Sparta, Kentucky - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Terry Cook and Steve Portenga and ARCA Re-Max Series driver A.J. Henriksen were on hand today to preview the upcoming stop at Kentucky Speedway. The ARCA series opens the Speedway's third...
Sparta, Kentucky - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Terry Cook and Steve Portenga and ARCA Re-Max Series driver A.J. Henriksen were on hand today to preview the upcoming stop at Kentucky Speedway. The ARCA series opens the Speedway's third race weekend of 2002 with a 200-mile (134 lap) race at 9:00 pm. On July 12th. The NASCAR trucks follow on Saturday, July 13th, starting their 225-mile feature race at 8:00 pm that night.
The visiting drivers took the opportunity to test their car and trucks on the 1.5 mile oval and provide test rides for the media. The drivers had nothing but praise for the Kentucky facility. Portenga said: "This is my first visit here. I thought the Kansas track was nice, and it is, but when I drove in here and saw the fresh, smooth pavement, wow."
Cook commented: "Anywhere with an Outback Steakhouse in the infield is where you want to go," and Henriksen added: "I really like the way the garages are laid out."
Cook and Henriksen, of course, had been here before. Cook was here last year for the Kroger 225 race and was disappointed with a 9th place finish after running in the top five and losing ground with engine trouble with just a few laps remaining. Cook finished 2nd at the Truck series' most recent stop at Memphis and is currently 9th in series points.
Henriksen last visited Kentucky Speedway in May, qualifying 11th for the ARCA Series' first 2002 Kentucky race and leading four laps before his race was ended early by a crash. In previous Kentucky races, Henriksen has finshed 3rd, 6th and 16th. He finished fifth last weekend at Toledo and has one other top-ten finish this year while running a part-time schedule.
Portenga is in 22nd place in NASCAR's truck series points chase, and finished 27th at Memphis, falling several laps behind the leaders while struggling with handling difficulties all day.