September 2003 Truck Series News Archive
- Wally, Larry Mac, Trucks and Toyota? UPDATE Denied: Wally Dallenbach may be in line for a Toyota ride, possibly with Larry McReynolds, according to sources. And Dallenbach may also be in the running for a part-time Winston Cup ride as an R& –D driver, possibly with Richard Childress.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-29-2003)
UPDATE: One report yesterday from the NASCAR beat said that “Wally Dallenbach may be in line for a Toyota ride, possibly with Larry McReynolds. Team sources confirm with [MotorsportsTV] that McReynolds is not in any discussions with Wally Dallenbach for a ride in 2004.(MotorsportsTV.com)(9-30-2003)
- Gaughan wins at Las Vegas: #62-Brendan Gaughan won the Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, for his 5th win of 2003 and 7th of his career, and first ever Truck Series win in his home town of Las Vegas. #75-David Starr was 2nd, followed by #46-Dennis Setzer, #16-Travis Kvapil and #11-Jack Sprague, who lost an engine on the last lap but coasted around to finish. The win also gave Dodge its 2nd Truck Series manufacturer championship.
See results at ThatsRacin.com, Truckseries.com, Motorsports One or NASCAR.com.(9-27-2003)
- Gaughan wins pole at Vegas: after winning his first career pole at the last race, #62-Brendan Gaughan won his 2nd career pole and his second straight, winning the pole at Las Vegas for Saturday nights Las Vegas 350k with a speed of 162.152mph. The rest of the top five are: #75-David Starr; #99-Carl Edwards; #1-Ted Musgrave; and #18-Chad Chaffin. Only one of the female drivers were able to make the race, #49-Shawna Robinson. #31-Tina Gordon and #02-Kelly Sutton failed to make the field, with 48 trucks to qualify for 36 spots. #11-Jack Sprague will start 8th in his return to the Truck Series.
See lineups at Truckseries.com or NASCAR.com.(9-27-2003)
- Nice Gesture: Washington Mutual has donated 1,500 admission tickets to The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities for Staurday nights Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The free tickets were distributed this week to St. Jude’s Children’s Ranch, Nellis AFB Youth Programs, Boys & Girls Club of Henderson and Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas. Washington Mutual is committed to making communities better places tolive, learn and work. The company returns two percent of its pretax earnings to local communities through grants and other assistance. Washington Mutual began its support of NASCAR and the Craftsman Truck Series in 2002. As part of its NASCAR sponsorship, Washington Mutual hosted a meet-and-greet event with driver Ricky Bogart and the Craftsman Truck at two if its Las Vegas financial centers. All money raised by the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities stays in southern Nevada. On Dec. 3, 2002, the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities presented checks in the total sum of $228,000 to 31 local children’s charities at its annual Christmas Tree Lighting & Grant Distribution Ceremony.(LVMS PR)(9-26-2003)
- Three female drivers enter Las Vegas 350: This week’s stop in Las Vegas may see a record number of female drivers compete in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. #31-Tina Gordon, #49-Shawna Robinson and #02-Kelly Sutton have entered the Las Vegas 350. Two female drivers have competed in the same event just once, Gordon and Robinson in the June 6 O’Reilly 400K at Texas Motor Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(9-23-2003)
- Horn Experiences Lucky Streak BEFORE Las Vegas Race Arrival of first son and primary sponsor: This week NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams will distribute their pre-race releases for the Las Vegas 300, and the average release will refer to the team’s hope for luck in Sin City. Horn AutoRacing will not take that approach because driver Chris Horn is already entering Las Vegas on a lucky streak after the birth of his first child and the acquisition of Sea Foam auto and marine products as a primary sponsor. Horn and his wife, Kelly, gave birth to a boy on Sept. 11. He was 6 pounds, 6 ounces upon arrival at 12:02 a.m.. It’s their first child. “We were willing to do a lot of things to put the sponsor on our truck, but naming our first-born son Sea Foam was not one of them,” Horn said.. “We named our son Chris Horn Jr., and we’ll just name the truck the No. 58 Sea Foam Chevrolet.. It was one of the greatest weeks of my life, welcoming Chris into our family and Sea Foam into the NASCAR family.” Sea Foam, a Minnesota-based company, manufactures automotive and marine products: Sea Foam Motor treatment, Sea Foam Trans Tune, Sea Foam Deep Creep and Sea Foam Bugs-B-Gone.. Sea Foam is renowned as the finest, most multifaceted and safest petroleum product of our times. The first appearance of the Sea Foam Chevrolet will be Saturday night, Sept. 27, in Las Vegas.. It will compete again on Oct. 11 at Texas Motor Speedway. Horn, a 29-year-old native of Cedar Rapids, has competed in the Truck Series since 1997. This season he has been in six races and earned a season-best eighth-place start at Kansas Speedway and a season-best 14th-place finish at Kentucky Speedway.(PR)(9-23-2003)
- Orleans Racing to field 2nd Truck at Las Vegas for Scott Lynch: Orleans Racing will field a second truck in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for their Winston West driver Scott Lynch. While the Craftsman Truck Series may be new to Lynch, the current point leader and top rookie in the Winston West Series, running at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is not. It is, in fact, the track where he took his first career Winston West win last season. With two wins and two poles so far this season in Winston West, Lynch has more than proven his qualifying ability. In nine out of ten events, he has earned a top four qualifying position, more than any other competitor in the series. For the Las Vegas 350, Lynch will be behind the wheel of the #61 Yerf-Dog/Orleans Dodge. Brendan Gaughan drives the #62 Dodge full time in the series for Orleans Racing.(Orleans Racing PR)(9-23-2003)
- Gilliland to make Truck Series debut: David Gilliland will be making his CTS debut in Las Vegas next weekend. This 27 year old driver is racing his first complete year in the NASCAR Southwest Tour. He is the only repeat winner this year with 4 Wins. He will be driving the Dick Midgley #09 Chevy Truck. At this time this is a 1 race deal.(9-20-2003)
- NHIS TV News: The New Hampshire 200, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race held last Saturday at New Hampshire International Speedway and televised live by the Speed Channel, enjoyed a 200% boost in viewership over last year’s truck race held at Texas on the same weekend. The race saw 378,000 households tune in, compared to 202,000 households in 2002 (an 87% increase). This year, an average of 523,000 viewers watched the New Hampshire 200, a 113% increase over the average 245,000 viewers who saw the 2002 Texas race on the same weekend.(Figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research.)(NASCAR.com)(9-20-2003)
- Musgrave wins at California: #1-Ted Musgrave won the American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway Saturday, the third time in a row Musgrave has won the race. It is Mugrave’s third won of 2003 and 13th career Truck Series win. Pole sitter, #62-Brendan Gaughan led three times for 66 laps and finished 2nd with two deflating tires. Musgrave equaled the record of three wins in a row at the same track set in 1997 and 1998 by Jack Sprague and equaled by Gaughan at Texas Motor Speedway since coming into the series in 2002. Musgrave’s winning speed of 145.926mph broke the truck series track record of 144.260 and is the second fastest in series history. The race was slowed by only two cautions for a total of eight laps. #46-Dennis Setzer finished third, followed by #14-Rick Crawford, #75-David Starr, #2-Andy Houston and #99-Carl Edwards. #16-Travis Kvapil, second in the season standings, finished eighth and slipped to 42 points behind Gaughan with seven races remaining. Third-place Musgrave remained 62 points behind because he and Gaughan, who got a five-point bonus for leading the most laps, came out of the race with the same point total.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
Results at Thatsracin.com, Truckseries.com or NASCAR.com.(9-20-2003)
- Gaughan wins pole at California: Points leader, #62-Brendan Gaughan won the pole for the American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway with a speed of 173.716mph, it is his first career pole. On the outside pole is #14-Rick Crawford at 173.632. The rest of the top five are #99-Carl Edwards, #75-David Starr and #46-Dennis Setzer.
See lineups at Truckseries.com or NASCAR.com.(9-19-2003)
- Sprague starts early with new team: Three-time Truck Series champ, Jack Sprague, has entered the Sept 27th Las Vegas 350 Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Sprague holds virtually every Truck Series record at LVMS. In five career starts, he has two wins (1996 and 1998) and three runner-up finishes (1997, 1999 and 2001). There was no race in 2000 and Sprague did not compete in last year’s event [he was running in the Busch Series]. Sprague is the only driver with more than one win at LVMS. He also holds track records for most poles (three), most top-five finishes (five), most top-10 finishes (five), most laps led in a career (307), most laps led in a race (104 in 2001), most money won in a career ($299,300) and is one of only two drivers to ever win from the pole. David Starr is the other. Sprague finished sixth in the 2002 Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series race and 26th in this year’s UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Winston Cup event. Sprague will be a teammate of Travis Kvapil and will drive the #11 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet.(LVMS PR)(9-19-2003)
- More Trouble for Brian Rose UPDATE: Former Trucks Series driver Brian Rose is facing criminal charges again after a traffic stop Wednesday, according to a Bowling Green Police Department report. Police said they stopped Rose, 23, after he was seen driving erratically on U.S. 31-W By-Pass. The officer reportedly smelled alcohol and marijuana inside the vehicle. Rose was chewing on something and the officer ordered him to spit it out. The “chaw,” as Rose described it, was marijuana, according to the report. After searching Rose and his SUV, the officer found marijuana in Rose’s underwear and a handgun concealed in a Crown Royal bag. The vehicle also had expired tags. Rose was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana, tampering with evidence, expired registration and DUI. He was released from the Warren County Regional Jail on Thursday after posting a $10,000 cash bond. Rose began facing a series of problems in August 2002 after he lost his racing sponsorship; a month later his family’s home burned to the ground from an undetermined cause; in April he was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR; in July he was charged with first-degree alcohol intoxication, second offense, possession of marijuana, first-degree prescription in improper container, second-degree possession of an illegal substance of an unspecified origin and first-degree promoting contraband. Those charges have been sent to a grand jury.(Bowling Green Daily News)(9-16-2003)
UPDATE: Two arrest warrants have been issued this week for former NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series racer Brian Christopher Rose. But Rose, 23, of Bowling Green has not yet been arrested, according to jail records. The first warrant was issued Tuesday by District Court Judge Brent Potter, who was revoking Rose’s bond in a July drug-related case, and the second came Thursday from District Court Judge Sam Potter, who issued an arrest warrant for Rose after he failed to show up to court in relation to a Sept. 10 traffic stop. At the time, police pulled Rose over because they said he was driving erratically on U.S. 31-W By-Pass. Police said Rose was chewing a wad of marijuana and a search turned up more marijuana in Rose’s underwear and a concealed weapon in the vehicle.(Bowling Green Daily News) (9-19-2003)
- Keselowski back as crew chief for the #29: Bob Keselowski returns as crew chief of the #29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford of Terry Cook. Rick Ren had performed crew chief duties since mid-April, when Keselowski was hospitalized briefly. Ren joins a new team, not officially announced, for the 2004 season.(NASCAR PR), supposedly Ren will be with the McReynolds team.(9-18-2003)
- Bang Racing? UPDATE: hearing that a new Winston Cup team – Bang Racing was in line to receive the AT&T Wireless sponsorship – not Roush Racing. Bang Racing is a new team founded by Alex Meshkin, a young technology executive from Reston, VA. Ironically – the same city where Nextel is headquartered. Meshkin founded a software company that he sold when he was just 19 years old – he is now 23. Also hearing that Bang Racing is not just another race team – but a technology-based team that enables corporations to make NASCAR sponsorships interactive and measurable using a patented wireless technology. Apparently, this technology will allow fans to interact with teams and sponsors using any wireless phone – not just Nextel phones. Have heard that Bang Racing has been in talks with Nextel about a car sponsorship deal – but Nextel decided to become the title sponsor instead. Nextel and Bang Racing are still talking about a technology deal that would allow Nextel to exclusively offer this technology to their subscribers. Also, hearing that Larry McReynolds may be one of the owners along with Alex Meshkin and other technology executives from Reston, VA.(6-19-2003) UPDATE: Bang! McReynolds back racing: Bang LLC – a global organization providing marketing services and technology solutions announced today the launch of Bang Racing. Bang LLC is the brainchild of Alex Meshkin, a pioneer of interactive marketing strategies and strategic sponsorship marketing. Meshkin was profiled in numerous North American business publications when at the age of 19 he founded the first startup company in the space of Internet usage rewards, the first of several startups earning him industry praise as a leading marketing entrepreneur. Meshkin’s company Bang LLC recently partnered with renowned NASCAR Crew Chief and FOX Sports Broadcaster Larry McReynolds to create Bang Racing, with the goal of making corporate sponsorships in NASCAR interactive and measurable. With NASCAR popularity reaching record levels in recent years, corporate America has paid attention by investing in multi-million dollar sponsorship programs to NASCAR teams. Yet, after paying out huge sums, often sponsors are not sure if their dollars have hit target audiences, and have no way of determining if their brand message is interacting directly with their fan base.
According to Meshkin, “The industry is ripe and there is a demand for improvement in NASCAR sponsorship. Leading corporations today investing in multi-million dollar sponsorship programs are demanding more from their sponsorship investment than a means for consumer awareness and branding. With our marketing strategies and patented technology solution we have been able to validate the need for ever growing investment expenditures to sponsors.” Interest from corporate sponsors has been overwhelming.
McReynolds, whose name has become synonymous with successful NASCAR programs, has over the years passed up numerous offers to get back into racing, but said he could not resist co-owning and heading up the motorsports division for Bang Racing. According to McReynolds, “Bang Racing is going to create a real impact in the NASCAR community and sponsorship arena. Over the past nine months Bang has quietly geared itself to be the most innovative and comprehensive motorsports marketing program in NASCAR.
[B]igger sponsorships are needed to compete on the track – and with our marketing and technology abilities, I’m confident we’ll be at the front of the pack.” McReynolds has been busy recruiting to meet sponsor demand. In an interview on August 7th he declared “Bang Racing will be of championship caliber. . . [T]he 2004 season [will be] just the beginning of history in the making. We’ve brought together some of the best people in the entire industry . . . [with] the experience, dedication and know how to get the job done right – and I expect Bang Racing to set the pace for others to follow and be in the forefront in top performance.”
Bang Racing’s innovation and creativity is as youthful as its owner. At 23, Meshkin is the youngest team owner in NASCAR, which in itself has sparked the interest of sponsors seeking to target the new NASCAR generation. Himself a die-hard fan, Meshkin is excited at combining his marketing acumen with the know-how of racing icon McReynolds. “We are a great fit for this new marketing endeavor. . . Larry [McReynolds] is one of the most respectable race team leaders in NASCAR and I believe we have the winning combination to become a dynamic force on the track. . . [T]hese are exciting times . . . You might say, we are at the cross-roads where digital technology and NASCAR meet head-on.”
About Bang Racing: Bang Racing is the first Motorsports team to combine emerging digital technology with strategic marketing to make NASCAR sponsorships interactive and measurable. By providing a system to measure, modify and manage the sponsors’ marketing message, Bang leverages traditional brand marketing with innovative, interactive cross platform promotions to benefit corporate sponsors. The future of digital motorsport sponsorships has arrived with Bang.(Bang Racing PR)(9-17-2003)
- Daytona Race Moves to Night: Building on the popularity of exciting nighttime races, the fifth annual Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race will run for the first time under the lights at historic Daytona International Speedway. The kickoff race for the Craftsman Truck Series will go green on Friday night, Feb. 13. The Florida Dodge Dealers 250 is traditionally scheduled during Speedweeks on Friday during the daytime, two days before the most prestigious race on the NASCAR circuit and the most watched motorsports event – the Daytona 500. The inaugural nighttime running of the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at the “World Center of Racing” will be televised live on SPEED Channel in prime time. The Florida Dodge Dealers 250 becomes the second race during Speedweeks to move to nighttime in the last two years. During Speedweeks 2003, the Budweiser Shootout was moved to night and televised in prime time on FOX Sports, which registered its largest rating for a prime time motorsports event – a 5.5 rating, equal to almost six million households. The Speedway lighting system was first utilized for stock cars in 1998 for the Pepsi 400. Besides the Pepsi 400 and the Budweiser Shootout, other races at the Speedway that are held under the lights include: · The Winn-Dixie 250 Presented by PepsiCo NASCAR Busch Series race (July 2, 2004) · The Rolex 24 At Daytona (Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2004) · Paul Revere 250 Rolex Sports Car Series race (July 1, 2004). Tickets for the inaugural nighttime running of the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 and other Speedweeks 2004 events, including the Daytona 500, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(9-16-2003)
- Two Crew Chiefs Penalized: Crew chiefs Nicholas Mahlik of the #09 team and Kevin Starland of the #99 team have been fined $500 each for violations of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book that occurred during the running of the Sept. 13 event at New Hampshire International Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today. Mahlik was penalized under Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) for improper disposal of fuel by a team member. The violation also is covered under Section 9-4B: The crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his team members. Starland was penalized under Section 12-4-A, 9-4A and Section 20-B-17.1(3) for the actions of crew member Ed Lesley, who entered the truck service area without a helmet.(NASCAR PR)(9-17-2003)
- LaJoie to make Truck Series Debut: Randy Lajoie, a two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion, will make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut on Saturday, Sept. 27 in the Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He will be driving a truck [#6] owned by NASCAR Winston Cup star Kevin Harvick. “I am very excited about making my truck debut for Kevin and DeLana Harvick,” Lajoie said. “They’ve had a chance to win every race they’ve been in, so for them to trust me enough to drive such a good truck is an honor. I have had some good runs at Las Vegas in the Busch car, and I’m looking forward to this one.” Harvick, who pilots the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet on the Winston Cup tour, is making plans to run his truck team full time in 2004. “We’ve raced the truck mostly on short tracks, and I want to see how our equipment will stand up on the bigger tracks,” Harvick said. “I hired Randy because he can drive a race car. He knows how to get around (Las Vegas Motor Speedway), and I think he can go out there and win.” And what does Lajoie think of his chances? “I’m going to win the race,” Lajoie said. “If I can run in the top five and then have a chance to win the race, then I would be pretty happy.” Lajoie is one of only four drivers to have started all seven NASCAR Busch Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He has two top-10 finishes with a career-best seventh in the 2002 Sam’s Town 300. The Las Vegas 350 is set for a 7 p.m. start on Saturday, Sept. 27. Qualifying is at noon and a driver autograph session will be held at 4:30.(LVMS PR)(9-17-2003)
- Craftsman Posts Bonus for Teams: Earning the pole position and winning a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race requires a complete team effort. That’s why Series sponsor Craftsman has posted a “Win from the Pole” bonus. Any NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team that wins a race from the pole will be awarded a $10,000 bonus by Craftsman. With Winston Cup regular Jimmy Spencer’s dominant performance on Saturday at New Hampshire International Speedway, the #2 Team ASE/Carquest Racing team was awarded the $10,000 Craftsman “Win from the Pole” bonus. Spencer’s win marked the first time the Craftsman “Win from the Pole” bonus has been awarded in 2003. The #2 Team ASE/Carquest Racing team is the 21st NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team to be awarded the “Win from the Pole” bonus since the award’s inception four years ago. The bonus was awarded 10 times in 2000, six in 2001 and four in 2002. It has been 21 races since the last “Win from the Pole” bonus was won. The last team to be awarded the bonus was the #75 Spears Manufacturing Racing Team at Las Vegas in 2002.(Craftsman Motorsports PR)(9-16-2003)
- #55 gets sponsor UPDATE 2: Icy Splash Food & Beverage says it will sponsor Powers Motorsports’ #55 Dodge driven by Tom Powers in the Craftsman Truck Series through the remainder of this year’s schedule, according to today’s Sports Business Daily. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(9-4-2003)
UPDATE: being told the deal has not been signed and is not a certainty yet.(9-13-2003)
UPDATE 2: been told the Icy Splash sponsorship is in fact signed and will be on the 55 truck with Tommy Powers driving starting at Daytona in 2004. For the remainder of this year they have decided to share the sponsorship duties with the #93 truck using both Tommy Pwers and Roland Isaacs.(9-16-2003)
- Whitt team moving to NC, plans 4 more races UPDATE: Clean Line Motorsports and driver Brandon Whitt are taking a big step towards their goal of competing in NASCAR’s major touring series. The team will relocate their entire operation from their Bakersfield, CA base to Mooresville, NC in preparation for a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series campaign in 2004. The new Clean Line race shop is located on Performance Road in Mooresville and will open on September 1st. Whitt will compete in four more Truck Series races this season. He will return to the California Speedway on September 20th, and then he will race at Las Vegas, Texas, and at the season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.(Clean Line Motorsports PR)(8-18-2003)
UPDATE: Brandon Whitt, the 20-year-old driver from El Cajon, Calif., will run four Craftsman Truck series races the remainder of this season. Following California, he will run the races at Las Vegas, Nev.; Fort Worth, Tex.; and Homestead, Fla. Clean Line Motorsports, based in Mooresville, is fielding the #38 Chevrolet with sponsorship from Moen Faucets and McMillin Homes. “Our plan after that,” Whitt said, “is to move towards a full Craftsman Truck series schedule, and start working from there. Like any other 20-year-old race car driver, I want to make my way to the Winston Cup Series.” But Whitt is different, said veteran crew chief Jerry Pitts, “The big difference is Brandon has the skills, the talent and the determination to make it to Winston Cup.” Whitt’s next test begins with the start of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career. Following in the footsteps of former California phenoms Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick, Whitt now moves to the next level of major league stock car racing. He comes to the trucks from a successful stint in NASCAR’s Winston West Series – where he qualified on the outside pole for the California race this Spring – and the NASCAR Southwest Touring Series, where he was the 2002 Rookie of the Year. “This is the next step, and we’re working towards a full-time Truck series tour in 2004,” Whitt said. “Having a lot of experience behind our race team will help a lot too.” Pitts is a veteran crew chief who worked in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series with Bill Elliott, then moved to lead Eric Norris to the 2002 NASCAR Winston West championship. Marty Gaunt is general manager, coming to the team after a winning stint with Penske Racing.(Williams Comany PR)(9-16-2003)
- Houston in the #2 at California and Vegas: Andy Houston takes over the reins of the #2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge this weekend at California Speedway replacing Jimmy Spencer who won the New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway on Saturday. “This is what I have waited for,” Houston said. “The opportunity to get back to a team like this Ultra Motorsports team that I know is a front running team, a top caliber team. This is a team that I competed against for years and they were always one of the teams to beat. I am really excited; this is the best opportunity I have had in several years. We are going to go to California and I am going to run with the confidence and ability that I know I have. Even if the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge had not won last week you know what this team is capable of. Jim Smith has done a great job of keeping these teams highly competitive and crew chief Dennis Connor is one of the best in the business. This team had a big win last week and we want to build on that success.” Houston has two poles an outside pole and two top five finishes in four starts at California. His best finish was a second place in 2000. Houston has posted 3 wins, 3 poles, 25 top-five finishes and 42 top-10 finishes in 90 career starts. Houston will pilot the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge at California and LasVegas. Further determination concerning the team’s direction will be reached after those events. For right now Houston is content to focus on the task at hand, running as well as possible at California. His keen understanding of what it takes to navigate the Fontana oval will be a huge asset.(Team ASE PR)(9-16-2003)
- #99 Crewman Injured UPDATE: Crewman Mike Freeman was hit by a truck during a pit stop Saturday at the New Hampshire 200 in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. He was awake and alert before being taken to the hospital, New Hampshire International Speedway officials said. Details of his injuries were not immediately available. Freeman is a catch-can man for rookie Carl Edwards. Edwards appeared to drive into the pits a little too fast and his truck slid into Freeman. Freeman was knocked over the low pit wall.(ThatsRacin.com/AP), it was reported during Speed Channel’s race coverage that Freeman was complaining of hip pain.(9-13-2003)
UPDATE: Freeman was taken to a hospital, where he was checked and released without injury.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)
Contrary to some reports, Freeman DID have a helmet on, he had a black helmet, the rest of the team had white helmets.(9-14-2003)
- Toyota Engine Heads disallowed? Toyota’s new engine-cylinder heads have been disallowed by NASCAR, throwing that camp into turmoil. The new heads, according to one engine man, are worth 50 extra horsepower.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-13-2003)
- Spencer wins at New Hampshire: #99-Carl Edwards and #2-Jimmy Spencer bumped and banged over the final 15 laps of Saturday’s New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway, before Spencer finally pulled away to a .661-second victory to claim his first Truck series victory. Spencer, who started from the pole, was making just his second series start, driving for his Winston Cup team owner, Jim Smith. On Lap 185 of 200, following the final caution of the race, Edwards pulled on the outside of Spencer exiting Turn 4, only to see Spencer close off the lane and Edwards scraped the wall. Edwards would try the same maneuver repeatedly to no avail. “I hated to get into Carl. I hated in the worse way,” Spencer said. “He had a good run at me. He got me right in the right-rear quarter panel and I got together with him.” #4-Bobby Hamilton finished third, #46-Dennis Setzer fourth and series points leader #62-Brendan Gaughan completed the top five. He leads #16-Travis Kvapil by nine points. The race was slowed by caution seven times for 29 laps. There were six lead changes among five drivers.(ThatsRacin.com)
See results at Truckseries.com, Motorsports One or NASCAR.com.(9-13-2003)
- Mr. Excitement on the pole at New Hampshire: #2-Jimmy Spencer won the pole for Saturday’s New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway with a lap at 127.34mph, outside pole goes to #62-Brendan Gaughan at 127.210mph. It’s Spencer’s first series pole and Saturday’s race will be just his second in the series. Spencer, who drives Ultra’s Winston Cup entry, is filling in the #2 while the team searches for a replacement for former driver Jason Leffler, who left to pursue a Cup ride. #4-Bobby Hamilton qualified third, rookie #99-Carl Edwards fourth and Cup driver #52-Ken Schrader was fifth. #16-Travis Kvapil, who trails Gaughan by five points in the championship hunt, will line up 11th.(ThatsRacin.com)
See qualifying Results/Lineup at ThatsRacin.com, Truckseries.com or NASCAR.com.(9-12-2003)
- Driver Debut: Robby Benton will make his Truck Series debut this weekend as he takes control of the VOKAL Ford for Billy Ballew Motorsports. Benton will pilot the #15 in the New Hampshire 200 at the New Hampshire International Speedway. Benton, a 24-year-old native of Charlotte, NC, is a former recipient of the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship, and he currently serves as a crewmember for Robert Yates Racing on Elliott Sadler’s NASCAR Winston Cup team. “We are examining several different drivers in preparation for next year,” said Team Owner Billy Ballew. “Ryan Hemphill has done a great job for us and we plan to run him in some additional NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races as our equipment allotment allows us to. We had an opportunity to run Robby this weekend in our Ford and we think he has a lot of potential. Robby has been around racing most of his life, he has had some great runs in ARCA, and we wanted to provide him with a chance to run in the truck series.” Benton has made several NASCAR Busch Series starts this year, driving for owner Ken Alexander. His most notable stock car finishes came in ARCA with a fourth place finish at Talledega in 2001 and another fourth place finish at Charlotte in 2002. Benton got his start in go-kart competition, progressed on to the Legends Car series and moved up to the NASCAR Winston Racing series in 1999. Benton was an engineering student at UNCC from 1997-1999.(PR)(9-12-2003)
- Gaughan to stay in Truck Series in 2004: Truck series points leader #62-Brendan Gaughan, rumored to move up to the Busch or Winston Cup series next season, plans to run again for the Truck championship in 2004. Gaughan, who has four wins with his unsponsored #62 Orleans Racing Dodge this season, said Friday Dodge officials have told him not to worry about the future and concentrate on winning the series title. “They want this Truck championship and I want it. I was the last guy to win a championship for them (Championship Off Road Racing in 1995) and I want to bring it back,” Gaughan, 28, said. “They’ve given me the ability to have piece of mind and they are going to make sure I will be part of their program.” Gaughan said Dodge was working with his team to secure a sponsor for next season and would plan to run some Busch and Cup races in 2004 as well. Gaughan said Dodge would then work to help him secure a full-time Winston Cup ride in the 2005 season. “We want to make sure we are a top Dodge program. We believe we’ve earned it and our performance has more than showed than we earned it,” Gaughan said.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-12-2003)
- DW to field a full-time Truck Team in 2004: Three-time Winston Cup champion and current NASCAR on FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip will make a return to the team ownership ranks as he plans to field a full-time entry in the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. “I’ve always loved the truck series,” said Waltrip. When I had my own team back in ’96 & ’97, we almost won the championship. Driving in the truck races the last couple years has given me the desire to own my own team again. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication from my guys but I won’t rest until we are contending for the championship again.” “And,” added Waltrip, “I have the blessing from Headquarters that I can run up to three races next year as well, so look for ol’DW to be back on-track too. In 1997, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports won three NASCAR Craftsman Truck races and four pole positions. The #17 team finished 2nd in the series point standings.(PR/FoxSports)
AND – Kennedy Is the Crew Chief: NASCAR veteran crew chief Bobby Kennedy will leave Michael Waltrip Racing to head up Darrell Waltrip Motorsports return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Kennedy, who has guided Michael Waltrip to two NASCAR Busch Series wins over the last two seasons is looking forward to the new opportunity. “I feel that when we compete in a Busch Series event, the Aarons Dream Machine is the car to beat. I love building a team and I am very proud of the organization we have put together. Michael gave me everything I needed to form a winning team and I know DW will, as well.” Michael Waltrip is very supportive of Kennedy’s decision. “I love Bobby Kennedy and I love my brother. So, I am happy for them. Bobby really enjoyed racing the truck this year. He has been successful in Winston Cup and the Busch Series and now wants to tackle the trucks. Bobby’s knowledge and experience in the NASCAR world will be valuable to Darrell’s effort. The depth in the team at Michael Waltrip Racing will guarantee our continued success.” Kennedy will continue his at track duties as crew chief for Michael Waltrip Racing until the end of the 2003 season.(PR/FoxSports) – just need a driver and maunfacturer.(9-10-2003)
- Truck Series to return to LVMS in 2004: Even though this year’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is almost three weeks away, plans already are under way for the 2004 event. Speedway officials announced Tuesday that NASCAR’s third-tier racing series will return to the 1.5-mile superspeedway on Sept. 25, 2004. This year’s Las Vegas 350 is set for Saturday, Sept. 27. The 2004 event will mark the eighth visit by the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Local driver Brendan Gaughan, who currently leads the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings, is expected to be among the contenders for the 2004 title. David Starr won the last Las Vegas 350 on Oct. 13, 2002.(LVMS PR)(9-10-2003)
- Scott Lynch Joins #62 Team: Earning his degree in communications from the University of Utah, top-ranked NASCAR Grand National Division, Winston West Series competitor Scott Lynch has accepted a full time position with the Orleans Racing team. “I couldn’t be more pleased,” says Lynch. “Being able to work with a team of this caliber is a great opportunity for me. “In order to be successful in racing today, you really need to know every conceivable aspect of the sport from the ground up. Long gone are the days of just showing up to drive. Car set-up, marketing, public relations, mechanics, research and development, sponsor relations and more are all important in becoming a champion. And, I couldn’t ask for a better team to learn from than Orleans Racing.” Lynch, who currently sits in second place in the Winston West Series points, plus leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle, has actually been associated with Orleans Racing since the beginning of this season. “Earlier this year, we reached an agreement with Orleans Racing to handle the prepping and crewing for our 08 Yerf-Dog Dodge,” continues Lynch. Their expertise and dedication to winning is invaluable and I feel lucky to have them behind me.”
“Scott Lynch is a welcome addition to our team,” says Orleans Racing’s General Manager Shane Wilson. He is an excellent employee and extremely dedicated to learning. He fits in with our entire crew and shares our very same goals.”(PR)(9-10-2003)
- Crew Chief Change for #8 Dodge Team: Effective immediately, General Manager, Kip McCord, will be taking over as crew chief of the No. 8 Strauss Auto Parts/The Club Dodge, driven by Bill Lester.. Randy Seals, who served as Lester’s crew chief over the last ten weeks, will remain with BHR as a key member of the #4 Team.. The change is part of an on-going process to find the best chemistry that will allow Lester and the #8 Team to achieve its goal of racing week-in and week-out in the top ten.(BHR PR)(9-10-2003)
- Penalties Announced: NASCAR officials announced today that Bobby Hamilton, driver for the #4 team, has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation for the remainder of the 2003 season for his actions at the Sept. 4 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Virginia is for Lovers 200 at Richmond International Raceway. Hamilton was penalized under Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing), for hitting another competitor’s truck following the completion of the race.
Also, Chris Showalter, crew chief of the #16 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team, has been fined $250 due to a rule infraction discovered during the initial inspection process at Richmond “ an unapproved fuel cell installation. Showalter was penalized under Section 12-4-A and Section 12-4-Q (parts and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules).(NASCAR PR)(9-9-2003)
- MacDonald to Campaign at NHIS for Racing Against Cancer: Every time Randy MacDonald of Thomasville, NC gets behind the wheel of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck, he has does so with purpose. Generally that goal is a top finish. At New Hampshire International Speedway next weekend, MacDonald’s motivation will be intensified. Recently, the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT announced a one-race deal with MacDonald in a fundraising effort to support the Racing Against Cancer Program. Foxwoods will make a donation directly to the American Cancer Society in the name of MacDonald and the Racing Against Cancer Program in the equivalent of MacDonald’s winnings in the New Hampshire 200. Foxwoods ran a similar program in 1999 with Brad Leighton and the GRIZCO Racing team.. Their winning effort in the event helped to raise over $18,775. This agreement has special meaning for MacDonald, whose father Marrill “Doc” MacDonald is battling cancer. “I’m just trying to do everything a son needs to do,” said MacDonald. “If I can help to raise some money for the fight against cancer, that is just one more thing I can do for my father.” Strong in his faith, Randy MacDonald will make the start on Saturday for his father and for all those that are battling cancer. “We are proud to be affiliated with Randy and the entire MacDonald family,” said R.A.C. Director of Operations, Scott Gregory. “They are committed to racing and totally devoted to one another.. It is people like the MacDonald’s that are the driving force behind the Racing Against Cancer Program.” Involvement with a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team provides a number of significant benefits to the Racing Against Cancer Program including national television coverage. “Through this partnership with Randy, the American Cancer Society and the Racing Against Cancer Program stands to earn in the area of $10,000 for the fight against cancer,” said R.A.C. Director of Operations, Scott Gregory.. This project has major significance during a season where the economic climate has made fundraising more difficult. It is most fitting that this special opportunity would come at New Hampshire International Speedway, as this is a home coming of sorts for Randy MacDonald. “If I were to call one track home, it would be Loudon,” said MacDonald, whose roots run deep in the northeast. The Oshawa, Ontario, Canada native got his start in the American Canadian Tour and earned NASCAR North Rookie of the Year honors in 1985. NHIS has a special place for the MacDonald’s.. It was where Randy made his first Winston Cup start and it is where he met his wife Gina (when it was still Bryar Motorsports Park). It took 17 years of chasing a dream but in 1996 at New Hampshire International Speedway, with his father proudly beside him, Randy MacDonald made his first start in the Winston Cup Series competition. The Racing Against Cancer Program is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for cancer research, patient services, youth tobacco educational programs, and awareness.. To learn more about this federally recognized non-profit organization please call (860) 388-3444or visit www.racingagainstcancer.com.(9-8-2003)
- Finch may field Toyota truck team UPDATE 4 no Toyota?: The latest on the Toyota front: car owner [#1 Busch, #09 Cup] James Finch is expected to field a Toyota factory truck next season. No word on the driver. Finch is a Dodge business partner with Chip Ganassi this season, and Ganassi has been hotly rumored to be headed eventually to Toyota.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2003)
UPDATE: Toyota’s 2004 NASCAR plans remain an enigma. James Finch is expected to run a Toyota truck, but his driver is still not certain. And Ford’s Truck tour plans are also unclear, according to Jack Roush, who points to sponsorship concerns. Ford and GM teams are worried about how much money Toyota may throw at its NASCAR efforts. Toyota has a market cap considerably larger than GM, Ford and Chrysler combined, and it has an 11-percent market share in the U.S.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-7-2003)
UPDATE 2: James Finch, the veteran team owner, and GM Marc Reno will have two Toyota Truck teams next season, running out of an expanded shop south of Charlotte. But Finch hasn’t picked his drivers yet.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-1-2003)
UPDATE 3: hearing Finch will not accept Toyota’s offer as only one of the two teams would get factory support so Finch declined, no work if Finch will still run a truck team or not.(9-8-2003)
UPDATE 4: When Toyota announces its Craftsman Truck teams at the end of the month, don’t expect James Finch to be among the owners. Although Finch believes Toyota will be impressive, he couldn’t come to financial terms with the automaker. He does plan to continue running Ganassi Racing protege David Stremme in the No. 1 Dodge in the Busch Series. As for Toyota, garage sources expect Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip to be among the owners announced, along with drivers Mike Skinner and Buckshot Jones. (FOX Sports/Sporting News(9-8-2003)
- Spencer to run NHIS truck race: Jimmy Spencer, has announced that he will enter the Truck Series New Hampshire 200 on Saturday, September 13, 2003 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The announcement followed Spencer’s fine run in the #2 Ultra Motorsports Team ASE Dodge at Richmond. In the seven NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races held at NHIS, there has yet to be a repeat winner. #29-Terry Cook is the defending race champion. Good seats are still available for the Saturday, September 13 Truck Series New England 200. Tickets may be ordered by calling (603) 783-4931 or by visiting the Speedway’s Web Site at www.nhis.com to purchase tickets online. Tickets for Saturday’s events will also be available at the gate on raceday.(NHIS PR)(9-8-2003)
- Stewart wins at Richmond: Tony Stewart’s appearances in the NASCAR Truck Series are few, but quite productive. Stewart, the reigning Winston Cup champion, won the Virginia is for Lovers 200 at Richmond International Raceway for the second consecutive season, this time holding off a fast-charging #59-Robert Pressley Thursday night by 0.426 seconds. The win is Stewart’s second series victory in three starts and his fifth NASCAR victory at Richmond. Three have come in Winston Cup. #1-Ted Musgrave finished third, #50-Jon Wood fourth and #46-Dennis Setzer completed the top five. #62-Brendan Gaughan took over the series points lead and now holds a five-point advantage over #16-Travis Kvapil. Since qualifying was rained out earlier in the day, the lineup was set according to the NASCAR rulebook. Stewart started 27th. Stewart made his way into the top 10 by Lap 70 of 200 and took the lead for the first time on Lap 104. Stewart fought side-by-side with Musgrave with less than 20 laps remaining, finally moving out front for good on Lap 185.(ThatsRacin.com)
For results see ThatsRacin.com, Truckseries.com, Motorsports One and NASCAR.com.(9-4-2003)
- Qualifying rained out at Richmond: Qualifying was canceled for the Virginia Is For Lovers 200 at Richmond because of rain and the field set according to the NASCAR rulebook. The race scheduled Thursday night. #16-Travis Kvapil starts first, followed by #62-Brendan Gaughan, #1-Ted Musgrave, #46-Dennis Setzer and #14-Rick Crawford.
For the full lineup see ThatsRacin.com, Truckseries.com or NASCAR.com.(9-4-2003)
- New Site: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Drivers Association. What is that? The Association was founded in 1996 and in 2000 became a non-profit organization. In the beginning, their main goal was to help their members through the race season with travel routes, track locations, parking procedures and general duties at the track. The Association realized that their NASCAR affiliation could enable them to reach out to others in the community. They have made contributions and visits to Children’s hospitals and Boy’s homes. They have worked with law enforcement to raise awareness of safety and courteousness on the roads that they travel. Craftsman has arranged numerous appearances for them at SEARS stores, as well as organized various parades at selected race venues.(9-4-2003)
- Sockwell OK after Hitting Barrier: Brian Sockwell was uninjured after striking the SAFER barrier coming off turn four during practice today for the Virginia is for Lovers 200 Craftsman Truck Series race. The truck, however, was damaged beyond immediate repair, and the Ware Racing team withdrew from tonight’s race. Sockwell, who became the first driver to hit the so-called “soft wall” since the barrier designed to lessen impacts had been installed, said the impact still carried a punch. “It didn’t feel too soft,” he said. “I’m sure it helped,” he said of the barrier. “I’m just a little sore; that was a pretty good lick. Something broke, and it went straight into the wall coming off [the turn]. I was already in the throttle pretty hard.”(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(9-4-2003)
- Roush Racing testing: hearing that the #50-Jon Wood and #99-Carl Edwards teams tested Wednesday at Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA, in preparation the the race at Richmond.(9-4-2003)
- Stewart to run Truck race at RIR: Tony Stewart will drive Andy Petree Racing’s Monaco Coaches/Diamond Rio Chevrolet in the Virginia Is For Lovers Truck Series race at Richmond. A year ago, Stewart and Petree won the event. The victory continued a string of strong runs for Petree’s Truck teams, the previous ones coming with Petree himself behind the wheel. Stewart started 25th in the Richmond race a year ago but steadily made his way to the front, taking advantage of his own championship driving talents and the top-notch equipment fielded by Andy Petree Racing. He grabbed the lead from Kevin Harvick 34 laps from the end and never looked back, pulling away to a .259-second victory. Petree is also fielding a car for young up-and-coming driver Paul Menard through an ARCA, Busch and Winston Cup combination program. Menard is driving the Turtle Wax/Menard’s entry in Friday night’s NASCAR Busch Seires race at Richmond as well, and that car will have Monaco as an associate sponsor. Petree will be back behind the wheel of the Monaco Coaches Chevrolet in the Truck Series race at Martinsville in October. Monaco Coach Corporation, a Coburg, Ore., based company has become one of the world’s leading RV manufacturer since it was founded in 1968, and remains one of the fastest-growing in the industry.(Williams Company)(9-3-2003)
- Crafton to Harvick’s team in 2004: Matt Crafton will not return to the Dick Thorson’s #88 Chevy in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series next season, team officials confirmed Tuesday. Crafton will not be without a job long, however. The 27-year-old native of Tulare, Calif., will take the reigns of Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick’s full-time Truck series entry next season, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-2-2003)
- Truck Race at Atlanta? UPDATE yes, it is official: NASCAR and officials from Atlanta Motor Speedway are exploring the possibility of the 1.54-mile speedway in Hampton, Ga., hosting a NASCAR Truck series race in 2004, ThatsRacin.com has learned. The series currently runs two races a season at Texas Motor Speedway and one at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., both similiar tracks to Atlanta and owned by the same company, Speedway Motorsports Inc. The Atlanta race would likely be held in conjunction with one of its two Winston Cup weekends next season. The dates for next season’s races at Atlanta are March 14 and Oct. 31.(Thatsracin.com)(8-1-2003)
UPDATE: Dodge drivers Bobby Hamilton and Chad Chaffin tested their NASCAR Truck series entries at Atlanta Motor Speedway last week. The track is expected to be added to the series’ 2004 schedule. “That track is fast and tough,” Hamilton said. “It’s different driving the trucks there because they are so rough. A Winston Cup car drives smooth around that track, and really fast. If they ever got a race there, it would be a good one, though. The trucks put on a good show in Charlotte; Atlanta would be similar.” Rick Crawford also had planned to test his new 2004 model Ford at the track last week, but engine problems prevented his team from getting much done.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-30-2003)
UPDATE 2: Atlanta Motor Speedway officials announced today that the speedway has added a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race to its 2004 event schedule. The inaugural 200-mile event will be held on Saturday, March 13, 2004, as part of the Golden Corral 500 weekend. “We thought long and hard about how we could beef up our spring race schedule, and what kind of event the fans really wanted to see,” said Atlanta Motor Speedway President and General Manager Ed Clark. “What really convinced me is that the fans have been asking us to run a truck race for years. And after watching them test here many times, and watching a bunch of great truck races, I agree with them that this will be a great, close race with tons of action for the fans.” The NASCAR Craftsman Truck series already races at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s sister tracks, Texas Motor Speedway and Lowe’s Motor Speedway, and many truck drivers have expressed interest in racing at Atlanta as they have tested at the high-banked track over the years. Atlanta Motor Speedway will kick off its 2004 season with the March 12-14 Golden Corral 500 weekend. Great seats are available for all three days of racing action through the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211(AMS PR)(9-2-2003)
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