Mike Skinner's Toyota Fastest as Truck Teams Prepare for May 18 Quaker Steak & Lube 200 CONCORD, N.C. (May 10, 2007) - Mike Skinner topped the speed chart Thursday as 35 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams tested at Lowe's Motor Speedway in ...
Mike Skinner's Toyota Fastest as Truck Teams Prepare for May 18 Quaker Steak & Lube 200
CONCORD, N.C. (May 10, 2007) - Mike Skinner topped the speed chart Thursday as 35 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams tested at Lowe's Motor Speedway in preparation for the May 18 Quaker Steak & Lube 200 presented by Circle K.
Surprisingly, Skinner set the standard of 179.158 mph in the morning session and no one was able to top his speed during the much cooler evening session.
"The race track is awesome-always is here at Charlotte," Skinner said after climbing from the No. 5 Toyota. "But the tires are little iffy. I think it's a good safe tire, but the grip is a little bit off. The Cup cars saw the same thing, but safety has to come first so it'll be all right.
Jack Sprague, who also posted his best lap in the morning session, was second fastest in the No. 60 Toyota at 179.158 mph while Travis Kvapil was third at 179.021 mph in the No. 6 Ford.
"We've been fast all day. We brought a second truck that hasn't been very good but our primary truck is really fast," Kvapil said. "The track is great-it's neat looking. I like the change in the color of the walls. The track is smooth, fast and has a lot of grip.
"It seems like more this year than in the past that we can move around, we're not just stuck on the bottom. We're running three-quarters of the way up the hill right now, which is a little bit different than years past."
Two-time defending race winner Kyle Busch was back behind the wheel of the No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet and was fourth fastest at 178.556 mph and former World of Outlaws sprint car driver Tyler Walker rounded out the top five in the No. 36 Toyota at 178.277 mph.
Defending series champion Todd Bodine was also quick throughout the session in the No. 30 Toyota with a best lap of 177.433 mph.
"It's the same old Charlotte-slick in the sun and a lot of grip when the sun isn't out. We're trying some different things and we're learning a lot," said Bodine.
The most serious incident during the 10 hours of testing came during the evening session when Johnny Benson's No. 23 Toyota slammed the wall. However, Benson was not driving the truck at the time of the accident.
The Bill Davis Racing team had allowed what NASCAR called "an unapproved driver" behind the wheel and, as a result, the team was ejected from the remainder of the two-day testing session. The driver was not identified.
"NASCAR has guidelines in place for who can compete in any sanctioned event, whether it be a race or a test," said NASCAR spokesman Josh Hamilton. "The No. 23 team was outside the NASCAR guidelines and as a result was sent home from the test immediately."
Joey Clanton also spun and hit the wall, but his No. 09 Ford suffered only minor damage and he was not injured. Matt Crafton spun, but did not hit anything, in the No. 88 Chevrolet and Matt McCall also brought out the caution flag when he lost control of the No. 16 truck and slid through the grass coming off of Turn 4.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series testing continues Friday with on-track sessions from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Lowe's Motor Speedway's frontstretch grandstand will be open free of charge and fans should enter through Gate 5A, located next to the main ticket office.
Tickets for all May events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the May 19 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and the May 27 Coca-Cola 600, are still available and can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.