Hornadays eye father-son start for record extending sixth time NEWS & NOTES Father-son entered in same race for first time in '05 ... The Hornaday family will have plenty of rooting interest in Thursday's Cheerios Betty Crocker 200 as Ron ...
Hornadays eye father-son start for record extending sixth time
NEWS & NOTES
Father-son entered in same race for first time in '05 ... The Hornaday family will have plenty of rooting interest in Thursday's Cheerios Betty Crocker 200 as Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) competes against son Ronnie III (No. 7 Ultra Motorsports Dodge) for a series record-extending sixth time. They last raced head-to-head on Oct. 8, 1999 at the old Louisville (Ky.) Motor Speedway. The most recent father-son battle, between Bobby Hamilton (No. 04 Bailey's Dodge) and Bobby Jr., took place at Darlington Raceway on Nov. 13, 2004. Fathers and sons have competed against each other on 13 different occasions.
New faces in the field at Richmond ... Four competitors of note hope to debut in the Cheerios Betty Crocker 200. They include Bobby East, the 2004 U.S. Auto Club national midget champion whose Indianapolis Raceway Park drive in the No. 33 Roush Racing Ford was scuttled by inclement weather. Also entered are Jarit Johnson (No. 8 Levi Strauss Signature Chevrolet), younger brother of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series star Jimmie Johnson; J. R. Norris (No. 32 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet), current points leader in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series and Justin Hobgood (No. 9 Germain Motor Company Toyota), runnerup for the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series crown in 2001, the final year of the tour for compact cars.
Richmond race, as usual, is magnet for visiting stars ... Both Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart will compete at Richmond with a twist. Stewart will drive the No. 92 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet owned by DeLana Harvick while Harvick is ensconced in Morgan-Dollar Motorsports' No. 47 KISS/Ray-Sat Chevrolet -- the truck in which Stewart finished third in last year's race. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup regulars Mike Bliss (No. 06 MRD Motorsports Chevrolet), Kyle Busch (No. 15 ditech.com Chevrolet) and Ken Schrader (No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet) also are entered. Harvick, Stewart, Johnny Sauter (No. 43 Menards/Curb Records Chevrolet) and Mike Wallace (No. 12 Toyota Tundra Toyota) are doing the Richmond triple: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, NASCAR Busch and NASCAR Craftsman Trucks. In addition, Hamilton will race in Thursday's Crown Royal International Race of Champions
California Speedway winner Kyle Busch joins club ... Busch is the 14th competitor to win a race in each of NASCAR's three national touring series following Sunday's victory in the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway. Busch, 20, is the third and youngest driver to complete the "triple" in the same season. Terry Labonte was the first in 1995. Harvick had been the most recent in 2003.
ETC. ... The preliminary entry list for the Cheerios Betty Crocker 200 includes 24 competitors who have won at least one NASCAR Craftsman Truck race. That includes Richmond winners Sprague, Stewart, Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) and Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota). ... The race marks the 27th time a NASCAR Craftsman Truck event has been contested in the state of Virginia -- most of any state. ... Musgrave's 2004 victory was the most dominant in 10 series races at Richmond. Musgrave led 199 of 209 laps. ... Shawn Parker has been named crew chief for the No. 8 Heritage Dodge driven by Deborah Renshaw. Parker previously was the team's truck chief. ... Checkers will raise awareness of the Cure Autism Now Foundation through its association with Bill Lester (No. 22 SunTrust Toyota) and Bill Davis Racing.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Plenty of Richmond winners in field ... While Stewart is the only entered driver with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Craftsman Truck wins at Richmond - he has three, in 1999, 2001 and 2002 -- seven former NASCAR Busch Series winners expect to start on Thursday. They are Busch, Hamilton, Harvick, Sauter, Steve Park (No. 62 Orleans Dodge), Robert Pressley (No. 59 Harris Trucking Co. Dodge) and Jimmy Spencer (No. 2 Team ASE Dodge). Spencer won both races in 2001. Three team owners have wins at Richmond in all three of NASCAR's national touring series: Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick and Jack Roush. Sprague tops the Richmond record book ... The Michigan driver has failed to complete just three laps and 2.25 miles -- all in 1996 -- in eight appearances at Richmond International Raceway. The only competitor to win at Richmond in his championship year, Sprague has finished outside the top 10 just once. His average finish is 7.8.
"This is going to be one of the toughest races of the year. I could really tell that a lot of teams have put a lot of effort into this race from testing last week." -- Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Z71 Silverado Chevrolet), the current standings leader by 143 points over Musgrave.
"Brendan spent last year having everybody tell him that he couldn't get it done, couldn't get it done and couldn't get it done. Sooner or later, if people keep telling you that you're going to believe them. I think that a lot his turnaround has been due to the fact that I came in here and said, 'You can do it. I don't care what they say, you can do it.'" -- Tony Liberati, crew chief of the No. 77 Jasper Engines & Transmission Dodge, on motivating driver Brendan Gaughan. Since Liberati joined the team in May, Gaughan has six top-10 finishes and has moved from 30th to 19th in points.
"You don't just go in there and expect to win. You've got to go out there and earn it. When you have Bobby Hamilton, Ted Musgrave, Dennis Setzer and those guys that are running up front each week - Rick Crawford, David Starr - you can't take anything for granted. You have to have everything right to go out and win just like you do in a NASCAR Busch Series race or a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race." -- Tony Stewart, who is looking for series win No. 3 at Richmond International Raceway.
"At Richmond, you can race. You don't have to stay in line all of the time, and best of all, you don't have to bump somebody to pass them. I know it makes for great entertainment, but believe it or not, most of us don't want to race that way. It's just not good racing. But, Richmond has plenty of room to pass without slamming into the guy in front of you. Doesn't mean that technique won't be used, but most times, it doesn't have to be used.'" -- Brandon Whitt, No. 38 Red Horse Racing Toyota.
"I lived in Mobile when Hurricane Frederick hit in 1979 and it took years for Mobile to recover. I think the magnitude of the disaster hit me hard when we got to the Red Cross in Mobile. They had volunteers ready to help us unload and as I talked to the men and women who helped us, most of them weren't from Mobile. They were from all over the southeast lending their time as volunteers, sleeping on cots and living like vagabonds all to help people they hadn't met." -- Rick Crawford, a Mobile native, reflecting on last weekend's Hurricane Katrina relief effort in which Crawford and Circle Bar Racing hauler driver Milt Bishop delivered 500 cases of water to storm victims in Alabama.
10 YEARS TOUGH
In 1996, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series scheduled two races during the same weekend. Competitors raced at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday night in an abbreviated, 124-lap event impacted by Hurricane Fran, then packed up and headed to New Hampshire International Speedway for a Sunday afternoon date. The "double" was repeated two more times, most recently with a Richmond-Memphis Motorsports Park combo on Thursday and Sunday, respectively, in 1998.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Last year's event was the first with a green-white-checkered finish at Richmond International Raceway. The race ended under caution, however, with an accident in Turn 3 on lap 209. There have been three yellow flag finishes at Richmond -- most of any series track. Races in 1996 and 1999 ended prematurely due to inclement weather. Only two tracks on the current schedule -- California and Michigan International Speedway -- haven't seen a race extended past the scheduled distance.
Next Event: Cheerios Betty Crocker 200. (Race No. 18 of 25)
Where: Richmond International Raceway.
When: 8:15 p.m. ET, Thursday, Sept. 9.
Track layout: .75-Mile paved oval.
Race length: 200 laps/150 miles.
Posted awards: $411,821.
TV: SPEED Channel, 8:00 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2004 winner: Ted Musgrave.
2004 polesitter: Jamie McMurray.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday -- Practice 11:00 a.m. -- 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. -- 2 p.m. Qualifying at 5:00 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.
Top 10 drivers: 1. Dennis Setzer 2,515. 2. Ted Musgrave 2,372. 3. Bobby Hamilton 2,258. 4. Ron Hornaday Jr. 2,254. 5. Jimmy Spencer 2,235. 6. David Reutimann 2,190. 7. Mike Skinner 2,186. 8. Matt Crafton 2,144. 9. Todd Bodine 2,131. 10. David Starr 2,118.