NAPA Auto Parts 200 Saturday notebook By Brett Borden FONTANA, Calif. (Oct. 30, 1999) Notes and quotes following Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series NAPA Auto Parts 200 at California Speedway: Carlos Contreras, the Mexican ...
NAPA Auto Parts 200 Saturday notebook By Brett Borden
FONTANA, Calif. (Oct. 30, 1999) Notes and quotes following Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series NAPA Auto Parts 200 at California Speedway:
Carlos Contreras, the Mexican sensation who qualified seventh on Friday, finished 14th in his No. 68 Hot Wheels Dodge. He said we should expect to see him again in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
"I have had a lot of fun this weekend in the Truck Series," said Contreras. "Today I wanted to run and learn about the truck and we were able to have a great run. I look forward to running even more truck races in the coming year. I want to thank Impact Motorsports and Dodge for this chance and I hope we can run again with them soon."
Joe Ruttman celebrated the announcement over the weekend that he would keep his ride with Bobby Hamilton Racing by finishing runner-up to Jack Sprague.
"That was fun and I am so proud of these guys," said the driver of the No. 18 Dana Dodge. "They worked real hard on this truck and to finish second means a lot to me. The motor was like a bullet. The cautions helped us, especially the one at the end of the race because we were able to cool the right front tire on the truck. I am happy with Dana and I am happy with Dodge. Now we can all go home and get ready for the 2000 season."
Fellow Dodge driver Stacy Compton didn't make it to Victory Lane this year, but he did achieve his 12th top-5 of the season with a third-place finish.
"That was a real exciting finish and we knew that we had a shot at the win," said the driver of the No. 86 Royal Crown Cola Dodge. "They were three-wide on the restart and I just could not draft with any of them. We really wanted to win this thing, but it was another top-5 for the Royal Crown Dodge and I am proud of everything that this team had done all season. Regardless, it has been a good year. The switch to Dodge was a great move and we really wanted to win races this season. We have had a lot of top-5s and six poles so we can't complain."
Icehouse Beer announced that it will not return as a primary sponsor next year. The company called it a change in the marketing objectives of the Icehouse brand and a revised strategy that does not include a long-term commitment to serve as primary sponsor of a race team.
An accident on Lap 27 claimed four trucks. Austin Cameron, Rick Crawford, Kevin Cywinski, and David Starr were all collected when Crawford lost control and spun out. Crawford lost a spot in the standings after finishing 35th.
"Earlier in the race, we had a flat tire in the right rear on the first lap," said Crawford. "We got that in the pits and fixed it. Then, the tire shredded and we fixed that. We tried to salvage a good day." Cywinski finished 33rd, but still gained a spot when Scott Hansen did not start.
"I don't know what happened to Rick Crawford's truck," said Cywinski. "I don't know if he broke something in the motor or the oil line, but we just got collected up in it."
NASCAR Winston Cup Series moonlighters Ken Schrader and Bobby Hamilton had vastly different afternoons. Schrader spun, hit the wall, and was the first truck out of the race, finishing 35th. Hamilton finished fourth, two spots behind his teammate Ruttman. The two Bobby Hamilton Racing trucks blew up three motors between them before Saturday's race.
"It was a great run for the Chelsea Dodge," said Hamilton. "We have had a tough weekend with both of the trucks, but today is the one that counts so we are proud of these guys. Now we will be able to prepare for a championship in 2000."
Sprague showed that under his severe exterior lies a man with a sense of humor. At a roast honoring longtime rival Ron Hornaday Friday night, Sprague told NAPA executives in attendance that he often shopped at their stores, but that he had doubts that they were supplying Hornaday with brakes, because he had yet to see any evidence on the track that Hornaday knew how to use them.
J.P. Rusk, show truck driver for the No. 86 Royal Crown Cola Dodge team, was hospitalized Friday night with second- and third-degree burns when a propane tank blew up at a cookout. Rusk will have to undergo reconstructive surgery on his arm.