Willie Allen to debut at Martinsville

Willie Allen Set for NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Debut at Martinsville Young Driver Ready to Follow in Footsteps of Fellow Tennessee Greats Martinsville, VA - Willie Allen will make his debut in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition on ...

Willie Allen Set for NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Debut at Martinsville
Young Driver Ready to Follow in Footsteps of Fellow Tennessee Greats

Martinsville, VA - Willie Allen will make his debut in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition on October 22 at famed Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 200. Allen will pilot the No. 47 Chevrolet Nashville Visitors and Convention Bureau Silverado fielded by Morgan Dollar Motorsports and team with current NCTS points leader, Dennis Setzer.

Sponsorship of Allen's race truck has been provided by the Visitors and Convention Bureau of Nashville. This is the second time the home of country music has been featured on the No. 47 in 2005. Nashville was emblazed on the side of the truck when Bobby Labonte raced to a second place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this season in the third closest finish in NCTS history, a mere eight thousandths of a second.

Allen hails from an area that has produced some of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history. Born and raised in Bon Aqua, TN, Allen knows the rich history of stock car racing that produced multi-time NEXTEL Cup champion Darrell Waltrip. Following in the footsteps of great drivers like Coo Coo Marlin, Sterling Marlin and Bobby Hamilton is a challenge Allen is more than ready to tackle.

"I'm honored that Morgan-Dollar Motorsports and Chevy Silverado have shown the confidence in me to run the No. 47 truck at Martinsville," said Allen. "I am truly blessed to have such a top-notch team, and the mentoring of Dennis Setzer, for my first appearance in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. I know the competition is stiff in the Truck Series so we have made it our number one priority to qualify for the race and then run all 200 laps to gain as much experience as possible."

Allen has established himself as one of the hottest young stock car talents in Tennessee. In 2005, the young driver has been running Super Trucks, NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Late Models, and UARA (United Auto Racing Association) Cars at the following tracks: Music City Motorplex - Nashville, TN; Hickory Motor Speedway - Hickory, NC; Caraway Speedway - Asheboro, NC; South Boston Speedway - South Boston, VA and Newport Speedway - Newport, TN. He has scored six wins, seven top-five, and eight top-10 finishes.

Starting in go-karts in 1997, Allen worked his way through the Legends car ranks and in to the Super Trucks at tracks throughout his home state. He made the transition to the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series in 2004 scoring two wins, four top-five, and six top-10 finishes on his way to the Rookie of the Year title.

"I grew up just outside Nashville, and have raced there for several years now. I am honored that the city of Nashville has confidence in me and has chosen to sponsor our Silverado. Nashville is truly Music City and also has a long and distinguished racing history. Some of the greatest drivers in our sport started their careers in Nashville. I am proud to have the opportunity to represent both at Martinsville."

Prior to his NCTS debut, Allen participated in the GM Racing Driver Development test at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina. His performance led to the opportunity to make his first NCTS start at Martinsville Speedway. In preparation for his debut, Allen has had the opportunity to test at Caraway with Setzer in attendance as a mentor and coach.

"Having Dennis to help me through the process has helped my learning curve tremendously," Allen concluded. "It is very exciting to run our first NCTS race in Martinsville! There is so much history there, and the races are always so exciting for the fans. I can't wait till I get out on that track and make laps."

Veteran crew chief Randy Goss will lead Allen's effort at Martinsville. Goss is a seasoned NASCAR veteran and one of the only crew chiefs to win races in all three major NASCAR divisions. He has notched 20 victories in the NCTS, his last coming in April 2005 when Labonte took the No. 47 to victory lane at Martinsville.

"We have been very impressed with how quickly Willie has adapted to the truck," said Goss. "He is a talented young driver and we are looking forward to heading to Martinsville this weekend and see what we can do."

Willie is represented by Modern Management, the same firm that represents country music stars and groups including: Diamond Rio, Sara Evans, and Josh Turner. Modern Management is based in Nashville, Tennessee

The only practice for the Martinsville Kroger 200 is scheduled for two hours and fifteen minutes beginning at 9:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, October 21. Qualifying will be held at 4:45 PM EDT and the final field of trucks impounded until the scheduled race start at 1:15 p.m. EDT on Saturday, October 22, 2005. Live television coverage of the 200-lap/ 105.2-mile race will be provided by SPEED Channel with MRN and XM Satellite bringing the race live on the airwaves.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Sterling Marlin , Dennis Setzer , Willie Allen