NEWS AND NOTES Kyle Busch returns to defend Lowe's victory ... Kyle Busch (No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet) was a doubtful defender after team owner Billy Ballew hired Raybestos rookie contender Kyle Krisiloff (No. 15 Chevrolet)...
NEWS AND NOTES
Kyle Busch returns to defend Lowe's victory ... Kyle Busch (No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet) was a doubtful defender after team owner Billy Ballew hired Raybestos rookie contender Kyle Krisiloff (No. 15 Chevrolet) to drive last year's winning truck. Crew chief Richie Wauters, however, will field a second truck for Busch, whose LMS victory made the Las Vegas native the series' youngest winner at 20 years 18 days. Busch won three times and closed out the 2005 season with a victory among five top-10 finishes in his final six races.
Craftsman For a Cure one week away ... Although the Craftsman For a Cure charity event is still a week away, race fans will have the opportunity to donate to the cause by purchasing racing related items through an EBay auction that kicked off May 15. The charity auction will end May 22, a day before the event takes place at the NASCAR SpeedPark at Concord Mills in Concord, N.C. Tickets for dinners, races and autographs remain. Former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte is the latest to confirm his participation in the event hosted by Craftsman Motorsports and Bobby Hamilton Racing. Proceeds from the auction and event will benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and the Victory Junction Camp.
ETC. ... Ron Hornaday Jr.'s No. 33 Chevrolet will carry the logo of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation during this week's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. ... Fifteen Raybestos rookie of the year contenders are among 41 drivers entered in the Quaker Steak & Lube 200, including current leader Erik Darnell (No. 99 Woolrich Ford). ...Last year's race featured the closest series finish at LMS with Busch edging Setzer by 0.149 second. ... Friday's race is the first of nine being run on consecutive weekends through the July 15 O'Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
LMS among Bill Lester's favorite tracks ... No series driver with three appearances at Lowe's Motor Speedway has qualified better than Bill Lester (No. 22 SunTrust Toyota). Lester won the Budweiser Pole in 2003 contributing to an average starting position of 4.7. He's been a solid performer at race time with an average finish of 14.0 including last year's sixth-place finish. David Starr (No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota) is the next best three-time qualifier with an average start of 7.7. Starr's best finish -- third -- came in 2004.
"That was by far our best race of the year leading up to the race at Kentucky, where we ultimately were leading with a few laps to go but cut a tire. That was the race that kind of started the momentum." -- Terry Cook, No. 10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International, on last year's second-place finish in the Quaker Steak & Lube 200.
IN THE LOOP
Kyle Busch rang up an impressive driver rating of 146.5 (of 150.0) when he took the checkered flag at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2005. Runnerup Terry Cook was a distant second with a Driver Rating of 119.9 while third-place Ted Musgrave's Driver Rating of 113.5 ranked fourth in the field.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Only nine drivers who took the green flag in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' inaugural event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2003 are expected to enter this week's race. And just one of them -- Matt Crafton (No. 88 Menards/Energizer Chevrolet) -- has posted top 10 finishes in all three of his starts. Crafton has finished ninth three consecutive times.
What: Quaker Steak & Lube 200 (Race 6 of 25).
Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
When: 8:45 p.m. ET Friday, May 19.
Track layout: 1.5 -mile banked, paved.
Race length: 200 miles/134 laps.
Posted awards: $524,098.
TV: SPEED Channel, 8:45 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2005 winner: Kyle Busch.
2005 polesitter: Mike Skinner.
Top 10 drivers: 1.Todd Bodine 852. 2. Ted Musgrave 840. 3. David Reutimann 746. 4. Mark Martin 720. 5. Jack Sprague 704. 6. David Starr 698. 7. Mike Bliss 682. 8. Johnny Benson 661. 9. Bobby Hamilton Jr. 639. 10. Terry Cook.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice 9:15 a.m. -- 10:15 a.m. Rookie Practice 10:20 a.m. -- 10:45 a.m. Final Practice 10:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Qualifying 4:15 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.