty CTS driver, #43-Carlos Contreras could be making the move up to the BGN, with Petty Enterprises and sponsor Hot Wheels.(7-20-2002)
    UPDATE: With Carlos Contreras reportedly considering a move to the Busch Series with another organization, Petty Enterprises is considering leaving the truck series at the end of this season. “We don’t know yet,” Richard Petty said July 19. “We’re not really aiming (at returning to the series), but we don’t know what’s going to happen. We’ve still got a month or two to make up our mind as to what we’re going to do.” There’s speculation that Petty Enterprises could field a full-time Busch Series team with a driver to be determined, but nothing is definite. “Right now, we’ve got three or four scenarios,” Petty said. “We’ll see which one comes out.” (Winston Cup Scene – need subscription to read)(7-25-2002)
    UPDATE 2: The Hispanic Racing Team (HRT Motorsports) has signed truck series veteran Carlos Contreras to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series for the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Contreras will drive a full schedule of races, starting in 2003, in the #41 with a yet-to-be announced sponsor. Contreras comes to HRT after competing in the CTS with Petty Enterprises. HRT Motorsports, the first and only Hispanic-owned, -sponsored, and -driven team in NASCAR, will expand to a two-car team with the addition of Contreras.. The team is currently running a limited BGN schedule this year for the #09 CICLON Energy Drink entry. Former BGN champion David Green and open wheel veteran Roberto Guerrero have been sharing driving duties thus far this season. Green took the #09 CICLON entry to 14th and 19th place finishes at Charlotte and Chicago, respectively. Guerrero is slated to take over driving duties of the CICLON Racing entry at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 26. Contreras and the #41 team are scheduled to run next season’s full 34-race schedule. HRT also plans to field a car for Contreras at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series events at Watkins Glen and Sears Point, both road courses. Contreras started his racing career in Mexico. After his 1999 debut in the CTS, he ran a full season in 2000 and finished second in the Rookie of the Year standings. In 2001 Contreras headed to Petty Enterprises, where he drove the #43 Dodge to a 14th-place finish overall. He is currently 16th in the 2002 driver’s standings.(The Motorsports Decisions Group PR)(10-8-2002)
  • Crew Chief change at the #50? hearing there is going to be a crew chief change for the # 50 Navy Ford Truck for the 2003 season with Kevin Starland taking over. No word on the status of current crew chief Jeff Campey.(10-4-2002)
  • Houston back full time: Andy Houston, a proven winner in the CTS, will take the reigns of the #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Ford starting with next weekend’s LasVegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Houston replaces Brian Rose who competed in three events for the Billy Ballew Motorsports team. Houston’s last full year in the series was 2000 when he posted Two Wins (Homestead and Portland),13 Top Five finishes and 18 Top-Ten finishes.(Billy Ballew Motorsports PR)(10-4-2002)
  • No Petty Truck in 2003? It’s highly unlikely that the Petty Enterprise’s #43 Dodge will return. Kyle Petty told ESPN [Ray Dunlap] the Truck program does not help his organization improve the Winston Cup cars. Current driver Carlos Contreras hopes to compete in the BGN with the Hispanic Racing Team.(ESPN)(10-4-2002)
  • 2003 Schedule Stuff: For sure, there will be two truck races run at Martinsville, Va., no event at Pikes Peak, Colo., a new venue at Charlotte, and a return to Bakersfield, Calif., on March 23. The series will run at Gateway near St. Louis, but on a new date, July 19. The Trucks and Busch Series swap dates at that venue. A return to Bristol, Tenn., will be a great addition, if completed. The New Hampshire event will change from July to September. It appears that the only real variable is Chicagoland Speedway. I [Ray Dunlap] would much rather see the series run at Irwindale, Calif., Hickory, N.C., or Lakeland, Fla., than another 1½-mile tri-oval. But keep in mind, Sears’ headquarters is located in Chicago.(ESPN)(10-4-2002)

Born On Date: November 13, 2002

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