* Rookie Timothy Peters anxious to return to his home track * 1995 champion Mike Skinner set for 100th series start DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2005) -- For rookie Timothy Peters (No. 4 Bailey's Dodge), returning to Martinsville next...
* Rookie Timothy Peters anxious to return to his home track
* 1995 champion Mike Skinner set for 100th series start
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2005) -- For rookie Timothy Peters (No. 4 Bailey's Dodge), returning to Martinsville next weekend with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is an exciting time.
He began his career at Martinsville last March with an 18th-place finish. He's coming off a win this past weekend in the Bailey's 300 at Martinsville, which is the largest NASCAR late model event of the year. And, it's a chance to return home and race in front of his family and friends.
"Everybody that has seen me race during my late model stock career and the folks who watched me race at South Boston Speedway will be there," said Peters, who won the track championship at South Boston in 2004. "Just being back home at a track with a lot of familiar faces that I haven't seen in a while will be great for me.
"Hopefully, we can do better there this time than we did in March," the native of Providence, N.C. said.
Driving for Bobby Hamilton Racing (BHR) has been a great opportunity for the first-year driver.
"Basically, it's been like living a dream," said Peters. "Last year at this time I was just hoping for an opportunity like this in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The Bailey's organization has been great to me through the years and if it wasn't for their efforts and Bobby Hamilton's (No. 04 Bailey's/Stratosphere Dodge) efforts, I wouldn't have the chance that I have now. The experience that I have gained will prove to be extremely valuable in the future."
For team owner and defending series champion Hamilton, Peters' improvement has been seen week-in and week-out.
"He's fast and he gives good input and he definitely gets along with my people real well," said Hamilton. "He wants it so bad and he's so aggressive. He hasn't quite learned how to race defensively, but I'm definitely willing to put the time in for him to learn that."
A former NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series competitor, Peters also works in the BHR shop when he's not behind the wheel.
"I come to the shop every day and do what they ask me to do," said Peters, who had a career best sixth-place finish at Dover. "I decal all of my trucks and make sure they look as good as possible. When I'm not driving the truck, I go to the racetrack and do whatever needs to be done, whether it is spotting or running tires.
"I think everybody here at BHR is doing all they can to make strides in getting us to where we need to be. That is one of the reasons I like being here -- because they do care and they want to run better just as bad as I do. This is like a second family and I am just glad to be a part of it."
Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) is one of the hottest drivers in the series right now, with six top-10 finishes in his last nine races, including back-to-back wins at Bristol and Richmond. At Martinsville, Skinner will be making his 100th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start. Over his career, he has 18 wins, 49 top fives and 61 top-10 finishes. For Skinner, the 1995 series champion, there have been many memorable moments.
"Winning the championship was one (memory) that really sticks out," said Skinner. "Coming off Turn Four sideways to beat Terry Labonte to the line in the first-ever points race probably stands out more than anything.
"Another memory I'm fond of is when my son, Jamie, went to Martinsville and qualified in the top 10. He ran in the top 10 all day but burned up an engine late in the race. To see your son get out there and run well in a competitive series like the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series really stands out as one of my favorite memories."
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
ETC. ... Three-time series champ Jack Sprague parted ways with his Xpress Motorsports team at the end of last week. The No. 16 Chevy Trucks Silverado will have Bobby Labonte behind the wheel at Martinsville, with a driver for the remainder of the season to be named later. Sprague has moved into the No. 60 Wyler Racing Toyota, replacing Chad Chaffin. ... A couple of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers will be racing this weekend at Charlotte - David Reutimann (No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota) is entered in Saturday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race and Todd Bodine (No. 30 Germain Motor Company Toyota) and Johnny Benson (No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota) are entered in Friday's NASCAR Busch Series race. ... Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet) finished 11th in the Bailey's 300 late model race at Martinsville. ... Terry Cook (No. 10 Power Stroke Diesel Ford) will be in the TV booth this weekend at Mesa Marin Raceway for the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series and the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series races.
10 YEARS TOUGH
The record qualifying speed of 94.275 mph for Martinsville Speedway set on April 16, 1999 by Mike Bliss is one of the longest-standing track records on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit. Bliss drove a Ford for Jack Roush and finished fifth in the race, which was won by Jimmy Hensley. The pole was the 14th of Bliss' career, though he didn't lead a lap in the race. The win was Hensley's second NASCAR Craftsman Truck victory.
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: $398,064.
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 -- 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.