This Week in Ford Racing November 2, 1999
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Historically speaking, the 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) season will be remembered as a breakthrough year for Ford Division and the Ford-powered NCTS teams. Not only did Ford win its first manufacturer's title; Roush Racing's Greg Biffle took the series by storm with his record-breaking sophomore season. Let's recap the 1999 NCTS season.
FORD DIVISION WINS 1999 NCTS MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP As a result of Biffle's win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in September, Ford Division claimed the NCTS manufacturer's title unseating four-time manufacturers' champ Chevrolet. Ford NCTS teams won 12 of 25 races - a record for the manufacturer.
"We're thrilled to have won the 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series manufacturer's championship," said Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology and head of Ford's worldwide racing efforts. "We've all worked very hard to continually improve our NASCAR truck racing program over the last five years, and this is the only series right now where the 'Big Three' go head-to-head every week, so it all makes this first championship very rewarding.
"One thing we've tried hard to do over the years is improve the depth of our program from top to bottom, and the fact that seven drivers contributed points toward this year's championship shows that there's been contributions and hard work from a lot of different teams within the Ford program," said Davis.
GREG BIFFLE'S RECORD-BREAKING SEASON IN THE #50 GRAINGER FORD F-150 Even though his 1999 season ended in disappointment as a result of finishing second in the championship by a mere eight points, Biffle's record-breaking season was unparalleled.
With a series' record nine race wins in just his second season in the series, Biffle followed up on his 1998 Rookie-of-the-Year campaign by taking more checkered flags than Jack Sprague (series champ), Dennis Setzer (third-place finisher), Stacy Compton (fourth-place finisher) and Jay Sauter (fifth-place finisher) combined. In fact, he recorded three times as many wins as both Sprague and Setzer on his way to breaking Mike Skinner's previous win record of eight.
Biffle set a one-season race winning's record of $579,405 and with the second-place championship awards, he became the 10th driver in series history to win $1 million in his career.
Following his first career win at Memphis in May, Biffle went on a tear winning eight of the following 16 events. He completed all 25 races in 1999 and contributed an astonishing 91 of the 174 points to Ford Division's manufacturer's title.
Biffle concluded the season with 16 top five and 19 top-10 finishes and also won four poles (Memphis, Bristol, Milwaukee, and Nazareth). "We had a great year," Biffle said. "There is no disputing that. The Grainger team has so much to be proud of but unfortunately what happened to us leaves a bad taste in our mouths because we felt like we had a championship season. All we can do is try to pick up the pieces and go win the title next year."
1999 SEASON SUMMARIES FROM FORD NCTS DRIVERS Mike Wallace, #2 Team ASE Ford F-150: Competed in all 25 races and finished sixth in points with two wins (Homestead and Pikes Peak); 12 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes
Mike Bliss, #99 Exide Batteries Ford F-150: Competed in all 25 races and finished ninth in points with one win (Topeka); two poles (Martinsville, Pikes Peak); six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes
Kevin Harvick, #98 Porter-Cable Power Tools Ford F-150: Competed in all 25 races and finished 12th in points with six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes
Mike Stefanik, #66 Carlin Burners & Controls Ford F-150: Won the 1999 Rookie-of-the-Year title Competed in all 25 races and finished 13th in points with one top-five and nine top-10 finishes
Rick Crawford, #14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150: Competed in all 25 races and finished 14th in points with three top-five and 10 top-10 finishes
Kevin Cywinski, #31 Auto Trim Design Ford F-150: Competed in all 25 races and finished 16th in points with two top-five and seven top-10 finishes
Rob Morgan, #46 Acxiom Ford F-150: Competed in all 25 races and finished 19th in points with one top-five and one top 10 finish
Tim Steele, #21 HS Die & Engineering Ford F-150: Competed in 13 races and finished 25th in points with one pole (Nashville) and one top-10 finish
Boris Said, #44 Federated Auto Parts Ford F-150: Competed in six races and finished 34th in points with one pole (Portland) and two top-five and two top-10 finishes
1999 MANUFACTURER CHAMPIONSHIP POINT'S CONTRIBUTORS
DRIVER POINTS RACE Mike Wallace 9 Homestead Rick Crawford 4 Phoenix Ron Barfield 6 Monroe Kevin Harvick 6 Bakersfield Kevin Cywinski 4 Martinsville Greg Biffle 9 Memphis Mike Wallace 9 Pikes Peak Kevin Cywinski 4 I-70 Kevin Cywinski 4 Bristol Greg Biffle 4 Texas Greg Biffle 9 Portland Mike Wallace 6 Watkins Glen Greg Biffle 9 Milwaukee Kevin Harvick 6 Nashville Greg Biffle 9 Nazareth Greg Biffle 9 Michigan Mike Wallace 6 Loudon Greg Biffle 9 IRP Greg Biffle 9 Gateway Mike Bliss 9 Topeka Greg Biffle 9 Richmond Greg Biffle 9 Las Vegas Mike Wallace 6 Louisville Greg Biffle 6 Texas Mike Bliss 4 California
TOTALS Greg Biffle 91 Mike Wallace 36 Kevin Harvick 12 Kevin Cywinski 12 Mike Bliss 13 Ron Barfield 6 Rick Crawford 4 174