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September 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.

  • Bliss sues Haas in contract dispute: Mike Bliss is hoping to claim $1.15 million in salary, and possibly more in damages, in a dispute with Haas CNC Racing scheduled for trial Oct. 2 in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte, according to a story in NASCAR Scene. In his complaint, Bliss said he thought in August 2005 he was going to continue to drive the Haas CNC Racing Cup car in 2006, so he didn’t pursue a possible opportunity to drive for another team. Team general manager Joe Custer told him in October that he wouldn’t be back for the next year.(SceneDaily.com)(9-28-2006)
  • #23 Crew chief fined for rules infractions: Rick Ren, crew chief for the #23 Toyota driven by Johnny Benson, has been fined $1,000 for violating 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-16.3D (unapproved fuel cell filler panels installed to create space) of the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book. The infraction was discovered during opening day inspection at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(9-28-2006)
  • John Deere to sponsor Inaugural Truck Series race: Talladega Superspeedway Vice President and General Manager Rick Humphrey has announced that John Deere Company, the Official Turf Equipment of Talladega Superspeedway, has signed on as title sponsor of the track’s inaugural Craftsman Truck Series race. The Oct. 7 event will be called the John Deere 250. John Deere Company Product Promotions Manager Dan G. Walls said due to the series’ overwhelming popularity with race fans, the sponsorship offers an excellent opportunity to show support for the interest of its customers.(Talladega SuperSpeedway PR)(9-27-2006)
  • Cope to drive for #40 Key Motorsports at Talladega: In an effort to remain in contention for top 30 status in team owner points for the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series season, #40 Key Motorsports has hired veteran Derrike Cope to drive its entry in the initial Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway next weekend. “We’re in the hunt for that top 30 position in points, and we will do everything we can to achieve that goal,” Key exclaimed. “We’ll look predominantly at veteran drivers to carry us through the remaining races and hope that Derrike (Cope) will start the ball rolling in our favor at Talladega,” added Key, who is expected to have several different drivers in the seat of his #40 Chevrolet Silverado trucks in the final six races this season.(Key Motorsports PR)(9-27-2006)
  • ppc Racing to switch from Ford; Cook, Power Stroke leaving? On SPEED Report, Ray Dunlap reported that the #10 ppc Racing truck would not be a Ford in 2007 and is not sure if driver Terry Cook or sponsor Power Stroke will be back.(SPEED/TV)(9-25-2006)
  • No track changes on tentative 2007 Craftsman Truck Series schedule: There are no new tracks on the tentative 2007 Truck Series schedule. The tentative 25-race schedule, which has not been officially released but has been handed out to the teams, has only two major date changes, both previously announced by the tracks. NASCAR is expected to release the final schedule this week. Kansas Speedway will move its July 4 weekend race to the final weekend in April. That takes the date Gateway International Raceway had in 2006, and the St. Louis-area track will see the trucks race Sept. 1 on Labor Day weekend. Two companion events had minor date changes to correspond with the Nextel Cup calendar: Martinsville is two weeks earlier in the spring (March 31) and the race at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis is a week earlier (July 27). Teams will go to Kentucky Speedway two weeks later (July 21) than they did in 2006. For complete schedule please visit the Craftsman Truck Series 2007 Schedule Page.(9-25-2006)
  • Musgrave Back in the #12 at Kansas: Ted Musgrave will take the reigns of the #12 Supercuts Dodge when the Series heads to Kansas this weekend.(FBR PR)(9-25-2006)
  • News & Notes Part I:
    In typical NASCAR Truck Series fashion, the championship points battle is intensifying as the series heads towards its fall finale. Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) continues to lead, but his once-mammoth margin of 182 points, which he held after the 15th race of the season at Indianapolis, has been cut in half thanks to Johnny Benson’s performances in the last four races. Benson, driver of the #23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota, has two wins and two fourth-place finishes in his last four starts. Bodine’s 91-point advantage over Benson seems narrow compared to his previous margin, but in put into a historical perspective, it’s the fourth-largest margin in series history with six races remaining. Benson says it’s been a great season no matter what the points standings reflect. The past bodes well for the leader. In the three largest margins with six to go (Greg Biffle, 2000, 193; Ron Hornaday Jr., 1996, 152; and Jack Sprague, 1997, 95), the then-leader went on the claim the title.

    “New” Las Vegas Lives Up To Expectations: Last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, virtually the whole field (32 of 36 starters) bettered Mike Skinner’s two-year old track qualifying record (165.320 mph) on the 12-degree banking in 2004. Skinner, driver of the #5 Toyota Tundra Toyota, set a new record of 178.065 mph as he became the first driver to win three consecutive poles at two different tracks. The race itself ran at record speeds under green – over 173 mph in the early stages – before caution negated the effects of the new 20degree banking. Trucks battled side-by-side among the top 10 with six drivers exchanging the lead nine times. An estimated crowd of 65,000 turned out to see what the changes were all about. That’s the season’s third-largest attendance after Daytona and Kansas and highest for a Truck Series stand-alone event.

    News & Notes Part II:
    Bobby Hamilton takes cancer fight to Washington…Bobby Hamilton spent Tuesday and Wednesday last week in Washington, D.C., as an Ambassador for the State of Tennessee in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and the Celebration on the Hill, a Cancer Action Network event. Hamilton spoke at fundraising events, one to a crowd of more than 4,000 people. “Thank you for letting me be a part of your family,” Hamilton told other cancer survivors. “The support you get from cancer patients and their families is tremendous. It makes you want to fight even harder.” Talladega trip…The Truck Series Talladega 250 is NASCAR’s first race at Talladega Superspeedway since the 2.66-mile track was re-paved. It’s also the first visit for the Craftsman Truck Series, but many drivers have experienced NASCAR’s largest superspeedway in NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series competition. The top-20 drivers in the current series standings have made a combined 79 Nextel Cup Series starts at Talladega, led by reigning series champion Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE/Germain Motors Toyota), a veteran of 20 Nextel Cup races at the track. Several of the top-20 drivers have also raced in the Busch Series at Talladega. Points leader Todd Bodine competed in nine Busch Series events there from 1992-2003. Former Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope is also expected to compete in the Talladega 250. Cope is scheduled to drive the #40 Key Motorsports Chevy. Skinner going strong …Mike Skinner, at age 49 years, three months, is the third-oldest driver to win a series race – a month younger than Musgrave was when he won at Gateway International Raceway in April 2005. Joe Ruttman remains the oldest winning driver at age 56 years, 6 months.

    Manufacturers’ Championship 2006 Point Standings:
    Toyota, 135
    Ford, 120
    Chevy, 94
    Toyota, 67
    Toyota got its 10th win of the season at Las Vegas – a season-high for the third year manufacturer that won nine times in 2005. As a result, Toyota extended its lead in the Truck Series Manufacturers’ Championship standings.

    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)

    Etc:
    Bill Davis Racing has five wins (four by Benson, one by Skinner) to become the leading owner in the series. … Skinner is the season’s 10th different winner. This marks the ninth time in 12 seasons that the series has produced 10 or more winners. The record is 14, two times (most recently 2005)…Skinner broke a 25-race winless streak that began at New Hampshire on Sept. 17, 2005. Skinner has won six times from the pole – but the last was in 1996 at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis….Skinner’s pole was his 30th extending the series record….Marcos Ambrose (#20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford) headed a season-high three Raybestos rookies finishing among the top 10 at Las Vegas. Ambrose (seventh) was the rookie race leader for the third time. The Australian has led four races – most by a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate…Mike Bliss (#16 Xpress Motorsports Chevy) won $22,500 for finishing third at Las Vegas and became the eighth different series driver to win a career $3 million. His total is $3,002,601.(9-25-2006)

  • Driver Point Standings following Las Vegas Motor Speedway
    1) #30-Todd Bodine, 2911
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 2820
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 2671
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, 2625
    5) #14-Rick Crawford, 2590
    6) #11-David Starr, 2533
    7) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 2531
    8) #16-Mike Bliss, 2486
    9) #60-Jack Sprague, 2479
    10)#10-Terry Cook, 2460
    For complete standings:
    espn.go
    motorsportsone.com
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(official)(9-25-2006)
  • Mike Skinner wins from the pole at Las Vegas: It’s been more than ten years since Mike Skinner won from the pole, but he managed to hold off hard-charging Ted Musgrave to win the Smith’s Las Vegas 350. This win marks the 19th win for Skinner in his Truck Series career. This is the 10th win for Toyota in 2006. Rounding out the top five; Ted Musgrave 2nd, Mike Bliss in 3rd, Johnny Benson 4th, and Ron Hornaday Jr. in 5th. The points race continues to tighten as Johnny Benson’s 4th place finish, despite transmission problems, chipped away at the points lead on Todd Bodine and he is now just 91 points out of first place. Todd struggled throughout most of race but managed to rally in the end to finish in the12th position. There were three rookies in the top ten; Ambrose (7th), Kinser (9th), Earnhardt (10th). Jeremy Mayfield fought a loose race truck all night and finished 23rd in the #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy. There were 9 lead changes among 6 drivers and 7 cautions for 31 laps.(9-23-2006)
  • Results for the Smith’s Las Vegas 350: (Top ten)
    1) #5-Mike Skinner, Toyota Tundra Toyota
    2) #9-Ted Musgrave, Team ASE/Germain Motors Toyota
    3) #16-Mike Bliss, Xpress Motorsports Chevy
    4) #23-Johnny Benson, Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota
    5) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., AES HR Soutions Chevy
    6) #17-David Reutimann, Team Toyota Toyota
    7) #20-Marcos Ambrose, Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford
    8) #85-Dennis Setzer, FlexFuel E85 Chevy
    9) #46-Kraig Kinser, Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevy
    10)#75-Aric Almirola, Spears Manufacturing Chevy
    First Dodge; (14th) #77-Brendan Gaughan, South Point Resort Dodge
    Race Awards:
    Bud Pole Award: Mike Skinner (178.065 mph)
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race: Marcos Ambrose #20
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award: Ted Musgrave
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race: Ted Musgrave
    WIX Filters Lap Leader Award: Mike Skinner
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Mike Skinner
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge: Mike Skinner
    For complete results:
    espn.go.com
    motorsportsone.com
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(official)(9-25-2006)
  • Skinner wins the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Mike Skinner in the BDR #5 Toyota has six poles in 2006; his last a week ago at NHIS. This is Mike Skinner’s 30th career Budweiser Pole in the Truck Series. Skinner held the Las Vegas Motor Speedway record, set in 2004, at 32.664 seconds, 165.320 mph. This is Skinner’s third consecutive pole at LVMS. Skinner is the first series driver to win three consecutive poles at two different tracks. In June, he was the fast qualifier for the fourth straight time at Texas Motor Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(9-23-2006)
  • Starting lineup for the Smith’s Las Vegas 350: (Top ten)
    1) #5-Mike Skinner, 178.065
    2) #21-Bobby East, 177.357
    3) #3-Chase Miller, 176.667
    4) #9-Ted Musgrave, 176.424
    5) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 176.413
    6) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 176.051
    7) #16-Mike Bliss, 175.999
    8) #30-Todd Bodine, 175.936
    9) #60-Jack Sprague, 175.924
    10)#75-Aric Almirola, 175.850
    First rookie; (2nd) #21-Bobby East, 177.237
    22nd) #15-Jeremy Mayfield, 174.661
    35th) #10-Terry Cook using provisional; spun off 4th turn on first lap; did not finish qualifying run
    All entries qualified
    For complete starting lineup:
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(9-23-2006)
  • Skinner even faster in second practice session: Mike Skinner, driving the #5 Toyota Tundra-sponsored Toyota, was fastest overall during this morning’s second official practice session in preparation for this evening’s Smith’s Las Vegas 350. Skinner’s lap of 30.216 sec./178.713 mph was even quicker than his best lap in this morning’s first session (30.505 sec./177.020 mph) and ran nearly four miles per hour faster than the Nextel Cup Series record of 174.904 mph, set by Kasey Kahne in 2004 – and more than 13 miles per hour faster than the Trucks Series record (165.320 mph, set by Mike Skinner in 2004). Todd Bodine, winner of the 2005 Smith’s Las Vegas 350, is was second at 30.327 sec./178.059 mph. Chase Miller, who led both of last night’s testing sessions, third at 30.469 sec./177.229 mph. Hometown hero Brendan Gaughan jumped up to ninth (from 21st in the first session) at 30.659 sec./176.131 mph.(LVMS PR)(9-23-2006)
  • Final practice results for the Smith’s Las Vegas 350: (Top ten)
    1) #5-Mike Skinner, 178.713
    2) #30-Todd Bodine, 178.059
    3) #4-Chase Miller, 177.229
    4) #16-Mike Bliss, 176.945
    5) #46-Kraig Kinser, 176.742
    6) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 176.367
    7) #60-Jack Sprague, 176.367
    8) #17-David Reutimann, 176.188
    9) #77-Brendan Gaughan, 176.131
    10)#75-Aric Almirola, 176.062
    First rookie; (5th)#46-Kraig Kinser
    31st -#15-Jeremy Mayfield, 172651
    For complete practice results:
    nascar.com
    truckseries.com(9-23-2006)
  • 1st practice results for the Smith’s Las Vegas 350: (Top ten)
    1) #5-Mike Skinner, 177.020
    2) #4-Chase Miller, 175.930
    3) #30-Todd Bodine, 175,730
    4) #85-Dennis Setzer, 175.627
    5) #60-Jack Sprague, 175.467
    6) #9-Ted Musgrave, 175.444
    7) #99-Erik Darnell, 175.285
    8) #17-David Reutimann, 175.188
    9) #21-Bobby East, 175.063
    10)#16-Mike Bliss, 174.893
    First Rookie; (7th) Erik Darnell, 175.285
    For complete practice results:
    nascar.com
    truckseries.com(9-23-2006)
  • Miller leads first test session at LVMS: Chase Miller’s Dodge Motorsports #4 Dodge led the first session of Friday’s practice in preparation for the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Miller’s best Truck lap – 174.796 mph/30.898 sec. – was just shy of the Cup Series record of 174.904 mph, set by Kasey Kahne in 2004. The speedway’s new banking (20 degrees) upped the speeds for the Craftsman Trucks by approximately nine miles-per-hour (the Truck record was 165.320 mph, set by Mike Skinner in 2004). Of the 46 entries that practiced in the first session, 42 went faster than Skinner’s track record.(LVMS PR)(9-22-2006)

    Entry list for the Smith’s Las Vegas 350:
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com

    GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES
    Tire: Goodyear Wrangler Speedway Radials
    Number of Tires: Left-side — 325; Right-side — 325
    Tire Codes: Left-side — D-4012; Right-side — D-4022
    Tire Circumference: Left-side — 87.4 in.; Right-side — 88.7 in.

    Technical Inspection Inflation:
    Left Front — 30 psi; Left-Rear — 30 psi;
    Right Front — 54 psi; Right Rear — 50 psi

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front — 25 psi; Left-Rear — 25 psi;
    Right Front — 50 psi; Right Rear — 46 psi

    Estimated Pit Window: Every 55-60 laps, based on fuel mileage

    Notes: This is the first time that Goodyear brought this combination of left- and right-side tires to the track this season…teams in all three of NASCAR top three series did run this right-side code (D-4022) with a different left-side at Charlotte in May…as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Las Vegas…air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(9-21-2006)

  • #98 Dodge losing sponsorship in 2007: It was reported during the race that Cheerios/Betty Crocker will not be returning as the sponsor for the #98 Evernham Dodge curently being driven by Erin Crocker, and that they are looking for a new sponsor for next year.(Speed/TV)(9-23-2006)
  • Mayfield donating earnings to Convoy of Hope: Convoy of Hope, along with country music artist Craig Morgan, has come on board the #15 Billy Ballew Chevy at the last minute to help fuel the efforts of Mayfield and Billy Ballew Motorsports. Convoy of Hope, a nonprofit organization, serves in the United States and around the world providing disaster relief, building supply lines and sponsoring outreaches to the poor and hurting in communities. During a COH outreach, free groceries are distributed, job and health fairs are organized and activities for children are provided. Mayfield plans to donate his share of the purse from Saturday night’s race to the Convoy of Hope.(billyballewmotorsports.com)(9-22-2006)
  • Gaughan to sport new paint scheme:.The #77-Dodge team will introduce its new livery this week. The color scheme change comes in conjunction with the team’s new sponsor, family-owned South Point Hotel and Casino.(orleansracing.com)(9-21-2006)
  • Montgomery to run Vegas: Chase Montgomery, former Series regular, will attempt to qualify for the Smith’s 350 at Las Vegas International Speedway. Montgomery will be driving the #16 Tem Boyz Network/EQ Chevy owned by Jeff Milburn Racing.(LVMS Entry List)(9-20-2006)
  • Moore Quits; Fedewa replaces at Vegas: Rookie Truck Series driver Ryan Moore suddenly left his position with Key Motorsports this afternoon, leaving crew chief Barry Dodson and team owner Curtis W. Key, Sr. scurrying to find a replacement. The #40 Chevy Silverado that Moore was supposed to pilot this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was already en route to the venue. Key then announced that he has hired veteran Tim Fedewa to drive the #40 at Las Vegas.(Key Motorsports PR)(9-20-2006)
  • Bobby Hamilton Sr. serves as Ambassador for Cancer Society: Bobby Hamilton Sr. served as the ambassador of the State of Tennessee this past week for the American Cancer Society’s Celebration on the Hill 2006. The event was an American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network event celebrating cancer survivorship and empowering survivors and others to advocate for laws that will help fight the disease. Hamilton Sr. served as the guest speaker during Tuesday night’s “CANpaign for Change,” which also included former NFL star Thurman Thomas and Maryland men’s basketball coach Gary Williams. Hamilton Sr. served as a speaker at a breakfast with the MIDSOUTH Chapter of the ACS. He also attended the Relay Celebration at the mall to walk the “survivor lap”. Hamilton Sr also spoke at the Relay Event that afternoon. (bobbyhamiltonracing.com)(9-20-2006)
  • Hamilton Jr. Busch deal for ’07? UPDATE: Back to Rensi next year It was reported during pre-race activites at NHIS that Bobby Hamilton Jr. is working on a Busch Series deal for the 2007 season. The report also said there would be an announcement some time next week.(SpeedTV)(9-16-2006)
    UPDATE: “You can come home again.” Those five words ring true for Bobby Hamilton, Jr. as Team Rensi Motorsports proudly announces his return home. Hamilton will climb behind the wheel of the #35 McDonald’s Ford in 2007. Hamilton piloted the #25 Ford for Team Rensi Motorsports from 2002 until late in the 2004 season. Hamilton will replace current McDonald’s driver Regan Smith following the completion of the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season. Smith recently informed Team Rensi Motorsports of his intention to accept a new driving opportunity for the 2007 season.(teamrensimotorsports.com(9-19-2006)
  • Peters to RCR?UPDATE: Confirmed Dodge released Timothy Peters as driver of the Craftsman Series #4 truck, Bobby Hamilton Racing announced Tuesday. However, Peters shouldn´t be without a ride for long. After racing for two seasons with Bobby Hamilton Racing, Peters is expected to sign with Richard Childress Racing as early as this weekend in New Hampshire. Phone messages left with Richard Childress Racing were not immediately returned, and Peters said he couldn´t comment on his future. “I´m not at liberty to say anything,” he said. In 17 Truck Series races this season, Peters has one top-10 finish – placing sixth on June 23 at Milwaukee. He has three career top-10 finishes in 33 Truck Series starts, and is currently 19th in the points standings. “We brought Timothy Peters in as a rookie, and with some seat time under his belt he has proven to be a hot commodity,” team owner Bobby Hamilton said in a release. A potential deal with RCR would join Peters with Danville native Peyton Sellers, who is in RCR´s development program, and South Boston native Jeff Burton. For now the plan is to team back up with his Bailey´s South Boston team for the Bailey´s 300 late model race at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 1.(Danville Register Bee)(9-15-2006)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing has signed Timothy Peters as a driver for its 2007 NASCAR Busch Series program. Peters raced the past two seasons in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for Bobby Hamilton Racing. A determination is forthcoming as to which of RCR’s Busch teams he will drive for. RCR is also scheduled to field a car for Peters in the Oct. 7 ARCA race at Talladega.(RCRRacing.com)(9-19-2006)
  • Park to Run Busch East Race at Dover: When Busch East Series race action gets underway at Dover September 22, Steve Park will be ready to pilot the NDS/Waste Management Recycle America/Jasper Ford to the front of the field.(NDS Motorsports PR)(9-19-2006)
  • Shepherd to pilot #6 Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford at Las Vegas: Roush Racing has announced that 20 year-old Canadian Peter Shepherd will drive the #6 Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford F-150 in the Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 23. Shepherd will make his third truck series start of his career and the 2006 season, but his first in the #6 Ford. Shepherd was named the driver after teammate David Ragan was entered in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series races at Dover.(roushracing.com)(9-18-2006)
  • Jourdain to make 4th start: Michel Jourdain, Jr. will attempt to make his fourth career Craftsman Truck Series start in Saturdays Smith’s Las Vegas 350 driving the #50 Roush Racing Ford. He last ran at O’Reilly Raceway Park where he finished 19th. Michel Jourdain, Jr. has three prior starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 1996 in the inaugural race, the IRL Las Vegas 500K where he finished second, 2004 in the Champ Car Series where he finished 11th and the NASCAR Busch Series in 2005 where he finished 31st. (roushracing.com)(9-18-2006)
  • Martin waiting on Roush contract for Truck ride: UPDATE: #6-Mark Martin said Friday that he´s still waiting for Roush Racing to give him a contract for his Craftsman Truck Series ride for next season, but until he gets it, he´s keeping his Nextel Cup options open. The only thing he knows for sure he won´t do next year is drive the Roush #6 Cup car he´s manned since 1988. And that may be the reason his NCTS deal isn´t done. Todd Kluever, the heir apparent for the #6 Roush Ford Fusion, has struggled mightily in the Busch Series this year, leading to rumors that he might not move up to that ride next year. And that, in turn, has fueled speculation that Roush would try to get Martin to stay another year in the Cup car. Nothing Martin said Friday at New Hampshire International Speedway quashed those rumors. “It is my intention to drive the #6 truck (in 2007),” Martin said. “We just don´t have it done yet. … I´m not worried about it. We´ve had this planned for over a year now. They (Roush) didn´t present me with a contract a year ago because they knew they were going to talk me into driving the #6 car, I think. I think they haven´t proceeded very quickly on this truck thing this year, because they knew something else might happen. I know (Roush Racing President) Geoff Smith and I´m not saying he´s manipulative or anything like that, but he´s pretty smart.” Until the deal´s done, though, Martin hasn´t closed any doors. “I would imagine if they´d present me with a contract, I´d sign it, then that would be it,” Martin said of the Roush truck deal. “But they haven´t yet. Some details still aren´t worked out yet on it. In the meantime, there are some very interesting opportunities.”(Speed Channel)(9-15-2006)
    UPDATE: Martin’s truck deal nearly complete:The deal for Mark Martin to drive a Roush Racing Ford next year in the Craftsman Truck Series is all but signed, Roush Racing President Geoff Smith said Sunday. Smith said he plans to have the paperwork done this week, and hopes that will put an end to questions about Martin’s plans for 2007. “He won’t be able to run a full-time Cup program,” Smith said prior to the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. “You can’t run them both. The schedule doesn’t work. It wouldn’t preclude him from running…a few races.” Martin insinuated Friday that Smith might have had other plans for him in addition to the truck deal, but Smith said that is not the case. “We had details with Ford Motor Company and details with our sponsor that we just had to finish out,” Smith said. “We got the handshake from the sponsors this weekend, so now I’m going to go get the paper done. “That was just a reminder that he could go do something else if I didn’t get with it.” So Martin will not drive the #6 car he has piloted for the last 19 years at Roush Racing. The decision on who will drive the car will come in the next two weeks. All four of Roush’s development drivers – Todd Kluever, Danny O’Quinn, David Ragan and Erik Darnell- are candidates for that ride, Smith said. Kluever had initially been penciled in to drive the car. “There will be a rookie driver in the #6 car, just like our plan always was,” Smith said. “Within two weeks, our choice of that will be finalized and announced. … Jack [Roush] is the lead vote. “It’s got to be over quickly because we’ve got a marketing timetable with [sponsor] AAA that requires it to be over.” The Roush Racing ride and Robert Yates Racing #88 are the only two established teams with rides currently open for next season. Robert Yates said Saturday that he still had hoped that Martin would drive the #88 car for his team next year. “Owners do that – they put out the trial balloons and hope that the drivers give them a call,” Smith said.”That’s a common technique. But that’s not [feasible]. Mark’s head is him becoming the truck championship [contender].” Smith said that Martin still might drive some Cup events in the #60 No Fear car, which has an alliance with Roush Racing. (SceneDaily.com)(9-17-2006)
  • Mayfield could run #15 Truck at Atlanta UPDATE at Vegas: on Speed Channel’s Inside Nextel Cup Monday, Jeremy Mayfield was interviewed and said he was talking to the #15 Billy Ballew Racing Truck Series team about possibly running a truck at Atlanta for the team in October. Mayfield said he also expects to test for Bill Davis Racing and Toyota for the rest of the season.(Speed Channel’s Inside Nextel Cup)(9-6-2006)
    UPDATE: Jeremy Mayfield will get a leg up on the competition before the 2007 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 on Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s new high banks. Mayfield, who has run every Nextel Cup race held at LVMS, will compete in the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 Craftsman Truck Series race on Saturday, Sept. 23. It will be the first race held at the speedway since the banking in the turns was raised from 12 to 20 degrees and the pit road was moved 275 feet closer to the grandstands. Mayfield will drive the #15 Chevy for Billy Ballew. Ballew is no stranger to Victory Lane in the Truck Series or at LVMS. Shane Hmiel won the 2004 Smith’s Las Vegas 350 driving for Ballew and Las Vegas’ Kyle Busch has won four races in the past two years for Ballew. Tickets for the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 are on sale by calling the speedway at 1-800-644-4444 or logging on to www.lvms.com.(LVMS PR)(9-14-2006)

    News & Notes Part I:
    At Las Vegas Motor Speedway this week, all bets are off. Or put another way, drivers and crew chiefs can leave any preconceptions about the 1.5-mile track at home before they arrive for Saturday’s Smith’s Las Vegas 350. LVMS hasn’t changed locations. But the track itself has changed dramatically. No longer can it be called a semi-banked or “flat” oval. Banking in the turns has been increased from 12 to 20 degrees with walls raised approximately 15 feet to accommodate the changes. The backstretch, formerly banked three degrees, has been increased to nine degrees – the same as the frontstretch banking. Drivers – and race fans – won’t recognize pit road, which has been moved 275 feet closer to the grandstands. The track surface itself is complete but some of the infield infrastructure remains a work in progress and won’t be completed until the Nextel Cup Series arrives for its March 11 event. Saturday’s race, however, will be a much-awaited preview of competition to come.

    What The Drivers Are Saying About Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) holds the Las Vegas Motor Speedway one-lap record at 165.230 mph. Odds are excellent the mark won’t last past Saturday’s first qualifier. Three drivers who participated in recent Goodyear Tire tests believe the track will be at least one second faster with speeds well into the 170 mph range. “The track is really good. It’s fast and smooth and the progressive banking they’ve built into the track should be great for racing,” said Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota), the 2005 winner. Said Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford), “While there are similarities to other tracks, the new Vegas is one-of-a-kind.” Dennis Setzer (#85 FlexFuel E85 Chevrolet) believes the track could have some of the characteristics of Atlanta Motor Speedway – arguably the most competitive track on the schedule. “I think their hopes are that the racing will be better,” he said. “They want to see faster speeds and we’re definitely going to see that. “The changes have created a pretty awesome track.”

    News & Notes Part II:
    Gaughan gets hometown workout…Brendan Gaughan (#77 South Point Dodge)…will be both host and competitor this week when the series visits his Las Vegas hometown. He’ll host a driver-media poker tournament at the South Point Resort on Wednesday night with proceeds earmarked for Speedway Children’s Charities. On Thursday morning, he’ll become a commuter of a different sort – driving his race truck from Tropicana to the speedway with a pit stop at the Barbary Coast on the Las Vegas Strip. He’ll hold an open house for fans at his shop adjacent to Turn 1 on Thursday afternoon. Mayfield returns to series…With the team’s semi-regular driver Kyle Busch busy at Dover International Speedway, Jeremy Mayfield will step into Billy Ballew’s 2004 Smith’s Las Vegas 350 winning #15 Chevrolet. Mayfield finished sixth in his only series experience in May 2003 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

    Money milestones on line at LVMS…A victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – his first – will make Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 AES HR Solutions Chevy) the series’ fourth $4 million winner. Mike Bliss (#16 Xpress Motorsports Chevy), like Hornaday a former series champion, becomes the eighth driver to reach $3 million by finishing third or higher. Title chase gets a bit tighter…By historical standards, Bodine’s 124-point lead over Johnny Benson (#23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota) isn’t exactly a barn-burner. In fact, it’s the second-widest margin in series history with seven races remaining. Viewed another way, however, Benson’s fourth victory of the year on Saturday at New Hampshire International Speedway chopped a fifth – 30 points – off Bodine’s previous advantage. “It’s going to be a dogfight to the end,” said Bodine, who finished fourth in the New Hampshire 200.

    Michel Jourdain Jr. took part in Sunday’s Fiestas Patrias…the largest single-day Hispanic event held in Las Vegas. Sears Craftsman and Las Vegas Motor Speedway will invite 500 VIP guests to experience this week’s Smith’s Las Vegas 350 as a means to increase awareness in the Hispanic community of Craftsman’s involvement in NASCAR. Ticket giveaways in cooperation with Univision, live music and other pre-race activities are planned. Jourdain, from Mexico City, will compete at LVMS in his #50 Roush Racing Ford.

    This Week’s Truck Series Leaders … Through 18 races of the 25-race season:
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (2,784)
    Winnings – Todd Bodine
    Laps led – Mark Martin (485)
    Miles led – Mike Skinner (655.792)
    Victories – Johnny Benson, Mark Martin (4)
    Budweiser Poles -Mike Skinner (5)
    Top-five finishes – Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine (10)
    Top-10 finishes – Todd Bodine (14)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (39 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Todd Bodine, Mike Skinner (9)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 3 drivers (18)

    Etc:
    By starting Saturday’s race in New Hampshire, Terry Cook (#10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel Ford) moved past Joe Ruttman into the sixth position in series winnings. Cook counts $3,142,009 in 233 career appearances… Winning crew chief Rick Ren joins Cook’s Dennis Connor as a two-time winner at NHIS. Ren previously won with Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Andy Houston in 1998…How do you say streaking? Benson counted zero wins in his first 59 series starts and has won four times in his last nine races…Champ Car World Series title contender A.J. Allmendinger (#24 Toyota) finished 13th in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck debut driving a backup truck from shotgun on the 36-truck field…Gaughan had pledged his New Hampshire winnings to Georgetown University but a mid-race accident left the alum 34th worth $7,330. To add insult, the school’s football team lost to Brown University the same afternoon…Skinner’s fifth Budweiser Pole of the season was the 1995 champion’s 29th overall breaking a deadlock with Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota). The two veterans have traded the all-time qualifying record throughout the 2006 season…David Starr (#11 Red Horse Racing Toyota) has gone 42 races since his last DNF – the series’ longest current streak. Starr began the run in March 2005 in Atlanta when the Texan then drove for Spears Motorsports. Bobby Hamilton’s series record is 64 consecutive finishes…Peter Shepherd will drive Roush Racing’s #6 Scotts Ford at LVMS.

    On The Right Track:
    Five winners in the field…Five former Smith’s Las Vegas 350 winners boasting six victories are expected to compete in Saturday’s race. Sprague won the inaugural event in 1996 and repeated two years later. Hoping to join Sprague as double winners are Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota, 2001), Starr (2002), Gaughan (2003) and Bodine (2005). Three – Bodine, Hornaday and Sprague – already are winners this season. Not a winner at LVMS but…Hornaday counts two second and two third-place finishes and in 1998 edged Sprague by three points in the series’ closest championship finish. Roush Racing is double winner – just not lately…Roush Racing trucks went to Victory Lane at LVMS in 1997 with Ruttman and Greg Biffle in 1999. The Jack Roush-owned team is the only one to win twice at the track. Two owners got their first wins at Las Vegas – Wayne Spears with Starr in 2002 and Billy Ballew with Shane Hmiel in 2004. The latter’s victory came in the owner’s 100th series start. Skinner seeks third straight Budweiser pole…Skinner can become the first series driver to win three consecutive poles at different tracks if he is the fast qualifier for the Smith’s Las Vegas 350.

    In The Loop:
    You might say look for the usual suspects when picking a winner of the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 – at least by Driver Rating. Defending winner Todd Bodine came oh-so-close to perfection with a rating of 149.4 of a possible 150. Four other veterans had ratings in triple digits – runner-up and ultimate champion Musgrave (123.8), third place Starr (113.1), fourth place Sprague (112.8) and sixth place Skinner (112.9). Bodine’s ultimate ticket to Victory Lane was punched by the following. He was the fastest early in a run at 153.954 and #2 late in a run at 153.911. Where did he get it done? Not on the frontstretch where he ranked 13th. Bodine, however, ranked #1 in speed in all four turns.

    Manufacturers’ Championship 2006 Point Standings:
    Toyota, 126
    Ford, 116
    Chevrolet, 88
    Toyota, 64
    Manufacturer wins at LVMS:
    Chevrolet, 4
    Dodge, 2
    Ford, 2

    From The Archives:
    The inaugural Smith’s Las Vegas 350 in 1996 had a couple of huge names from the world of motorsports. Indianapolis 500 champion A.J. Foyt made his last Craftsman Truck start at the age of 61 and finished 28th. Former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Bill Elliott also competed and finished second to Sprague.

    Fast Facts:
    The Race: Smith’s Las Vegas 350
    The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
    The Date: Sept. 23, 2006
    The Time: 6:15 pm/et
    Race Distance: 350 Kilometers (146 laps)
    TV: SPEED, 6 pm/et
    Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval
    Race Purse: $510,234
    2005 Winner: Todd Bodine
    2005 Pole: Mike Skinner

    Schedule: Friday-Optional Practice, 12- 4 p.m. and 5- 8 p.m.; Saturday-Practice, 9-10 a.m. and 10:30-11:30 a.m.; Qualifying, 3:10 p.m.(NASCAR PR)(9-18-2006)

  • News & Notes from the Raybestos Rookie Contenders: Erik Darnell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the September 16 New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Darnell scored a ninth-place finish, his seventh top-10 of the 2006 season. He claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the 10th tine in 18 races this season. Darnell leads Chad McCumbee by 39 points (172-133) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 23 Smith Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Darnell is 14th in the Craftsman Truck Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie. He trails 13th-place Mike Skinner by 22 points and leads 15th-place Brendan Gaughan by 70. Point standings; Erik Darnell, 172; Chad McCumbee, 133; Aric Almirola, 120; Marcos Ambrose 102, Joey Miller, 96, Boston Reid, 94; Bobby East, 92; Kerry Earnhardt, 86; Erin Crocker, 79; Kyle Krisiloff, 70; Kraig Kinser 67; Robert Richardson, 50; Ryan Moore, 38; Scott Lagasse Jr., 33.(Raybestos PR)(9-18-2006)
  • No more Roush Gong show; Ragan in the #06 at Dover?: UPDATE: Geoff Smith, head of Roush Racing, “We are committed to a rookie in the (#6) car. There are tremendous long-term business advantages to doing a program with a rookie, if the rookie can get the job done. And we expect any of our rookies to get the job done. We have been able to put four of our Gong Show drivers in rides this year to scrutinize them: Todd [Kluever]; David Ragan, splitting duties with Mark in Trucks; Erik Darnell, rookie-of-the-year leader in Trucks; and Danny O’Quinn. “One of those guys will be in the six [Cup car]. And by the time we get to Kansas City, we have to be done. We haven’t had home runs out of the box with all four, but David and Erik have done extremely well. And Danny and David are only 20 years old. So we feel very good about where we are.” Smith said he and Roush have thus canceled this year’s Gong Show.(Winston Salem Journal), look for David Ragan to run the #06 Ford in the Dover Cup race.(9-18-2006)
    UPDATE: Ragan attempting Cup debut at Dover: David Ragan will attempt to make his Cup debut this weekend, competing in Roush Racing’s #06 Ford Fusion previously driven by Todd Kluever in the Dover 400 at Dover International Speedway. Ragan competes in the Craftsman Truck Series and is also driving in the Dover Busch Series race this weekend. Ragan will also make his second Busch Series start of the 2006 season in the #50 Barr-Nunn Ford Fusion when he competes in the Dover 200 on Saturday. Team owner Jack Roush said he sees a lot of potential with his young drivers. “This will give us an opportunity to evaluate David Ragan and it will also give him valuable experience running in both series at Dover,” Roush said. “Dover International Speedway is a very challenging track, but I know David will perform to the best of his ability.” (scenedaily.com)(9-18-2006)
  • Lester hopes to run Cup in 2007: Craftsman Truck Series driver Bill Lester’s plans for next year are uncertain, but he remains optimistic about finding sponsorship to run in the Nextel Cup Series. Lester said running a part-time Nextel Cup schedule could be a possibility rather than a full-time return to the truck series. “It’s still up in the air, but we’re hoping to see what shakes out,” he said. “The biggest thing is communicating that we need support.” Lester is the only African-American competing in NASCAR’s top three touring series. He has made two Cup starts this season, qualifying 19th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March as the first black driver in NASCAR’s premier series in nearly 20 years.(USA Today)(9-16-2006)
  • Reutimann still has no answers on future plans: Reutimann met with Burger King executives Tuesday but says he has no idea if he will drive the No. 00 Burger King/Domino’s Pizza car for Michael Waltrip Racing in the Cup Series in 2007. “The meeting seemed to go well,” Reutimann said Friday morning at New Hampshire International Speedway. “It’s really hard to tell. I kind of find myself leaving these meetings probably knowing less than I did when I went. “There are some decisions to be made by the higher powers, and I am not in on that decision-making process.” The 36-year-old Reutimann, third in the Truck Series standings driving for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, already knows he will run full time in the Busch Series next year for Michael Waltrip. All he is waiting for is word whether he will run any Nextel Cup races as part of the first year of the Toyota Camry program. “It’s not like I’m out of work if this doesn’t happen, which is a good situation to be in,” he said. “I’d like to do the Cup deal, but I’ve got to concentrate on the truck races that we’ve got left this year and am really looking forward to the Busch Series next year. “If this doesn’t happen, I still get to run a full season of Busch. It’s not a bad deal. But I’m not going to worry about it because I don’t want it to affect the other stuff I’m trying to do right now.” (SceneDaily.com)(9-15-2006)
  • Walker to BDR truck team? hearing there will be an announcement soon that past World of Outlaw Gummot 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.(9-17-2006)
  • Benson wins the New Hampshire 200: Johnny Benson is on a roll — J.B.’s win at NHIS makes it four wins in the last nine races. Benson also led the most laps at 145 and gained 30 points on Todd Bodine in the championship standings. Mike Skinner came on strong at the end of the race to pick up second place. Kyle Busch finished third driving Billy Ballew’s #15; points leader, Todd Bodine was fourth, with David Starr having a good run winding up in fifth place. Champ Series driver A.J. Allmendinger had a respectable day for his first start, finishing in 13th after having to go to a backup truck and starting from the 32nd position. There were a record number of cautions for the day; 12 for 50 laps. There 8 lead changes among 4 drivers. Of note; there have been eleven different winners in the Truck Series at New Hampshire International Speedway.(9-16-2006)
  • Driver Point Standings following NHIS: (Top ten)
    1) #30-Todd Bodine, 2784
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 2660
    3) #17-David Reutimann, 2521
    4) #14-Rick Crawford, 2469
    5) #11-David Starr, 2450
    6) #9-Ted Musgrave, 2450
    7) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., 2371
    8) #60-Jack Sprague, 2355
    9) #10-Terry Cook, 2345
    10)#16-Mike Bliss, 2316

    For complete driver standings:
    espn.com
    motorsportsone.com
    truckseries.com
    nascar.com(official)(9-18-2006)

  • Results for the New Hampshire 200 at NHIS: (Top ten)
    1) #23-Johnny Benson, Toyota Certified Used Cars Toyota
    2) #5-Mike Skinner, Toyota Tundra Toyota
    3) #15-Kyle Busch, Freedom Grill/Team Davis Dirt Racing Chevy
    4) #30-Todd Bodine, Lumber Liquidators Toyota
    5) #11-David Starr, Red Horse Racing/Forklift.net Toyota
    6) #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., AES HR Solutions Chevy
    7) #14-Rick Crawford, Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford
    8) #88-Matt Crafton, Menards/Energizer Chevy
    9) #99-Erik Darnell, Woolrich Ford
    10)#6-Mark Martin Scotts Ford
    First Dodge; (17th) #4-Chase Miller, Dodge Motorsports Dodge

    Race Awards:
    Bud Pole Award; Mike Skinner (129.626 mph)
    Raybestos Rookie of the Race; Erik Darnell #99, Scotts Ford
    Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award; Erik Darnell, #99 (9 Places)
    Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race; Todd Bodine
    WIX Filters Lap Leader Award; Johnny Benson, #23 (145 Laps)
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award; Johnny Benson
    Checkers/Ralley’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge; Mike Skinner

    For complete results:
    espn.com
    motorsportsone.com
    truck series.com
    nascar.com (official)(9-18-2006)

  • Skinner claims 5th pole at NHIS: This is Mike Skinner’s fifth Budweiser Pole of the 2006 season – most by any driver. Skinner’s 29th career pole breaks a tie with Jack Sprague for most poles in the Craftsman Truck Series. This is Skinner’s second pole at New Hampshire International Raceway. A.J. Allmendinger will go to a backup truck after being involved in a Turn 2 accident on his second qualifying lap.(9-16-2006)
  • Starting Lineup for the New Hampshire 200: (Top ten)
    1) #5-Mike Skinner, 129.626
    2) #23-Johnny Benson, 129.151
    3) #21-Bobby East, 128.954
    4) #18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 128.941
    5) #46-Clint Bowyer, 128.941
    6) #9-Ted Musgrave, 128.876
    7) #30-Todd Bodine, 128.819
    8) #77-Brendan Gaughan, 128.802
    9) #15-Kyle Busch, 128.654
    10)#60-Jack Sprague, 128.524
    First Rookie; (3rd)#21-Bobby East, 128.954
    Going home; #89-Garrett Liberty (DNS)

    For complete starting lineup:
    truckseries.com(9-16-2006)

  • Final practice results for the New Hampshire 200: (Top ten)
    1) #60-Jack Sprague, 129.090
    2) #5-Mike Skinner, 129.072
    3) #9-Ted Musgrave, 128.589
    4) #14-Rick Crawford, 128.186
    5) #4-Chase Miller, 128.135
    6) #23-Johnny Benson, 127.997
    7) #6-Mark Martin, 127.898
    8) #24-A.J. Allmendinger, 127.709
    9) #17-David Reutimann, 127.662
    10)#85-Dennis Setzer, 127.589
    First Rookie; (15th) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 127.257

    For complete practice results:
    nascar.com
    truckseries.com(9-15-2006)

  • First practice results for the New Hampshire 200: (Top ten)
    1) #15-Kyle Busch, 128.650
    2) #88-Matt Crafton, 127.928
    3) #6-Mark Martin, 127.773
    4) #5-Mike Skinner, 127.688
    5) #10-Terry Cook, 127.658
    6) #9-Ted Musgrave, 127.602
    7) #60-Jack Sprague,127.555
    8) #17-David Reutimann, 127.500
    9) #23-Johnny Benson, 127.419
    10)#18-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 126.968
    First Rookie; (18th) #20-Marcos Ambrose, 126.563
    For complete practice results:
    nascar.com
    truckseries.com(9-15-2006)

    Entry list for the New Hampshire 200: truckseries.com(9-15-2006)

  • Orleans Racing to host Open House: Orleans Racing is hosting an open house on Thursday, September 21st. The event is open to any fan who would like to see the only state of the art NASCAR shop that’s located west of the Mississippi. The Orleans Racing shop is located directly adjacent to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, at 6975 Speedway Blvd. (orleansracing.com)(9-14-2006)
  • Kyle Busch on Entry List for Ballew Motorsports:UPDATE 2: Kyle Busch is listed as the starting driver for the #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy for the New Hampshire 200 at NHIS. Sponsor is TBA.(9-12-2006)
    UPDATE: The #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy will be sponsored by Bowen Family Homes/Manheim Auto Auctions.(GM Racing PR)(9-12-2006)
    UPDATE 2:New Primary Sponsor: Billy Ballew Motorsports is pleased to announce the addition of Freedom Grill, “The Official Grill of Tailgating,” on board the #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports entry in the Truck Series this weekend. Piloted by four-time series winner, Kyle Busch, the #155 will carry Freedom Grill as the primary sponsor for Saturday’s running of the New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway. This weekend will mark Freedom Grill’s first endeavor in motorsports.(billyballewmotorsports)(9-14-2006)
  • Gaughan to sport the Blue and Gray of Georgetown at NHIS: UPDATE: Sept 16th will be a very special day for Brendan Gaughan as that will be the day that he shows the world his passion for his alma mater, Georgetown University. Gaughan’s #77 will be sporting the Blue and Gray of Georgetown for the New Hampshire 200 Craftsman Truck Series race. The effort will culminate a week of Georgetown oriented activities for the Las Vegas native. (BrendanGaughan.com)(9-12-2006)
    UPDATE: 100 percent of the race purse Gaughan earns will be donated to Georgetown related efforts, with a percentage going to the Woodstock Theological Center and the balance going directly to Georgetown University Alumni House.(Orleans Racing PR)((9-14-2006)
  • HT Motorsports formally announces Toyota partnership: For the remainder of this season beginning with the September 16, 2006 New Hampshire race HT Motorsports will compete under the Toyota banner. Team owner Jim Harris welcomes Toyota and looks forward to a long and successful relationship. (htmotorsports.com)(9-14-2006)
  • Mansfield Motorsports Speedway ends NASCAR Weekly Racing Series: Mansfield Motorsports Speedway’s 2006 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series season was completed on Saturday September 9, and with the completion of the event also brings with it the end of weekly racing at the banked half-mile asphalt oval. In 2007, MMS will present an 8-10 event schedule of major specials rather than offer a weekly program. The track was the last weekly racing track to hold a national-level NASCAR touring series race with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series visiting each of the past three years. The cornerstone event on MMS’s 2007 oval track calendar will be the fourth annual NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Ohio 250.(whowonwho.com)(9-14-2006)
  • Ambrose to carry tributes to Brock and Irwin: Team Australia Truck Series driver Marcos Ambrose will carry tributes to Australian icons Peter Brock and Steve Irwin, who both passed away last week, at this weekend´s New Hamphire 200. Ambrose will carry a logo with Brock´s famous 05 number on the side of his #20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 and a logo in tribute to Irwin, best known as the Crocodile Hunter. (teamaustraliamotorsport.com)(9-13-2006)
  • Allmendinger will make first start at NHIS: Champ Car driver A.J. Allmendinger will try to qualify for his first NASCAR race in the #24 Bill Davis Racing Toyota this weekend in the Sylvania 200 Craftsman Truck Series event at New Hampshire International Speedway. Allmendinger tested at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway two weeks ago in preparation for Saturday’s 200-lap event. Allmendinger has a full-time ride with Forsythe Championship Racing in the Champ Car World Series. The 24-year-old California native is deep in the championship hunt, standing second in the points standings with three events remaining this season. (billdavisracing.com)(9-13-2006)
  • Kevin Grubb suspended indefinitely:UPDATE: NASCAR announced today that Series driver Kevin Grubb has been suspended indefinitely, after failing to comply with the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. Grubb, 28, driver of the #56 Chevy, was suspended after violating Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-E (failure to comply with substance abuse policy: refusal to submit to required testing) of the NASCAR Busch Series rule book. This is the second time Grubb has been suspended indefinitely. The first suspension was in March 2004, after Grubb tested positive for banned substances. Grubb was reinstated on June 7 of this year. He has since participated in five NASCAR Busch Series events. The reinstatement required Grubb to comply with the stipulations of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, which include periodic testing.(NASCAR PR)(9-12-2006)
    UPDATE: Grubb was punished for refusing to take a drug test after an accident ended his run in the Emerson Radio 250 on Friday night at Richmond International Raceway. Grubb was suspended indefinitely in March 2004 for violating NASCAR’s substance-abuse policy. He was reinstated June 7 with the understanding he would submit to periodic drug testing. Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s vice president of corporate communications, said several attempts were made to persuade Grubb to submit to a test Friday night. “He was on a program where he agreed to be tested at any time,” Hunter said. “He, for whatever reason, refused to be tested.” Hunter said doctors and “medical liaisons” were involved. Grubb said the force of the accident, which came on Lap 2 in the Busch Series race, made things “foggy” shortly thereafter. He was treated and released from the infield care center after the crash. “I don’t remember most of being at the track,” Grubb said. “I had people pulling me in 20 different directions. I ended up leaving, from what I understand.” Grubb said he woke up Sunday morning, still feeling “terrible” and unable to remember what day it was. He went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion. “I’m guessing that explains me acting crazy at the track,” Grubb said. “I didn’t know what was going on.” Grubb said he called NASCAR officials Monday morning when he heard of the suspension. He was directed to talk to Dr. David L. Black, who is in charge of NASCAR’s substance-abuse program. He set up the program for reinstatement that Grubb was on, and will be the person to set up a program if he were to try to be reinstated again. “Kevin was reinstated based on the recommendation of Dr. Black,” Hunter said. “The reason he needs to talk to Dr. Black is that if he hopes to be reinstated again, then he needs to talk to him.” Grubb said he has called Black several times but has yet to receive a return call. A call to Dr. Black’s office late yesterday afternoon was not returned by press time. Grubb said he still is feeling the aftereffects, sleeping a lot and feeling “pretty foggy.” He says he’s confident he and NASCAR will come to an agreement, and reiterates he didn’t suffer a relapse. He says he’s fine with officials observing him or testing him as often as necessary. “I’ve been clean the whole time,” Grubb said. “The next day, once I found out all the things that happened, I offered to take it. I’m ready to put the ball in action. I’m sure we’ll get something situated out of that. I worked very hard to get my life back to where it was. I don’t see it being thrown away in one night.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-13-2006)
  • T.J. Bell to start for Greenlight Racing: T.J. Bell has signed on to drive the #07 U.S. Restoration Chevy for this weekend’s event at New Hampshire International Speedway.(GreenLightRacing.com)(9-13-2006)
  • 2007 Truck Series season opener named Chevy Silverado HD 250: The biggest, richest and most exciting Craftsman Truck Series race of the year will carry a new name in 2007 – the Chevy Silverado HD 250 At Daytona. In General Motors’ first year of sponsorship of the prestigious season-opening NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Daytona International Speedway, they promoted their E85 ethanol campaign with the race name “GM Flex Fuel 250.” In 2007, General Motors will focus the race name on the popular full-size pickup, the Chevrolet Silverado. The all-new Silverado is the strongest Silverado yet, delivering segment-leading power and fuel economy. (Craftsman PR)(9-12-2006)
  • Former Sox to miss NHIS Race: Former Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell will not be making his debut at New Hampshire International Speedway in the Craftsman Truck race on Sept. 16, the Herald has learned. “We couldn’t get sponsorship for the race,” said Greenwell, who played 11 seasons with the Red Sox. Driving for Green Light Racing, Greenwell made two starts in July. At Mansfield Motorsports Speedway in Ohio, Greenwell qualified for the race and finished on the lead lap in 26th place. He also competed at Memphis Motorsports Park, where he qualified 33rd and finished 35th. In order to compete in the NHIS race, Greenwell would need to find sponsorship by the end of the week. Top teams typically spend $75,000 to $100,000 per race. Greenwell hopes to secure a sponsor for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 17.(BostonHerald.com)(9-13-2006)
  • Bodine to do double-duty at NHIS: Bodine will compete in both the Whelen Modified Tour and Craftsman Truck Series races, for a total of 300 laps of racing action at New Hampshire International Speedway. In the Craftsman Truck Series race, he’ll be racing to keep his #30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota Tundra atop the points standings and in the #50 Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project modified, he’ll be racing to gather money to be used to continue the training and sled-building for the U.S. Olympic Bobsled team.(truckseries.com)(9-12-2006)
  • Clint Bowyer to drive #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevy at NHIS: David Dollar, president and owner of MDM, announced a two-race agreement between Clint Bowyer and MDM to drive the #46 SKF Chevrolet Silverado fielded by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports (MDM) in the New Hampshire 200 for the Craftsman Truck Series. Bowyer will again take the wheel of the #46 Chevy in the Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3, 2006. The September 16th race at New Hampshire International Speedway will mark the Emporia, Kan., native’s second career series start. In April 2006, Bowyer started third and finished seventh at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. MB2 Motorsports development driver, Kraig Kinser, who has been driving the #46 thus far in 2006, will be back in the cockpit at Las Vegas for the September 23, 2006 NCTS event.(MorganDollarMotorsports.net)(9-12-2006)
  • Wyler Racing to test “Car of Tomorrow” with Rudd: Wyler Racing has announced that it will take part in NASCAR’s “Car Of Tomorrow” test session at Talladega Superspeedway on October 9th. Behind the wheel of their Toyota Camry will be veteran NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd. Wyler Racing currently fields the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota Tundra in the Truck Series driven by three-time series champion Jack Sprague. For Wyler Racing, the test is a chance for the young team to assist Toyota and glimpse at what the future could hold. Although testing a Nextel Cup car, Wyler Racing is firmly committed to its Craftsman Truck Series effort.(wylerracing.com)(9-13-2006)
  • Celebrity Poker Tourney to Benefit Speedway Children’s Charity: Before betting on the best racing strategy for the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 on Saturday night, a handful of Truck Series personalities will be going “all in” for a night of celebrity poker. The ‘Craftsman Truck Series Tough Poker Tournament’ presented by the South Coast Hotel & Casino will be held on Wed., Sept. 20 beginning at 7:30 p.m. PT at the South Coast Hotel & Casino at 9777 Las Vegas Boulevard. The presenting sponsor, South Coast Hotel & Casino, has guaranteed a minimum $10,000 donation will be made to the Speedway Children’s Charities – Las Vegas chapter from this tournament. Drivers scheduled to participate in the tournament include hometown favorite Brendan Gaughan (#77 Dodge), Rick Crawford (#14 Ford), Ron Hornaday (#33 Chevrolet), Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota), Jack Sprague (#60 Toyota) and defending Las Vegas Motor Speedway race winner and current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader Todd Bodine (#30 Toyota). A host of crew chiefs, crewmembers as well as SPEED personalities Rick Allen and Phil Parsons will also participate in the Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament.(NASCAR PR)(9-12-2006)
  • Miller set to make debut in #4 at NHIS: Bobby Hamilton Racing and Dodge Motorsports are testing the waters with the NASCAR youth movement. Chase Miller, a promising 19 year-old from Canton, GA., will make his Truck Series debut in the #4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge at the New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway on Saturday, September 16th. Miller surprised the stock car world with a win in the ARCA Re/Max Series at Pocono in only his second 2006 ARCA start. Miller will replace Timothy Peters as the pilot of the #4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge for the New Hampshire event and the following weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(ChaseMiller.net)(9-11-2006)
  • Truck Series News & Notes – New Hampshire:
    Ron Hornaday Jr. (#33 AES HR Solutions Chevy) laid the foundation for New Hampshire International Speedway’s reputation as a track with a flair for the dramatic. Hornaday, winner of the first New Hampshire 200 in 1996, passed a number of trucks on a late restart and was in position to take advantage of a final-lap accident that took out the leaders. “At one point, Ernie Irvan got into me and put me in the wall so my truck was pretty roughed up,” said the two-time Truck Series champion. “I still have the sheet metal hanging in my garage.” Hornaday – and four others – on Saturday will try again to unlock another of the 1.058-mile, flat oval’s secrets. There have been no repeat winners at NHIS; the same is true in the Busch Series.

    Why? Who knows for sure but Dennis Connor, then-crew chief for Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota) when the three-time champion visited Victory Lane in 2001, has an idea. “It’s just different conditions there than about anywhere else we go so you have to be on your toes to adjust,” said Connor, who now calls the shots for Terry Cook (#10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford), the race’s 2002 winner. “Most recently every time we go back, it’s been changed…whether it’s a different paving job or to put asphalt sealer on it.” Sprague has come closest to repeating – posting a trio of second-place finishes in addition to his victory.

    From the Archives:
    Crawford’s New Hampshire 200 victory snapped lengthy Ford drought. The 2005 season hadn’t been a good one for Ford – a non-winner on the Truck Series in more than a year – until Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford) came out on top of a tense, three-way battle to claim victory in the New England 200. There have been a lot of closely-contested races at NHIS but this arguably was the best given the principals involved. Crawford, 2005 champion Ted Musgrave (#9 Team ASE Toyota) and perennial title runner-up Dennis Setzer (#85 Chevrolet Silverado Chevy) circled the track nose-to-tailgate and side-by-side as the laps wore down. Crawford edged Setzer by .221 seconds.

    News & Notes Part II:
    No wins in New Hampshire – yet … Mark Martin (#6 Scotts Ford) will make his first Truck Series start at NHIS on Saturday. The season’s four-time winner has yet to win at the 1.058-mile track. O brother where art thou? … Kyle Busch (#15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy) hopes to follow older brother Kurt into the track’s Craftsman Truck Series Victory Lane. No brother combination ever has won a series race at the same track. Kurt Busch won the New Hampshire 200 as a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate in 2000. Home isn’t a bad place to be … It’s homecoming week for Scarborough, Maine competitor Ryan Moore (#40 Key Motorsports Chevy), a former NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series driver. Will familiarity help guide Moore and his Barry Dodson-led team to its first top-10 finish? “Sure, it helps to know the racetrack and everything but it’s not going to help if we don’t have the truck driving the way it needs to drive,” said Moore. Bowyer tosses his hat in the ring … Nextel Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Clint Bowyer nearly joined a very short list of drivers winning in their first series start when he led 84 laps of April’s Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Bowyer gets another chance this week as he drives Morgan-Dollar Motorsports’ #46 Chevy. All in the family … Tony Hirschmann III, spotter for Terry Cook (#10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) is the son of four-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Tony Hirschmann and a seven-time winner at NHIS.

    This Week’s Truck Series Leaders: (Through 17 races of the 25-race season)
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (2,624)
    Winnings – Todd Bodine ($492,260)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (485)
    Miles led – Mike Skinner (655.792
    Victories -Mark Martin (4)
    Budweiser Poles -Mike Skinner (4)
    Top-five finishes – Todd Bodine, David Reutimann (9)
    Top-10 finishes – Todd Bodine, David Reutimann (13)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (32 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Todd Bodine, Mike Skinner (9)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 3 drivers (17)

    Etc:
    Crawford and Setzer are the only drivers to have competed in nine series races at NHIS. No driver has 10 starts. Setzer’s 7.3 average finish is second-best among drivers with multiple starts at NHIS. Musgrave is the leader with a 6.0 average…159 different drivers have chased $3.6 million in New Hampshire posted awards…NHIS has yet to see a margin of victory of a second or more in 10 editions of the New Hampshire 200. The total margin of victory – nine races; one finished under caution – is 3.942 seconds. The closest finish came in 2002 when Cook edged Setzer by .189 second…Michel Jourdain Jr. (#50 Roush Racing Ford) will participate in Sunday’s Fiestas Patrias, the largest one-day Hispanic event in Las Vegas. The event celebrates Mexico’s independence. Craftsman, Univision and Las Vegas Motor Speedway will provide hospitality for 500 VIPs and present other activities prior to the Sept. 23 Smith’s Las Vegas 350…Bobby Hamilton Racing announced Monday that 19-year-old Chase Miller will replace Timothy Peters in the #4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge at NHIS and Las Vegas. The Georgia driver won an ARCA RE/MAX event at Pocono Raceway this summer in only his second series start.

    On the Right Track:
    NHIS appeals to this quintet…Five winners of the New England 200 will belt in for Saturday’s race and that definitely counts for something – if only the odds of a good finish. The five who will attempt to end the series’ longest streak of different winners (shared with Homestead-Miami Speedway) are Ron Hornaday Jr. (1996), Dennis Setzer (1999), Jack Sprague (2001), Terry Cook (2002) and Rick Crawford (2005). Setzer, Sprague consistent as well …Setzer leads all series drivers with five top-five finishes at NHIS and shares the top-10 finish record of six with Sprague. Sprague, meanwhile, has won three Budweiser Poles and is one of two to win from the #1 position. Jimmy Spencer is the other. Maybe a rookie winner? … Two Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates count victories at NHIS – Andy Houston in 1998 and Kurt Busch in 2000. Only one freshman competed in last year’s race, matching the series record. Rookie of the Year Todd Kluever finished 28th.

    In the Loop:
    In 2005, nearly half of the green flag passes – 43.56 percent – occurred on New Hampshire International Speedway’s front or backstretches. There’s a reason for that: the length of those straights give a driver an excellent opportunity to pull alongside exiting a turn and powering past before the two competitors reach the next corner. How did this factor into Rick Crawford’s victory? Crawford fashioned 67 percent of his green flag passes – 21 of 31 – on straightaways. Turns 2 and 4 are virtually equal in passing potential. Turn 2 produced 17.44 of the race’s passes with 17.27 taking place in Turn 4.Crawford ranked near the top of two key categories (see below). He was #1 in average running position (3.85) and #2 in Speed in Traffic (123.906). Ironically, second-place finisher Dennis Setzer was first in the latter category. Crawford topped the field with a Driver Rating of 132.1.

    Manufacturers’ Championship 2006 Point Standings:
    Toyota, 117
    Ford, 112
    Chevrolet, 82
    Dodge, 61

    Fast Facts:
    What: New Hampshire 200 (Race 18 of 25)
    Where: New Hampshire International Speedway
    When: 2:15 p.m. ET, Sept. 16
    Track layout: 1.058-mile flat paved oval
    Race length: 211.6 miles/200 laps
    Posted awards: $537,434
    TV: SPEED Channel, 1:30 pm/et
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite
    2005 winner: Rick Crawford
    2005 polesitter: Matt Crafton

    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -Practice 10:15 a.m. a. m. – 11:25 a.m. Rookie Practice 1:20 p.m. 1:50 p.m. Final Practice 2 p.m. -3 p.m. Saturday – Qualifying 9:30 a.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.(9-11-2006)

  • GPS Store and Fast Track Driving School sponsor Sweepstakes: The GPS Store, sponsor of the #08 Green Light Racing Craftsman Truck Series Team and rookie driver Chad McCumbee, are teaming up with Fast Track High Performance Driving School to give one race fan the opportunity to climb behind the wheel of a real NASCAR-style stock car. For more details on the “Navigate the Track” Sweepstakes visit the Contest Page.(9-9-2006)
  • Mike Wallace to drive #15 at Talladega: Billy Ballew, owner of Billy Ballew Motorsports, has announced veteran driver Mike Wallace will pilot the #15 Chevy for the Truck Series’ inaugural running at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, October 7. The St. Louis, Mo. native also has plans to compete in the Cup race the same weekend which will keep him quite busy, but will also provide him with plenty of opportunities to gain experience. Wallace will become Billy Ballew Motorsports’ fourth different driver this year in the #15 Chevy.(BillyBallewMotorsports.com)(9-9-2006)
  • Boston Reid not running NHIS? UPDATE: Reid will run; new crew chief on board: Hearing that Woodard Racing and/or Boston Reid will not be racing the Truck Series race in New Hampshire. Sources say that many of the employees working with the team have moved on to other race shops.(9-6-2006)
    UPDATE: Boston Reid is hoping new crew chief; Tim Weiss can bring some life to his Woodard Racing team this weekend in New Hampshire. Weiss, who has spent the last four year’s working as a part-time consultant to race teams, has agreed to help the team until a full-time crew chief is brought on board. A native of Baltimore, MD, the 20-year veteran is looking forward to spending the weekend working with the Reid and the Woodard crew. Also hearing there’s a new spotter on board for this weekend’s event.(woodardracing.com)(9-13-2006)
  • News & Notes from the Raybestos Rookie Contenders: Erik Darnell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the August 23 O’Reilly 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Darnell was credited with an 18th-place finish and took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the ninth time this season. Darnell leads Chad McCumbee by 32 points (162-130) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 16 New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Two Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions this season: Darnell and Marcos Ambrose. Darnell took the top staring spot for the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway while Ambrose won the pole for the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Ambrose is the only Raybestos Rookie to capture WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race honors in the Craftsman Truck Series this season. Ambrose led twice for 49 laps to claim the honor in the Built Ford Tough 225. Darnell is 14th in the Craftsman Truck Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie. He trails 13th-place Brendan Gaughan by seven points and leads 15th-place Mike Skinner by 10. Todd Kluever was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the 2005 New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire, claiming a 28th-place finish. Rookie point standings: Erik Darnell, 162; Chad McCumbee, 130; Aric Almirola, 116; Marcos Ambrose, 96; Joey Miller, 96; Boston Reid, 92; Bobby East, 88; Kerry Earnhardt, 79; Erin Crocker, 76; Kyle Krisiloff, 70; Kraig Kinser, 67; Robert Richardson, 48; Scott Lagasse Jr., 33; Ryan Moore 28.(Raybestos PR)(9-12-2006)
  • 1st Annual Toyota Tundra Skinner Round-Up Ponies raises $104,000: 1995 Truck Series Champion, Mike Skinner will deal out over $104,000 to local Daytona Beach charities in the next week after an extremely successful first annual charity golf and poker tournament held on September 5th, 2006 at Spruce Creek Country Club in Daytona Beach, Florida. Fellow Craftsmen Truck Series drivers, Rick Crawford, Steve Park, and Ron Hornaday along with Nextel Cup favorite Mark Martin, as well as Platinum-Selling/Singer and Song Writer,Edwin McCain, and World Series of Poker Champion-Brian Wilson gave up their Labor Day holiday to raise money for The Second Chance Animal Rescue, Greyhound Pets of American and Volusia County Council on Aging -Meals on Wheels program.(MikeSkinner.com)(9-11-2006)
  • Musgrave WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race at Richmond: Ted Musgrave was the WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race in the Emerson Radio 250. Musgrave led the race once for 11 laps and captured the award for the first time this season. Musgrave claimed a 21st-place finish on the lead lap. (WIX PR)(9-9-2006)
  • Where the Truck Series Regulars finished at Richmond: Eric Almirola finished 18th driving the #19 Banquet Chevy. Other regulars had a tough night, all out early due to accidents; 32nd, #12-Mike Skinner, bluegreen/Supercuts Dodge; 41st, #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., Outdoor Channel Chevy; 43rd, #56-Kevin Grubb, Western Sizzlin/Terex chevy. Kevin Harvick was the winner of the Emerson 250 in the #21 U.S. Coast Guard Chevy. For complete race results, visit the Busch Series page at: Richmond Race Page(9-9-2006)

    Ambrose launches new-look website: Australian motorsport ace Marcos Ambrose has re-launched his website www.marcosambrose.com which will serve as an information hub for his fans around the globe. The site will have all the information and latest news that an Ambrose fan is after as he tackles the North American NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in his Team Australia Ford F-150. Among the features on offer will be a monthly podcast, auctions of unique memorabilia and a comprehensive collection of news and information. The ‘Tailgating the Tasmanian’ podcast will be produced on a monthly basis. Ambrose will be sharing his personal insights into the world of NASCAR and discussing his progress in the category. The Episode 1 of Tailgating the Tasmanian is already uploaded and you can listen to it by visiting the website. (www.marcosambrose.com)(9-8-2006)

  • Reutimann top choice of Waltrip; not banking on ride: UPDATE: Reutimann finalist: UPDATE 2: Reutimann to meet with Burger King While David Reutimann is Michael Waltrip’s top choice to drive his #00 Toyota in the Cup Series in 2007, Reutimann knows that doesn’t necessarily equate to a done deal. Waltrip said the decision will be made in conjunction with sponsors Burger King and Domino’s Pizza. And that’s why Reutimann thinks he’s “kind of a longshot.” Waltrip said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway that while he’s talking to several other drivers, one of whom is Travis Kvapil, Reutimann is whom he prefers at this point. Waltrip hopes to finalize things on Aug. 29, when meetings are set with both sponsors. Reutimann knows those meetings will likely determine whether he runs both the Cup and Busch Series schedules next year, or just the full Busch schedule.(SceneDaily.com(8-25-2006)
    UPDATE: Reutimann, Kvapil finalists for MWR #00: David Reutimann and Travis Kvapil are the finalists to drive Michael Waltrip Racing’s #00 Toyota in 2007, but a decision may be several weeks away. Waltrip wouldn’t name the second finalist, but a source familiar with the process said that Kvapil, who currently drives for PPI Motorsports, is the other driver under consideration by sponsors Burger King and Domino’s Pizza. Waltrip hoped the choice would be made by now, but things haven’t gone as quickly as planned when it comes to coordinating meetings with the team’s co-sponsors. “It’s more of a deal now where we just need to all reconvene,” Waltrip said Friday. “We presented all the options to ’em and I told Ty [Norris, the team’s vice president and general manager] we would be proud to have either one of [our choices] and we’ll see what happens.” Reutimann met with executives from Domino’s Pizza on Aug. 29, but a meeting with Burger King executives in Florida didn’t materialize as a tropical storm was bearing down on the state. Reutimann returned to North Carolina unsure of where things stand, though he felt the meeting went well. And he’s taking a realistic approach to the process. “Nobody made any promises,” Reutimann said. “It’s just something that we were going to go try. I didn’t really expect to have any decisions when we left there.” (SceneDaily.com)(9-2-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Reutimann to Meet with Burger King; Announcement Next Week? David Reutimann will meet in Miami with officials from Burger King on Tuesday in what he hopes is the final step for moving into the Nextel Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing next season. Reutimann already has met with officials from Domino’s Pizza, which will split sponsorship on Waltrip’s new Toyota team in 2007. An announcement could come by the end of next week. Reutimann said the tentative plan is for him to drive a full Busch and Cup Series schedule.(NASCAR.com)(9-9-2006)
  • Truck Series drivers to join Boston’s Weekend Thunder Radio Program: This Sunday, September 10 at 11 a.m. three of the top competitors in the Truck Series will join Boston’s Weekend Thunder post-race radio program to preview their upcoming race at New Hampshire International Speedway. 2005 series champion Ted Musgrave, current second place points man Johnny Benson, and the popular Brendan Gaughan each will visit with the crew of Boston’s only NASCAR show on the region’s only NASCAR station-1510 AM The Zone.(whowon.com)(9-9-2006)
  • Mayfield could run #15 Truck at Atlanta: on Speed Channel’s Inside Nextel Cup Monday, Jeremy Mayfield was interviewed and said he was talking to the #15 Billy Ballew Racing Truck Series team about possibly running a truck at Atlanta for the team in October. Mayfield said he also expects to test for Bill Davis Racing and Toyota for the rest of the season.(Speed Channel’s Inside Nextel Cup)(9-6-2006)
  • Jourdain to participate In “Fiestas Patrias” Festival: Michel Jourdain, Jr., driver of the #50 Roush Racing Ford F-150, will head to Las Vegas to participate not only in the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 Truck Series race, but also for “Fiestas Patrias,” an event celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Fiestas Patrias celebrates the Republic of Mexico’s National Independence Day. The event will be held on Sunday, September 17 at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. Jourdain will appear at the event on behalf of Craftsman as part of their program, Craftsman Trocas Calientes de NASCAR, which will be launched in Las Vegas during “Fiestas Patrias” and the days leading up to the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 23. Craftsman will distribute free race tickets and other prizes from a booth at “Fiestas Patrias” on Sunday, Sept. 17. The booth will feature a gaming wheel where visitors can win race tickets, Craftsman $5 gift cards, Craftsman Truck Series T-shirts and other racing souvenirs. Jourdain will also be on hand to meet fans and sign autographs at 1:00 PM and again at 4:00 PM. Through an integrated radio promotion, Craftsman will host 125 families on Sept. 23 for hospitality, a chance to meet Jourdain, entertainment and VIP tickets to the race. Craftsman will supply Univision Radio with “family four-packs” of tickets to be given away on air and at various events prior to the race, including radio remotes by Univision Radio and KISF 103.5 La Nueva at two Sears locations in Las Vegas.(RoushRacing.com)(9-6-2006)
  • Hornaday returns behind the wheel of the #33: Ron Hornaday will look to build on the momentum he gained two weeks ago at Bristol Motor Speedway where he finished third. Hornaday’s third-place finish was his best finish of the 2006 Busch Series season. Hornaday has 10 Busch Series starts to date in 2006. )KevinHarvickInc.com)(9-5-2006)
  • Musgrave competing for FitzBradshaw at Richmond: Ted Musgrave returns to the #14 FitzBradshaw Racing Dodge this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Musgrave will be making his second appearance for the team in the Busch Series. In 26 starts in all series at Richmond, he has led 336 laps with five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. He has one victory at the track, and that came in the September 2004 Craftsman Truck Series race. (SceneDaily.com)(9-5-2006)
  • Allmendinger tests truck at RIR? UPDATE 2 two truck races in 2006: hearing that Champ Car driver A.J. Allmendinger tested a Toyota Truck this week at Richmond International Speedway, while confirmed a Toyota Truck was testing this week, no team was mentioned but hear it was for Bill Davis Racing which could field Allmendinger in a Truck Series race sometime this season.(9-1-2006)
    UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger, presently the only American competing in the Champ Car World Series, had a Craftsman Truck Series test with Bill Davis Racing at Richmond this week, it was confirmed Friday. He reportedly did quite well. Allmendinger has won four Champ Car races for Forsythe Racing this season, but his options are apparently open for next year. When Allmendinger was let go by RuSport Racing in June prior to the Portland race, he put out feelers in several directions, then Forsythe hired him and he won three straight races, beginning with Portland. The opportunity to test with Bill Davis Racing was one of those options and it is possible Allmendinger might do some Truck or Busch races next season, in addition to continuing in Champ Car, a spokesperson for Allmendinger said Friday.(Ford Racing)(9-2-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Bill Davis Racing (BDR) announced that A.J. Allmendinger will be joining the team´s Craftsman Truck Series line-up for two races. Allmendinger, who is currently fighting for the championship on the Champ Car World Series circuit, will drive the #24 Toyota Tundra for BDR at New Hampshire International Speedway (Sept. 16) and Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 7). “When I had the opportunity a few months ago to explore my career options, I really wanted to try my hand at something in the stock car arena,” said the 24 year-old Allmendinger. “We began making phone calls and this opportunity with Bill Davis Racing really came about from that. I´m grateful to Bill Davis and the entire BDR team for giving me the chance to take on a new challenge. I also want to thank my Champ Car team owner Gerry Forsythe and the Forsythe/Indeck team for supporting me as I try something new.”
    “A.J. Allmendinger was interested in exploring his options and abilities in NASCAR and Bill Davis Racing has always had an interest in looking at new talent. We look forward to working with A.J. for a couple of races and I´m confident his open-wheel success will carry over into his NASCAR endeavors,” added team owner Bill Davis. In preparation for his upcoming races, Allmendinger completed a brief testing session with the BDR NASCAR Craftsman Truck crew on Aug. 29 at Richmond International Raceway.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(9-5-2006)
  • Truck Series News & Notes:
    It’s been a year since Erik Darnell became Roush Racing’s “Driver X,” the ultimate winner in an on-track competition that drew resumes from several hundred of the nation’s top, young competitors. The prize was a full season in the Craftsman Truck Series and the hope of following Roush truck graduates Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch into the Nextel Cup Series. When Darnell, the current Raybestos Rookie of the Year leader, won the Budweiser Pole at Nashville Superspeedway, he became the third Roush Racing driver to post a fast qualifying time in 2006. He joined Mark Martin (#6 Scotts Ford) and fellow Driver X graduate David Ragan as pole winners. When the season resumes Sept. 16 at New Hampshire International Speedway, Darnell hopes to join Busch as a rookie winner at the 1.058-mile track.

    Driving a Roush Racing truck is one of the greatest opportunities for a young driver hoping to make it to the top in NASCAR competition. David Ragan, who is splitting seat time in the Roush #6 Scotts Ford with five-time Craftsman Truck Series winner Mark Martin, knows that his enviable situation carries an upside and a downside. “The pressure of being a Roush driver is just as high as it was during the ‘Gong Show,'” said the 20-year-old Georgia native, who put his Ford F-150 on the pole last month at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Ragan, who started the season slowly, has recovered to post top-10 finishes in four of his most recent six appearances.

    Key Motorsports Marks Pit With American Flag Flown In Iraq: A 3′ X 5’ American Flag, that was flown from a United States Air Force gun ship during the first combat mission from Balad Air Base, Iraq, has been presented to Key Motorsports and in honor of the #40 Chevrolet driven by Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Ryan Moore. Staff Sergeant David W. Goodfriend, the Senior Controller for the 816 Expeditionary Special Operations Group of USAF Maintenance Operations Center, made the presentation. Goodfriend was the bunkmate of current, part-time Key Motorsports tire carrier Colin McGuffin in the Air Force for five years. McGuffin, who left the service in 2004, hails from California while Goodfriend, who has now served four tours of duty in the Middle East, hails from Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The American Flag became the Key Motorsports pit identification marker at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 23 and for the remaining races on the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series season schedule, was flown on the AC130V “Spooky Gunship”, tail #90-0166 on March 2, 2006.

    David Reutimann (#17 Team Tundra Toyota) will be doing double duty through most of the remainder of the 2006 season. Reutimann, currently ranked third in series point standings, will attempt to win his first Craftsman Truck Series title. He’ll also be at the wheel of Michael Waltrip’s #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Chevrolet at tracks on which the trucks and NASCAR Busch Series compete on the same weekend. Reutimann’s goal is two-fold. He wants to win the Craftsman Truck title for owner Darrell Waltrip and at the same time put the car into the top 10 in Busch Series points. The latter team ranked 17th going into last weekend’s event at California Speedway, 123 points out of 10th.

    This Week’s Craftsman Truck Series Leaders…Through 17 races of the 25-race season:
    Points leader – Todd Bodine (2,624)
    Winnings – Todd Bodine ($492,260)
    Laps led – Mark Martin (485)
    Miles led – Mike Skinner (655.792)
    Victories -Mark Martin (4)
    Budweiser Poles -Mike Skinner (4)
    Top-five finishes – Todd Bodine, David Reutimann (9)
    Top-10 finishes – Todd Bodine, David Reutimann (13)
    Raybestos Rookie Leader – Erik Darnell (32 over Chad McCumbee)
    Races led – Todd Bodine, Mike Skinner (9)
    Weeks in Top 10 – 3 drivers (17)

    News & Notes Part II:
    Totals Are In: Craftsman for a Cure Raises $66,711.83 For ACS, Victory Junction: When ‘Craftsman for a Cure’ was announced earlier this spring, event organizers from Craftsman Motorsports and Bobby Hamilton Racing had no idea what to expect from the first year event. Now, after months of tallying donations and ticket and auction sales, the organizers of ‘Craftsman for a Cure’ announce that $66,711.83 was raised for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The ‘Craftsman for a Cure’ charity event was spearheaded after former Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton announced that he would get out of his truck during the 2006 season to battle head and neck cancer. Hamilton hopes to be back behind the wheel at the Series’ season finale in Homestead. The charity event gave race fans the opportunity to race go-karts against numerous NASCAR drivers, to dine with drivers and even to get autographs. The support for Hamilton and the ‘Craftsman for a Cure’ began pouring in as soon as the event was announced. In all, 32 drivers from all three NASCAR series volunteered to participate in the fan-driven charity event. Sponsors like Toyota, Chevrolet, Con-way Freight, ASE and Fastenal donated money to the event. Other sponsors, drivers and tracks donated items for a silent auction. “I’m so thankful for the outpouring of support and generosity of each person who has given their free time and money to help such a great cause on our behalf,” Hamilton said. “It means more than most of you will ever know, to know that my extended family will help me fight as well. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping this event become of the largest ones out there to help such a tremendous cause.”

    Another Crawford
    The co-career leader in Craftsman Truck Series starts, Rick Crawford (#14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford), is grooming a future racing star – his son Adam. Adam celebrated his 17th birthday Saturday night concurrent with the final race of the Super Late Model season at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway where he’s the rookie of the year leader in the division. The younger Crawford jumped right into the deep end of the pool, so to speak. Among division regulars is former Cup Series driver Stanley Smith. Father has turned over son to the tutelage of long-time crew chief and confidant Ray Stonkus, a Craftsman Truck Series winner. “While I’m worried about Adam doing well, I don’t have to worry about him with Ray as his crew chief,” he said. “As a dad, I’ll always be proud of Adam for what he accomplishes on the racetrack or off. As a racer, I’ve been impressed with his performance on the track.”

    ETC:
    Todd Bodine (#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) assisted team owner Stephen Germain’s son, Zach, who competed in a Legends car race during the past weekend at Kentucky Speedway. The younger Germain is a 21-year senior at Miami (Ohio) University. … Bodine, Johnny Benson (#23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota), Reutimann, Mike Skinner (#5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) and Jack Sprague (#60 Con-way Freight Toyota) attended last week’s national Toyota Dealers Association meeting in San Antonio, Texas. … According to Nielsen Media Research, the Aug. 23 O’Reilly 200 was SPEED’s most watched Craftsman Truck Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway with ratings up 60 percent from the same race a year ago. … Bill Davis Racing has announced that A.J. Allmendinger will be joining the team’s Craftsman Truck Series line-up for two races. Allmendinger, who is currently fighting for the championship on the Champ Car World Series circuit, will drive the #24 Toyota Tundra for BDR at New Hampshire International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 7).(9-5-2006)

  • Where the Truck Series drivers finished in the Busch Race: David Reutiman in the #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge 23rd; Mike Bliss in the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevy 30th; Brad Keselowski in the #23 LoveFiFI.com Chevy 37th; David Ragan iin the #50 freecreditreport.com Ford finished 41st after being involved in an accident on lap 94.(9-3-2006)Kasey Kahne was the winner of the Ameriquest 300 at California. For complete race results visit the Busch Series page.(9-3-2006)
  • Lester suffers setback at California: After going “2 for 2” Bill Lester will miss the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway. Lester’s car came around while coming off turn four during qualifying, eliminating him from making the racing. While no official comment has been released by Bill Davis Racing, Waste Management (Lester’s current Nextel Cup sponsor) or Championship Group (the company who developed Lester’s NNC program with BDR), it is expected that Lester will attempt at least one additional NNC start this season, at a to-be-determined venue.(motorsport.com)(9-3-2006)
  • Great News for Bobby Hamilton: There’s more good news for Bobby Hamilton – he came of Thursday’s biopsy operation in Nashville with a clean bill of health – no trace of cancer in his lymph nodes. Hamilton has been fighting cancer with a rigorous regime of chemotherapy and radiation since the disease was diagnosed in February.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-3-2006)
  • Key Motorsports to participate in Alliance Partners Project: Key Motorsports founder and owner Curtis W. Key, Sr. has become the first of several independent race team owners to join forces with Clay Andrews and commit to his team’s participation in the Clay Andrews’ Alliance Partners organization. The Clay Andrews’ Alliance Partners project has been designed to give independent, single car or truck teams competing full-time in NASCAR’s Busch or Craftsman Truck Series the very things needed to find success at this level of racing. Sharing testing and practice data, utilizing a unified engine program, sharing technology and sometimes personnel and sponsorship money are some of them. At least four teams will actively support the Alliance at this time with more expected to join as word spreads. (KeyMotorsports.com)(9-2-2006)
  • HT Motorsports to Toyota? UPDATE: Hearing that the #59 HT Motorsports truck with driver Chad Chaffin is switching manufacturers again – this time Toyota. That will be three for the season; started with Dodge, switched to Ford and now Toyota.(8-28-2006)
    UPDATE: HT Motorsports will convert from Ford to Toyota effective the next Craftsman Truck Series race, Sept. 16 at New Hampshire, driver Chad Chaffin confirmed Friday. Chaffin said the team – which recently added crew chief Danny Rollins, whom Chaffin worked with at Bobby Hamilton Racing in 2003 and 2004 – is busy converting the #59 trucks to Toyota to be ready for Loudon. (SceneDaily.com)(9-2-2006)

 


2006

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Born On Date: September 1, 2006

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