Texas II: News of note, schedule

Former Grand National Division, West champion Norris returns to series NEWS & NOTES Olympic Silver Medal Winner is grand marshal ... Pole vaulter Toby Stevenson, winner of a silver medal in this summer's Athens Olympiad, has been named grand...

Former Grand National Division, West champion Norris returns to series

NEWS & NOTES

Olympic Silver Medal Winner is grand marshal ... Pole vaulter Toby Stevenson, winner of a silver medal in this summer's Athens Olympiad, has been named grand marshal for Saturday's Silverado 350K. Stevenson is a native Texan from Odessa.

Etc. ... Ultra Motorsports will field three trucks in its bid to break the team's Texas drought, which hit 13 races in June. Former NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series champion Eric Norris (No. 7 Pavestone Dodge) joins Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) and Chad Blount (No. 2 Team ASE/Carquest Dodge). Norris' last series appearance came in November 2001 at California Speedway. ... Saturday's race will be the 14th run at TMS. The inaugural event was held in 1997. The fall stop was added in 1999. ... Crawford and Terry Cook (No. 10 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) have competed in all 13 previous races. ... Three of five fall races have been decided by margins of .913 second or less. ... June's O'Reilly 400K was the second fastest race in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history. Setzer won with an average speed of 148.959 mph. ... Looking ahead: Bobby Hamilton Jr. will drive the No. 59 Harris Trucking Dodge at Martinsville and Darlington. Scott Lynch, the 2003 NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series champion gets the seat in the Bobby Hamilton Racing-prepared truck at Phoenix and Homestead. Nashville-area competitor and BHR employee Sammy Sanders drives this week at TMS. ... Kevin Harvick Inc. has announced that current driver Matt Crafton will complete the season in the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, but will not drive for the team in 2005. His replacement will be named at a 2:00 p.m. press conference Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C..

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Two to watch at Texas ... Neither Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet) nor Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) has finished outside the Top 10 in a fall race at Texas Motor Speedway. Musgrave's finishing average for the three events in which he's competed is 5.0. Setzer has run all five fall races with an average finish of 6.4.

Four TMS winners in Silverado 350K field ... Setzer looks for a Texas sweep Saturday, having won June's O'Reilly 400K -- his second victory in Ft. Worth. Sprague, Travis Kvapil (No. 24 Line-X Toyota) and Jay Sauter (No. 06 MRD Racing Chevrolet) also are former TMS winners.

QUOTEBOOK

"I've been telling the media and fans this whole year that with five races left in the season, I would start points racing. I wanted a bigger cushion than what I have at this point, so I'm still going to be out for the wins." -- Bobby Hamilton, whose 56-point championship lead is third-closest in series history with five races remaining.

"We're going to run the best we can every week from here on out. I guess the difference between (being) second or third is I'd rather be second than third." -- Dennis Setzer on his No. 2 ranking in the standings.

"I really like racing at Texas and we've been close to winning there twice. We could really use a win now to get us closer in the points." -- Carl Edwards, No. 99 Superchips Ford, who finished second and fourth, respectively, in his last three series starts in the Lone Star state; he's third in the standings.

"Winning races is important, but when you're chipping away at the points lead, consistency is the key." -- Ted Musgrave, Bud Pole winner and second-place finisher in June's O'Reilly 400K at Texas Motor Speedway; he's fourth in the standings, four points behind Edwards and 150 behind Hamilton. "I had to learn on my own who will shoot it to me straight and who will not. That's probably the only thing I wish I had known going into the year." -- Wendy Norris, SPEED Channel, on the challenge of being a first-year pit road reporter.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

No driver has won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title and the fall race at Texas Motor Speedway in the same season. Reigning series champion Travis Kvapil came the closest, finishing second in the TMS race a year ago. Jack Sprague was third in the fall TMS race in 2001.

Fast Facts

What: Silverado 350K (Race No. 21 of 25).

Where:  Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth, Texas.

When: 1 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 16.

Track layout: 1.5-mile paved.
Race length: 350 kilometers/219 miles/146 laps.

Posted awards: $530,255.

TV: SPEED Channel, 1 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.

2003 winner: Brendan Gaughan.
2003 polesitter: Andy Houston.

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice 8 -- 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 -- 11:30 a.m. Qualifying 2:15 p.m. No final practice. Trucks impounded after qualifying.

Top 10 in Points: 1. Bobby Hamilton 2,933. 2. Dennis Setzer 2,877. 3. Carl Edwards 2,787. 4. Ted Musgrave 2,783. 5. Matt Crafton 2,662. 6. Chad Chaffin 2,625 7. Travis Kvapil 2,623. 8. David Starr 2,561. 9. Steve Park 2,513. 10. Jack Sprague 2,482.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Steve Park , David Starr , Kevin Harvick , Jay Sauter , Andy Houston , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Ted Musgrave , Chad Blount , Dennis Setzer , Terry Cook , Matt Crafton , Brendan Gaughan , Chad Chaffin , Eric Norris , Scott Lynch , Sammy Sanders , Travis Kvapil