October 2004 Truck Series News Archive
- Park back in the #62 in 2005: Michael Gaughan, #62 team owner, said Steve Park has signed a contract to drive the Orleans truck in 2005.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(10-30-2004)
- Phoenix News and Notes:
For Brandon Whitt (No. 38 Werner Ladder/Cure Autism Now Ford), the final three races of the season can’t come soon enough. Not because he wants to see his rookie season end, but because he’s finally seeing some tracks that he’s been to before.
“Over 90% of the tracks that I’ve gone to have all been tracks that I’ve never seen, never been to before,” said Whitt, who finished a career-best 12th at Martinsville. “That’s definitely the biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome this year.”
Now that the series is returning to tracks that Whitt is familiar with, his bid to be in the top 20 appears to be strengthening. In addition, the team announced Monday that Jamie Jones has been named their new crew chief.
“We’re running pretty good,” said Whitt, who had his career-best start (sixth) at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year. “It seems every time we go out, we get better and better. We’ve built up a little momentum and hopefully we can keep it up the rest of the year.”
Whitt spent the 2000 season in Europe preparing for a career in open-wheel racing, possibly Formula One. “I’d come back (to the United States) and run stock cars every now and then,” said Whitt. “Then I’d go back to Europe and run open-wheel cars when I had to. I just wasn’t having as much fun running the open-wheel cars as I was the stock cars.”
That was when Whitt decided to make the move back home to California and start running late models again. Racing in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series in 2002, he was named Rookie of the Year and finished ninth in the point standings. In 2003, Whitt made the move to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, running seven races.
“The racing in NASCAR is just so much better,” Whitt said. “It’s a lot tighter, the field’s not getting spread out as much as in open wheel. I just enjoy stock car racing more.”
While he hasn’t finished in the top 10 yet this season, one of Whitt’s goals for the final three races is to erase that statistic. “I think this is probably our best shot all year of getting that elusive top 10,” he said.
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
Points shake-up puts Setzer in the lead … With a second-place finish at Martinsville, Dennis Setzer (No. 46 AXCIOM Chevrolet) now leads Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) by one point in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship standings with only three races remaining. Because of Hamilton’s 26th-place finish, Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) and Carl Edwards (No. 99 Superchips Ford) remain in the hunt for the title as well.
Renshaw posts best career finish … Deborah Renshaw (No. 29 K Automotive Ford) finished 15th at Martinsville, her best career finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The Kentucky native is the first female driver to record a top-15 finish this season. That effort marks the best finish since Tina Gordon placed 13th a year ago at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Tammy Jo Kirk remains the top finishing female competitor with an 11th-place performance at Portland Speedway in 1997. “This was exactly the type of day we needed,” Renshaw said. “To earn my career-best NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series finish at the short track in Martinsville is really an accomplishment. This is the first time that I have raced at this track and I had to learn my way around in the practice sessions.”
Etc. … With three races remaining, this year’s championship battle between Setzer and Hamilton is the closest in series history. In 1999, Greg Biffle led Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) by 10 points at this same stage. Sprague was the eventual champion. … With Jamie McMurray’s (No. 2 ASE/Carquest Dodge) win on Saturday, twelve different drivers have won in 2004, two short of the record set in 1998. … Bobby Labonte’s third-place finish matched Tony Stewart’s Richmond run as tops by the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports All-Star Chevrolet. … Todd Bodine (No. 30 Germain-Arnold Racing Toyota) finished seventh at Martinsville, after winning the past two events.
What: Chevy Silverado 150 (Race No. 23 of 25).
Where: Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix, Ariz.
When: 5:30 p.m. ET, Friday, Nov. 4.
Track layout: 1-mile paved.
Race length: 150 laps/150 miles.
Posted awards: $463,344.
TV: SPEED Channel, 5:30 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Kevin Harvick.
2003 polesitter: Ted Musgrave.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Wednesday – Practice 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Qualifying 3 p.m. Thursday – Practice 8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.(NASCAR PR)(10-27-2004)
- New Crew Chief for Whitt: Clean Line Motorsports announced today the addition of Jamie Jones as crew chief of the #38 Werner Ladder/Cure Autism Now Ford F-150 of driver Brandon Whitt. Jones, 44, a Virginia Beach, Va., native now living in Indian Trail, N.C., comes to Clean Line Motorsports after a tenure with ppc Racing, where he served as crew chief on the #10 Craftsman Truck. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me. I can’t say enough about the operation here at Clean Line Motorsports. Dan (Whitt, owner), Marty (Gaunt, general manager), and everyone involved here runs a great organization. I’ve watched them grow this year and they have a ton of potential,” Jones said. Jones has worked with some of racing’s top organizations including Joe Gibbs Racing and brings 20-plus years of car and crew chief experience. Getting his start with Elton Sawyer in the late ’80s, Jones’ career includes two NASCAR Busch Series championships in ’94 and ’95 as car chief for BACE Motorsports. “Clean Line Motorsports is widely regarded as a great up-and-coming organization, and I believe Brandon can be a future champion in NASCAR,” Jones said. “I’ve seen him first hand and know he can drive a truck. Hopefully this will be the start of a long term and successful relationship with Brandon and this organization. Our goal is to start getting some top-10 finishes, which I know this team is capable of, and we’re going to do everything we can to make that happen.”(Williams Company PR)(10-26-2004)
- McMurray wins at Martinsville: #2-Jamie McMurray won the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway for his first career Truck Series win becoming the eighth driver to win at least one race in the Cup, Busch and Truck series. #46-Dennis Setzer was second, followed by #47-Bobby Labonte, #50-Jon Wood, and #1-Ted Musgrave. #4-Bobby Hamilton, who came into the race leading the points, finished 26th and lost the points lead to Setzer.
See race results at:
- BANG Racing closing shop? UPDATE, Cup and Busch? Ward? during the Nextel Cup qualifying coverage on Speed Channel, former BANG Racing owner Larry McReynolds mentioned when Travis Kvapil [#24 BANG Racing’s driver] was qualifying for his first Nextel Cup race at Martinsville in the #06 Penske Dodge, that it is likely that BANG Racing will close its doors at the end of the 2004 season.(10-22-2004)
BUT another source says BANG Racing has secured a sponsor for a full-time cup ride for next year and will make the announcement at Phoenix or Homestead.(10-23-2004)
UPDATE: still hearing Travis Kvapil will run BANG Racing full-time Busch team in a Ford with Linex as the sport.
AND a WILD one: hearing that BANG Racing will field a full time cup team next year with NetZero as the sponsor and Ward Burton as the driver.(10-25-2004)
- Bickle to help out: Rich Bickle will stand-by for David Reutimann and is practicing the #17 Toyota truck. Reutimann will start the race but good chance Bickle will get in the truck at some point in the race.(10-22-2004)
- Busch and Truck TV Ratings are Up: NASCAR says last weekend’s Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series races saw significant increases in television viewership. TNT’s airing of Friday night’s SpongeBob SquarePants the Movie 300 was the most-viewed Busch Series fall event in the history of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The average number of viewers jumped 50 percent over the 2002 race to 2,149,000, NASCAR says. (The 2003 race was run on Saturday morning after a Friday night rainout forced its rescheduling.) Speed Channel’s airing of Saturday’s Silverado 350K Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, meanwhile, earned a 0.6 rating on Speed Channel, a 100 percent increase over the same event’s 0.3 a year ago, according to Nielsen Media Research. NASCAR says the the number of viewers increased 44 percent (427,000 vs. 297,000). The series has earned a 0.7 average rating on Speed Channel, up 17 percent over 2003, through the first 20 races.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-21-2004)
- Qualifying at Martinsville rained out: Qualifying for the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway was cancelled due to rain.drizzle/wet conditions. The field was set by the series rulebook, owners points and race attempts. The top five will be: #4-Hamilton, #46-Setzet, #1-Musgrave, #99-Edwards and #6-Crafton. Missing the race were eight drivers including #11-Darrell Waltrip and #40-Tony Raines.
For the starting lineup, see:
- Double Duty at Martinsville:
Cup regulars who will attempt to make the Martisnville Truck race:
#18-Bobby Labonte will run the #47 Truck
#22-Scott Wimmer could relieve Bill Lester in the #22 Truck
#32-Bobby Hamilton Jr. will run the #59 Dodge
#42-Jamie McMurray will run the #2 Ultra Truck
#49-Ken Schrader will run his #52 Truck
#99-Carl Edwards will be in the #99
#50-Todd Bodine will be in the #30 Toyota
Truck regular who will attempt to run the Martinsville Cup race:
#24-Travis Kvapil will be in the #06 Penske Racing Dodge.(10-21-2004)
- Martinsville News and Notes:
Silverado 350K sees huge ratings climb … Last week’s Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway earned a 0.6 average rating on SPEED Channel, a 100 percent increase over the same event’s 0.3 rating on SPEED one year ago, according to Nielsen Media Research. Households were up 78 percent (350,000 vs. 199,000) and viewers increased 44 percent (427,000 vs. 297,000). The broadcast drew a higher rating than the PGA Tour Chrysler Classic, which aired in the same time slot. Through the season’s first 20 races, the series has earned a 0.7 average rating on SPEED Channel, up 17 percent over 2003. Bodine eyes possible three-peat at Martinsville … Todd Bodine (No. 30 Germain Motor Company Toyota) looks at the record book this week following his second consecutive victory in the Oct. 16 Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway. Bodine, the 13th different driver to post back-to-back victories, can become just the fourth driver in series history to win three consecutive races. The last to accomplish the feat was Greg Biffle in 2000.
Hamilton gains breathing room as Musgrave advances … Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) increased his championship lead over Dennis Setzer to 79 points with a third-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway. The margin is the largest since the spread was 97 on Aug. 16 following the O’Reilly 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) continues his team’s late season turnaround, bypassing Carl Edwards (No. 99 Super Chips Ford) for the third spot in the title race. Musgrave, sixth at Texas, leads Edwards by eight and trails Hamilton by 165.
Labonte heads Kroger 200 drop-in contingent … Eight years after his first and only NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start, Bobby Labonte (No. 47 ACXIOM Chevrolet), 2000 champion in NASCAR’s premier series, returns for the Kroger 200. Labonte, who previously competed at Phoenix International Raceway in October 1996, will be joined by Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 59 Virginia Motorsports Tech Center Dodge), Jamie McMurray (No. 2 Team ASE/Carquest Dodge) and Ken Schrader (No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet). FOX commentator Darrell Waltrip (No. 11 Toyota Tundra Toyota) also is among more than 40 entries.
Etc. … Bill Lester (No. 22 Husqvarna Toyota) and David Reutimann (No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota) have been cleared by NASCAR to compete in the Kroger 200. The competitors were involved in a lap 103 accident at Texas Motor Speedway. … The Kroger 200 is the 25th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race to be held in the Commonwealth of Virginia and 11th at Martinsville Speedway. This is the second time the track has hosted two events in the same season. This is the eighth and final short track race of the season. There have been seven different winners. … Setzer finished third a year ago in his bid for a season sweep and three wins in a row in Martinsville. The Newton, N.C. driver is the only double winner at the track. … Last year’s Kroger 200 had 32 laps of caution – fewest in series history at Martinsville. … The Bud Pole starter has won just once at Martinsville (Rich Bickle in 1997) although the winner has come from the first or second row on six occasions. Craftsman’s “win from the pole” bonus increases to $26,000 this week. … Ron Hornaday Jr. has been named to drive Kevin Harvick Inc.’s No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet in 2005. The two-time series champion is the division’s all-time winning driver with 26 victories, the last coming in 2002 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Championship contenders excel at Martinsville … Setzer’s two Martinsville victories came in 2002 and 2003. Hamilton sat on the Bud Pole in 1996 and won in 2000. Musgrave captured back-to-back poles in 2001-02 and finished second in last year’s Kroger 250. Edwards won his first series pole a year ago and finished runnerup to teammate Jon Wood (No. 50 Roush Racing Ford).
“Ernie Irvan told me a long time ago, ‘the guy who mashes the gas the longest is going to win.’” – Rick Crawford, explaining his short-track racing philosophy.
“During the race, we watch what the other contenders are doing, so nothing catches us off guard. You just can’t spend your time obsessing over it, though. It will drive a team crazy keeping up with the Joneses as some might say. The best thing to do is run fast, and then everything else falls into place.” – Bobby Hamilton on keeping track of his competitors.
“Bobby and I had some great rivalries in the late 80s and early 90s at tracks just like Martinsville. It’s going to be great to compete with him again and even better that he is going to be my teammate this time.” – Dennis Setzer, like Bobby Labonte, a former NASCAR Late Model Stock champion at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C.
“There are no expectations. I don’t know if anybody knows if it’s going to be a one-groove track, a two-groove track or what. But I think overall it’s going to increase competition because everybody is starting over.” – Jon Wood, defending Kroger 200 winner on Martinsville Speedway’s new track surface.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Every NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, with the exception of Greg Biffle in 2000, has won at least one short-track race in their title seasons. A Martinsville Speedway victory, however, never has been on a champion’s dance card. Joe Ruttman and Rich Bickle, Martinsville winners in 1995 and ‘97, were championship runners-up.
What: Kroger 200 (Race No. 22 of 25).
Where: Martinsville Speedway
When: 1 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 23.
Track layout: .526-mile paved.
Race length: 200 laps/105.2 miles.
Posted awards: $398,064.
TV: SPEED Channel, 1 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Jon Wood.
2003 polesitter: Carl Edwards.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday – Practice 9–11:15 a.m.; Qualifying 1:15 p.m. Final practice following NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying for one hour time permitting.(NASCAR PR)(10-21-2004)
- Lester and Reutimann cleared to drive: NASCAR says Bill Lester and David Reutimann have been cleared to compete in this weekend’s Kroger 200 Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. They were involved in an accident in last Saturday’s Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway that was so violent that the race had to be halted for 26 minutes for repairs to the SAFER barriers.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-21-2004)
- #22 gets sponsor at Martinsville; Wimmer to sub for Lester? Husqvarna, a proud partner of NASCAR, will have its logo displayed on driver Bill Lester’s #22 Toyota Tundra fielded by Bill Davis Racing during the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va., on October 23, 2004. Husqvarna serves as the forest, lawn and garden equipment of NASCAR and is a supporter of the Drive for Diversity program.(BDR Site)
ALSO hearing Scott Wimmer will sub for Bill Lester at Martinsville, Lester was injured at Texas in the wreck with David Reutimann. The BDR Site has this posted: Scott Wimmer will be available as a relief driver for Bill Lester, driver of the #22 Toyota Tundra, after he was involved in a violent crash at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend. Lester intends to compete, but just in case he needs to be replaced Wimmer will be available as a substitute.(10-21-2004)
- Drive to make Debut at Martinsville: After spending the 2004 season as a crew chief for SS Racing in the ASA National Tour, Davin Scites will now get another shot behind the wheel. This weekend, Scites hopes to make his first ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at Martinsville Speedway, behind the wheel of the SS Racing #20 ASILimited Chevrolet. Teammate Butch Miller has made two starts in the truck, finishing 24th at IRP and 15th at Richmond. He has some experience at Martinsville, running Late Model Stocks at the track several years ago. A native of West Virginia, Scites feels that this is the right place for his CTS debut. Not only is it a big event for Scites, but it’s also a special event for Tom, Jennifer and Ben Bowen. Scites will run Ben’s picture on the rear-quarter panel of his No. 20 Chevrolet in Saturday’s race. Ben is a 23 month old boy from Huntington, West Virginia, who was recently diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. (For more information on Ben, click here to visit his website.) In March of 2004, when Ben was diagnosed, the doctors did not expect him to live very long. Seven months later, Ben’s fight and his story have become an inspiration to many, including Scites.(Frontstretch)(10-21-2004)
- North Wilkesboro being used? been told that North Wilkesboro Speedway is being used next week to test some drivers for the Roush Racing #99 Truck ride, the test has been nicknamed “The Gong Show”, a few drivers supposedly testing include Nate Monteith, Danny O’Quinn and Wade Day.(10-20-2004)
AND driver four is supposedly Jason Boyd.(10-21-2004)
- #13 Gets Assoc. Sponsor: ThorSport Racing says Langers Juice Co. will be an associate sponsor for its No. 13 and 88 Chevrolets in the Craftsman Truck Series for the remainder of the 2004 season. Financial terms were not announced.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-20-2004)
- Bobby Labonte to run first Truck race since 1996: Bobby Labonte, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy, will attempt to start his second career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event, almost eight years to the day of his first. Labonte started 24th and finished 34th in the #77 Rotary Lift Chevrolet on Oct. 26, 1996 in the GM Goodwrench 300 at Phoenix International Raceway. Labonte completed only 31 of the 186 laps after a valve problem ended his day.(JGR PR)(10-19-2004)
- Reutimann released from the hospital: David Reutimann was evaluated and released from Harris Methodist Hospital Saturday evening after colliding with the Texas Motor Speedway retaining wall on the front-stretch of the 1.5-mile tri-oval in the #17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra fielded by Darrell Waltrip Motorsports. “After being examined last night, I was released and I was able to fly home with the team,” said Reutimann. “Another truck got loose and ran into me around lap 103 and there was nothing I could do. I really appreciate everyone’s concern and I have a lot of people to thank in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series garage. I’m looking forward to feeling 100% and racing my boss at Martinsville this weekend.”(Waltrip Motorsports PR)(10-17-2004)
- Bodine wins at Texas: #30-Todd Bodine pulled away from #23-Johnny Benson after the final caution to win the Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway, his second straight Truck Series win. Rounding out the top five were #23-Benson, #4-Bobby Hamilton, #75-David Starr and #16-Jack Sprague. Hamilton increases his points lead to 79 over #46-Dennis Setzer who finished 8th. #99-Carl Edwards, doing double duty, racing in Charlotte in the Cup race later Saturday night finished 9th.
See results at:
- Edward’s may not make it: The Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway was red flagged for a while due to a three-truck accident and a damaged SAFER wall which took a while to repair. #22-Bill Lester, #17-David Reutimann, #12-Robert Huffman and #67-J.R. Patton were involved.
Lester and Patton walked away from their trucks, it took a while to get Reutimann out, but he stood up and was alert and both he and Lester were taken by ambulance to a local hospital for further observation. The SAFER wall got pushed in from the impact, and track workers are making repairs by adding more styrofoam, by jumping up and down on it to get it in. Darrell Waltrip contacted Reutimann’s wife who talked to David and he said he was OK and DW contacted the Speed Channel staff.
So….#99-Carl Edwards, who is scheduled to run the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and is running 3rd, will in all likelyhood not make the start of the Cup race [7:30pm/et], if not, Dave Blaney will run the car. If Edwards makes it, he will have missed the drivers meeting, so either way the #99 Ford will have to fall to the rear of the field before the start of the Cup race. The race ended at 5:00pm/et and Edwards headed to the airport gonna be close. Todd Bodine won again.(10-16-2004)
- Crafton and Harvick to Part Ways UPDATE 2 Hornaday is the new driver: Kevin Harvick Incorporated (KHI) announced that Matt Crafton will complete the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck season behind the wheel of the #6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet but will not return in 2005. “Matt has done a great job for us this year and I wish him the best in the future,” said Kevin Harvick, owner of Kevin Harvick Inc. “We have been a steady and consistent top-10 team this season but we need to be a consistent top-five team and winning races. We felt it was in the best interest of both parties to make the announcement now because it will give each of us the opportunity to secure a direction for next season.” In 20 Truck Series starts this season Crafton has four top-five and 13 top-10 finishes and is currently fifth in the championship standings. “Matt Crafton brought a lot of enthusiasm to our GM Goodwrench truck program. He has been such a delight to work with,” said Sue Seaglund, Event Marketing Manager for General Motors Service and Parts Operations. “We wish him the best of luck in his racing future.” The 2005 driver for the #6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet will be named at a later date.(KHI/Falgren PR)(10-13-2004)
UPDATE: Kevin Harvick, Inc. will make an anouncement regarding the # 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Silverado for the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Friday, October 15, 2004. The TBA driver is scheduled to attend.
AND rumors are swirling that Ron Hornaday could be the driver.(10-14-2004)
UPDATE 2: Kevin Harvick, Inc., (KHI) announced today at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., that former two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) champion Ron Hornaday will be behind the wheel of the #6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Silverado for the 2005 NCTS season. “We are very excited to have a proven Truck Series champion like Ron driving for us next year,” said Kevin Harvick, owner of Kevin Harvick, Inc. “Ron made a dominate mark in the Truck Series over a five-year-span and brought a lot of attention and enthusiasm to the sport. We can’t wait to add that unique combination to our program at KHI.” Hornaday’s Truck Series record is impeccable. He compiled two championships, 26 wins, 65 top-five finishes, 93 top-10 finishes, and 13 poles in 125 starts. The Palmdale, Calif., native still holds NCTS records for wins, a 20% start/victory ratio, and a 70% winning percentage in green-white-checkered finishes. “It is really cool to be driving for Kevin Harvick, Inc.,” said Hornaday. “I raced against the GM Goodwrench truck for years and for me to be its driver is an honor. Dale Earnhardt gave me my first opportunity to showcase my talent and to be part of the Goodwrench family is incredible.”
It seems almost ironic for Hornaday to be driving for Harvick, when it was the veteran who helped the young driver from Bakersfield, Calf., get his start. “I helped Kevin with a place to stay and made a few calls, but Kevin made his own career,” added Hornaday. “He has proven to be one of the superstars of NASCAR and what he has built in such a short time at KHI is awesome. I think this is the best ride in the Truck Series and I’m honored to drive it.”
GM Goodwrench is no stranger to the NASCAR Truck Series. During their five years of participation (1995-1999), they scored repeated success with star drivers Mike Skinner and Jay Sauter. Their impressive numbers included 17 poles and 20 wins in 123 combined starts. In addition, Skinner gave GM Goodwrench their only NCTS championship during the circuit’s inaugural season in 1995.
“Ron Hornaday is the Truck Series plain and simple,” said Sue Seaglund, Event Marketing Manager for GMSPO. “Nobody has come close to capturing the NASCAR Truck Series fans the way Hornaday has. The chance to have him as the driver of the GM Goodwrench Silverado was impossible to pass up. We expect big things from Ron both on and off the track.”(KHI/Falgren PR)(10-15-2004)
- Shane Sieg looking for a ride: Shane Sieg said he gave up his ride in the #07 Chevrolet on the Craftsman Truck Series in hopes of finding a more competitive truck. He was 15th in points after finishing 11th at St. Louis on July 17, but dropped to 19th before leaving the Bobby Dotter-owned team two weeks ago. Since July, his best qualifying effort was 32nd, and his top finish was 18th. “I was just going to the tracks and riding around,” Sieg said. “I want to at least be able to race in the top 15.” He plans to meet with several team owners over the next few days and is optimistic he’ll be back on the circuit before the end of the season. “I can do better than what we were doing,” he said.(AJC)(10-15-2004)
- Skinner wins the pole at Texas: #5-Mike Skinner won the pole for the Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 182.174mph. #15-Shane Hmiel qualified on the outside pole, the rest of the top-5 are #22-Bill Lester, #21-Hank Parker Jr. and #75-David Starr. Points leader, #4-Bobby Hamilton starts 32nd, 2nd in points #46-Dennis Setzer starts 8th.
See starting lineup at:
- Blount to make CTS debut in #2 truck: Chad Blount will make his first foray into NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ranks this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway when he takes over the driving duties for the Ultra Motorsports prepared #2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge. Blount is a proven winner in the ARCA series and has also competed in Nextel Cup Series and the Busch Series. Blount looks forward to his return to Texas Motor Speedway, having accomplished his career best NBS finish (5th) at the Longhorn state venue last year.(PR)(10-13-2004)
- Tuesday Testing at Atlanta: Seven Ford and one Toyota Craftsman Truck Series drivers tested again on Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. #99-Carl Edwards, who is running in both the Craftsman Truck and NEXTEL Cup series, was the fastest Ford Truck on Tuesday, turning in a lap of 179.240mph. All test sessions are closed to public, but check the Atlanta Motor Speedway website at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com for more information and daily testing updates. The speeds from Tuesday:
#99-Carl Edwards, 179.240
#50-Jon Wood, 177.238
#10-Terry Cook, 177.181
#14-Rick Crawford, 176.780
#38-Brandon Whitt, 176.336
#24-Travis Kvapil, 175.050
#67-J.R. Patton, 175.000
#29-Deborah Renshaw, 172.495
- Monday Testing at Atlanta: Seven Ford and one Toyota Craftsman Truck Series drivers tested Monday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. #99-Carl Edwards, who is running in both the Craftsman Truck and NEXTEL Cup series, was the fastest Ford Truck on Monday, turning in a lap of 178.551mph. All test sessions are closed to public, but check the Atlanta Motor Speedway website at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com for more information and daily testing updates. The speeds from Monday:
#99-Carl Edwards, 178.551
#24-Travis Kvapil, 176.786 [Toyota]
#50-Jon Wood, 176.280
#14-Rick Crawford, 176.280
#10-Terry Cook, 175.833
#38-Brandon Whitt, 175.833
#67-J.R. Patton, 173.793
#29-Deborah Renshaw, 172.656
- #2 Driver at Texas? UPDATE Norris in the #7: hearing that Eric Norris, Son of Actor Chuck Norris to Drive Jimmy Smiths # 2 Ultra Wheels truck in Texas.(10-10-2004)
UPDATE – in #7 Ultra truck: former NASCAR Winston West Series Champion Eric Norris will be back in the saddle again at Texas Motor Speedway. Norris will compete in the Truck Series Silverado 350K on Saturday, October 16, 2004. Norris will drive the #7 -Pavestone Dodge, prepared by Ultra Motorsports. Norris, the son of famed “Walker Texas Ranger” Chuck Norris, is very familiar with Texas and its Great American Speedway. Norris has been a contender at the track in the past and is looking forward to returning to Texas to be part of this competitive event. Both Eric and his dad lived in Texas when filming their famed TV show “Walker Texas Ranger” Norris has spent time this year testing and looking for a full time ride for 2005. Norris who works as a professional Stuntman, Motion Picture and Television director has started downsizing his role in the Hollywood entertainment business to focus on his racing career. Norris won the NASCAR Grand National West Series title in 2002 with his self-owned team, Norris Racing. Pavestone Company, now in its 25th year of operation, is an innovative and entrepreneurial company with a presence in more than 40 states, a workforce of well over 1,000 and sales approaching $300 million. Through a strong retail presence and rapidly growing markets in landscape contracting and design, Pavestone Co. has established its position as the dominant player in interlocking concrete paving stones, segmental retaining walls, landscaping systems, erosion control products, architectural paving slabs, and precast architectural site furnishings. More info on Pavestone at www.pavestone.com(PR)
AND the #2? Chad Blount is listed in the Entry List in the #2 Ultra Motorsports Dodge at Texas.(10-11-2004)
- Trucks test at Atlanta in prep for 2005: #46-Dennis Setzer and three other General Motors drivers – #75-David Starr, #16-Jack Sprague and #6-Matt Crafton – spent Tuesday and Wednesday prepping for next season’s two races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Setzer led the unofficial speed chart for Wednesday’s test, circling the 1.54-mile track in 31.00 seconds (178.839 mph). David Starr was second fastest with a lap of 31.26 seconds (177.351 mph), followed by Matt Crafton at 31.48 seconds (176.114 mph) and Jack Sprague at 31.60 seconds (175.443 mph) “This is a great time for us to prepare for the two races we’ll have here next season,” Setzer said. “So even though we’re right in the hunt for a championship, we have to kind of put that aside and focus on how to make sure we’re back in the hunt next season too.” Not that everything the GM teams are working on is for the future. Setzer said they’ll also be able to carry quite a bit of information over for their Oct. 16 race at Texas Motor Speedway. Setzer said the vastly different weather conditions – hot and sunny on Tuesday, cool and overcast on Wednesday – provided excellent feedback for the teams. Setzer also put to rest any fears that the new SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier might affect the racing line at Atlanta. “Not at all,” he said. “It’s a huge improvement in terms of safety, and it really hasn’t changed the line for us at all. Of course, we’re just out here testing one by one, and it might be slightly different in race conditions, when guys are using the high line. But really, the positives outweigh the negatives so tremendously that it shouldn’t be an issue.”(AMS PR)(10-10-2004)
- Texas Race News and Notes:
Dream month for Bodine and Germain-Arnold team … Todd Bodine (No. 30 Arnold Development Toyota) and his Germain-Arnold team may have been late arrivals to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, but their Oct. 2 victory at California Speedway – and third top-five finish in four starts after a Richmond International Raceway debut – confirms driver and team are quick studies. Bodine becomes the 20th different competitor to win in both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and the NASCAR Busch Series. Owner Rosenblum to receive Liberty Medal … Jim Rosenblum, whose No. 28 FDNY Racing Team Chevrolets have competed on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since 1995, will receive the New York Post Liberty Medal in ceremonies Thursday hosted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Post publisher Lachlan Murdoch. The award was instituted in the wake of Sept. 11 as a way to acknowledge the deeds and decency of those who help others without expecting anything in return. Rosenblum’s team has raised money and awareness for the Fire Department of New York Widow’s and Children’s Fund. TV host Regis Philbin will be master of ceremonies for the event at Gracie Mansion.
Etc. … There have been 11 or more different winners in five of the 10 seasons of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The record is 14 in 1998. … Hamilton has led the series standings on 14 occasions – seven in 2003 and seven this season – to match Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) for the No. 4 position on the all-time list. Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) is the series leader with 52. … The No. 10 spot in the championship standings – the final driver to appear on-stage at the Nov. 20 Champion’s Award Banquet at the Loews Miami Beach Resort – continues to be hotly contested. Just 72 points separate current 10th-place competitor Sprague and David Reutimann (No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota), who occupies the 14th position.
What: Silverado 350 K (Race No. 21 of 25). Where: Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth, Texas. When: 1 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 16. Track layout: 1.5-mile paved. Race length: 350 kilometers/219 miles/146 laps. Posted awards: $530,255. TV: SPEED Channel, 1 p.m. ET. Radio: MRN, XM Satellite. 2003 winner: Brendan Gaughan. 2003 polesitter: Andy Houston. Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday – Practice 8 – 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Qualifying 2:15 p.m. No final practice. Trucks impounded after qualifying.(10-8-2004)
- Todd Bodine wins at California: #30-Todd Bodine and #1-Ted Musgrave swapped the lead back and forth late in Saturday night’s American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway, but Bodine got away with the Craftsman Truck Series win, the first of his career. #02-Kelly Sutton spun exting Turn 4 as the leaders approached on the final lap, but they both missed her and raced toward the checkered flag. Sutton was not injured. #16-Jack Sprague, a former series champion, was third. #75-David Starr was fourth and points leader #4-Bobby Hamilton fifth. Hamilton now leads #46-Dennis Setzer by 56 points. Bodine’s victory was the third of the season for Toyota in the Truck series.(ThatsRacin.com/AP) Pole sitter, #24-Travis Kvapil finished 18th and never led a lap.
For race results, see:
- Jones in the #2 at Califonia: been told that former Cup /Bsuch driver P.J. Jones is going to be driving the #2 Ultra Motorsports ASE Dodge this weekend at California Speedway.(10-1-2004)
- Kvapil wins pole at California: #24-Travis Kvapil won the pole for the American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway with a track record of 178.669mph, beating out former teammate, #5-Mike Skinner by almost a mile-per-hour. #5-Skinner ran a lap of 177.708 and will start 2nd, followed by #17-David Reutimann, #21-Hank Parker Jr. and last weeks winner, #15-Shane Hmiel. Points leader, #4-Bobby Hamilton will start 33rd using a provisional after discovering a broken timing belt while waiting to qualify.
TO THE BACK: Pole SItter #24-Travis Kvapil will start in a back-up truck after cutting a right front tire and hitting the wall in turn 1 on the last lap in happy hour.(Truckseries.com)
For starting lineups/qualifying results, see:
- California News and Notes: Hmiel, Ballew are winners in Las Vegas … Two winless streaks – one short, the other long – were snapped when Shane Hmiel (No. 15 Whitaker Farms Chevrolet) won the Las Vegas 350 on Sept. 25. Hmiel won in his 19th appearance to become the season’s 10th different winner. Hmiel is the series’ fifth-youngest first-time winner at age 24 and four months. The race also marked the 101st time that Hmiel’s team owner, Billy Ballew of Atlanta, Ga., had fielded a truck in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. Ballew’s first start came June 22, 1996 with Mark Gibson finishing 12th at Bristol Motor Speedway. His best finish over the first 100 races had been Hmiel’s pair of second-place finishes at Bristol and Memphis this season. California ‘under the lights’ from flag to flag … Unlike Labor Day Weekend’s Pop Secret 500, which began in daylight and finished after sundown, Saturday’s American Racing Wheels 200 will go flag-to-flag under the lights at California Speedway.
Etc. … Bobby Hamilton’s (No. 4 Square D Dodge) championship lead over Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet) is 39 points as the pair finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in Las Vegas. … Two of the series’ fastest four races have been run at California Speedway. Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) boosted the race record to 145.926 mph in winning last year’s American Racing Wheels 200. Brendan Gaughan’s all-time mark of 154.044 was set in 2003 at Michigan International Speedway. … The average margin of victory in seven California Speedway races is .984 of a second. The closest finish came in 2001 in which Musgrave edged Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Motel and RV Ford) by .090 of a second. … Four competitors – Musgrave, Crawford, Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) and Mike Bliss – have won more than $100,000 at California Speedway. Musgrave tops the list with $155,455. … Steve Park (No. 62 Orleans Dodge) has moved into 10th in the championship standings, the first time he’s held a top-10 position. Park was the NASCAR Busch Series pole winner at California Speedway in 1997. … Carl Edwards (No. 99 Superchips Ford) will make two trips to California Speedway this week. He’ll qualify at California Speedway on Friday, fly to Talladega Superspeedway to run the final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series practice for Sunday’s EA Sports 500, then return to California for the American Racing Wheels 200. Dave Blaney will qualify the No. 99 Roush Racing Ford at Talladega.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
California Speedway has been Musgrave’s track … Musgrave is a perfect three-for-three in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series appearances at California Speedway. This week, he seeks an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory in the same event. He has out-raced three different rivals – Crawford, then-teammate Jason Leffler and Gaughan. Gaughan holds the record for consecutive victories at the same track; however, his four wins came in the 2002-03 spring-fall events at Texas Motor Speedway.
“I paid a lot of attention to the lighting around the track in California when the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup guys raced there. I think it will be better for me and all the other competitors and even the fans. The fans are having a great time because it is a good cool night instead of a hot day.” – Bobby Hamilton on the series’ first night race at California Speedway. “We’ll have a good enough shot at winning – good enough truck and good enough team. But it’s just luck the way it goes.” – Ted Musgrave on the possibility of winning at California Speedway for the fourth time. “I think running the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race there earlier this month got me a lot of experience that is really going to pay off in the truck. It’s going to be fast racing under the lights since it’s a temperature-sensitive race track.” – Carl Edwards, who finished sixth in California’s Pop Secret 500.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Jim Smith’s Ultra Motorsports is the dominant team at California Speedway. Ultra has four victories at the track – three by Ted Musgrave and another by Mike Bliss. Musgrave and Jason Leffler finished one-two for the team in 2002. Smith’s outfit has a pair of Bud Poles at Fontana from Bliss and Scott Riggs.
What: American Racing Wheels 200 (Race No. 20 of 25).
Where: California Speedway, Fontana, Calif..
When: 10 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 2.
Track layout: 2.0-mile paved.
Race length: 200 miles/100 laps.
Posted awards: $603,594.
TV: SPEED Channel, 10 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Ted Musgrave.
2003 polesitter: Brendan Gaughan.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday – Practice 10:35 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Qualifying 3:15 p.m. Final practice 5:45 – 6:45 p.m., time permitting.(NASCAR PR)(10-1-2004)
Born On Date: April 14, 2004
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