Stevens Beil 200 Friday notebook Shawn A. Akers FLEMINGTON, N.J. (Aug. 7, 1998) Notes and quotes Friday leading up to Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Stevens Beil/Genuine Car Parts 200 at Flemington Speedway: Rick ...
Stevens Beil 200 Friday notebook Shawn A. Akers
FLEMINGTON, N.J. (Aug. 7, 1998) Notes and quotes Friday leading up to Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Stevens Beil/Genuine Car Parts 200 at Flemington Speedway:
Rick Carelli remembers the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Flemington in 1995. To Carelli, that race is "the one that got away." The driver of the No. 6 RE/MAX Chevrolet, who has one career victory in the series, led the race (which was 150 laps in 1995 compared to 200 now) comfortably with four laps to go, but a caution flag came out and erased nearly a five-second lead over Ron Hornaday. Carelli held Hornaday off until coming to the white flag, when he slipped coming out of Turn 4 and Hornaday shot past him to earn the win. "I'll never forget that race," Carelli said. "It was one of the hardest ones I've ever lost and I won't be happy until I get one back here," Carelli said. Carelli has one other top-five finish at Flemington Speedway. He finished fifth in last year's event.
Not only does Jack Sprague have his sights set on his fourth victory of the season this weekend, but he hopes to earn his first win at Flemington Speedway. Sprague has three top- five finishes in the first three races there, finishing fourth in 1995, fifth in 1996 and fourth again last year. "Short tracks have been good to us this year, and we're ready for Flemington," said Sprague, who'll celebrate his 34th birthday on Saturday. "We've never finished outside the top- five at Flemington in three tries, and I don't plan on starting a new trend come Saturday."
Stacy Compton, driver of the No. 86 Royal Crown Cola Ford, has already made a trip to Flemington this year. On July 28, he provided rides for the media in the two-seater program hosted by Ford. Now, Compton will turn his attention to getting a victory at Flemington, where he finished 14th in his Ford F-150 a year ago in his first visit to the track. "This track is one of the most unique places I've ever raced, and there's a lot of history here as well," Compton said. "This track is a tough one. It's tough to pass on, it's basically a square with four turns. You'll see classic short track racing."
It isn't Hornaday who has the Flemington Speedway track qualifying record for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. It isn't Sprague, either. Or Mike Bliss, Joe Ruttman or Carelli. It's Terry Cook. That's right, Terry Cook. The Sandusky, Ohio, native set the track record last year in winning the Bud Pole, the first of his series career, with a fast lap of 119.408 mph. Hornaday, a two-time winner at the .625-mile venue, holds the race record, setting the pace last year with a speed of 98.232 mph.
There have been three different Bud Pole winners in as many years for the Stevens Beil/Genuine Car Parts 200. Cook earned the top spot for last year's event, while Bryan Reffner won the Bud Pole in his rookie season in 1996. Joe Ruttman won the pole for the inaugural event at Flemington in 1995.
Practice for the Stevens Beil/Genuine Car Parts 200 is scheduled to get under way at 9:30 a.m. EDT Saturday and will last for two hours. Bud Pole Qualifying is set for 1 p.m. A total of 30 drivers will make the field for Saturday's race, which is set to begin at 4 p.m.
Source: NASCAR Online