Phoenix: Brandon Whitt preview

Bringing The Chase to the Trucks -- and a good idea how One of the hottest teams over the past month in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series, Brandon Whitt and the ...

Bringing The Chase to the Trucks -- and a good idea how

One of the hottest teams over the past month in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series, Brandon Whitt and the #38 DW Boogity Grill/Red Horse Racing Tundra team head to the 1.5-mile Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway this week for Friday's Silverado 150.

The sophomore driver from El Cajon, Calif., Whitt scored his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory at Memphis Motorsports Park in July, becoming the first to do so from the Rookie Class of 2004. Known for his penchant of being fast and loving speed, Whitt is considered one of the top up-and-coming young drivers in stock car racing. His truck his owned by Red Horse Racing, which consists of general manager Marty Gaunt, a winning veteran leader of motorsports teams; Jeff Hammond, a NASCAR Nextel Cup championship crew chief now serving as an analyst for FOX Sports; and Tom DeLoach, a former Mobil Corp. executive who, with Hammond, owns and operates PIT Instruction and Training LLC, the number one pit crew training center in the world.

This will be the fourth race Ameritrax, Lawry's and The DW Boogity Grill -- named after NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip and his coined, "Boogity, boogity, boogity" phrase -- have sponsored a racing vehicle. The grill is "the ultimate grill'n experience." It is the first folding, portable charcoal and gas, barbecue/stove combo grill, and will be on the hood and quarterpanels of the #38.The DW Boogity Grill (available at www.dwstore.com) comes in three models -- the Classic Racer in bright red enamel; and 2 Stainless Steel versions. A durable carrying bag is included with each grill. Talk about fast, the DW Boogity Grill is easy to set up since no screws, bolts or tools are required for assembly and use.

The thoughts of DW Boogity Grill Toyota Tundra driver Brandon Whitt heading into Phoenix:

"It looks like the (Trucks) championship is down to two guys, Ted Musgrave and Dennis Setzer. Sure, anything can happen in this sport but it's going to be tough for anybody from third on back to get involved in things.

"The way we've run all season, but especially the last several weeks, has got me pretty excited about next season already. We feel like we have a shot at making a pretty good statement at Phoenix and Homestead but we also feel like we have a good bit of momentum building for the 2006 season too.

"The more I think about where this team's future lies, the more I think we need a playoff or a Chase in the Truck Series too. I know some people have said they don't want our series to go that way but, when you see the response they have received in the Cup series with it you have to think it would work with the Trucks too.

"My idea is to jazz it up some, make it a little different. I'm thinking run fewer races in our playoff, say seven races at the end of the year. The top 10 in points are in the running going into the 19th race (of 25). You start with the five-point difference, just like you do in Cup. But after the 19th race, the 10th and ninth-place drivers are out of it. After the 20th race, the seventh and sixth-place drivers drop off. And you keep dropping them, one at a time from that point on, so that you go into the final race of the season with just two guys racing for the championship.

"Doing that gives you all kinds of stories and drama through the playoffs. It's not just the guys running first and second in the points, but the guys 10th and ninth that are big stories . . . or staying far enough ahead in points so that you aren't in danger of falling out the following week. One mistake could mean disaster. It's compelling stuff.

"Some of the best racing going on in motorsports right now is the Truck Series, and anything we can do to get more people to watch it the better off we are all going to be. We can take what is a pretty good idea -- the Chase for the Championship -- and tweak it to be a pretty neat deal, different enough to bring new fans to Truck racing. Pretty good TV -- 'Fear Factor' meets 'Survivor,' with a little Donald Trump's 'You're fired' thrown in for good measure.

"Hey, when you are running as well as we are right now . . . when you've finally thrown the bad luck monkey off your back . . . then you can start thinking about things like that. This DW Boogity Grill Tundra team is pretty darned excited right now too, not just about the next two races but everywhere we run next season."

-cwa-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Ted Musgrave , Dennis Setzer , Brandon Whitt
Teams Red Horse Racing