Indy IRP: Andy Houston preview

Houston Hoping For Indy Turnaround Team ASE/Carquest Dodge Crew Looking to Shake Ill Fortune MOORESVILLE, NC (August 2, 2004) -The past two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races have not been overly kind to Andy Houston and his Team ASE/CARQUEST...

Houston Hoping For Indy Turnaround Team ASE/Carquest Dodge Crew Looking to Shake Ill Fortune

MOORESVILLE, NC (August 2, 2004) -The past two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races have not been overly kind to Andy Houston and his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge teammates. Late race crashes at St. Louis and Michigan have put a damper on the team's midseason resurrection process. Houston is hoping that Friday night's Power Stroke Diesel 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park will provide the tonic that his Ultra Motorsports team so badly thirsts for. Houston, a 33-year-old native of Hickory NC, returns to the facility that gave him his first start in a major NASCAR touring event.

"I guess you could say that Indianapolis Raceway Park was the track that gave me my start," Houston said. "I ran my very first NASCAR Busch Series race at IRP in 1996. It was special for a couple of reasons. It was my first NASCAR Touring Series start, and it was in one of my dad's Busch cars. That was one of only a few times that I got to race against my dad, Tommy Houston, before he retired. I also made my first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at IRP in 1997, so I have some very fond memories of IRP and hopefully we will create another fond memory this weekend."

Houston's history at IRP has been a mixed bag. He has run good there at times, with a top-ten finish in 1999. But the bad luck bugaboo has bitten him more than once at the challenging .686 mile short track, such as when Houston was swept up in a crash while running near the front in 2000. As Houston knows, IRP represents a true test for even the most accomplished driver.

"It is different from a lot of the short tracks we race on," Houston claimed. "At IRP, most all of the passing is done on the high side of the racetrack. On most short tracks you want to sneak underneath someone to make the pass. But at IRP, the preferred groove is definitely up high. You get to the outside of someone and you can get a good run off the corner and down the straightaway. All the banking at IRP is right up at the top of the racetrack. You can pass trucks down low but if you do, you have to do it in a hurry because you can run out of room pretty quick. You just can't stay on the low part of the track because there just isn't enough grip to run down there consistently."

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors will take the track for the Power Stroke Diesel 200 on Friday August 6th at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The action will be broadcast live nationally on The Speed Channel, MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio at 8pm ET.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Andy Houston