Chevrolet can clinch sixth series manufacturer championship this week
NEWS & NOTES
ETC. ... The Kroger 200 is the seventh and final short track race of the 2005 season. Skinner is the only multiple winner with victories at Bristol Motor Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. ... Jack Sprague (No. 60 Jeff Wyler Toyota) has made 217 NASCAR Craftsman Truck starts -- all in Chevrolets. The Kroger 200 will be his first in another make of truck. ... Skinner will make his 100th series start at Martinsville and become the 18th different competitor to reach the century mark. ... NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers expected to compete in the Kroger 200 include Bobby Labonte, Kyle Busch (No. 15 ditech.com Chevrolet) and Ken Schrader (No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet). ... The last (and only) Martinsville winner to start from the Bud Pole was Rich Bickle in 1997. This week's Craftsman-sponsored Win from the Pole bonus is worth $14,000. ... A victory in the Kroger 200 would make Todd Bodine (No. 30 Germain Motor Company Toyota) the third Bodine brother to win a race at Martinsville Speedway, a track record. ... Automotive Service Excellence -- ASE -- has announced extension of its sponsorship of the No. 2 Ultra Motorsports Dodge currently driven by Jimmy Spencer. The 2006 season will be the 12th in which ASE has sponsored a team continuing the longest running association on the series.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Setzer is 'Mr. Consistency' at Martinsville ... Until the streak was broken in April, Setzer had finished among the top five in five consecutive races at Martinsville Speedway. The current championship leader also counts the most top-10 finishes -- seven -- and has won more than $202,000 in 11 Martinsville appearances.
I'm taking this NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville seriously. I've been working out since July and I'm in the best shape. Being my last race, I wanted to be in good shape." -- Darrell Waltrip, No. 12 Toyota Tundra Toyota, who calls his NASCAR racing career a wrap following Saturday's Kroger 200.
"Martinsville can be a tough place, but I like the short tracks quite a bit. We're really looking forward to getting a good finish for our partners on board this week -- Duck Head and Advance Auto Parts. This is like a homecoming race for our team since we're based here." -- Robert Pressley, No. 59 Harris Trucking Dodge, who hopes to improve on a Martinsville best finish of 14th.
"Martinsville goes back to being a kid and reading Speedway Scene about the sportsman and modified races and eventually getting to race there myself. I got my first Busch Series pole, my first NEXTEL Cup pole and my first NEXTEL Cup win at Martinsville. It's just a fun place to race." -- Ricky Craven, No. 99 Superchips Ford, who finished second in April's Kroger 250.
"It's much easier to hold someone off at Martinsville than it is to pass them." -- Brandon Whitt, No. 38 Red Horse Racing Toyota.
"I am not going to lie, I was a little disappointed when we first talked about it because I am a competitive person and we had plans but in the long run, this is better for me." -- Erin Crocker reflecting on team owner Ray Evernham's announcement that she'll compete fulltime in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2006.
10 YEARS TOUGH
October 1995 marked the final three races on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series inaugural schedule -- two of which were won by champion Mike Skinner, who took the checkered flags at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif. and two weeks later at Phoenix International Raceway. Ron Hornaday Jr. won at Infineon Raceway Raceway to open the month. Skinner's eight victories included all three events at one-mile tracks. He won twice at Phoenix and also scored a victory at The Milwaukee Mile.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Martinsville Speedway has favored veteran drivers with all but one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series winner having celebrated at least his 30th birthday. Jon Wood is the notable exception. Wood's Oct. 18, 2003 victory came a few days shy of the Stuart, Va. competitor turning 22.
Next Event: Kroger 200. (Race No. 21 of 25).
Where: Martinsville Speedway (Martinsville, Va.).
When: 1 p.m. ET Saturday, Oct. 22.
Track layout: .526-mile paved oval.
Race length: 200 laps/105.2 miles.
Posted awards: $414,767.
TV: SPEED Channel, 1 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2004 winner: Jamie McMurray.
2004 polesitter: Bobby Hamilton.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice 9 a.m. -- 11:15 a.m. Qualifying 4:45 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.
Top 10 drivers: 1. Dennis Setzer 2,877. 2. Ted Musgrave 2,872. 3. Ron Hornaday Jr. 2,677. 4. Mike Skinner 2,627. 5. Todd Bodine 2,593. 6. Jimmy Spencer 2,593. 7. Bobby Hamilton 2,577. 8. David Starr 2,507. 9. David Reutimann 2,493. 10. Matt Crafton 2,483.