Bakersfiled Joe Ruttman / Dana Racing; riding the wave

Topic of Interest Riding the wave: After picking up their first win last week, Joe Ruttman and the Dana Racing team will be looking to start a victory streak like their current pole winning steak. The team is riding the wave of momentum that...

Topic of Interest

Riding the wave: After picking up their first win last week, Joe Ruttman and the Dana Racing team will be looking to start a victory streak like their current pole winning steak. The team is riding the wave of momentum that began with the Bud pole in Daytona in February and culminated with the win at Phoenix. Now the big task is not to let there be a let down after last week's dominating performance. But as their driver always says, "Your only as good as your last race." So now the team has to do it again, and the pressure is on. "Everything is great," said Ruttman. "The guys are fired up. The phone has been ringing off the wall and everyone involved with the program is chopping at the bit to get to Bakersfield and race again." Going for Four in a Row: When the Dana Racing team and driver Joe Ruttman take to the track on Saturday afternoon, they will be trying to start the year four for four. If Ruttman can pilot the No. 18 Dana Dodge to the fastest time in qualifying again this week, it will be the team's fourth pole position in a row.

Career Earnings: Joe Ruttman moved to within $ 126 of the $ 2 million mark in career earnings after his victory last week. When he takes the green flag for the Mesa Marin Raceway event, he will officially be a $ 2 million man.

Number 50: Joe Ruttman will be trying to reach another milestone when and if he records a top five finish on Sunday. It would be his 50th such finish in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career. Stock for the Win: Dana Corporation proved why they are a leader in the automobile industry after the Bobby Hamilton Racing team won their first race at Phoenix International Raceway. Every member of the team was given an undisclosed amount of stock in Dana Corporation.

Laps/Miles led: Joe Ruttman and the Bobby Hamilton Dana Racing team currently stand first in laps led at 125 and second in miles led at 138.0. The team also sits fourth in the NASCAR Truck Series point standings. At this pace, Ruttman will surpass his personal record of miles led in a single season (171.734 miles) set back in 1997.

It's Hockey Time: On Friday evening March 24th Joe Ruttman and the entire Dana Racing team will be in attendance at the Bakersfield Condors' home game. Ruttman will drop the ceremonial first puck of the game for the Condors. In addition Condors players will be in the Dana Racing pit on raceday as guests of the team. The Condors are the local Minor League Hockey team. They are now second in the West Coast Hockey League South Division.

Ruttman's Quotes for Mesa Marin Raceway

"Here the last few years I have not been that good at Bakersfield. I told Danny and the guys that there are three places if we can get by, I think we'll be right in the championship hunt. One of the tracks is Bakersfield. The other two are Monroe and Milwaukee. I don't know why I haven't had solid finishes at Bakersfield lately, because I've probably won as many races as anyone at the track."

"That win was huge for us. It took some of the pressure off the team. Now we can focus on the next goal of this team and that's running for the title. To say Dana Corporation was happy is an understatement. They needed this win badly. It had been a long time coming."

"Another big thing about the win was it served notice that I'm back. I've got a great team behind me in Bobby's guys and a sponsor that is the best I've worked with in my racing career. It's hard not to get excited about where I'm at and what the Dana team can do this year."

"As a driver, I've never been involved with a sponsor that does so much for their team. They help us as a sponsor, an engineering resource, a cheerleading section, and now as a financial provider for the team members' future and mine. It's hard to say what the bonus meant to the team because most of the members were speechless. I know I was."

<pre> Joe Ruttman's Mesa Marin Raceway NASCAR Truck Series Results

Date Start Finish Laps Status Money Won 4-22-95 10 8 125 of 125 Running $ 3,550 10-15-95 6 5 200 of 200 Running 4,800 10-13-96 2 3 300 of 300 Running 12,500 10-12-97 11 19 298 of 300 Running 6,200 10-18-98 6 13 299 of 300 Running 6,995 4-10-99 (Did not Compete in Event)0 of 301 ---------- ------- Totals 1222 of 1526 (80.0%) $ 34,045

Ruttman's 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Event Results

Location Start Finish Laps Status Money Won Daytona 1 19* 64 of 100 Engine $ 14,092 Homestead 1 4 167 of 167 Running 19,076 Phoenix 1 1 150 of 150 Running 55,804 Bakersfield (Next Race) Totals 381 of 417 (91.3%) $ 88,972 *Engine failure do to overheating/body damage

Joe Ruttman's 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Results

Starts Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Money Won Point Position 3 3 1 1 2 $ 88,972 4th

Joe Ruttman's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Career Results

Starts Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Money Won 119 8 9 49 81 $ 1,999,874

Best Start: 1st - 8 times, Most recent @ Phoenix International Raceway 3-18-00 Best Finish: 1st - 9 times, Most recent @ Phoenix International Raceway 3-18-00 Biggest Purse: $ 83,000-Las Vegas Motor Speedway 11-9-97 Best Championship Finish 2nd - 1995

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Joe Ruttman