Texas Motor Speedway pre-race notes

Texas Trio Anxious For Silverado 350k in Front of Home Crowd No Head Games for Title Contenders, Settle It On The Track FORT WORTH, Texas (October 31, 2005) - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams often refer to Texas Motor Speedway as their...

Texas Trio Anxious For Silverado 350k in Front of Home Crowd
No Head Games for Title Contenders, Settle It On The Track

FORT WORTH, Texas (October 31, 2005) - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams often refer to Texas Motor Speedway as their "home away from home," with The Great American Speedway having hosted more events - 16 - than any other venue in the 10-year history of the series.

And for three drivers preparing for Friday night's Silverado 350k, it will be even more of a homecoming for them.

Lone Star State natives David Starr, Blake Mallory and Robert Richardson will each have their own agenda in the Silverado 350k, but all three are in agreement that doing their best in front of the home crowd is paramount.

Starr, a Houston native now residing in Irving, is the veteran of the group. In his eighth season in the series, Starr is eighth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship, but still is chasing an elusive first triumph at his home speedway driving the Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet.

Mallory, from the Fort Worth suburb of Joshua, will team with Dallas owner Jeff Milburn in the Automotive Fabrication Silverado. He has seven career starts, including two at Texas Motor Speedway.

Richardson, from the Dallas suburb of McKinney, is looking to make his second career series start and first at Texas as the driver of the Maverick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Starr has flirted with a visit to Victory Lane several times in his 14 Texas starts. He has three third-place finishes and seven top-10 showings at his home track, but no victories.

"It's great to come home to race and Texas Motor Speedway is just an awesome place to run our Spears Chevy Silverado," Starr said. "I love all the tracks that we go to, but Texas is home and my favorite. The fans are incredible at Texas and the crowd is just huge, plus this is the one event that all my friends and family come to. Pick-up trucks are really popular in Texas and that is pretty evident when you look up in the stands. The Texas fans are really into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and that makes it doubly exciting.

"I view every race as a new opportunity to win and boy would I like to grab that famous cowboy hat this weekend. We've landed on the podium in the past, but first has always eluded us."

Mallory has competed at Texas in the fall truck series race in 2003 and earlier this season. He started 29th and finished 24th in 2003, and started 36th and finished 34th this spring.

"I am so excited to be a part of the big weekend at Texas Motor Speedway," Mallory said. "It will be great to race here at my home track in front of a lot of people that know me. With the race team being new, our goal is to gain experience for the team this weekend."

Richardson devoted himself to racing after a football career in which he starred at McKinney High at quarterback and earned berth on the football team at SMU. He is a former Legends Cars track champion at Lil' Texas Motor Speedway and won the ROMCO Super Late Model Series race on the superspeedway in 2004. Richardson finished 29th in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut Sept. 24 at Las Vegas.

"This whole year has been a surprise," Richardson said. "To get to compete in the Truck Series is a big eye-opener for me. It is something that I am looking forward to doing. I am also eager to get out there, get seat time and experience as well."

NO HEAD GAMES FOR MUSGRAVE, SETZER IN TITLE RUN

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader Ted Musgrave and his closest pursuer Dennis Setzer want to settle the title on tracks such as Texas Motor Speedway, not with "head games."

Both are seeking their first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship heading into the Silverado 350k, with Musgrave holding onto a 51-point advantage over Setzer. Musgrave has a runner-up finish and three third- place finishes in the championship since 2001 while Setzer has been runner- up the last two years.

Is the pair playing head games?

"No. We just goof around like usual," Musgrave said. "That's a whole different deal over there in the Cup side, and that's why we like the Craftsman Truck Series so much. I wouldn't mind going out (with Dennis) and buying dinner and just sit around and have fun."

"No, I don't think so," Setzer responded. "We (Ted) have raced against one another in Trucks for the past five years so games aren't going to mean much to us. I know exactly how Ted is going to race me when I get to him. I would just as soon race against Ted as anybody else on the race track right now."

Setzer would appear to have an advantage on Musgrave entering Friday's Silverado 350k in his quest to cut into the point lead. He has two Texas victories to his credit (Fall 1999 and Spring 2004) with an average finish of 8.3 in 14 starts at the speedway. Setzer has led 79 laps in his career at Texas, 13 in the June Chex 400k when he started 13th and finished third.

Lady Luck has frowned on Musgrave and his quest for a Texas victory in nine Truck attempts. He has led 191 laps and has an average finish of 8.1, better than Setzer. But a variety of circumstances - usually late in races has kept Musgrave out of Victory Lane. Musgrave started 26th in the Chex 400k and finished 14th.

TEXAS TRIFECTA

The first NASCAR tripleheader weekend in Texas Motor Speedway history has Kyle Busch seeking the Texas Trifecta, three wins in three divisions in three days. The younger of the Busch brothers already has victories in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck, Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series this season, becoming only the 14th driver in NASCAR history to reach this accomplishment in their career.

Busch's first Texas Trifecta step in Friday's Silverado 350k already has an obstacle, a damaged Chevrolet from last weekend's Atlanta win.

"It is a shame to see my favorite Chevy Silverado torn up and the guys will have to fix it for Texas," the 20-year-old said. "I am hoping they are able to do that."

CHEVROLET WRAPS UP SIXTH TRUCK MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP

Chevrolet will enter the Silverado 350k as the Manufacturers' champion in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the sixth time in 11 seasons. Busch's Atlanta victory in Billy Ballew's Silverado sealed the title. Past Chevrolet titles were clinched by Trucks owned by Richard Childress, Dale and Teresa Earnhardt and Kevin Harvick.

"We are proud that with Kyle's (Busch) win, Chevrolet clinched the Manufacturer Championship in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series," four-time 2005 winner Setzer said. "That gives them the title in all three NASCAR divisions. That is quite an accomplishment and I am thrilled to be a part of it."

LAST LAP...David Starr needs $12,944 in Silverado 350k earnings to become the 12th driver to win $2 million or more in their NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career..Rick Crawford and Terry Cook are the only drivers to have started all 15 previous Texas Truck events..Former Dallas Cowboy and Oklahoma University football standout Tony Casillas will be the Honorary Starter for the Silverado 350k..Musgrave's point lead is the sixth-closest in series history with three races to go. The leader at this point of the season has won the title six out of 10 times but not since Mike Bliss did so in 2002..A series record 37 drivers have led NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races this year, including Deborah Renshaw at Atlanta, the only female competitor to lead a series race..John Mickel of the United Kingdom will make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in the Silverado 350k, driving for defending series champion Bobby Hamilton. Because the truck

Mickel will drive is in the top 30 in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series owners points, he is guaranteed a starting berth in the race.

-tms-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , David Starr , Kevin Harvick , Ted Musgrave , Dennis Setzer , Terry Cook , Rick Crawford , Mike Bliss , Blake Mallory , Deborah Renshaw , Robert Richardson Jr. , John Mickel , Kyle Busch