Dover: Raybestos Rookie preview

News And Notes From The Raybestos® Rookie Contenders *Trent Owens was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Rocky Mountain 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway, taking top finishing rookie honors for the second time this season. Owens...

News And Notes From The Raybestos® Rookie Contenders

*Trent Owens was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Rocky Mountain 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway, taking top finishing rookie honors for the second time this season. Owens finished 14th edging out fellow freshman Bill Lester, who placed 15th.

*Owens joins Brendan Gaughan as the only Raybestos® Rookies who have been top finishing rookie in more than one race this season. Entering Friday's MBNA 200 at Dover International Speedway, Owens and Gaughan have taken home the honor twice.

*Gaughan's lead in the Raybestos® Rookie Contender standings dropped to just two points (50-48) over Jason Small entering Friday's race at Dover.

*Bill Lester was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie at Pikes Peak, taking the ninth starting position in time trials. Lester has now been top qualifying rookie in four of the five Craftsman Truck Series races this season.

*Eight Raybestos® Rookies qualified for the Rocky Mountain 200, equaling the most first year drivers that have started a Craftsman Truck Series race this season. Eight first year drivers also took the green flag in the Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway. Six of the eight drivers were running at the finish: Owens, Lester, Rodney Sawyers (19th), Small (22nd), Angie Wilson (25th), and Gaughan (26th). Dana White had clutch problems and finished 32nd while ignition problems sidelined Loni Richardson and gave him a 36th place finish.

*Entering Friday's MBNA 200 at Dover, no Raybestos® Rookie Contender has led a lap this season.

*The best finish recorded by a Raybestos® Rookie after five races is ninth, by Jason Small (Daytona) and Brendan Gaughan (Martinsville). They are the only rookies to record a top-10 finish in this season.

*Only three Raybestos® Rookies have started all five races entering the MBNA 200: Gaughan, Small, and Lester.

*Gaughan is 13th in Craftsman Truck Series points, best of all Raybestos® Rookie Contenders. He is 44 behind 12th place Robert Pressley and holds a three point advantage over 14th place Carlos Contreras.

*Donnie Neuenberger is the only member of the 2002 Raybestos® Rookie Class that has experience at Dover. He started 24th and finished 30th last June at Dover. He was sidelined by an accident after completing 43 laps.

*Nine Raybestos® Rookies started last year's MBNA 200, with three finishing in the top-10 on the lead lap. Ricky Hendrick finished third, while Matt Crafton placed ninth followed by Travis Kvapil finished 10th. Eight of the nine freshman drivers were running at the finish: Hendrick, Crafton, Kvapil, Willy T. Ribbs (19th), Nathan Haseleu (21st), Ricky Sanders (22nd), Chuck Hossfeld (23rd), and Billy Bigley (25th). Jason White was sideline by engine failure and was credited with 29th in the final rundown.

*Hendrick and Crafton were the only rookies to lead at least one lap in last year's race. Crafton led one for three laps while Hendrick held the top spot once for one lap. They were two of only five drivers to lead the race.

<pre> Raybestos® Rookie Contender Point Standings

Driver              Points
Brendan Gaughan         50
Jason Small             48
Bill Lester             42
Trent Owens             27
Rodney Sawyers          26
Loni Richardson         20
Angie Wilson            20
Donnie Neuenberger       8
Dana White               8
Randy Briggs             7

Highest Finishing Raybestos® Rookies By Race

Event                           Highest Finishing Rookie
Florida Dodge Dealers 250       Jason Small, ninth
Craftsman Anniversary 200       Trent Owens, 15th
Advance Auto Parts 250          Brendan Gaughan, ninth
Ram Tough 200                   Brendan Gaughan, 11th
Rocky Mountain 200              Trent Owens, 14th

-raybestos-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Robert Pressley , Ricky Hendrick , Chuck Hossfeld , Carlos Contreras , Matt Crafton , Billy Bigley , Jason Small , Jason White , Trent Owens , Bill Lester , Brendan Gaughan , Angie Wilson , Willy T. Ribbs , Randy Briggs , Donnie Neuenberger , Loni Richardson , Travis Kvapil , Ricky Sanders