IMPACT MOTORSPORTS TESTS THREE TRUCKS IN PREPARATION FOR FLORIDA DODGE DEALERS 400 HOMESTEAD (January 4, 2000) -- Impact Motorsports will be looking to live up to its name in the Feb. 26 Florida Dodge Dealers 400, testing three trucks Tuesday in...
IMPACT MOTORSPORTS TESTS THREE TRUCKS IN PREPARATION FOR FLORIDA DODGE DEALERS 400
HOMESTEAD (January 4, 2000) -- Impact Motorsports will be looking to live up to its name in the Feb. 26 Florida Dodge Dealers 400, testing three trucks Tuesday in preparation for the season-opening NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Randy Tolsma, the defending pole winner for the Florida Dodge Dealers 400, was joined by new teammates Mike Cope of Weeki Wachee, Fla., and Carlos Contreras of Mexico City as part of a private test for Chevrolet and Dodge teams.
Defending series champion Jack Sprague led the Chevrolet teams, testing a pair of Hendrick Motorsports GMAC Chevrolets. Other Chevy teams included Andy Houston, driving the Addington Cat Rental Stores entry; Marty Houston, driving for Spears Manufacturing; Jimmy Hensley, new driver for Rensi Motorsports; Bryan Reffner, pilot for the new Menard entry; L&M Motorsports with Lance Norrick; Michael Dokken for Blacktop Racing; and Phil Bonifield, driving the Red Line Oil Chevy.
Other Dodge teams included Joe Ruttman in the Dana Dodge, and K-Automotive teammates Dennis Setzer and Bob Keselowski.
"This is the first time crew chief Gary Showalter and I have been able to bring back notes from the previous year," noted Tolsma, who won the pole and led the most laps in the 1999 Florida Dodge Dealers 400. "We had such good success here last year before running into a brake problem (he finished 17th). We can play off of those notes and get ready for the new season.
"This is certainly one of my favorite tracks," continued Tolsma. "It's been good to me the past few years, not in terms of finishes, but in running competitively. I like the way it drives. It fits my style. I always like coming here, and so far everything's going according to plan."
A two-time champion of the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series, Cope takes over the No. 86 RC Cola Dodge driven to a third place finish at Miami last year by Stacy Compton, with a brand-new crew led by Homestead native Bryan Berry.
"We're trying a few new suspension setups that are different than what I'm used to, and we'll see if I like it," said Cope. "We've got no notes from last year's race, so it's a big learning experience, with the help of Randy (Tolsma) and his guys. But we're doing fine, and it will continue to get better and better."
Also new to the Impact team is Contreras, who will run the No. 12 Dodge sponsored by Hot Wheels.
"We are very excited about racing here, especially with the large Mexican community in Miami," said Contreras, a resident of Mexico City who finished 14th in the 1999 finale at California Speedway, his only NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series appearance. "It's a nice track, but difficult. The banking in the curves isn't nearly as steep as at Fontana, so I had to reduce the speed in the turns. It's new for me. I was champion the past two years in Mexican stock cars -- the Mustang Cup -- and raced Formula 3000. But most of my experience is on road courses, there are only two very short ovals in Mexico."
Tickets are now on sale for the Florida Dodge Dealers 400, the Homestead-Miami Speedway 2000 opener. For additional information, including details of a three-event combination ticket with the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series races, call (305) 230-RACE, or visit the official Speedway web site, www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.