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Daytona race sees huge ratings increase on SPEED Channel NEWS & NOTES SPEED Channel's Daytona race ratings soar ... The Florida Dodge Dealers 250 was SPEED Channel's highest-rated, most-watched NASCAR Craftsman Truck race ever. According to ...

Daytona race sees huge ratings increase on SPEED Channel

NEWS & NOTES

SPEED Channel's Daytona race ratings soar ... The Florida Dodge Dealers 250 was SPEED Channel's highest-rated, most-watched NASCAR Craftsman Truck race ever. According to Nielsen Media Research figures, the prime time event had a rating of 1.6--60% higher than last year's 1.0. Households were up 70%, from 576,000 to 980,000. Total viewers reached 1,334,000, a 53% increase over the 870,000 tuned into the 2003 Daytona race.

Roush Racing piling up the victories ... NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win leader Roush Racing celebrated its 34th trip to victory circle at Daytona. The number is four more than the current No. 2, Ultra Motorsports. The Florida Dodge Dealers 250 victory is the first on the series for crew chief Kevin Starland, who took over the helm when Doug Richert was promoted to Biffle's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team in September 2003.

Youth served in Florida Dodge Dealers 250 ... Edwards is the first competitor under the age of 40 to win a NASCAR Craftsman Truck race at Daytona. The previous youngest was Mike Wallace (No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet), winner of the 2000 inaugural race at age 40.

Three places, three nameplates ... The four-way manufacturer championship battle between Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford and newcomer Toyota unfolded at Daytona with a different truck maker occupying each of the top-three finishing positions. Travis Kvapil's No. 24 LINE-X Toyota was second, followed by Wallace's Ken Schrader-owned Chevrolet. Ironically, Dodge was shut out of the top 10 for the first time in 113 races -- largely in part to a mid-race accident that hobbled most of the manufacturer's top contenders. Bud Pole qualifying saw each truck maker take a spot in the first four and first eight starting positions.

Next stop Atlanta ... The March 13 EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 marks the series' first visit to 1.54-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway. The venue will be new to some, familiar to others. Many teams have tested at the track, which is expected to be among the fastest on the 2004 schedule. Among the competitors expected to compete is Mike Skinner (No. 42 Toyota Tundra Toyota), winner of the track's 1999 NASCAR Busch Series race.

Etc. ... Edwards' Daytona winnings of $86,760 is a new series record, eclipsing the $84,725 banked by Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) in 1996 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

QUOTEBOOK

"If you had told me six weeks ago that we would come down here and qualify two trucks in the top 10, lead the race and finish second, I wouldn't have believed you." -- Jim Aust, Toyota Vice President of Motorsports and CEO of TRD U.S.A. Inc.

Fast Facts

What:  EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 (Race No. 2 of 25).

Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway.
When: 1 p.m. ET, Saturday, March 13.
Track layout:  1.54 -mile banked paved oval.

Race length: 130 laps/200.2 miles.

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

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice, 9 -- 11:15 a.m. Qualifying, 1:30 p.m. Final practice following NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series practice, time permitting.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ken Schrader , Mike Wallace , Jack Sprague , Travis Kvapil