NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes - Milwaukee Youngsters On Impressive Run In 2009 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 15, 2009) -- The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is known for its great competition amongst seasoned veterans and ...
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes - Milwaukee
Youngsters On Impressive Run In 2009
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 15, 2009) -- The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is known for its great competition amongst seasoned veterans and developing drivers, and over the past three weeks, young drivers like Colin Braun (No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford), Brian Ickler (No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts / Samsung Instinct Toyota) and Brian Scott (No. 16 Albertson's Toyota) have been on their game, combining for two wins and a pole.
Braun is coming off an impressive victory at Michigan after passing one of NASCAR's best, Kyle Busch, in the closing laps, giving him his first series victory. Braun moved up six spots in the standings to 12th -- 27 points behind Scott (11th).
Team owner Jack Roush lauds the competition in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
"When he (Braun) jumped in here, like when I started in 1988, having had a lot of success road racing, I was ready to kill the world," said Roush. "But NASCAR racing is the toughest racing on the planet, which makes me glad to be sitting next to Colin right now."
Scott posted his first series victory at Dover International Speedway on May 30. He has one win, two top-five and four top-10 finishes this season. Both Braun and Scott made their first starts at Milwaukee last season and both were caught in an accident and finished 31st and 32nd, respectively.
Ickler finished third at Michigan last Friday after starting on the pole. His top-five finish moved him up four spots in the standings to 24th. Ickler has put up two top fives this season in only five starts.
300: The Magic Number This Week In Sports
On paper, many would look at Phil Jackson, 2009 NBA champion coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Terry Cook (No. 25 Harris Trucking-Cajun Industries Toyota), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver for HT Motorsports, and wonder what would these two have in common.
But this week, the two share a special milestone in each of their respective sports. On Sunday, June 14, Jackson participated in his 300th NBA playoff game and won an NBA-leading 10th championship. On Friday, June 19, Terry Cook will make his 300th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the famed Milwaukee Mile. Cook is second on the all-time list of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts behind Rick Crawford, who has 306. What is most impressive about Cook's starts is 281 of his soon-to-be 300 starts were consecutive (from Jan. 18, 1998 -- Present).
Cook heads to Milwaukee seventh in the standings after moving up two spots from ninth with his 10th-place finish at Michigan International Speedway last Friday.
Cook is having one of the best seasons of his career. He has posted three top fives and five top 10s in nine starts. He is 22 points behind David Starr (No. Zachry / Harris Trucking Toyota) in sixth, and 205 points back from standings leader Matt Crafton.
"This is a huge milestone for me in my career," Cook said. "I've had some really great times in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and it has always been my favorite racing in NASCAR. But this is also my passion, my dream and my goal to be a race car driver since I was young. Three hundred starts has been a wonderful ride; I can't wait to see how it continues."
Roush Fenway Racing Is Focused And Carrying Momentum To Milwaukee
Roush Fenway Racing scored a series of firsts this past weekend at Michigan International Speedway. It was the team's first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in 2009 and it was Colin Braun's first series victory in his career. The win also marked a milestone, 50 series wins, for owner Jack Roush.
"It takes three elements to win these races," Roush said. "It takes a great manufacturer like Ford Motor Company, it takes great technology like engineers and working in the wind tunnel, and it takes a great team and driver to put it all together. And we have that with this No. 6 team."
As the No. 6 team heads to Milwaukee, momentum and belief in their young driver should prove to continue their early success.
"Colin is a good driver now, and is going to be a great driver once he gets more experience and figures how to be able to prevail when he has the fastest truck and be able to get the most out of it when it is not as fast," Roush said. "But he is well on his way to being as good in this business as anybody has been."
Roush Fenway Racing has two wins at the Milwaukee Mile, in 1999 with Greg Biffle and 2000 with Kurt Busch.
Ron Hornaday Jr. Doing Double Duty This Weekend At Milwaukee
When you speak of "double-duty drivers," the first thing that comes to mind is NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers participating in the NASCAR Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series, but not this weekend.
On Friday, Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Copart Chevrolet) will make his 10th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Milwaukee.
In nine previous series starts, Hornaday has one win, seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes. He has led 199 laps and completed 100% of the laps.
Saturday, June 20, also will mark Ron Hornaday's 51st birthday. On his birthday in 1998, Hornaday won at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series after starting from the pole and leading 187 of 200 laps, driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI). On this Saturday, the birthday boy looks to repeat his victory in '98 and score his fifth win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
It will be Hornaday's 10th career start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Milwaukee. In nine previous starts at the track, Hornaday has one win, three top-five and five top-10 finishes and has led 119 laps.
"Milwaukee is flat, and a lot like Phoenix," Hornaday said. "Down the front and back straightaways you are pretty much wide open on the gas then hard on the brakes getting into the corners.
"The turns aren't as narrow as Martinsville, they are more wide open so it is key to get a good arch to get down into them so you can quickly pick up the throttle and run hard down the straightaways."
Loop Data: Crawford A Top-10 Lock At Milwaukee?
Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar / International Truck Engine Ford) can give Terry Cook some advice on how to celebrate 300 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.
Crawford was the first driver ever to accomplish the feat, turning 300 at Atlanta earlier this season. Cook will join Crawford in the 300-start club this weekend at Milwaukee.
So, Crawford has the starts. Now he needs the finishes.
Crawford has been consistently around the top 10 this season, but has only cracked it twice, finishing fifth at both Martinsville and Texas.
Figure on making it three top-10 finishes this weekend.
Crawford has finished in the top 10 in each of the last six Milwaukee races. Since the inception of NASCAR's Loop Data statistics in 2005, Crawford ranks in the top five in practically every key category.
He has a Driver Rating of 102.0 (third-best), an Average Running Position of 9.3 (fifth), 39 Fastest Laps Run (fifth) and 715 Laps in the Top 15 (89.4%), which is second-best.
Though a few seasons away from the 300 start mark, Mike Skinner (No. 5 Brooklyn Products / Exide Toyota) is scheduled to make his 200th start by the end of this season. He is currently at 188 starts.
The way Skinner is running, he may also pick up his second championship by the end of this season. Third in points, Skinner is having a strong first year with Randy Moss Motorsports.
That should continue at Milwaukee, where Skinner won in 1995 and has a Driver Rating of 100.7 and a Driver Rating of 9.6 over the last four Milwaukee races.
Matt Crafton Turning Into 'Mr. Consistency' In 2009
In NASCAR two things bring success in a career as a driver: winning and consistency.
Matt Crafton (No. 88 Menards Chevrolet) is proving that the latter can take you to the top of the series standings. Crafton has posted a series-leading eight top-10 finishes in nine starts this season.
Crafton took the lead in the standings after Texas two weeks ago, and now leads standings by 39 points over veteran Ron Hornaday Jr. (second).
Crafton finished second to Johnny Benson last season at Milwaukee. He has made eight starts at Milwaukee, posting one top five and five top 10s.
NASCAR Season-To-Date Loop Data shows why Crafton is having such early success in 2009. He is ranked first in Laps In Top 15 with 88.6% of his laps completed in the top 15. He is ranked fourth in Driver Rating with (103.2).
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Milwaukee Mile Quick Facts
Most Wins by Driver: Johnny Benson (3)
Most Wins by Owner: Bill Davis and Jim Smith (3)
Most Poles: Jack Sprague (4)
Most Top Five Finishes: Ron Hornaday and Jack Sprague (7)
Most Top-10 Finishes: Ron Hornaday and Jack Sprague (9)
Cream Rises To The Top In Rookie Race: Tayler Malsam (No. 81 One-Eighty Toyota), driving for Randy Moss Motorsports, continues to show why he's leading this season's Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings. He's currently two points ahead of second-place Johnny Sauter (No. 13 Fun Sand / Rodney Atkins / Curb Records Chevrolet) in the rookie standings. Malsam posted his fourth top-10 finish of the season at Michigan last Friday. He also leads all other rookies in the series driver standings and is eighth overall, 205 points behind series leader Matt Crafton. This Friday will be Malsam's first start at Milwaukee. The other 1-mile size track he has competed on this season was Dover, where he finished 12th.
Manufacturers' Standings Rolling After First Nine Races: In the hometown of three of the four manufacturers in NASCAR, Ford came out strong with the win at Michigan. It was the fifth win for Ford at Michigan International Speedway -- the series' leader at the track. Toyota continues to lead the manufacturers' standings by 14 points over Chevrolet in second. Ford and Chevrolet lead the series in wins at Milwaukee with four, but Toyota is just one win behind with three. Ford trails Chevrolet by 18 points in the manufacturers' standings.
Up Next: Memphis Motorsports Park
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will head to Memphis, Tenn. next weekend for the MemphisTravel.com 200 at the famed Memphis Motorsports Park on Friday, June 27.
Ron Hornaday Jr. started third there last season and went on to win the event . Hornaday has six starts at Memphis, posting two wins, four top fives and five top 10s.
Next Race: Copart 200
The Place: Milwaukee Mile
The Date: Fri., June 19, 2009
The Time: 9 p.m. ET
Race Distance: 200 miles / 200 laps
Track Layout: 1-mile Paved
TV: SPEED, 8:30 p.m. ET
Radio: WAUK-AM 540 MRN, SIRIUS XM.
2008 Winner: Johnny Benson
2008 Polesitter: Johnny Benson
Practice, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and 12:45-2 p.m.;
Qualifying, 5:30 p.m.