Talladega: Round 20 preview

*Winning Inaugural Talladega Race Is Big deal Talladega On Deck: There's Just One Chance To Be First DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 2, 2006) -- There's only one chance to be first. Becoming the first winner of Saturday's John Deere 250 at ...

*Winning Inaugural Talladega Race Is Big deal

Talladega On Deck: There's Just One Chance To Be First

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 2, 2006) -- There's only one chance to be first.

Becoming the first winner of Saturday's John Deere 250 at Talladega Superspeedway figures to be the high point of any driver's 2006 season -- and possibly his or her NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career.

The week's $753,800 event marks the first superspeedway race added to the schedule since Atlanta in March 2004. Bobby Hamilton won that race in a final turn, last-lap dustup with Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota).

Mike Wallace (No. 15 Geico Chevrolet) will be making just his second start of the year this week but the St. Louis native figures to be a favorite to etch his name onto the Talladega trophy.

"I won the inaugural race at Daytona back in 2000 and that was an indescribable feeling. To know I am on record as the first truck series winner is special," said Wallace. "I'd like to repeat the same feat at Talladega."

Since 2000, seven tracks measuring longer than a mile have been added to the schedule. Talladega, at 2.66-miles the longest track on which the series competes, is the eighth.

Wallace, a veteran of 24 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Busch Series events at Talladega and Ted Musgrave (No. 9 Team ASE Toyota), are the only first-time winners on that group of tracks expected to compete Saturday.

"For the fans, it's an awesome show at Talladega. They're on the edge of their seats the whole race," said Musgrave, first-time series winner at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2003. "We'll have to see how it goes. It may be the greatest race in the world."

John Deere 250 Should Reward Experience

In real estate, it's location, location, location.

At Talladega Superspeedway, the key word is experience.

No driver in this week's lineup has raced a truck at the 2.66-mile track but virtually all have Talladega credentials in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Busch Series or competed in February's GM FlexFuel 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Mark Martin (No. 6 Scotts Ford) won in Daytona -- the first of four victories in 2006.

He's the only entered driver with wins in two national touring series at Talladega. Martin has two wins and a pair of Budweiser Poles in 41 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup starts alongside one NASCAR Busch Series win.

Seventeen entered drivers have started at least one NASCAR national touring series race at Talladega.

The top two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship contenders have solid Talladega credentials. Todd Bodine (No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) has three top-five NASCAR Busch finishes.

Johnny Benson (No. 23 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota), has three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup top 10s.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Mike Wallace , Johnny Benson , Ted Musgrave , Mark Martin