Offweek news of note 2006-05-08

* Mothers share much of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers' success * Wyler Racing truck on display at NYSE as Con-way CEO rings Opening Bell DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 8, 2006) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers will be celebrating ...

* Mothers share much of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers' success

* Wyler Racing truck on display at NYSE as Con-way CEO rings Opening Bell

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 8, 2006) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers will be celebrating Mother's Day on Sunday in recognition of the support their mothers have put behind their racing careers.

Support, of course, their mothers continue to give whether watching from the grandstand or, in some cases, from pit road.

Several mothers are active as owners including Carol Sutton, who with husband Ed fields the No. 02 Team Copaxone Chevrolet driven by daughter Kelly Sutton.

"My mother, Carol, is a wonderful lady who is not only my mom but also instrumental in managing the business aspects of Sutton Motorsports and Team Copaxone," said Sutton, whose 44 starts are the most in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series by a female driver.

Matt Crafton (No. 88 Menards/Energizer Chevrolet) followed his father, Danny, into NASCAR competition. But Crafton, a Tulare, Calif. native, credits his mother, Jeannie, with providing some special intangibles.

"She has been there for me even when I've made the wrong decisions," said Crafton, a former NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series champion. "From my earliest days driving go-karts all the way to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, she's known that racing is all I ever wanted to do and she totally supported that dream."

Crafton's teammate, Kerry Earnhardt (No. 13 ThorSport Chevrolet) agrees.

"She raised me to treat people the right way and to be the person I am," said Earnhardt of mother Latane Key. "She's always been there to support me no matter what, whether it's life issues or racing issues or anything at all."

North Carolinian Timothy Peters (No. 4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge), whose mother Cindy is a widow, said, "The hardest thing I ever had to do was move away from my mom when I took the job at Bobby Hamilton Racing (near Nashville). I remember talking to my mom about the opportunity with BHR and she told me I was crazy if I didn't go.

"I took her advice and I think it was one of the best decisions I ever made."

Boston Reid (No. 25 Woodard Racing Dodge) is pleased that his mother, Nikki, is able to attend his races -- making up for lost time, as it were.

"She didn't get to go to a lot of races when I was growing up," Reid said. "A lot of parents want to be there to push their kids in racing careers.

"The cool thing about my mom being at the track is that she just stands back and lets me do what I need to do but she's there when I need her."

Unfortunately for David Starr (No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota), his mother, Ophelia, works day-to-day in the family business near Houston and doesn't get to travel as much as she'd like. She wasn't able to attend his most recent victory at Martinsville Speedway last month.

"She loves it when I race," Starr said. "If she isn't at the track, she's right there in front of the TV cheering me on and I call her when the race is over."

In fact, Ophelia Starr speaks for all NASCAR mothers and their love for sons and daughters. "I'm extremely proud of David," she said. "He is every bit a champion and brings a lot of joy to me."

NEWS AND NOTES, PART II

Con-way, Wyler Racing visit New York Stock Exchange ... Con-way Freight's President and CEO, Douglas W. Stotlar, will ring the NYSE Opening Bell at 9:30 a.m. ET Friday in celebration of the company's recent name change to Con-way Inc. The company formerly was known as CNF, Inc. Con-way currently sponsors the No. 60 Toyota owned by Wyler Racing and driven by three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Jack Sprague. One of the team's trucks will be on display outside the Exchange during the morning's activities.

"The Con-way Freight re-branding program is something very important and a big move for their corporate identity," said team owner Jeff Wyler, "and we are happy to do our part by displaying the new company logo and colors on our No. 60 Toyota Tundra. It is a privilege to be associated with Con-way Freight and their 20,000 plus employees - and it will be a huge thrill for me personally to have our truck be a part of their celebration at the New York Stock Exchange."

ETC. ... ppc Racing and Global Performance Group are sponsoring Friday night's Lakeshore Elementary School - Parent Teacher Organization's Spring Festival in Mooresville, N.C. The goal is to raise enough money to develop programs for the children, many have parents employed by ppc Racing and other teams in the Mooresville, N.C. area. Terry Cook (No. 10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) is scheduled to attend and sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. ... Aric Almirola (No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet) made his NASCAR Busch Series debut at Richmond International Raceway on May 5, finishing 32nd in the Circuit City 250 by Funai. ... Roush Racing recently announced the addition of a third driver, Michel Jourdain Jr., to its NASCAR Craftsman Truck stable. The NASCAR Busch Series veteran and open-wheel star will make his debut in the No. 50 Ford at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway on May 27. Jourdain is scheduled for nine races in 2006.

"He is an outstanding talent with an equally impressive resume," said team owner Jack Roush.

Jourdain will become the third Mexican-born driver to compete in the series. "To have this opportunity to drive for Roush Racing is a dream come true," he said. "Jack Roush has built one of the best racing organizations in the world and to be able to join them is a great accomplishment in my career." The coming weekend is the last "vacation" drivers and teams will enjoy until mid-July. The May 19 Quaker Steak & Lube 200 opens the season's longest and most arduous stretch of nine races in nine weeks.

IN THE LOOP

Todd Bodine (No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) ranks at or near the top in four key categories through the first five races of the 2006 season. Bodine, who took over the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points lead with his April 29 victory at Gateway International Raceway, ranks No. 1 (tie) with a perfect percentage of laps run on the lead lap -- all 753. He's No. 2 in Driver Rating at 120.9 (of 150.0), Miles Leader with 178.02 miles led, Fastest Early in Run with a 4.800 ranking and Consecutive Laps Without Being Passed at 16 (tie) during the California Speedway event. Bodine ranks No. 3 in Average Running Position at 5.90.

Fast Facts

What: Quaker Steak & Lube 200 (Race 6 of 25).

Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.

When: 8:45 p.m. ET Friday, May 19.

Track layout: 1.5 -mile banked, paved.
Race length: 200 miles/134 laps.

Posted awards: $524,098.

TV: SPEED Channel, 8:45 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.

2005 winner: Kyle Busch.
2005 polesitter: Mike Skinner.

Top 10 drivers: 1.Todd Bodine 852. 2. Ted Musgrave 840. 3. David Reutimann 746. 4. Mark Martin 720. 5. Jack Sprague 704. 6. David Starr 698. 7. Mike Bliss 682. 8. Johnny Benson 661. 9. Bobby Hamilton Jr. 639. 10. Terry Cook.

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice 9:15 a.m. -- 10:15 a.m. Rookie Practice 10:20 a.m. -- 10:45 a.m. Final Practice 10:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Qualifying 4:15 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , David Starr , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Johnny Benson , Ted Musgrave , Jack Sprague , Terry Cook , Matt Crafton , Kerry Earnhardt , Kelly Sutton , David Reutimann , Jack Roush , Boston Reid , Timothy Peters , Aric Almirola , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin , Michel Jourdain
Teams Red Horse Racing