NEWS & NOTES Tenth place, spot on banquet stage up for grabs ... Chad Chaffin (No. 18 Dickies Dodge) and Matt Crafton (No. 88 Menards/Enzyme Magic Chevrolet) are separated by 43 points in the fight for the 10th and final spot on-stage at the ...
NEWS & NOTES
Tenth place, spot on banquet stage up for grabs ... Chad Chaffin (No. 18 Dickies Dodge) and Matt Crafton (No. 88 Menards/Enzyme Magic Chevrolet) are separated by 43 points in the fight for the 10th and final spot on-stage at the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series awards banquet, being held Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Sheraton Bal Harbour Resort in Miami Beach. Chaffin has held the 10th position since mid-September, following the New Hampshire 200.
Contending teams add to arsenal at Homestead ... Up to a quarter of the 36-truck Ford 200 field could be filled by trucks fielded by the four championship-contending teams. Gaughan's Orleans Racing partner will be Scott Lynch, the 2003 Grand National NASCAR Winston West champion. Ultra Motorsports' two-truck lineup, Musgrave and Andy Houston (No. 2 Team ASE Racing Dodge), will be augmented by three drivers, among them Marty Houston, who'll make his first series start since October 2000. Three-time series champion Jack Sprague will be Kvapil's teammate in a second IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet.. Sprague's No. 11 entry won last year's Homestead race in the hands of Ron Hornaday Jr.
Going for the record(s) ... Two longtime NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series records could fall at Homestead. With a lead lap finish, Kvapil will count the fewest uncompleted laps (one) and miles (.5) in a season. Joe Ruttman's mark (two/.666-mile) was set in 1995. And, Setzer needs a top-10 finish to reach a record 20 consecutive top-10 finishes. He matched Hornaday's 1996 mark at Phoenix.
ETC. ... Andy Houston has been named the 2004 driver of the No. 2 Ultra Motorsports truck following his fifth consecutive top-10 finish last week at Phoenix International Raceway. ... Also renewed for next season is David Starr (No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet), who will drive for Wayne Spears for the third consecutive season. ... Carl Edwards (No. 99 Superchips Ford) will put the finishing touches on this year's Raybestos Rookie of the Year award when the dust settles at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Edwards holds a 134-point lead in the competition -- one fewer than Kurt Busch's 2000 freshman mark. ... Homestead-Miami Speedway holds the series records for the fewest cautions (one) and caution laps (four). The mark was set a year ago as Hornaday averaged a race record 133.260 mph. ... Sprague has led the most laps (241) and miles (361.5) but has yet to win at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He's twice finished second, in 1996 and 1998. ... Teams must run the same rear spoiler package as required at Daytona International Speedway and Lowe's and Texas Motor Speedways. The 68-3/4 wide spoiler measures nine inches in height on 12-inch outer sections and eight inches in height on the center section of 44-3/4 inches.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Four Homestead winners saddle up for Ford 200 ... Musgrave and Andy Houston are joined this week by Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Ford) and Mike Wallace (No. 31 Brevak Racing Dodge) in search of a second Homestead-Miami Speedway victory. The track counts seven winners in seven events.
"I hate it in one respect because there are four teams going to Homestead with a shot at the championship and three of them are going to be disappointed." -- Ted Musgrave, on the down side of the tight race for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title.
"No way is this four-way group going to team together because we all are vying for the same real estate." -- Dennis Setzer.
"It would mean that I won the first and last race of the season. That would mean a lot. I think our team needs it for something to go on to get through the winter and get ready to go and win Daytona for the second time." -- Rick Crawford, on going for the Sunshine State double in the Ford 200.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship will be decided for the eighth time in the final race of the season. The closest finish came in 1998 when Hornaday edged Sprague by three points. Sprague's eight-point margin in 1999 marked the only time in series history that a leader entering the season finale has not won the title. Greg Biffle came to California Speedway with a 21-point advantage and lost to Sprague by eight.
200 (Race No. 25 of 25).
Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.
Friday, Nov. 14, 3:15 p.m. ET.
TV: SPEED Channel, 3 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
Thursday Practice, 9 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Qualifying, 1 p.m.
Final practice following NASCAR Busch Series qualifying, time permitting.