October 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.

  • KHI and RoadLoans team up for Texas race: Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) will provide RoadLoans a deeper presence in their hometown market by putting them on the #33 Chevy Silverado truck at the Texas Motor Speedway. The North Richland Hills, Texas-based company will take full advantage of the Truck Series visiting the major market of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. “We are excited about adding Kevin Harvick Inc. and the #33 RoadLoans.com Chevy to our racing efforts for Texas and look forward to the possibilities for next season,” said Chris Goodman, senior vice present, RoadLoans.” For this race AES HR Solutions will serve as an associate sponsor on the #33 in Texas as the primary sponsor position will allow RoadLoans to banner their colors. AES HR Solutions will return as the primary sponsor for the remainder of the season on board the #33 Silverado.(Kevin Harvick Inc PR)(10-31-2006)
  • Raybestos Rookie News & Notes: Erik Darnell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Darnell finished third, his third top-five and ninth top-10 finish of the 2006 season. He took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the 12th time in 22 races. Darnell led the race twice for eight laps and was the only Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap at Atlanta. Chad McCumbee had a strong performance at Atlanta. McCumbee finished seventh, equaling his best finish of the 2006 season. McCumbee racked up his third top-10 finish in 21 Craftsman Truck Series starts. Darnell leads McCumbee by 55 points (199-144) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the November 3 Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway. Rookie point standings are as follows: Erik Darnell, 199; Chad McCumbee, 144; Aric Almirola, 136; Marcos Ambrose, 135; Bobby East, 116; Boston Reid, 99; Kerry Earnhardt, 97; Joey Miller, 96; Erin Crocker, 94; Kraig Kinser, 78; Robert Richardson, 73; Kyle Krisiloff, 70; Ryan Moore, 38; Scott Lagasse Jr., 33.(Raybestos PR)(10-31-2006)
  • Purpose Money to sponsor #50 for remaining races: Roush Racing and Purpose Money announced the primary sponsorship for the #50 Ford F-150 driven by David Ragan and Michel Jourdain, Jr., in the remaining races of the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series season. Ragan debuted the new colors of the #50 Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 28. Jourdain will return to the truck series for this first time since September 23, when he raced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Jourdain will attempt to make his sixth start in the series this weekend at Texas.(Roush Racing PR)(10-31-2006)
  • Bowyer back in the #46 at Texas: Clint Bowyer will make his third NCTS start of the 2006 back in the cockpit of the #46 Jack Daniels Silverado fielded by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports.(Morgan-Dollar Motorsports)(10-31-2006)
  • Justin Labonte entered at Texas: UPDATE: Justin Labonte, son of Terry Labonte, is entered in the Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Labonte is scheduled to drive the #24 Bill Davis Racing Toyota.(nascar.com)(10-30-2006)
    UPDATE: Labonte’s #24 BDR Toyota will be sponsored by Dom-Ex a company that provides the mining and construction industries with new, rebuilt, and quality used replacement parts for off-highway heavy mobile equipment.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-31-2006)
  • Bad Boy Mowers sponsoring Lester: Bill Davis Racing is pleased to announce that Bad Boy Mowers of Batesville, Ark., will serve as the primary sponsor of Bill Lester and the #22 Toyota Tundra team this weekend. The company sponsored open wheel standout A.J. Allmendinger’s Craftsman Truck Series effort last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-31-2006)
  • Toyota Certified in Texas with #23:Toyota Certified will serve as the primary sponsor of Johnny Benson and the #23 Toyota Tundra team this weekend in Texas. It will mark the 10th time this season TCUV has partnered with Benson and his #23 team.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-31-2006)
  • Red Horse Racing to expand: On Sunday’s SPEED Report [SPEED, Sunday’s 8:00pm/et], Ray Dunlap reported that Red Horse Racing, partly owned by Fox’s Jeff Hammond, will expand to a two-truck team in 2007, with the 2nd driver announcement coming soon. David Starr drives Red Horse Racing’s #11 Toyota.(Speed Report)(10-31-2006)
  • Chris Wimmer to run Texas: Chris Wimmer is scheduled to run the #76 Chevy for Jeff Milburn Racing at Texas Motor Speedway. Sponsor is listed as Automotive Fabrication.(Jeff Milburn Racing)(10-30-2006)
  • Edwards to drive #03 at Texas: Wayne Edwards will attempt to qualify for the Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway in the #03 Chevy for Gene Christensen and Green Light Racing. No sponsor has been announced.(Green Light Racing)(10-30-2006)
  • Busch back in the #15: For this weekend’s event at Texas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch will again be back behind the wheel of the #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy.(Billy Ballew Motorsports)(10-30-2006)
  • News & Notes, Part I – Texas:
    Points Leader Bodine Hopes To Repeat Success Down Stretch: With only three races remaining in the Craftsman Truck Series season, the road to a championship looks custom built for Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota). Bodine, who leads second-place Johnny Benson (#23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota) by 86 points, is the defending champion at all three tracks the series will visit in November. Bodine won at Texas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway to wrap up an impressive 2005 season. He finished third in the standings in his first full-time season in the series. A win at Texas on Friday will do more than propel the team’s championship hopes, however. Bodine currently has three victories at the 1.5-mile track, one short of the series record for wins at one track. Ironically, that record is held by Brendan Gaughan (#77 South Point Dodge), who captured four consecutive wins at Texas in 2002 and 2003.

    While Bodine’s three Texas wins were not consecutive, he has won three of the four races he has attempted at the track. He finished 30th in June of 2005 after being knocked out of the race by transmission problems. If Bodine faces any kind of adversity this weekend, Benson will no doubt be ready to capitalize. Benson, the 1995 Busch Series champion, is no slouch at Texas himself. In four career Craftsman Truck Series starts there he has three top-five finishes. He finished runner-up in the Silverado 350K in 2004 – Bodine’s first win at the track – and in June 2005. With that in mind, don’t expect to see the championship resolved until the race at Homestead. The series championship has only been clinched before the last race of the season once.

    Skinner Looks To Extend Record Pole Streak: Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) has been collecting Budweiser pole awards since the second race in Craftsman Truck Series history (Tucson Raceway Park in 1995). He’s been racking them up at Texas since his second visit there in November of 2004. This weekend he will be attempting to start from the pole position for the fifth consecutive time at Texas, which would extend his series record. Skinner earned the pole at the June race at Texas to break a tie with Ron Fellows for most consecutive poles at a track. Fellows started from the pole position at Watkins Glen International from 1997 to 1999. In the process, Skinner happened to break the track record for fastest qualifying lap (183.206 mph/29.475 sec). It should come as no surprise that Skinner is the series’ leader in career poles. He has started first 31 times, including seven this season. He has won five races from the pole, including earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. One more victory from pole would tie Skinner with Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 AES Chevy) for most career wins from pole. Skinner has not won from the pole at Texas – he was the runner-up in each of the past two races. He previously finished fourth and 11th.

    News & Notes – Part II:
    Darnell extends rookie lead…Raybestos Rookie of the Year Candidate Erik Darnell (#99 Northern Tool & Equipment Ford) finished third for the second consecutive race to extend his lead in the rookie standings to 55 over Chad McCumbee (#08 GPS Store/Garmin Chevy). Darnell, who earned his seat through one of team owner Jack Roush’s “Gong Shows” titled Roush Racing: Driver X, has one pole and nine top-10 finishes this season. He was 10 laps away from winning Saturday’s race. The last rookie to win a race was Carl Edwards in 2003. Biffle clinched 2000 title at Texas…Greg Biffle clinched the 2000 Craftsman Truck Series championship at Texas, becoming the only driver in series history to clinch the title before the last race of the season. Biffle had built such a commanding lead over second-place driver Kurt Busch that a 25th-place finish at Texas was enough to claim the championship. Biffle finished the season with a 228-point lead, the second highest in series history. The championship was the first for Ford in the series and first for owner Jack Roush. Walker to Bill Davis Racing…Sprint Car standout Tyler Walker will drive the #36 360 OTC Toyota for Bill Davis Racing in 2007. Walker piloted the #7 truck for former team owner Jim Smith for three races in 2003. His highest finish was 21st at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He also competed in 19 NASCAR Busch Series races in 2004 and 2005.

    This Week’s Truck Series Leaders:(through 22 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (3,285)
    Winnings – Todd Bodine ($563,730)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (522)
    Miles led – Mike Skinner (768.95)
    Victories – Mark Martin (5)
    Budweiser Poles – Mike Skinner (7)
    Top-five finishes – Johnny Benson (12)
    Top-10 finishes – Johnny Benson, David Reutimann (16)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (55 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Mike Skinner (11)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 3 drivers (22)

    On the Right Track:
    Bodine Ties Series Record…Todd Bodine has tied Ron Hornaday Jr. for the series record of consecutive weeks leading the point standings. Bodine has occupied the top position for 18 straight weeks. Hornaday accomplished the feat during his 1996 championship season…Terry Cook and Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford) are the only drivers to compete in all 17 races at Texas Motor Speedway. Neither driver has won the event – Crawford’s best finish is second in Oct. 2001; Cook’s best finish is sixth in Oct. 1999…Dennis Setzer (#85 Flex Fuel E85 Silverado) leads all drivers with 12 top-10 finishes at the track. He is tied with David Starr and Jack Sprague (#60 Con-Way Freight) for most top fives with six.

    Toyota Close To First Manufacturers’ Championship … Toyota will clinch its first Manufacturers’ Championship in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series if the top finishing Toyota finishes higher than the top finishing Ford this weekend. Toyota currently holds a 13-point lead over Ford (154-141) and must lead Ford by 13 points after the Silverado 350 to clinch. Nine points are awarded to the highest finishing manufacturer, six to second-place, four to third and three to fourth. Toyota leads all manufacturers with 11wins this season, its highest total in three years in the series. Ford has seven wins, Chevy has four and Dodge has 0. Dodge is in jeopardy of going winless for the first time since 1996. Todd Bodine, David Starr, Johnny Benson, Jack Sprague and Mike Skinner have all won races for Toyota this season.

    Manufacturers’ Championship 2006 Point Standings following Atlanta:
    Toyota, 154

    In the Loop:
    Mike Skinner, Johnny Benson and Jack Sprague lead several important pre-race Loop Data categories leading into Texas Motor Speedway. Despite not winning at the 1.5-mile track, Skinner leads all drivers in categories including Driver Rating (142.3), Fastest Laps Run (102) and Average Running Position (2.122). Skinner has led the most laps (309 – 64.1% of all laps) and has Run in the Top 15 in 476 of the 482 laps (98.8%). Despite winning two of the past three races, Todd Bodine is sixth with a driver rating of 105.1. He is second to Skinner in fastest laps run with 66. Sprague, who won in June 2005, has a driver rating of 108.5 and an average running position of 8.238.

    Fast Facts:
    The Race: Silverado 350K
    The Place: Texas Motor Speedway
    The Date: Nov. 3, 2006
    The Time: 9:15 pm/et
    Race Distance: 350 kilometers/220 miles (147 laps)
    TV: SPEED, 9:00 pm/et
    Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval
    Race Purse: $566,979
    2005 Winner: Todd Bodine
    2005 Pole: Mike Skinner
    Schedule: Thursday – Practice, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Qualifying, 7:00 p.m.(10-30-2006)

  • Driver standings following Atlanta:
    1) #30-Todd Bodine, 3285
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 3199
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 3090
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, 3014
    5) #14-Rick Crawford, 3001
    6) #11-David Starr, 2944
    7) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 2913
    8) #10-Terry Cook, 2863
    9) #60-Jack Sprague, 2862
    10)#16-Mike Bliss, 2851
    For complete driver standings:
  • Results from Atlanta Motor Speedway:
    1) #15-Mike Bliss, Xpress Motorsports/Strutmasters Chevy
    2) #10-Terry Cook, Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int’l Ford
    3) #99-Erik Darnell, Northern Tool & Equipment Ford
    4) #17-David Reutimann, Team Tundra Toyota
    5) #14-Rick Crawford, Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford
    6) #50-David Ragan, PurposeMoney.com Ford
    7) #08-Chad McCumbee, The GPS Store/Garmin Chevy
    8) #5-Mike Skinner, Toyota Tundra Toyota
    9) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., Fastenal Dodge
    10)#60-Jack Sprague, Con-Way Freight Toyota
    First Rookie: (3rd) #99-Erik Darnell, Northern Tool & Equipment Ford
    Race Awards:
    Bud Pole Award: Mike Skinner (180.993 mph)
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race: Erik Darnell #99
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award: Bobby Hamilton Jr., #18 (23 Places)
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race: Mike Bliss
    WIX Filters Lap Leader Award: Mike Bliss, #16 (38 Laps)
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Mike Bliss
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge: Terry Cook
    For complete results:
  • Mike Bliss wins the Easy Care Vehicle Service Contracts 200 at Atlanta: Mike Bliss, driver of the #16 Xpress Motorsports/Strutmasters Chevy battled back after a bad pit stop to take the win at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bliss lost the lead on his final trip into the pits when a missing lugnut sent him back to 9th place on the restart. Bliss had a strong truck and came back to pick up the win. The win was Bliss’ 12th win in the Series; his first since 2002. Terry Cook was reeling Bliss in, but ran out of laps and finished second. Rounding out the top five were; #99-Erik Darnell, 3rd; #17-David Reutimann 4th, with #14 Rick Crawford in 5th. Todd Bodine had problems early on and it looked like Johnny Benson might overtake Bodine in the points standings, but a broken driveshaft dashed Benson’s chance at taking the lead. Bodine is now 86 points ahead of Benson. Mark Martin was the first truck out finishing 36th. AJ Allmendinger, while leading early in the race, broke loose and wrecked finishing up in 34th position. There were 21 lead changes among 9 drivers and 7 cautions for 30 laps.(10-28-2006)
  • Skinner picks up another pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway; Allmendinger to start 2nd:(Starting line up top ten)
    1) #5-Mike Skinner, 180.993
    2) #24-AJ Allmendinger, 180.410
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 180.387
    4) #4-Chase Miller, 180.357
    5) #21-Bobby East, 180.351
    6) #6-Mark Martin, 180.105
    7) #46-Joe Nemechek, 180.082
    8) #23-Johnny Benson, 180.064
    9) #9-Ted Musgrave, 180.04
    10)#30-Todd Bodine, 179.854
    First Rookie: (5th) #21-Bobby East, 180.351
    For complete starting lineup:
  • Setzer looking for 2007 ride: Chevrolet’s decision to reduce its manufacturer’s support in the Craftsman Truck Series has Dennis Setzer(#85 Morgan-Dollar Chevy) on the job market. At least temporarily, that is, as team co-owner David Dollar still hopes Chevrolet’s marketing arm can broker a deal to place an ethanol-related sponsor on the truck. Dollar, though, can’t offer Setzer a contract until sponsorship is secured. And Setzer said Oct. 28 that he realizes Dollar could also secure sponsorship attached to a specific driver, increasing his urgency to get a deal done. “I need to race, I don’t know [where that will be],” said Setzer, whose name has been tied to Roush Racing. “I don’t have any offers.” Both Dollar and Setzer say the goal is to stay together, as they’ve been the last six years. But Chevrolet’s marketing arm, which stepped up in light of Toyota’s entrance in 2004 by sponsoring trucks for Xpress Motorsports, Kevin Harvick Inc. and Morgan/Dollar, is ending that plan. (scenedaily.com)(10-29-2006)
  • Chevy to decrease Truck Series support: Although General Motors announced only a modest loss in the quarter just past, the knife has come to marketing and NASCAR. Chevrolet officials revealed that the company would end its direct sponsorship of teams in the Craftsman Truck series, where it had backed two teams this year — Morgan-Dollar’s #85 [Dennis Setzer] and #46 [many drivers] and the Xpress #16 [with Saturday’s winner Mike Bliss]. Chevrolet will continue to support its Truck teams, under the Silverado name, with technical and parts support, so the brand will remain established in the series, which has become largely a works series.(SpeedTV.com)(10-29-2006)
  • Lester’s plans up in the air: Bill Lester said his racing plans for 2007 likely won’t be set before this season ends at Homestead, Fla., next month. “It’s just like last year,” Lester said. “I didn’t do a deal until Homestead, and I don’t expect anything to be different.” Lester, who drives the #22 Toyota for Bill Davis Racing, said he would like to return to the truck series and run some Nextel Cup events. He ran two Cup races this year, at Atlanta in March and at Michigan in June.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Bill Davis Racing announced it’s 3-driver Truck Series team at Atlanta and Lester was not part of that announcement.(10-29-2006)
  • Walker to BDR truck team? sponsor 360 OTC? UPDATE: hearing there will be an announcement soon that past World of Outlaws Gumout Champion Tyler Walker will be behind the wheel of Rockford-Montgomery’s #36 360 OTC Toyota Tundra in the Craftsman Truck Series, fielded by Bill Davis Racing.(9-18-2006)
    UPDATE: It’s official: Bill Davis Racing has announced that Tyler Walker will be behind the wheel of the 360 OTC #36 Toyota Tundra during the 2007 Craftsman Truck Series campaign. Walker, a Sprint Car standout, has already experienced a successful transition into NASCAR. He competed in three Truck Series events in 2003 and 19 Busch Series races during the ’04 and ’05 seasons.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-28-2006)
  • Benson to return in 2007: UPDATE: It was announced by Bill Davis Racing that Johnny Benson will continue to drive the #23 Toyota for Bill Davis Racing in 2007 and will carry the 360 OTC colors in 10 races.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-28-2006)
    UPDATE: Skinner too: Mike Skinner is also slated to return in 2007 driving the #5 Bill Davis Racing Toyota.(SceneDaily.com)(10-28-2006)
  • McDougall replaces Donahue as Team Director: Evernham Motorsports Engineer, Scott McDougall, has been named Team Director for the #98 Cheerios Dodge Truck driven by Erin Crocker. McDougall replaces Patrick Donahue who has left the team. (SPEED/TV)(10-28-2006)
  • Martin plans to run some Truck races in 2007..for Ford: Mark Martin said Thursday that he probably will drive in five to 10 races in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2007 in a Ford. He said he also probably will run five to 10 races in the Busch Series, driving a Chevrolet. Martin is driving the #01 Chevrolet for MB2 Motorsports [Ginn Racing] in 20 Nextel Cup races next season. Martin has raced in the truck series 11 times this season, winning five of them.(Dallas Morning News)(10-27-2006)
  • Crew Chief Liberati/Orleans Racing part ways: After more than a year with Orleans Racing, Tony Liberati has left his position as crew chief for Brendan Gaughan and the #77 South Point Dodge to return to North Carolina. “It was a difficult but mutual decision to leave Brendan and the Orleans team,” Liberati said. “We had several good runs during the summer, however the team wasn’t living up to its potential so we decided it was time for us to go our separate ways. Brendan and I had a great relationship, but it was time for a change. I’d like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Gaughan for the opportunity. I’m excited to be back in Mooresville with my six-year-old son Alex, and I’m looking forward to getting back to work.” While at Orleans Racing, Liberati led the #77 team to five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 41 starts. Liberati, 42, is now talking with numerous NASCAR teams about future employment. Liberati has an extensive and successful 20-year career in the NASCAR ranks. Now back in North Carolina, Liberati is anxious to get back to work in the race shop.(TLI Racing PR)(10-27-2006)
  • Huffman will finish season with Key Motorsports: Shane Huffman has been signed to drive #40 Key Motorsports Chevy truck in the final three races of the 2006 schedule.(Key Motorsports PR)(10-27-2006)
  • Musgrave Named Honorary Chairperson of WMCI Mid-Winter Banquet: Wisconsin Motorsports Charities, Inc. has announced its WMCI Mid-Winter Banquet will be held at the Country Springs Hotel Grand Ballroom in Waukesha, WI on Friday, January 19, 2007. The charity also indicated 2005 Craftsman Truck Series champion Ted Musgrave will serve as its 2007 Honorary Chairperson. The event will mark the 16th year Wisconsin Motorsports Charities, Inc. has staged the racing gala. Since 1992, the organization has raised $425,000 for charity with The Ranch Community Services, an adult rehabilitation center located in Menomonee Falls, WI, as it’s primary recipient. This year, the WMCI event will also benefit Interfaith, a Milwaukee area outreach program for Senior Citizens. (truckseries.com)(10-26-2006)
  • Allmendinger will run both races at Atlanta: A.J Allmendinger pilot the #24 Bill Davis Racing Tundra in this weekend’s Craftsman Truck Series event, and he will also attempt to qualify for his first Nextel Cup Series event. He will drive the #83 Team Red Bull car. (Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-26-2006)
  • Ragan added to truck race: Roush Racing has entered David Ragan in the Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Michel Jourdain Jr. was listed on the preliminary entry list in the #50 Ford, but Ragan was substituted into the truck. Ragan was also on the Cup entry list but did not receive NASCAR clearance to race at the track so Roush withdrew the #06 he was to have driven.(Roush Racing)(10-25-2006)
  • NAPA back on the #23 at Atlanta: For the second consecutive week, NAPA Auto Parts will serve as the primary sponsor of the Truck Series Championship-contending #23 Toyota Tundra. This race is in NAPA’s backyard, as the company is headquartered in Atlanta.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-25-2006)
  • Skinner to attempt double at Atlanta: Skinner will attempt to make the infamous double this weekend at the fastest track on the circuit. He will compete in Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series event in the #5 Toyota Tundra and attempt to qualify the #72 Nextel Cup Series car Friday night. Skinner has qualified for four races in NASCAR’s top division this season.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-25-2006)
  • Checkers/Rally’s to sponsor Lester: Checkers/Rally’s, will sponsor Bill Lester’s #22 Toyota Tundra owned by Bill Davis Racing in Saturday’s Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The paint scheme showcases Checkers/Rally’s upcoming Steakhouse Burger limited-time promotion. The Atlanta event will be the third of three races where Checkers/Rally’s will have sponsored Lester´s Bill Davis-owned truck in the 2006 season.(Checkers/Rally’s PR)(10-25-2006)
  • #50 Crew Chief penalized for rules violation: NASCAR announced today that a penalty has been issued to the Craftsman Truck Series #50 Ford team as a result of a rule violation last week at Martinsville Speedway. Crew chief Matthew J. Puccia has been fined $2,500. The penalty resulted from the violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (truck, truck parts, components and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20B-10.4G (Unapproved transmission gear ratio between 1.00:1 and 1.28:1 will not be permitted. Transmission contained unapproved third gear ratio of 1.15:1) of the 2006 NASCAR Rule Book. The infraction was discovered during opening day inspection on Oct. 19.(NASCAR PR)(10-24-2006)
  • #59 Toyota honoring Goodwill at Atlanta: Goodwill Industries will make its debut in the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 on Saturday, October 28 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The HT Motorsports #59 Toyota Tundra decked out in ‘Goodwill Blue,’ will feature the organization’s well-known ‘Smiling G’ logo and highlight its mission of helping people find and keep jobs. HT Motorsports has donated the vehicle’s space to Goodwill Industries. “We are grateful to Jim Harris and his HT Motorsports team for their generous support of Goodwill and introducing us to fans at the racetrack,” says George W. Kessinger, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International.(HT Motorsports PR)(10-24-2006)
  • Final Practice results for the Easy Care Vehicle Services Contracts 200 at Atlanta: (top ten)
    1) #5-Mike Skinner, 182.970
    2) #17-David Reutimann, 182.278
    3) #6-Mark Martin, 182.003
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, 181.550
    5) #4-Chase Miller, 181.307
    6) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 181.171
    7) #30-Todd Bodine, 180.987
    8) #14-Rick Crawford 180.751
    9) #16-Mike Bliss, 180.686
    10)#10-Terry Cook, 180.510
    First Rookie: (11th) #99-Erik Darnell, 180.510
    For complete practice results:
  • Entry list for Atlanta:
  • News & Notes – Atlanta Motor Speedway:
    A solid finish coupled with the championship leader’s bad luck has put Johnny Benson (#23 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota) closer to Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) than any challenger since June 1. Just 79 points separate the pair heading into Saturday’s EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. For Benson, a four-time winner in 2006, that’s the good news. The former Busch Series champion, however, is going to have to overhaul Bodine on tracks on which the latter has excelled. Bodine no doubt welcomes the championship being decided on 1.5-mile speedways. Three of the four final races – Atlanta, Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway – are 1.5-mile configurations. Bodine counts seven 1.5-mile victories including two in 2006. He won in Atlanta in March, edging Mark Martin (#6 Scotts Ford), and heads to Texas on Nov. 3 pursuing a third consecutive victory. Bodine is the defending winner at both Phoenix and Homestead – tracks that completed a three-win streak that closed out the 2005 season and elevated Bodine’s team to third in the championship.

    Express Route To NASCAR’s Premier Division Isn’t Unprecedented…Two current Craftsman Truck Series competitors – David Reutimann (#17 Team Tundra Toyota), the series’ 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year and David Ragan (#50 Roush Racing Ford) – will go directly to the Nextel Cup Series in 2007. The move is a big one but not unprecedented. Kurt Busch, the 2004 Nextel Cup champion, spent a single season in trucks winning four times. Needless to say, owner Jack Roush gave him a battlefield promotion. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota), the series’ 1995 champion, received his promotion in 1997. He won the Budweiser Pole for the Daytona 500 in his first appearance for the Richard Childress Racing. Skinner says there’s no need to wait – if the opportunity is right. “The trucks continue to be a great starting place,” said Skinner. “If you can surround yourself with good people and are able to get into good equipment, moving up to Cup is an opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up.”

    News & Notes – Part II:
    Sprague wins in ‘lucky 13th’…Add another champion to the list of winners at Martinsville Speedway. Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota), led 95 laps in winning the Oct. 21 Kroger 200 after 12 unsuccessful attempts to crack the .526-mile track’s Victory Lane. Sprague is one of only three champions to win on the Virginia short track – a series staple since 1995. He’s also the first driver in series history to lead 6,000 laps. Sprague’s total stands at 6,085. Air goes out of Bodine’s day…While challenger Benson was racing to a solid, fifth-place finish, championship leader Bodine was forced to pit to change a cut tire at mid-race. The latter gave up a probable top-five and wound up 14th. Nextel Cup drivers in the house at AMS … Martin has unfinished business after losing March’s race by a split second. Other campaigners from NASCAR’s premier division also will compete in the EasyCare Vehicle Service 200. Jeremy Mayfield will be at the helm of the #15 Quest Global Chevy that carried Kyle Busch to victory a year ago. Derrike Cope (#40 Key Motorsports Chevy) and Joe Nemechek (#46 Silverado Chevy) will reprise their Talladega drives. EasyCare 200 has international flavor… three foreign-born drivers are due to belt up for this week’s race headed by Australia’s Marcos Ambrose (#20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford), who is locked in a tight battle for the #2 position among Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates. Michel Jourdain Jr. returns to Roush Racing’s #50 Ford. Completing the international trio is John Mickel (#07 Dudman Group/DSI Group Chevy), a native of Cambridge, England in the United Kingdom.

    This Week’s Truck Series Leaders: (through 21 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (3,197)
    Winnings – Todd Bodine ($555,740)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (522)
    Miles led – Mike Skinner (758.168)
    Victories – Mark Martin (5)
    Budweiser Poles – Mike Skinner (6)
    Top-five finishes – Johnny Benson (12)
    Top-10 finishes – Johnny Benson (16)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (52 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Todd Bodine, Mike Skinner (10)

    Bodine has occupied the #1 position in series standings for a record-extending 17 consecutive weeks. The number matches Sprague (1998) for #2 among times having led the championship in a season. If Bodine continues as the leader following this week’s race, he’ll tie Ron Hornaday Jr’s (#33 AES HR Solutions Chevy) record set in 1996…Sprague was the fourth driver in five races to win from the Budweiser Pole. He’s only the second to win from the pole in a series race at Martinsville. Rich Bickle was the first in 1997. The pole was Sprague’s 29th, one fewer than category record holder Skinner…The total margin of victory in four series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway is .920 second…A victory in Atlanta will clinch the 2006 manufacturer championship for Toyota.

    On The Right Track:
    Three have completed every Atlanta lap…Three competitors have run all 533 possible laps/799.5 miles in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events held at Atlanta Motor Speedway. They are Bobby Hamilton, Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota) and Dennis Setzer (#85 E85 FlexFuel Chevy). Skinner is the all-time laps/miles leader at AMS with 117 laps/180.18miles. Skinner and Bodine are the only drivers to lead three different races – Bodine the most recent three.

    In the Loop:
    Todd Bodine and Johnny Benson are co-joined at Atlanta Motor Speedway in several key Scoring Loop categories. Bodine’s average finish is 5.0 vs. Benson’s 5.7. Bodine is fractionally better in average running position – 6.118 vs. 6.208. Bodine and Benson boast the best Driver Rating among competitors running the most recent three races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bodine comes in with a rating of 115.8 vs. Benson’s 112.3. Mark Martin claimed the highest Driver Rating in March’s John Deere 200 – 144.5 – despite finishing second to Bodine. In March, Martin’s Ford was fastest in turns 1, 2 and 3 with a fastest speed among all drivers of 185.311 mph in Turn 3.

    Manufacturers’ Championship; 2006 Point Standings Following Round 21 at Martinsville Speedway:
    Toyota, 150
    Ford, 135
    Chevy, 102
    Dodge, 73
    Chevy won both Atlanta races in 2005. A Dodge was the inaugural race winner. Toyota won in March.

    From The Archives:
    Atlanta Motor Speedway has a history of close finishes, the first coming in the 2004 EasyCare Vehicle Service 200 when winner Bobby Hamilton and Mike Skinner exchanged the lead twice on the final lap. Those tight endings have sent Atlanta’s races into “overtime” on three of four occasions, most recently in March when Todd Bodine denied Mark Martin a record-matching third consecutive victory.

    Fast Facts:
    The Race: EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200
    The Place: Atlanta Motor Speedway
    The Date: Oct. 28, 2006
    The Time: 5:05 pm/et
    Race Distance: 200 miles (130 laps)
    TV: SPEED, 4:45 pm/et
    Track Layout: 1.54-mile banked paved oval
    Race Purse: $528,620
    2005 Winner: Kyle Busch 2005
    Pole: Mike Skinner
    Schedule: Friday – Practice, 12:15 p.m. – 1:25 p.m., 1:40 p.m. – 2:10 p.m. and 2:25 p.m. – 3:25 p.m.; Saturday – Qualifying, 1:15 p.m. (NASCAR PR)(10-23-2006)

  • Raybestos Rookie News & Notes: Erik Darnell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Oct. 21 Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. Darnell finished third, his second top-five and eighth top-10 finish of the 2006 season. He took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the 11th time in 21 races. Darnell leads Chad McCumbee by 52 points (188-136) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the October 28 EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Rookie standings following Martinsville; Erik Darnell, 188; Chad McCumbee, 136; Aric Almirola, 135; Marcos Ambrose, 131; Bobby East, 110; Boston Reid, 99; Joey Miller, 96; Kerry Earnhardt, 94; Erin Crocker, 92; Kraig Kinser, 78; Kyle Krisiloff, 70; Robert Richardson, 70.(Raybestos PR)(10-23-2006)
  • Nemechek returns to the #46: During SPEED’s pre-race report at Martinsville Speedway it was reported that Joe Nemecheck will once again drive the #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevy at Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend. No sponsorship was mentioned.(SpeedTV.com)(10-21-2006)
  • Mayfield set to drive the #15 at Atlanta: It was reported during SPEED’s pre-race report at Martinsville Speedway that Jeremy Mayfield will be driving the #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy at Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend. No sponsorship announcement to-date.(SpeedTV.com)(10-21-2006)
  • Jack Sprague wins the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway: After starting the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota from the pole, Jack Sprague picked up the win for the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway; his second win of the season. This was Sprague’s first win at Martinsville and his 27th win in his Truck Series career. Race leader, Ted Musgrave, was black-flagged late in the race for an inappropriate restart enabling Sprague to take the lead and pick up the win. David Starr (#11-Red Horse Racing Toyota) winner of the spring race, was the fastest truck on the track at the end of the race, came on strong but was unable to make a run on the leader. Starr finished second. Johnny Benson picked up points on championship leader Todd Bodine(14th) and is now only 79 points out of first place. Rounding out the top five were #99 Erik Darnell, #6 Mark Martin, with the #23 of Johnny Benson finishing in 5th place. There were 12 cautions for 67 laps. There were 2 lead changes among 2 drivers.(10-21-2006)
  • Final Results for the Kroger 200: (top ten)
    1) #60-Jack Sprague, Con-way Freight Toyota
    2) #11-David Starr, Red Horse Racing Toyota
    3) #99-Erik Darnell, Northern Tool & Equipment Ford
    4) #6-Mark Martin, Scotts Ford
    5) #23-Johnny Benson, Napa Toyota
    6) #15-Kyle Busch, Team Tundra Toyota
    7) #5-Mike Skinner, Toyota Tundra Toyota
    8) #46-Denny Hamlin, Econolodge/Roadway Inn Chevy
    9) #14-Rick Crawford, Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford
    10)#4-Chase Miller, Dodge Motorsports Dodge
    First Rookie: (3rd) #99-Erik Darnell, Northern Tool & Equipment Ford
    Race Awards:
    Bud Pole Award: Jack Sprague (95.675 mph)
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race: Erik Darnell #99
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award: Jack Sprague, #60 (32 Places)
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race: Rick Crawford
    WIX Filters Lap Leader Award: Ted Musgrave, #9 (105 Laps)
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Jack Sprague
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge: Johnny Benson
    For complete results:
    truck series
  • Driver point standings following Martinsville: (top ten)
    1) #30-Todd Bodine,3197
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 3118
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 2930
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, 2923
    5) #14-Rick Crawford, 2846
    6) #11-David Starr, 2814
    7) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 2789
    8) #60-Jack Sprague, 2728
    9) #10-Terry Cook, 2693
    10)#16-Mike Bliss, 2671
    For complete point standings:
  • Jack Sprague wins the pole for the Kroger 200: (starting lineup top ten)
    1) #60-Jack Sprague, 95.675
    2) #5-Mike Skinner, 94.965
    3) #9-Ted Musgrave, 94.927
    4) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 94.727
    5) #99-Erik Darnell, 94.708
    6) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 94.604
    7) #30-Todd Bodine, 94.571
    8) #6-Mark Martin, 94.567
    9) #15-Kyle Busch, 94.538
    10)#88-Matt Crafton, 94.500
    First rookie; (4th) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 94.727
    DNQ-#49-Bradley Reithmeyer; #7-Casey Kingsland, #19-Todd Shafer; #64-Jimmy Simpson (DNS)
    For complete starting lineup:
  • Final practice results for the Kroger 200 at Martinsville: (Top ten)
    1) #60-Jack Sprague, 95.845
    2) #88-Matt Crafton, 95.496
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 95.391
    4) #46-Denny Hamlin, 95.362
    5) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 95.290
    6) #23-Johnny Benson, 94.979
    7) #4-Chase Miller, 94.955
    8) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 94.951
    9) #16-Mike Bliss, 94.932
    10)#9-Ted Musgrave, 94.870
    1st Ford; (14th) #14-Rick Crawford, 94.765
    1st Rookie; (13th)#75-Aric Almirola, 94.846
    For complete final practice results:
  • 1st practice results for the Kroger 200 at Martinsville: (Top ten)
    1) #17-David Reutimann, 94.500
    2) #14-Rick Crawford, 94.181
    3) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 94.171
    4) #23-Johnny Benson, 94.115
    5) #88-Matt Crafton, 94.003
    6) #16-Mike Bliss, 93.891
    7) #85-Dennis Setzer, 93.789
    8) #11-David Starr, 93.775
    9) #75-Aric Almirola, 93.743
    10)#33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 93.719
    1st Rookie: (9th) #75-Aric Almirola, 93.743
    For complete practice results:

    Entry list for the Kroger 200:

  • ppc to Chevy? Crafton Driving? ppc Racing [#10 Ford in Truck Series with driver Terry Cook] is leaving Ford and appears to be moving to Chevy next season, a source close to the team confirmed. ppc Director of Sponsor Relations Andy O’Hara said the team is still searching for a driver and sponsor for its #22 for 2007. Kenny Wallace is still in the mix, though Craftsman Truck Series driver Matt Crafton has been linked to ppc.(Scene Daily.com)(10-19-2006)
  • Ragan attempting double duty at Martinsville: David Ragan is attempting to pull double duty this weekend at Martinsville Speedway as he tries to make the field for both the Craftsman Truck( #50) and Nextel Cup series races. Ragan’s #06 Roush Cup car is outside the top-35 cutoff, forcing the driver to make the race based on qualifying speed. (RoushRacing.com)(10-19-2006)
  • Cope to again drive for Key Motorsports in Atlanta: Derrike Cope will be looking to finish the business the second time around for Key Motorsports after agreeing today to again drive the #40 Chevy Silverado in the Easy Care Vehicle Service Contracts 200, Craftsman Truck Series race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway next Saturday. The Key Motorsports entry in the Atlanta race will carry associate sponsorship from the Atlanta Airport Hilton Hotel and Cope and Dodson will make a Meet and Greet appearance for fans at the hotel’s Finish Line Sports Bar at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday night, October 26.(Key Motorsports PR)(10-19-2006)
  • Alexander joins SPEED Broadcast Team for 2007: Long-time Motor Racing Network broadcaster Adam Alexander will join the SPEED Craftsman Truck Series broadcast team as a pit reporter during live coverage for the 2007 season. Alexander, of Evansville, Ind., has spent the last six years as a booth anchor, pit reporter and turn announcer for MRN’s Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series and Truck Series race broadcasts. During that same time period, Alexander also handled pit road and turn announcer duties for IMS Radio Network’s yearly nationwide broadcast of the Indianapolis 500. Alexander’s addition to the SPEED broadcast team continues the network’s growth trend within the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Since 2004, when broadcasts of the Truck Series started on the network, SPEED has enjoyed a nearly 15-percent increase in overall audience year over year, as ratings are up again in 2006.(Speed TV PR)(10-19-2006)
  • SPEED reporter suspended; apologizes for remarks: SPEED officials have confirmed that reporter Ray Dunlap has been suspended one race for inappropriate on-air remarks. Dunlap has been a pit reporter for Craftsman Truck Series races at the network since 2004. Dunlap will not appear on during Saturday’s broadcast of the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. The remarks were made during a taping of the network’s show “Trading Paint.” It was reported that Dunlap made disparaging remarks toward Hispanics when he and Cup driver Michael Waltrip were talking about minority interest in the sport during the show, which was taped. “As a guest on ‘Trading Paint,’ you try to be edgy, controversial and entertaining,” Dunlap said in an e-mail statement. “In a failed attempt at humor, I obviously crossed the line between funny and insensitive. For that, I am deeply sorry. “I am a huge supporter of NASCAR’s diversity initiative and am very proud to work in today’s more progressive garage area. I look forward to seeing the fans at the race in Atlanta.” SPEED did not comment on the nature or content of Dunlap’s remarks in an e-mail statement from SPEED spokesman Erik Arneson. “Ray Dunlap has been suspended for one race (Martinsville) for making comments on-air that the company found inappropriate,” the statement read.(SceneDaily.com)(10-19-2006)
  • Bires to make debut at Atlanta: Kelly Bires, the 2006 ASA Late Model Series Challenge Champion and Rookie of the Year, confirmed with Motorsports Lounge Wednesday he will compete in his first Truck Series event this season driving the #19 Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 28th, 2006. Recently, Kelly was tapped by Wood Brothers/JTG Racing as a development driver. His first race with the team was in the ARCA Series event at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this month, where Kelly finished 4th in his first trip to the track, his second career ARCA Series race. (MotorsportsLounge.com)(10-18-2006)
  • HT Motorsports marks its 100th start: Saturday’s Kroger 200 in Martinsville will be the 100th Craftsman Truck start for #59 HT Motorsports. Owner Jim Harris and the entire team are looking forward to a great race on their home track in front of many friends and family. With a great finish in Talladega they are ready to tackle the challenges of a short track. Since the additions of Chad Chaffin as driver and Danny Rollins as crew chief and the change to Toyota, HT Motorsports has produced consistently higher finishes. The team believes that it can finish the year in the Top 20 in points and expects to run the 2007 season in the Top 10. (HT Motorsports PR)(10-18-2006)
  • Strutmasters to partner with Xpress Motorsports for Final Five: Strutmasters, a Roxboro, NC based supplier of shocks and struts for most any automobile, has joined forces with Xpress Motorsports and will serve as an associate sponsor of the #16 Chevy Silverado driven by former Craftsman Truck Series champion Mike Bliss for the remainder of the 2006 NCTS campaign. Strutmasters will serves as an associate sponsor aboard the Xpress Motorsports NCTS entry for the events in Martinsville, VA on October 21st, Atlanta, GA on October 28th, Fort Worth, TX on November 3rd, Phoenix, AZ on November 10th and the season finale at Homestead, FL on November 17th.(Xpress Motorsports PR)(10-18-2006)
  • Lusk replaces Reid in #25: Woodard Racing officials say that Damon Lusk will drive the #25 Woodard Racing Dodge in the next three Craftsman Truck Series events. Lusk begins his duty with the team in Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. He’ll also compete in the truck races at Atlanta and Texas. Woodard Racing is in its first season of truck competition. Rookie Boston Reid, who remains with the team, has made all 20 races this season but has a best finish of 13th. Lusk has been competing in the ARCA Series this season. In 16 starts there, he has three top-five and eight top-10 finishes. (SceneDaily.com)(10-17-2006)
  • Riethmeyer Debut Set for Martinsville: UPDATE: Twenty two year old Bradley Riethmeyer, winner of the 2006 All-American Driver Challenge (AADC), will qualify to compete in his first ever Craftsman Truck Series event. In a unique partnership between Robert Richardson Racing and the AADC, Riethmeyer will race in the #49 truck sporting a special AADC paint scheme. The AADC is a driver development and search program that is geared toward fostering the best up-and-coming talent for a future career in a professional American racing series. All aspiring racecar drivers between the ages of 15 and 23 are invited to enter the AADC and earn their way to becoming the next American racing hero.(allamericandriver.com)(10-12-2006)
    UPDATE: Unique Pizza and Subs, a Delaware-based corporation will be the co-primary sponsor on The All-American Driver Challenge truck for The Kroger 200 race in Martinsville, VA on October 21st.(allamericandriver.com)(10-17-2006)
  • Hamlin racing trucks at Martinsville: UPDATE: Denny Hamlin, the Joe Gibbs Racing rookie driver and Nextel Chase contender, will compete as a teammate to Dennis Setzer in the #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevy. Hamlin has only five career races in the series, all coming in 2004.(Morgan-Dollar Motorsports)(10-13-2006)
    UPDATE: Econo Lodge/Rodeway Inn on Board as Primary Sponsor. The Oct. 21 event will mark the third time around the track for the Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands from hotel franchising company Choice Hotels International, Inc.(Morgan-Dollar Motorsports)(10-17-2006)
  • Truck Series News & Notes – Martinsville Championship Rx: Escape With A Good Finish
    Saturday’s Kroger 200 could be pivotal in the race for the Craftsman Truck Series title. Odds are, however, that whoever wins the 2006 championship won’t be celebrating in Martinsville Speedway’s Victory Lane on Saturday. No champion ever has won at the track in his title season. In fact, only two former champions – Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) and Bobby Hamilton count Martinsville wins. Defending series champion Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota) finished fourth in last year’s Kroger 200. Martinsville Speedway has befuddled Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota), a three-time champion and winner of 12 short track races but none at Martinsville Speedway.

    Kroger 200 Is ‘Do-Over,’ Especially For Raybestos Rookies…This week’s Kroger 200 is one of the season’s rare opportunities for a “do-over.” Martinsville Speedway is one of just three tracks hosting multiple races in 2006. That’s good news for nearly half the field – the majority of Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates who tested the .526-mile track for the first time in April. No surprise, none of the freshman class finished among the top 10. Rookie leader Erik Darnell (#99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford) turned in an 11th place performance to lead first-year drivers. One driver who’s looking forward to testing Martinsville Speedway a second time is Aric Almirola (#75 Spears Manufacturing Chevy). Almirola was 18th, a finish he’d like to improve upon this week. Sixteen additional races with the team likely are more important to the driver than lessons learned at any specific track.

    News & Notes Part II:
    Seven Consecutive Short-Track Winners…Skinner was the last driver to win back-to-back short track races in August-September 2005 at Bristol and Richmond. There have been seven consecutive different winners since the latter race – five in 2006. Sprague Adds To Short-Track Log…Saturday’s race will be Sprague’s 97th on a short track – tops among Craftsman Truck competitors. Skinner, however, owns the best winning percentage among series short trackers with 25 or more starts. The Susanville, Calif. native is 14-for-20, a winning percentage of .280. Martinsville Winners In The Field…Skinner, Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford), Dennis Setzer (#85 E85 FlexFuel Chevy) and David Starr (#11 Red Horse Racing Toyota) look to add another win to their Martinsville records. For Setzer it would be the third. He’s the only driver to win more than once in 15 Martinsville events.

    Cup Drivers In The Field…Most prominent is Mark Martin (#6 Scotts Ford), a five-time series winner in 2006. Martin finished fourth in April’s Kroger 250. Also entered are Kyle Busch (#15 SunTrust Chevy) and Denny Hamlin (#46 EconoLodge/Rodeway Inn Chevy). Hamlin will be making his first series start at the track in the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports-prepared truck driven to victory by Bobby Labonte in 2005.

    Rookies Still Looking For First Martinsville Victory…Raybestos Rookie of the year candidates have come close to victory twice: Travis Kvapil (2001) and Carl Edwards (2003) finished in the runner-up spot. Twelve drivers participating in the Raybestos program qualified for April’s Kroger 250. Five of them finished among the top 20. Bodine Gained In April…Bodine’s 12th place finish in April netted 54 points over closest rival Johnny Benson (#23 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota), who wound up in the 30th spot.

    Championship contenders; best Martinsville finishes:
    Todd Bodine, 4th 2004
    Johnny Benson, 3rd 1995
    David Reutimann, 8th 2004
    Ted Musgrave ,2nd 2003, 06
    Rick Crawford, 1st 2004
    Ron Hornaday Jr, 3rd 1998, 2005
    David Starr, 1st 2006
    Terry Cook, 3rd 2001
    Dennis Setzer 1st 2002, 03
    Mike Bliss, 2nd 2002

  • This Week’s Craftsman Truck Series leaders: (through 20 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (3,076)
    Winnings – Todd Bodine ($546,650)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (522)
    Miles led – Mike Skinner (758.168)
    Victories – Mark Martin (5)
    Budweiser Poles – Mike Skinner (6)
    Top-five finishes – Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine (11)
    Top-10 finishes – Johnny Benson, David Reutimann, Todd Bodine (15)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (41 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Todd Bodine, Mike Skinner (10)

    Current or former NextelCup drivers have won nine times in 15 races at Martinsville Speedway. No driver, however, has managed to complete a NEXTEL Cup/Craftsman Truck weekend sweep at any series track…Just one Martinsville race has been won from the Budweiser Pole – by Rich Bickle in 1997…The most recent four winners have started 15th, ninth, fifth and 18th. Setzer won the 2002 race from 33rd – second-deepest in the field by any series winner…There has been just one first-time winner in the series in 2006 – fewest in any season. Martinsville Speedway has produced five first-time series winners: Ricky Craven, Bobby Hamilton, Bobby Labonte, Jamie McMurray and Scott Riggs.

    On the Right Track:
    Morgan-Dollar is tops among owners at Martinsville…David Dollar has scored three victories in Martinsville, two by Setzer and a third by Bobby Labonte. Three owners count two wins apiece. Setzer is statistical leader…Setzer, with 13 starts, has won $221,995 at the southern Virginia track aided by six top-five and eight top-10 finishes. All are statistical records at Martinsville. Setzer has completed 2,864 laps and 1,506.5 miles.

    In the Loop:
    If dominance in three key categories is the measure, Kyle Busch will win his first Craftsman Truck Series short track race this week at Martinsville Speedway. Busch has the best speed in traffic (91.973 mph) and average running position (4.575) among entered drivers measure over Martinsville’s past three races. Busch ranks #2 in quality passes (15) behind Ron Hornaday Jr. (22). Among drivers with multiple starts at the track in 2005-06, Ted Musgrave owns the best Driver Rating (112.7). Mike Bliss is next at 105.7 with Hornaday third at 99.3. Dennis Setzer (75), Terry Cook (74) and Hornaday (73) have recorded the most green flag passes. Cook has recorded the most passes in three of the tracks four turns – 42 in Turns one, two and four while Hornaday has executed the most straightaway passes – 43.

    Manufacturers’ Championship 2006 Point Standings:
    Chevy, 98

    From the Archives:
    Martinsville Speedway’s first series race in 1995 was run at a 150-lap distance and held on a Monday after the Saturday-scheduled event was postponed by inclement weather. The race became a 250-lapper the following year and was shifted to the spring in 1999. A second date, this week’s Kroger 200, was added in 2003.

    Fast Facts:
    Fast Fact: David Starr’s April victory in the Kroger 250 made Toyota the fourth manufacturer to win a series race at Martinsville Speedway.
    The Race: Kroger 200
    The Place: Martinsville Speedway
    The Date: Oct. 21, 2006
    The Time: 1:05 pm/et
    Race Distance: 105.2 miles (200 laps)
    TV: SPEED, 12:25 pm/et
    Track Layout: .526-mile paved oval
    Race Purse: $434,105
    2005 Winner: Ricky Craven
    2005 Pole: Rick Crawford
    Schedule: Friday – Practice, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., 10:10 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. and 10:55 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Qualifying, 5 p.m.(NASCAR PR)(10-16-2006)

  • News & Notes from the Raybestos Rookie Contenders: Robert Richardson was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the October 7 John Deere 250 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Richardson scored a 16th-place finish, his best in 19 career Craftsman Truck Series starts, and took top rookie honors for the first time this season. Erik Darnell leads Chad McCumbee by 41 points (176-135) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the October 21 Kroger 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Darnell and McCumbee were the only Raybestos Rookies to lead a lap at Talladega. Darnell led once for once for five laps while McCumbee held the top spot once for one lap. Contender point standings; Erik Darnell, 176; Chad McCumbee, 135; Aric Almirola, 130; Marcos Ambrose, 125; Bobby East, 102; Boston Reid, 99; Joey Miller, 96; Kerry Earnhardt, 93; Erin Crocker, 89; Kraig Kinser, 78; Kyle Krisiloff, 70; Robert Richardson, 63; Ryan Moore, 38; Scott Lagasse Jr, 36.(Raybestos PR)(10-16-2006)
  • SPEED Channel to air Stout’s feature story in Martinsville: It has been confirmed that the feature story about Craftsman Truck Series Driver JC Stout and his volunteer team will air on Saturday October 21, 2006. The piece that was filmed in September documenting Stout’s journey from Castile, NY to competition in Loudon, NH, will be seen by SPEED viewers across the country and in Canada during the pre-race show which begins at 12:30 pm/et on the 21st. Approximately seven hours of raw footage will be compacted into a two to three minute exciting documentary in which many of our local team members will also be displayed for their talents and extreme dedication. The feature story is planned to segway to a live trackside interview with driver JC Stout as he prepares to settle into the cockpit for the Kroger 200 in Martinsville, VA.(JC Stout.com)(10-16-2006)
  • Hornaday wins Super late Model race at OSS: Ron Hornaday returned to his roots this weekend, running a Super Late Model race at Orange Show Speedway, in San Bernardino, California. In a Gary Stockman owned, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Hornaday felt right at home at a track he ran at before getting the call to drive the late Dale Earnhardt’s NASCAR Truck Series entry in the series inaugural season. Hornaday was a Southern California short track master, and the race this weekend found Hornaday racing against drivers he ran with on the South West Tour years ago. The car adorned the #33 and the AES logo, the newly announced sponsor of Hornaday’s Craftsman Truck Series entry for KHI.(RonHornaday.com)(10-16-2006)
  • Martin still may race Ford truck in 2007? Even though he is leaving Roush Racing and Ford after 19 years to drive an MB2 Motorsports [Ginn Racing] Chevy part-time next season in the Nextel Cup Series, Mark Martin has asked Ford if he can continue his plans to drive Roush´s #6 Ford F-150 in some Craftsman Truck Series races next year. Martin planned to drive that truck in 2007, at least until the MB2 Chevy deal came up. Ford´s racing boss, Dan Davis, said no decision has been made from Ford´s end so far. “I didn´t give him (Martin) an answer yet and we haven´t actually decided what to do yet,” Davis said Friday. “Maybe we need to get over the initial hurt of this whole thing and try to look at it in hard, cold business terms and that´s what I would really like to do and be unemotional about it. Hopefully, as a team at Ford we´ll sit down and try to figure out what to do.”(SpeedTV.com)(10-14-2006)
  • Huffman to drive #40 Chevy at Martinsville: JR Motorsports Busch Series driver Shane Huffman has been tapped by Key Motorsports to drive its #40 Chevy Silverado in next weekend’s Kroger 200 race at the Martinsville Speedway. This will be the first Craftsman Truck Series race of Huffman’s career. So far in 2006 he has run six Busch Series events, earning his best finish of 21st at the Kansas Speedway earlier this month.(Key Motorsports PR)(10-13-2006)
  • Carmichael signs development contract with MB2: Ricky Carmichael an American Motorcyclist Association national champion, has signed a multiyear agreement with Bobby Ginn-owned MB2 Motorsports. Carmichael will compete in the team’s development program beginning in 2007, with a combination of approximately 15 events in late model stock cars, ARCA and possibly the Craftsman Truck Series. The program will be accelerated in 2008, according to the team. (SceneDaily.com)(10-12-2006)
  • Pennington Motorsports to run final five: UPDATE: Hearing that Pennington Motorsports based out of Mooresville, NC will run the remaining Truck Series races of the 2006 season with crew chief Gary Showalter at the helm. Sponsorship is reported to be in place; however, no word on the driver or who the sponsor is yet.(10-10-2006)
    UPDATE: hearing the driver is Casey Kingsland and the sponsor is Hooters Energy Drink.(10-11-2006)
  • New sponsor for #11: Last week, Red Horse Racing Craftsman Truck team welcomed a new and unusual sponsor, American Commercial Lines Inc.Their main mission revolves around shipping on the waterways and in the ports of America and South America. They’ve got 2,600 employees, and they decided that they wanted to be part of the sport.(FoxSports.com)(10-13-2006)
  • Ragan named to drive the #6 AAA Ford in 2007: Roush Racing today announced that David Ragan will be the full-time driver of the team’s flagship #6 AAA Ford Fusion in 2007. The #6 has been the foundation of the Roush Racing stable, dating back to Jack Roush’s beginning into NASCAR’s premier series in 1988. “We are very pleased to have David Ragan going into the #6 AAA Ford Fusion next season,” said Jack Roush. “David is a driver with outstanding talent and as a result of his actions he is the young man I selected to fill the seat. The #6 is obviously a special car to me personally and this organization and we are confident in David’s ability to step up and get the job done.” Ragan currently shares the #6 Scotts Ford with Mark Martin [in the Truck Series] and also pilots the #50 Roush Racing Ford [in the Truck Series]. Ragan started his first career Nextel Cup race at Dover three weeks ago. He is set to make four more starts in the Nextel Cup Series in 2006 and will make his first start in the #6 AAA Ford in next season’s famed Daytona 500. “This is a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to racing on behalf of AAA’s millions of loyal members in 2007. Obviously, I’ve got big shoes to fill and quite a legacy to follow, but I look forward to the challenge and the next chapter of the #6 race team,” said Ragan. “AAA has great confidence in Jack Roush and his entire organization, including their selection of David Ragan as the promising new driver of the #6 AAA car,” said Kristin Warfield, director AAA Motorsports. We look forward to cheering David on as he competes in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing for the first time, and to introducing him to our members and other race fans at tracks and special appearances throughout the coming year.” Ragan has one pole and six top-10 finishes in 15 starts in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2006. He will make his next Cup start at Martinsville Speedway on October 22nd.(Roush Racing PR)(10-11-2006)
  • Richardson to make Busch Series debut at Lowes: With his first full season of Craftsman Truck Series competition coming to a close, Robert Richardson will attempt to make his career-first NASCAR Busch Series start at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway this Friday, October 13th in the Dollar General 300. Richardson is also scheduled to compete in the O’Reilly Challenge NASCAR Busch Series event November 4, 2006, at his home track of the Texas Motor Speedway.(truckseries.com)(10-10-2006)
  • Reutimann revealed as third Cup Series Driver for MWR: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced today that current Truck Series driver David Reutimann completes the 2007 Nextel Cup Series lineup for the organization. Reutimann will become the full-time driver of the #00 Toyota Camry co-sponsored by Burger King Corporation and Domino’s Pizza in 2007. Reutimann and Domino’s Pizza will kick off the 2007 season at Daytona International Speedway. (Michael Waltrip Racing PR)(10-10-2006)
  • England’s Mickel will run final races with Greenlight Racing: John Mickel of Cambridge, England will drive Green Light Racing’s #07 Chevy in the season’s final five races beginning at Martinsville. Mickel finished 29th in his only start at Texas Motor Speedway. He will chase Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors with his Torquespeed team in 2007. (<a “href=”http://www.greenlightracing.com””>greenlightracing.com)(10-9-2006)
  • News & Notes Part I:
    Trucks, Talladega Superspeedway A Perfect Match: They came, they saw and while it’s open to question whether any competitor would admit he or she conquered, all nonetheless gave high marks to Talladega Superspeedway and the Craftsman Truck Series’ inaugural John Deere 250. So did a crowd estimated at 80,000 which saw Mark Martin (#6 Scotts Ford) become the first competitor to win in all three of NASCAR’s national touring series at the mammoth, 2.66-mile speedway. The racing Oct. 7 frequently was four wide and 30 deep and among the cleanest but most competitive of the season. It took nearly 12 years but the obvious answer is that the Craftsman Truck Series and Talladega are perfect matches.

    Kroger 200 Last Chance For 2006 Short-Track Victory: With the majority of competitors having short track roots, it’s always nice to revisit the past with a victory on one of NASCAR’s “bullrings.” Craftsman Truck teams will have the sixth and final chance to make that connection in the Oct. 21 Kroger 200 at .526-mile Martinsville Speedway. Winning a short track race isn’t easy – or repeatable. Only Setzer has two wins at Martinsville. The track’s roster of winners totals 14 but only two of them, Bobby Hamilton and Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota), are Craftsman Truck Series champions. No champion has won at the southern Virginia track in his title season. So far in 2006, it’s been five races and five faces. David Starr (#11 Red Horse Racing Toyota) captured Martinsville’s Kroger 250. Other short track winners are Hornaday, Martin, Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota) and Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford). The series has had seven consecutive different short track winners dating to Richmond in September 2005. Skinner is the only back-to-back winner since 2003.

    News & Notes Part II:
    Northern Tool + Equipment Joins Series…Erik Darnell, this season’s Raybestos Rookie of the Year leader, will carry new sponsorship on his #99 Roush Racing Ford for the remainder of the season and in 2007. Northern’s president Chuck Albrecht (center below) joined Darnell and team owner Jack Roush in making the announcement during the Talladega weekend. Martin Eighth To Win Five Or More…Martin is the eighth series driver to win at least five times in a season and fifth in the last six seasons. The record is nine by Greg Biffle in 1999. Bodine’s Lead Expands … A fourth-place finish in the John Deere 250 boosted Todd Bodine’s (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) title lead to 113 points over Johnny Benson (#23 Exide Batteries Toyota). The margin is third largest with five races remaining.

    This Week’s Truck Series Leaders; through 20 races of the 25-race season:
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (3,076)
    Winnings – Todd Bodine ($546,650)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (522)
    Miles led – Mike Skinner (758.168)
    Victories – Mark Martin (5)
    Budweiser Poles – Mike Skinner (6)
    Top-five finishes – Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine (11)
    Top-10 finishes – Johnny Benson, David Reutimann, Todd Bodine (15)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (41 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Todd Bodine, Mike Skinner (10)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 3 drivers (20)

    The Drive for Diversity program will be holding its fourth annual Driver Testing and Evaluation Combine on Oct. 16-17 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. Twenty up-and-coming drivers from throughout the United States have been invited to the combine to showcase their skills for established team owners. The drivers will complete a series of on-track and off-track activities in hopes of being selected for one of the eight available positions…In 2007, eight Drive for Diversity teams will compete in either the NASCAR Grand National Division – which includes the Busch East and AutoZone West Series – or the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series.(10-9-2006)

  • Driver point standings following Talladega:(Top ten)
    1) #30-Todd Bodine, 3076
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 2955
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 2821
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, 2795
    5) #14-Rick Crawford, 2708
    6) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 2669
    7) #11-David Starr, 2644
    8) #10-Terry Cook, 2584
    9) #85-Dennis Setzer, 2581
    10)#16-Mike Bliss, 2574
    For complete standings:
  • Mark Martin wins the John Deere 250 at Talladega Superspeedway: A spectacular crash on the final lap brought out a yellow/checkered flag and Mark Martin came out the winner. This was Martin’s fifth win for the 2006 season. Mike Wallace and Derrike Cope were both turned right head-on into the turn three wall, with Cope nearly turning over as both trucks suffered severe damage. A late race penalty for Todd Bodine for passing below the yellow line took away his chances for the win. After doing a pass through, Bodine came back to finish 4th. There were 12 lead changes among 9 drivers; 7 cautions for 23 laps.(10-7-2006)
  • Final results for the John Deere 250:(Top ten)
    1) #6-Mark Martin, Scotts Ford
    2) #5-Mike Skinner, Toyota Tundra Toyota
    3) #9-Ted Musgrave, Team ASE/Germain Motors Toyota
    4) #30-Todd Bodine, Lumber Liquidators Toyota
    5) #24-AJ Allmendinger, Bill Davis Racing Toyota
    6) #17-David Reutimann, Napa Auto Parts Toyota
    7) #50-David Ragan, Roush Racing Ford
    8) #59-Chad Chaffin, K & L Chrome Shop Toyota
    9) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., AES HR Solutions Chevy
    10)#85-Dennis Setzer, Shell Rotella T Chevy
    First Dodge; (12th) #77-Brendan Gaughan, South Point Resort Dodge
    First Rookie: (16th) #1-Robert Richardson, winyourmortgage.com Chevy
    Race Awards:
    Bud Pole Award: Mark Martin (182.320 mph)
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race: Robert Richardson #1
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award# Chad Chaffin, #59 (17 Places)
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race: Ted Musgrave
    WIX Filters Lap Leader Award: Johnny Benson, #23(32 Laps)
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Mark Martin
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge: Erik Darnell, #99
    For complete results:
  • Martin wins the pole for the John Deere 250 at Talladega: Mark Martin will start from the pole position at Talladega; his third career pole in this series. Martin previously has a total of three victories at Talladega; two in Nextel Cup; one in the Busch Series.

    Starting lineup for the John Deere 250 at Talladega Superspeedway:(Top ten:)
    1) #6-Mark Martin, 182.320
    2) #50-David Ragan, 181.770
    3) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 181.494
    4) #30-Todd Bodine, 180.829
    5) #23-Johnny Benson, 180.441
    6) #99-Erik Darnell, 180.193
    7) #60-Jack Sprague, 180.132
    8) #22-Bill Lester, 180.058
    9) #11-David Starr, 179.834
    10)#14-Rick Crawford,179.753
    First Rookie: (6th) #99-Erik Darnell, 180.193
    For complete starting lineup:

  • Final practice results for the John Deere 250:(Top ten:)
    1) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr, 193.980
    2) #21-Bobby East, 193.791
    3) #11-David Starr, 193.494
    4) #60-Jack Sprague, 193.314
    5) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 193.123
    6) #40-Derrick Cope, 193.065
    7) #6-Mark Martin, 193.037
    8) #14-Rick Crawford, 192.959
    9) #15-Mike Wallace, 192.928
    10)#13-Kerry Earnhardt, 192.886
    1st Rookie (2nd) #21-Bobby East, 193.791
    For complete practice results:
  • First practice results for the John Deere 250:(Top ten)
    1) #5-Mike Skinner, 192.649
    2) #60-Jack Sprague, 192.316
    3) #77-Brendan Gaughan, 192.189
    4) #14-Rick Crawford, 192.123
    5) #9-Ted Musgrave, 192.042
    6) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr, 192.042
    7) #98-Erin Crocker, 192.008
    8) #6-Mark Martin, 192004
    9) #99-Erik Darnell, 191.119
    10)#13-Kerry Earnhardt, 191.088
    1st Rookie (9th) #99-Erin Crocker, 192.008
    For complete practice results:
  • Truck race to have full field: The Truck Series will have a full field for the John Deere 250 on Saturday as Green Light Racing entered a third truck for Wayne Edwards. With the #03 of Edwards added, there are 36 trucks entered for the event, and all will make the field in the series’ inaugural visit to Talladega Superspeedway.(SceneDaily.com)(10-5-2006)
  • Entry list for the John Deere 250:
  • Bobby Hamilton Sr. weds Lori Shuler: 2004 Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton and Lori Shuler(BHR PR) wed Sept. 29 in a private ceremony in Gatlinburg, Tenn.(NASCAR PR)(10-9-2006)
  • Driver dies in auto wreck: Up-and-coming Chelsea race car driver Charlie Bradberry died after a Saturday morning automobile accident. Alabama State Trooper spokesman Sgt. Tim Sartain said Bradberry, 24, was driving a 2006 Ford F-150 pickup that went off Shelby County 11 and overturned inside the Chelsea city limits at 7:05am Saturday. Bradberry was transported to UAB Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30am. The driver of the bright red #78 car in the Super Late Model racing series had a career in high gear since first climbing behind the wheel of a go-cart in 1994 at the age of 12. Bradberry had six wins in 24 races this year, mostly on the Super Late Model circuit. After visiting with friends at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday morning, Bradberry spent the rest of the day tooling with his race car at his Chelsea garage, trying to get it dialed in for upcoming races. He was on his way home Saturday morning when the accident occurred a couple of miles from his garage. Bradberry, the younger brother of former NASCAR Winston Cup driver Gary Bradberry, hoped to earn himself a spot in NASCAR’s Busch Series next year, Richard Walton of Walton Motorsports Marketing said. “His career was really taking off. The season was going phenomenally well,” Walton said. Bradberry spent early 2004 racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series before shifting to Super Late Models and, at times, the NASCAR Southeast Series and Hooters Pro Cup Series. His wife, Brandi, is expecting the couple’s first child this February.(Birmingham News)(10-8-2006)
  • Hamilton Sr.’s return may wait until 2007: Mt. Juliet’s Bobby Hamilton Jr. said his father may reconsider plans to run the season’s final Truck Series race at Homestead, Fla. The senior Hamilton turned the driving over to his son after being diagnosed with cancer in his head and neck this spring. Bobby Jr. said his father continues to recover, “but he may want to wait and be 100 percent for Daytona,” referring to the 2007 season opener. Bobby Jr. will return to a full-time Busch Series ride next year.(Tennessean)(10-7-2006)
  • Northern Tool signs deal to sponsor #99 Truck: Roush Racing announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Burnsville, Minn.-based Northern Tool + Equipment, a leading supplier of high-quality tools, light industrial equipment and do-it-yourself supplies. Northern Tool will become the primary sponsor of Roush’s #99 Ford in the Truck Series for five upcoming races this season and begin full-time primary sponsorship with 2007’s first truck race at Daytona International Speedway in February. Rookie driver Erik Darnell, currently 14th in the overall points standings, will debut the #99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford in this weekend’s John Deere 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. Darnell is signed to drive the #99 truck through the 2008 season. Darnell has been the highest finishing Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate in 10 of the 18 Craftsman Truck Series races thus far in 2006. He holds a 39-point lead in the rookie standings over second place Chad McCumbee. In addition to this weekend’s event at Talladega Superspeedway, Darnell will sport Northern Tool + Equipment’s black and yellow paint scheme in 2006 races at Martinsville Speedway on October 21, Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 28, Texas Motor Speedway on November 3 and at Phoenix International Raceway on November 10. Northern Tool + Equipment’s corporate headquarters are located in Burnsville, Minn. For more information, visit www.northerntool.com.(Roush Racing PR)(10-6-2006)
  • Martin opts to stay in Cup: Mark Martin announced today that he will continue in the Nextel Cup Series Mark Martin announced today that he will continue in the Nextel Cup Series next season, driving the #01 MB2 Chevrolet on a limited basis in 2007. “When Mark finally reconciled his somewhat conflicting desires, he settled on staying in Cup and running a 20-race schedule. We had no way of accommodating that desire since all of our Cup programs were previously committed,” said Roush Racing president Geoff Smith. Martin reiterated that his focus over the next seven races will remain on the “Chase” for the Nextel Cup Championship. What the plan is for Martin to run the Truck Series full time remains vague.(roushracing.com)(10-6-2006)
  • ppc Working on 2007 Plans; to Toyota? Kenny Returning? Third Busch Team? With Ford decreasing its support from Busch only teams next season, word has been floating that ppc Racing will make the switch to the new Toyota camp. “ppc Racing will not return to Ford Racing in 2007. We are discussing options and plans with GM and Toyota, but have not reached an agreement with either,” confirms Andy O’Hara, Director of Sponsor Relations. ppc also has some work to do on the sponsor side.  There has also been speculation about a driver swap in the #22 car, but O’Hara says that a driver has not yet been named, which is dependent on sponsorship. “We are still seeking sponsorship for the #22 car and a third Busch car. We would like for Kenny Wallace to return full time to drive that car, but we can not confirm that until we have secured the necessary sponsorship.  We are also working on some sponsorship opportunities that include drivers as part of the sponsorship deal.  The drivers are some top-notch competitors, with whom we would be proud to race. As for the truck team, we will unfortunately not be able to continue our relationship with International Truck & Engine Corp, which promotes its Power Stroke Diesel engine on our #10 truck. The International people are an excellent group of folks, and we hate that our change in manufacturer is causing this split. We are working on a couple opportunities in the Craftsman Truck Series, though it is as likely that we convert the truck team to a Busch team as it is that they carry forward with their winning ways in the Truck Series.”(BGNRacing.com)(10-5-2006)
  • Compton back to the Truck Series: Stacy Compton, who enjoys the longest continuously running relationship with a single team and sponsor in the Busch Series, will return to his Craftsman Truck Series roots in 2007. Compton finished 4th in points, in his last full time Craftsman Truck Series campaign and looks to improve on that with a team backed by Nextel Cup and Ford Racing Technology expertise. (Wood Brothers/JTG Racing)(10-4-2006)
  • Ambrose to move to Busch Series: The US racing career of Australian motorsport ace Marcos Ambrose has taken another dramatic step with the Tasmanian being confirmed as a full-time Busch Series driver in 2007. Ambrose will step up into the Wood Brothers/JTG Racing #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion for a full 35-race program, including three road course events at Mexico City, Montreal in Canada and Watkins Glen. Ambrose’s current list of sponsors for the 2007 season include Kingsford Charcoal, Hidden Valley Salad Dressing, KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce, Bush’s Best Baked Beans and Glad Food Storage Bags. Wood Brothers/JTG Racing is currently in negotiations with Craig Gore’s Aussie Vineyards and Team Australia organization, which is the naming rights sponsor of Ambrose’s Craftsman Truck that he will campaign at Talladega this weekend and then the remaining five races of the season. An announcement on an on-going relationship is expected in the near future. Ambrose was obviously delighted when Wood Brothers/JTG Racing confirmed his Busch ride yesterday. Kingsford Charcoal will celebrate its 10th season as a Busch Series sponsor with Ambrose behind the wheel.(Wood Brothers/JTG Racing)(10-4-2006)
  • Mark Day wins Dollar General’s Operation Big Chance: Dollar General stores’ Operation Big Chance at Nashville’s Music City Motorplex promised this season that one lucky driver would have the chance to race their way to a dream come true with the help of Dollar General and Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI). Late model racer Mark Day raced his way into an opportunity to qualify a KHI NASCAR Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado at Martinsville Speedway in the spring of 2007. Day earned the most points in the Late Model division at the Music City Motorplex, clinching the top spot by seven points over second-place. The 45-year-old, Clarksville, Tenn., native will have the opportunity to climb behind the wheel of a KHI Chevrolet Silverado. Day will attempt to qualify for the spring 2007 Truck Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. (Kevin Harvick Inc PR)(10-4-2006)
  • Zaxby’s Franchise potential sponsor in 2007: When Joey Clanton says he bought into the Zaxby’s franchise, he means it. The 33-year-old Tyrone resident owns two franchises, and starting in February, he’s planning to drive a Zaxby’s-sponsored truck in the Craftsman Truck Series. As part of its fall licensee conference at the Classic Center this week, Oconee County-based Zaxby’s announced that it plans to sponsor the #09 truck starting with the 2007 season. While the decision to field a truck isn’t set in stone, a final decision is expected to be made this month, said Jeff Hood, financial projects manager for Zaxby’s.(OnlineAthens.com)(10-4-2006)
  • Exide to return as primary sponsor for Benson: Exide Batteries will return as the primary sponsor of Johnny Benson and the #23 Toyota Tundra team this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. It will be the company’s third appearance this season as the primary sponsor of the #23 machine.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-3-2006)
  • Napa Auto Parts to sponsor the #23 at Martinsville & Atlanta: Bill Davis Racing has announced that Napa Auto Parts will serve as the primary sponsor of the Craftsman Truck Series Championship contending #23 Toyota Tundra driven by Johnny Benson at two upcoming races. The leader in auto parts will join the #23 Bill Davis Racing team at both Martinsville Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway in October. “We are excited to be a part of this championship run as Johnny Benson and Bill Davis Racing continue to close in on the points lead. Bill Davis Racing has been instrumental in the development of Toyota in the Truck Series and we look forward to the NAPA Toyota Tundra running up front” said NAPA President, Bob Susor.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(10-2-2006)

    Goodyear Wrangler Superspeedway Radials (Craftsman Truck)

    Number of Tires:
    Craftsman Truck: Left-side — 325, Right-side – 325

    Tire Codes: Left-side — D-4046; Right-side — D-4068

    Tire Circumference: Left-side — 87.9 in.; Right-side — 88.4 in.

    Technical Inspection Inflation:
    Left Front — 30 psi; Left-Rear – – 30 psi;
    Right Front — 55 psi; Right Rear — 50 psi

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front — 27 psi; Left-Rear — 27 psi;
    Right Front — 50 psi; Right Rear — 45 psi

    Notes: This is the first time that Goodyear has brought this combination of left- and right-side tires to the track …because the track surface at Talladega has been repaved since the Nextel Cup Series last visit to the track in April, Goodyear needed to change its tire recommendation from that race…this tire set-up was tested with six drivers — David Gilliland, Travis Kvapil, Ryan Newman, David Stremme, Martin Truex Jr., and Brian Vickers – at Talladega last month . . . teams in both NASCAR series will run the same tire codes at Talladega this weekend, though the Nextel Cup tires will be branded “Goodyear Eagle” and the Craftsman Truck tires will be branded “Goodyear Wrangler” . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Talladega…air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(10-6-2006)

  • News & Notes–Talladega on Deck:
    Becoming the first winner of Saturday’s John Deere 250 at Talladega Superspeedway, figures to be the high point of any driver’s 2006 season – and possibly his or her Truck Series career. The week’s $753,800 event marks the first superspeedway race added to the schedule since Atlanta in March 2004. Bobby Hamilton won that race in a final turn, last-lap dustup with Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota). Mike Wallace (#15 Geico Chevy) will be making just his second start of the year this week but the St. Louis native figures to be a favorite to etch his name onto the Talladega trophy. Since 2000, seven tracks measuring longer than a mile have been added to the schedule. Talladega, at 2.66-miles the longest track on which the series competes, is the eighth. Wallace, a veteran of 24 Nextel Cup and Busch Series events at Talladega and Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota), are the only first-time winners on that group of tracks expected to compete Saturday. “For the fans, it’s an awesome show at Talladega. They’re on the edge of their seats the whole race,” said Musgrave, first-time series winner at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 2003. “We’ll have to see how it goes. It may be the greatest race in the world.”

    John Deere 250 should reward experience:
    In real estate, it’s location, location, location. At Talladega Superspeedway, the key word is experience. No driver in this week’s lineup has raced a truck at the 2.66-mile track but virtually all have Talladega credentials in Nextel Cup and Busch Series or competed in February’s GM FlexFuel 250 at Daytona International peedway. Mark Martin (#6 Scotts Ford) won in Daytona – the first of four victories in 2006. He’s the only entered driver with wins in two national touring series at Talladega. Martin has two wins and a pair of Budweiser Poles in 41 Nextel Cup starts alongside one Busch Series win. Seventeen entered drivers have started at least one NASCAR national touring series race at Talladega. The top two Truck Series championship contenders have solid Talladega credentials. Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) has three top-five NASCAR Busch finishes. Johnny Benson (#23 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota), has three Nextel Cup top 10s.

    John Deere 250 News & Notes–Part II:
    First race winners also have won titles…Twice since 2000 drivers winning inaugural races have captured the Truck Series championship as well. (See chart below). Bobby Hamilton’s Atlanta victory in 2004 aided his title drive as did Greg Biffle’s win at Kentucky Speedway in 2000. Raybestos rookies count pair of inaugural wins…Kurt Busch took the checkered flag at Dover International Speedway in 2000 following up his second-place finish at Daytona. The following season Ricky Hendrick was Kansas Speedway’s first Craftsman Truck winner. Six have Daytona-Talladega connection…Six drivers who participated in the first series race at Daytona International Speedway are expected to compete this week in the John Deere 250. They are Wallace, Terry Cook (#10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel Ford), Dennis Setzer (#85 Shell Rotella Chevy), Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota), Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford) and David Starr (#11 Red Horse Racing Toyota). Bodine watched and learned from the master…The current series point leader can’t wait to take the green flag at Talladega where he’ll be making his 18th national touring series start. Bodine says he learned drafting from the master – Dale Earnhardt. “Me watching him race taught me a lot about this type of racing. Being sent to the back of the pack isn’t a problem when you’re running in a race at Talladega. I have a lot of fun running these races – in traffic or at the front.” Ambrose, East among first-timers…JTG Motorsports teammates Marcos Ambrose (#20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford) and Bobby East (#21 State Fair Corndogs Ford) will be making their first “super track” starts. Neither Raybestos Rookie candidate was approved to compete at Daytona in February.

    First NASCAR Craftsman Truck Race Superspeedway Winners: (Since 2000)
    Atlanta, Bobby Hamilton, 2004
    Daytona, Mike Wallace*, 2000
    Dover, Kurt Busch, 2000
    Kansas, Ricky Hendrick, 2001
    Kentucky, Greg Biffle, 2000
    Lowe’s, Ted Musgrave*, 2003
    Nashville, Scott Riggs , 2001
    *Expected to compete at Talladega

    Racing at Home–finally:
    Rick Crawford has competed just about everywhere in a career of late model barnstorming and his 241 Craftsman Truck starts. Until this week, however, the Mobile, Ala. veteran only could dream of racing at one of his home state’s most famous sports stadiums. “The Truck Series gave me the opportunity to fulfill a lot of dreams – racing and winning at Daytona and now racing at Talladega,” said Crawford. Circle Bar team member Tommy Praytor – who also hails from Alabama – will cook breakfast for a number of media members on Saturday.

    This Week’s Truck Series Leaders: (through 19 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader-Todd Bodine (2,911 points)
    Winnings-Todd Bodine ($522,775)
    Laps led-Mark Martin (485)
    Miles led-Mike Skinner (783.292)
    Victories-Johnny Benson, Mark Martin (4)
    Budweiser Poles-Mike Skinner (6)
    Top-five finishes-Johnny Benson (11)
    Top-10 finishes-Todd Bodine, Johnny Benson, David Reutimann (14)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader-Erik Darnell (39 pts. over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led-Mike Skinner (10)
    Weeks in Top 10-3 drivers (19)

    On The Right Track:
    Brief But Solid For Hornaday…Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 AES HR Solutions Chevy) has made only four Busch Series starts at Talladega but two resulted in top-five finishes. Hornaday finished second in 2004. Ditto For Brendan Gaughan…Gaughan (#77 South Point Dodge) competed in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Talladega twice in 2004 and led seven laps en route to a fourth-place finish in the track’s fall event. Excellent Credentials…Joe Nemechek will drive Morgan-Dollar Motorsports’ #46 U.S. Army Chevy in his first series start since January 1998. “Front Row Joe” has lived up to his nickname at Talladega scoring eight Budweiser Poles. Nemechek won NASCAR Busch Series races in 1998 and 2000.

    Manufacturers’ Championship 2006 Point Standings
    Toyota, 135
    Ford, 120
    Chevy, 94
    Toyota, 67

    From The Archives:
    The Truck Series was conceived as a short-track series – with never a thought of scheduling events at Daytona and Talladega. The first-year schedule in 1995 contained three mile-track races at The Milwaukee Mile and Phoenix International Raceway. Mike Skinner won all three. Ironically, Skinner didn’t win another speedway race until two weeks ago when he captured the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 to mark his 19th career victory.

    Fast Facts:
    The Race: Talladega 250
    The Place: Talladega Superspeedway
    The Date: Oct. 7, 2006
    The Time: 3:15 pm/et
    Race Distance: 250.04 miles (94 laps)
    TV: SPEED, 2:30 pm/et
    Track Layout: 2.66-mile banked oval
    Race Purse: $753,800
    2005 Winner: First event
    2005 Pole: First event
    Schedule: Thursday – Practice, 12:10 – 1 p.m., 1:50 – 2 p.m. and 2:20 – 3:20 p.m. Friday – Qualifying, 11:15 a.m.(NASCAR PR)(10-2-2006)

  • Miller set to drive #4 for remainder of the season: Nineteen year old Chase Miller will drive the #4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge for the remainder of the season for Bobby Hamilton Racing. “When I got the call from Dodge to run New Hampshire and Las Vegas I was thrilled, but I knew I had to prove to them I was the man for the job,” said Miller. They gave me two races to show them what I could do. Thankfully, I jelled with the team and we ran extremely well. The finishes do not show how well we ran and Dodge knew that. I have to thank them and Bobby Hamilton Sr. for believing in a 19 year-old rookie. Now the pressure is off and I can just go out there and race.(ChaseMiller.net)(10-3-2006)
  • Wimmer and Morgan-McClure part ways; Todd Bodine in #4 at Talladega: #4-Morgan-McClure President, Larry McClure has announced the mutually agreed upon release of Scott Wimmer as their full-time driver for the remainder of the 2006 season. There were several options McClure considered before naming Todd Bodine as the driver for the next two races. “Todd got in our car last year at Homestead and really went out and showed us what we were capable of, so he was a good choice for us. We are looking forward to getting to Talladega and working with Todd again.”(Morgan-McClure PR)(10-3-2006)
  • Bliss replacing Lepage at Talladega: Mike Bliss will replace Kevin Lepage in BAM Racing’s #49 Dodge, starting with this weekend’s UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, the team announced Tuesday.Bliss will need to qualify for this weekend’s race on speed because the #49 is 40th in owner points and not guaranteed a spot in Sunday’s race.(Scene Daily)(10-3-2006)
  • Raybestos Rookie News & Notes: Marcos Ambrose was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the September 23 Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ambrose placed seventh, his third top-10 finish of the season, and took top rookie honors for the third time this season. He led the Las Vegas race once for 12 laps and was the only first-year driver to lead a lap in the event. Raybestos Rookies Kraig Kinser and Aric Almirola also posted strong finishes at Las Vegas. Kinser placed ninth, his first top-10 effort of the 2006 season. Almirola grabbed a 10th-place finish, his third top-10 this season. Erik Darnell leads Chad McCumbee by 39 points (173-134) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the October 7 John Deere 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. Rookie point standings: Erik Darnell, 173; Chad McCumbee, 134; Aric Almirola, 137; Marcos Ambrose, 116; Bobby East, 97; Joey Miller, 96; Boston Reid, 96; Kerry Earnhardt, 92; Erin Crocker, 83; Kraig Kinser, 78; Kyle Krisiloff, 70; Robert Richardson, 53.(Raybestos PR)(10-2-2006)
  • Nemechek to pilot #46 at Talladega: Joe Nemechek will pilot the #46 Chevy Silverado fielded by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports in Saturday’s John Deere 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. It will be the first time Nemechek has competed in the Truck Series since January 1998. The U.S. Army, Nemechek’s full-time sponsor on his MB2-fielded Chevy Monte Carlo SS in the Nextel Cup Series, will support his Truck Series effort at the 2.66-mile track. Giving Nemechek an added edge atop the pit box will be Eric Phillips, who is also his brother-in-law. Phillips, a Canton, IL native, has six career wins in the Truck Series, including four wins in 2005 with MDM #85 E85 FlexFuel driver, Dennis Setzer.(Morgan Dollar Motorsports PR)(10-2-2006)
  • Germain hauler driver ok after wreck: Coming home from a test at Chicagoland Speedway this past Friday [Sept 29th], a tractor-trailer with a load of dry-wall flipped in front the #30 Germain Racing’s hauler and driver Bill “Grandpa” Clark. Clark is fine, co-driver Bill Jeter was bruised and banged up, but ok. Been told the truck was totalled, but the damage to the hauler and its contents were minimal.(10-2-2006)
  • 38 Special Headlines Miller Rock’n Racing Concert: Recording artists 38 Special along with Shooter Jennings will take the stage in the infield at about 7 p.m. Saturday, ending the day of racing activity with a musical note in the Miller Lite Rock’n Racing Concert. The stage is located on the southeast portion of the infield, near the intersection of Talladega and Eastaboga Boulevards. Anyone with an infield admission ticket for Saturday evening/Sunday or proper track credentials will be admitted.(Talladega Superspeeway PR)(10-2-2006)
  • NAPA to sponsor Reutimann and the #17 at Talladega: David Reutimann will carry a familiar shield on the hood of his #17 Toyota at Talladega Superspeedway. NAPA AUTO PARTS will be displayed on Reutimann’s truck as his Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team continues their quest for the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series championship in the John Deere 250 on October 7th. “NAPA AUTO PARTS has a rich history in NASCAR and I’m thrilled to represent them at Talladega Superspeedway,” Reutimann said. “It’s a one race deal and our truck will have a totally different look for that race. The truck is going to look really good. NAPA has had success with Michael (Waltrip). They’ve won two Daytona 500s with him. They’ve also had success as a sponsor in the Busch Series as well as the Craftsman Truck Series.” NAPA first appeared as a primary team sponsor in 1996 in the Truck Series with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and driver Ron Hornaday Jr. NAPA won the championship in 1996 and 1998 with Hornaday Jr. NAPA Racing has visited victory lane in all three major NASCAR Series, Craftsman Truck, Busch, and Nextel Cup, amassing 30 wins, two Daytona 500 victories, and two Craftsman Truck Series Championships. “NAPA’s roots in racing were formed in the NASCAR Truck Series and we are very excited to continue that tradition with David Reutimann and his #17 Toyota Tundra”, said Bob Susor, President of NAPA “We are also pleased to announce a two-race sponsorship with Bill Davis Racing on Johnny Benson’s #23 Tundra at Martinsville, Va. and Atlanta, Ga.”(NAPA Auto Parts/DWM PR)(10-2-2006)
  • GEICO to sponsor Mike Wallace at Talladega: Mike Wallace will roll into Talladega Superspeedway with GEICO’s Gecko on the hood of his #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy. GEICO, a former Busch Series sponsor of Wallace, has agreed to sponsor him for the Saturday, October 7th , Craftsman Truck Series debut at the legendary superspeedway. Wallace will also compete on Sunday in the #09 Miccosukee Gaming & Resorts Dodge [Ford?] for Phoenix Racing in the Nextel Cup Series race. A former Talladega ARCA winner, Wallace is looking forward to being part of the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in Talladega. “I am excited that GEICO has stepped up to support this effort. We’ve always had a great relationship and it is nice having them on the truck for the race in Talladega,” Wallace said. “I have traditionally had great success on restrictor plate tracks and it is a fact that I can win this race, so I am going to do whatever it takes to make that happen. I am looking forward to giving both GEICO and Billy Ballew Motorsports a great finish.” For more information, please visit www.geico.com.(Player Management International/Geico PR)(10-2-2006)



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