NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes - Pocono First Visit To Pocono; Not First Visit To Keystone State The anticipation of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series arriving at Pocono Raceway has been building for over 10 months and...
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes - Pocono
First Visit To Pocono; Not First Visit To Keystone State
The anticipation of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series arriving at Pocono Raceway has been building for over 10 months and for good reason.
The Pocono Mountains 125 will mark the final track on the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule on which the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has not competed, and the shortest in laps on an oval, with 50.
It will be a shootout of sorts on the secondlongest track where the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competes.
Not only will the lap total be short, but so will qualifying with the addition of multi-truck qualifying.
Kasey Kahne (No. 18 Toyota Tundra Dealers Toyota), Elliott Sadler (No.2 Grand Touring Vodka Chevrolet) and Denny Hamlin (No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota) are entered to run the event in addition to their normal duties in the Sprint Cup Series. Kahne, who has not competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series since 2004, is attempting to pull off a third victory in his third series start.
He has won every series race he has entered, scoring wins at Darlington Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
And when it comes to Pocono, Hamlin owns the zip code -- no matter what he is driving. He has four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at the "Tricky Triangle."
But don't count out NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veterans Todd Bodine (No. 30 Germain.com Toyota) and Mike Skinner (No. 5 International Trucks/Monarch RV Toyota), both of whom own a pole at the 2.5-mile track in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Of the two, Skinner leads the way with four top-10 finishes at Pocono . Bodine follows with two top 10s .
It would be easy to assume Saturday's victory may go to a veteran NASCAR Sprint Cup competitor due to their Pocono experience, but with nine top-five finishes and the largest points lead after 12 races in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history, Bodine might have another plan up his sleeve.
Multi-truck Qualifying On Deck For Pocono Event
Practice is always important to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitors, but this Friday's final practice session at Pocono Raceway is crucial.
The qualifying order for the Pocono Mountains 125 will be set by inverting the practice times from final practice. Multi-truck qualifying will be used for the first time to determine the starting lineup on an oval.
"The distance and uniqueness of Pocono afforded us the opportunity to implement this style of qualifying for this event," said NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Director Wayne Auton. "SPEED is excited about the format and we believe the fans, drivers and viewing audience will embrace it, too."
Trucks will be released in approximately 25-second increments. Two laps of qualifying will be allowed with the fastest lap counting. Once a truck comes onto pit road, its respective qualifying lap is complete.
No drafting is permitted. A drawing for qualifying order will be held in case inclement weather cancels the session. The field would then be set according to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rule book.
Wayne's Words: Trip To Pocono Raceway A Long Awaited Visit
"I love going to a new race track for the first me. I am like a kid in the candy store -- full of excitement. We have been working for over a year to bring the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to the 'Tricky Triangle.'
"Heading to a new track means -- for the most part -- everyone is a rookie.
"And it is great to be racing back in Pennsylvania -- the Northeast fans are always so supportive of the series.
"I remember the good ol' days when we raced in this area at Nazareth Speedway. Lots of great memories there.
"I am also anticipating multi-truck qualifying at Pocono this weekend. It will be the first time we have done something like this on an oval. It will be exciting for the fans in the stands and those at home watching on SPEED.
"Just think-- we will not know who wins the pole till the last truck goes out for qualifying.
"Several NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars are pulling double duty with us this weekend. Always nice to have them jump back into a truck during companion events.
"Kasey Kahne is going to drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports and attempt to score his third series win in his third start. He has won every race he has entered so far, but he has not competed in our series since 2004.
"Think he can do it?
"I wouldn't count him out, that's for sure, but I think Pocono King Denny Hamlin (No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports) might have something to say about that."
-- Wayne Auton, Series Director
Turning 50 Not A Victory-Lane Issue For Hornaday Jr.
For most, the dreaded 50th birthday isn't cause for a celebration, but for Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Ollie's Bargain Outlet), it proved to be worth going over the hill.
His victory last weekend at O'Reilly Raceway Park was his 11th since turning 50 in 2008 and his 50th NASCAR national-series wins.
He sits third on the list -- behind Harry Gant and Joe Ruttman -- as drivers who have earned the most wins since that milestone birthday.
The ORP victory broke a 22-race winless streak for Hornaday -- the second longest such streak in his career.
Statistics prove when Hornaday gets on a roll, he wins -- sometimes two or three in a row.
So winning at age 50 does not look like it will be a problem for the defending series champion.
He only needs three more victories to surpass Ruttman and eight to take the lead over Gant.
And for a guy who has won no less than four races in each of the last three seasons, this could turn out to be a race of its own outside the championship run.
A Martinsville First: Grandfather Clock To October's Series Winner
The stakes for this October's trophy at Martinsville Speedway just went up a notch.
Track officials announced last week that NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winners will now be given the coveted grandfather's clock, a longtime tradition at Martinsville.
Previous race winners -- 18 to be exact -- were sent home with a trophy, but not a grandfather clock.
"When we started giving clocks back in the early sixties, we gave them to Cup winners only because that was the premier event," said Martinsville Speedway President W. Clay Campbell, "but the truck series races here are always so good, so exciting, we decided those guys deserved a shot at the most unique trophy in racing."
Virginia native Timothy Peters (No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota), who won his first series race last October at Martinsville, is itching now for another victory, thanks to the clock.
"This is a huge deal," he said. "I wish it had started last fall. I would have it sitting in my trophy room right now."
Milestone For ThorSport Racing
ThorSport Racing will achieve an impressive milestone this weekend at Pocono. It will be participating in its 328th race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
This moves ThorSport into second place in alltime starts behind Roush Fenway Racing with 353 races, and into the lead among active teams.
Online Auction Benefits Flood Victims
Fans can help victims affected by the tremendous flooding in Nashville by logging onto www.nascar.com/foundation to bid on racing memorabilia. Items up for bid include a Jimmie Johnson signed helmet and a Richard Petty autographed hero card. A Taylor Swift-signed guitar highlights items from the country music industry.
Bodine Hosts Charity Golf Outing On July 29
Proceeds from Todd Bodine's "Onion Slice Open" at the Blue Ridge Top Golf Course in Mountain Top, Pa., will benefit the John Heinz Medical Center. Ron Hornaday, Austin Dillon (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet), Matt Crafton (No. 88 Menards Chevrolet) and James Buescher (No. 31 Wolfpack Rentals Chevrolet) are slated to participate.
Kahne Looking For Third NCWTS Victory In His Third Series Start
Kasey Kahne already holds the distinction of being the only driver in NASCAR national-series history to win each of his first two races in any series.
Kahne only has two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, both were victories.
Can he make it three-for-three?
There's little reason to think he can't. He has more experience at Pocono than just about every driver in Saturday's field. Not only does he have the Pocono know-how, he has success.
In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Kahne has finished in the top 10 in three of the last five races -- including a win in June of 2008. Over that span, he has put up impressive numbers: an average finish of 11.0, a Driver Rating of 113.3, an Average Running Position of 8.5, 119 Fastest Laps Run, 145 Laps Led and a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 83.3%.
Of course, there's another double-duty driver that will likely run up front with Kahne all race -- Denny Hamlin.
Hamlin has four victories at Pocono in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including the last two. Over those two events, Hamlin had an Average Running Position of 2.8, a Driver Rating of 146.5, a Pass Differential (passes minus times passed) of plus-43, 118 Fastest Laps Run and 179 Laps Led.
Up Next: Nashville Superspeedway
Nashville Superspeedway is home to one of the most coveted trophies on the 25-race circuit -- the Gibson guitar designed by Sam Bass.
And for the first time in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history, two drivers will take home the famed guitar in one season.
Kyle Busch (No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota) won his first race as a team owner during the series' first stop to Nashville in April.
The second guitar is up for grabs next week in the Nashville 200.
Ron Hornaday Jr. made his way to Victory Lane last season, but series veterans Todd Bodine and Mike Skinner are still looking to conquer Nashville Superspeedway.
Next Race: Pocono Mountains 125
The Place: Pocono Raceway (2.5-mile triangular track)
The Date: Saturday, July 31
The Time: 1 p.m. ET
Race Distance: 50 laps /125 miles
TV: SPEED, 1 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SIRIUS NASCAR Radio (Listen locally on WAEB-AM 790.)
2009 Polesitter: Inaugural Race
2009 Winner: Inaugural Race
Schedule (All times ET):
Friday -- Practice,8 -- 10 a.m. and 5:30-7 p.m.
Saturday- Qualifying -- 10 a.m.