Michigan pre-race quotes and notes

WHAT: Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners 200- 13th race of 25 on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule WHEN: 1:00 P.M. Eastern Time on Speed Channel, 1:29 green flag, Saturday, July 31 TICKETS: Tickets are available for the Line-X ...

WHAT:
Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners 200- 13th race of 25 on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule

WHEN:
1:00 P.M. Eastern Time on Speed Channel, 1:29 green flag, Saturday, July 31

TICKETS:
Tickets are available for the Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners 200 by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010, or by logging on to www.MISpeedway.com. All seats are $30, with children 12 and under free all weekend. The MIS ticket hotline is open 9 A.M. until 9:00 P.M. seven days a week.

DEFENDING CHAMPION:
Brendan Gaughan, average speed 154.044, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race record

Selected Pre-Race Quotes:

TRAVIS KVAPIL (Driver of the No. 24 Line-X Toyota Tundra for Bang Racing)
"Michigan is a fun, two-mile race track. It's definitely fast and is a favorite for most of the drivers on the circuit. Since it's a larger venue, the drivers really feel the effect of the draft. Michigan always creates exciting racing action. It's a place where you can get right to the front of the pack quickly if you have a good truck. And it's a place that gives a driver options. The speedway is wide and high-banked and because of that, you can circle the track in several different places either down near the yellow line or higher up at the top of the track. It would be a thrill if our team could get a win this week for all of the Line-X employees that will be at MIS and give them all something to cheer about. The Line-X team would definitely like to give Toyota their first victory as well, and Michigan would be a great place to do that."

JOHNNY BENSON: (Driver of the No. 23 Toyota Tundra for Bill Davis Racing)
"I'm really looking forward to getting back to Michigan this weekend to race. The chance to drive for Bill Davis Racing and Toyota is a great opportunity -- and the chance to race at Michigan again makes it even better. There are a plenty of places where I love to race -- but if I had to pick just one track -- it would definitely be the one in my home state. When we tested last week, I discovered the trucks in the Craftsman Truck Series are a little bit different than when I last drove one back in '97. They seem to have more down force in the front end now and they drive more like a car. I was also impressed with the Toyota engine, which I found to be remarkably smooth."

DENNIS SETZER: (Driver of the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports)
"It's a great track, great racing for the Craftsman Truck Series. Always seems like there is close door to door racing there. I don't think we finished too good there last year, but we are bringing some good equipment, our Chevrolet Silverado. We did some testing at Chicago Speedway, similar to MIS, and we came out of the test happy with our results. We are excited about taking our best piece to Michigan."

MIKE SKINNER: (Driver of the No. 42 Toyota Tundra for Bang Racing)
"I've had some good and back luck at Michigan International Speedway. Michigan's always been a hot or cold race track for me. Even though I've qualified on the outside pole, I've had a hard time finishing up front and being competitive at the track. Several years ago, I was leading the race in the No. 31 Lowe's Chevy and broke a pinion gear, and I've had engine failures there numerous times. I also endured a fiery crash in 1997 in my No. 31 Cup Series car. I'll go there one time and struggle real bad and the next time at the track, I'll have a great run. The runs usually depend on what kind of equipment you unload with. Michigan is a place where it is important to have a lot of horsepower in your engine, and the aero package has to be great. I feel like our Toyota Tundra's aero package is getting better all of the time, and because of that, I know that we will be extremely competitive there and I am looking forward to it. I also like going to Michigan simply because it's beautiful country at this time of year."

DAVID STARR: (Driver of the No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet Silverado for Spears Motorsports)
"I really like racing at Michigan (International) Speedway. It's exciting, it's wide and it's fast. You can run high, low and in the middle and there is lots of drafting. It kind of reminds me of Daytona because of the drafting. Doing well requires the right combination of horsepower and handling. The aerodynamics are definitely important and I think we should be in good shape. We tested extensively last week with GM in Chicago and learned a lot. We tried a bunch of new stuff, plus worked on our aero package and I think, when we apply it all, our No. 75 Spears Chevy will do the trick. We actually have competed in every round of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series held at this track. Our best finish was a 5th in 2002. However, with the motivation and determination everyone on the team has, I think we can better it. We tasted the thrill of winning once this year. That definitely wetted our whistle. We want to do it again."

CHASE MONTGOMERY: (Driver of the No. 8 Dodge Dealers Dodge for Bobby Hamilton Racing)
"Like most drivers, I really like the track at Michigan. It is a fast and wide race track that allows for multiple racing grooves. There is a lot of drafting at the track and it starts to remind you a little of Daytona -- which is my favorite place to run so Michigan ranks up there as well. We did some testing last week at Kentucky and I think we found some things that are going to really help us here in the second half of the season at places such as Michigan. Everyone seems to be revived a little with the week off and we are looking forward to a strong run this weekend in the Irish Hills."

JON WOOD: (Driver of the No. 50 Ford F-150 for Roush Racing)
"I am really looking forward to the race at Michigan this weekend. It is especially important for us to run well at Michigan. Not only are we in Ford's backyard, but we are also at Jack Roush's home track. Roush Industries is just up the highway in Livonia so I know we'll have a good crowd cheering for us. Ford has helped us out a lot this year with technology and support, and Jack has obviously helped a lot by funding this team out of his pocket. I hope to run well to attract a sponsor so he won't have to do that much longer."

CARL EDWARDS: (Driver of the No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150 for Roush Racing)
"Michigan is the type of track I really like. It is a wide, smooth track with plenty of room for passing. It's fast and you don't lift out of the gas very much. We spent some time testing at Chicagoland Speedway last week so I think that should help our effort at MIS.I finished fifth there last year in my first start so I expect good things this weekend. The truck was extremely loose last year so hopefully we can find a happy medium this time. Our last two races have been disappointing, so now that we've had a weekend off we're hoping to regroup and come out strong at Michigan. I have to continue to work on my patience and not overdrive the truck when the handling isn't where it should be. Cowboy reminds me of that all the time. I'm looking forward to this weekend and getting our season back on track."

STEVE PARK: (Driver of the No. 62 Orleans Racing Dodge for Orleans Racing)
"I like Michigan. We had a really good run there last year with RCR in the NEXTEL Cup car. It is a fast racetrack. It is really wide and is good for passing. It usually produces a good three-wide race for the fans. This is one of those racetracks that I've competed on in cars but never trucks, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the Craftsman Trucks race there."

TERRY COOK: (Driver of the No. 10 Power Stroke Diesel Ford for PPC Racing)
"Michigan is not only my home track, it's my favorite track on the schedule. Since I was a little kid I've always enjoyed going to Michigan and watching the races. Now being a participant is a dream come true for me. Having watched drivers like David Pearson, Richard Petty and Bobby Allison, some of my all-time heroes race there is a big, big deal to me. We've run at Michigan four times now and I just enjoy going back to the speedway. You can run right against the fence, the Richard Petty line. You can run at the bottom or you can run in the middle. The groove is so wide you can stack 'em eight-wide going into the corner and still have room to spare. There's no one distinct groove; it's very fast. You get to draft at Michigan like you're at Daytona. I truly enjoy racing at Michigan."

JACK SPRAGUE: (Driver of the No. 16 Chevy Truck Chevrolet Silverado for IWX Motorsports)
"It is always good to have a race near where you grew up and still have family and friends in the area. Rhonda, Paige and I have been on vacation up here since St. Louis and it has given us a chance to see many people and enjoy summer in Michigan without having to rush off to the next race. Of course, you always want to do well when you race near home so there is a little more pressure as a result. It is a big fast track which is usually one of my strong points but for some reason, the two Truck Races I have run here in the past weren't that stellar. It will be a real test for our Chevy Trucks team this weekend to measure how far we have come in our larger track program. After Atlanta, we went to work hard on making huge improvements and how we have raced has shown we are definitely better. But we just keep having bad luck after bad luck. I can hardly wait until we get that part behind us and start having finishes that reflect how well we have been running."

MATT CRAFTON: (Driver of the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Silverado for Kevin Harvick Racing)
"I haven't shown that I have run to well, but Michigan is definitely one of my top-five most favorite tracks. I actually have raced really well there but just don't have the finishes to prove it. The first year I was running on seven cylinders and finished 16th and last year we qualified badly because we were under horsepower but raced extremely well. I ran fifth and six for a good portion of the race and then the motor blew up so I am actually looking really forward to going back with the GM Goodwrench Chevy and KHI."

SHANE HMIEL: (Driver of the No. 15 Chevrolet Silverado for Billy Ballew Motorsports)
"I'm going to have a lot more motor here than I've ever had here. That means a lot, the straightways are awesome and I'm just looking forward to it, I love Michigan, I love the track, you can go in there and fan out and race three or four, even five wide, really so the drafts going to be big, I'm really pumped about it. Although we haven't won a race yet, in my mind, the way Billy Ballew and the team has come together it already makes me a winner. It's definitely an all for one situation and I'm proud to be a part of the experience. We are a low budget team running as well as we can. It's hard to compete against some other teams with 5 million dollar budgets but we are doing it and keeping right up with them in our Silverado."

TRACY HINES: (Driver of the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet Silverado for Thorsport Racing)
"I have never raced at Michigan before, but I am really looking forward to it. I will run the Truck race in July, and then come back a couple weeks later and run the Busch race too. The only real experience I have is racing at Michigan on the PlayStation. I did pretty good though. I won a Cup race and came from the back to win a Truck race. This is such a big weekend for the ThorSport team. The team really has two home races, Mansfield and Michigan. The shop is just about an hour from Mansfield, and about 90 minutes from Michigan. Our crew chief Jerry Cook lives closer to the track in Michigan than he does to the shop, and we have a few more crew guys that live right down the road in Toledo. They've been going to races at Michigan since they were kids, and it would be really big to come out of there with a win. There will be a lot of family and friends in the stands, and Duke and Rhonda (Thorson) will have a lot of people there too. We finished fifth at Mansfield earlier in the year, and while I'd be happy coming out of there with a top-10 finish, I think we can go to Michigan and be pretty competitive."

KELLY SUTTON: (Driver of the No. 02 Team Copaxone Chevrolet Silverado)
"This weekend will be our first time at Michigan, and the team is really looking forward to testing our aero package. Tim (Shutt, crew chief) has been to Michigan before, and said handling is key with the wide track and long corners. Trucks could get three and even four wide at times, so we want to make sure we stay with the draft, and don't get stuck outside and freight-trained by the field. We're bringing chassis 007 to Michigan, which ran very well at Gateway, especially late in the race. Tim keeps telling me it will be much easier to get a grip on a fast, smooth track like Michigan, than the unique layout of Gateway. He's led us to three top-25's in the last four races, so I feel very confident we'll have a great truck for this weekend's race. We're looking to bring home another top-20 finish to start off the second half of the season, and to continue to move up in the overall points."

J.J. YELEY: (Driver of the No. 47 Axciom Chevrolet Silverado for Morgan Dollar Motorsports)
"I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to work with this Morgan Dollar Motorsports team. They are a first-class outfit, and they have experienced some great success thus far in 2004. It's very evident of how strong this race team is by taking a glance at the top of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings. There is a very impressive list of drivers slated to race this No. 47 Chevy. Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Robby Gordon, Ricky Craven, Ward Burton, and Michael Waltrip are all going to race this truck once this year. Michael ran it at Charlotte back in May, and he was very strong. He led some laps, finished 5th and had a truck capable of winning. It would be awesome to win my race at Michigan and give the rest of those guys something to shoot for later in the year."

DAVID REUTIMANN: (Driver of the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports)
"In the past two events, we've had better trucks than where we finished. I feel like we should have had Top-5 finishes in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota our last two times out, but we had issues at Kentucky and troubles at Gateway. Even though we had problems at Gateway, it felt really good to lead laps again. It gives us a boost of confidence heading into Michigan where I ran well at in a Busch car last season. I'm excited about going back and our chances to have a good finish. After testing at Michigan, I had a solid run and a Top-10 finish in Joe Nemechek's No. 88 Busch car. The race was shortened due to rain, but we collected a hard fought Top-10 finish."

RICK CRAWFORD: (Driver of the No. 14 Circle bar Ford F-150 for Circle Bar Racing)
"When you look back over the first part of my racing career you'll see it was on tracks no bigger than half-a-mile. Now were racing at places like Daytona, Atlanta and Michigan. Tracks that generate a tremendous amount of speed. I've always felt comfortable at places like Michigan where the draft comes into play. You have to carry a lot of speed into the corners so you're able to get down the straights. There is a lot of strategy involved it's a place where you can easily run two or sometimes even three wide. Not only is the on-track action important but Michigan sits right in the backyard of Ford Motor Company. Ford puts a tremendous amount of support behind Circle Bar Racing and it's important that we run well. I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the Circle Bar F-150 and racing my way out front."

All seats for the July 31 Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at MIS are just $30. A two-day combination ticket for the Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners 200 and the Sunday IRL Menard's Infiniti Pro Series Paramount Health Insurance 100 and the IRL IndyCar Series Michigan Indy 400 races are just $50. Children 12 and under are free all weekend. Tickets can be purchased now by visiting www.MISpeedway.com, or by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ward Burton , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Robby Gordon , Ricky Craven , Richard Petty , Brendan Gaughan , Bobby Allison , Jack Roush , David Pearson
Teams Bill Davis Racing