NAPACARD 200 Friday Notebook MONROE, Wash. Some notes and quotes from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' NAPACARD 200 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash.: Ron Hornaday already holds the record for most career victories in the NASCAR ...
NAPACARD 200 Friday Notebook
MONROE, Wash. Some notes and quotes from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' NAPACARD 200 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash.:
Ron Hornaday already holds the record for most career victories in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. His two wins so far this season -- at Orlando, Fla., and Phoenix -- have put him at 19 over a span of three years-plus.
A victory in Saturday's NAPACARD 200 at Evergreen, however, will give him the all-time edge in short track victories in the series. Hornaday, who won the race here in 1995, is currently tied with Mike Skinner in that department with 12. Skinner, of course, raced in the series only during its first two seasons in 1995 and '96.
"I have always run well at Evergreen," Hornaday said. "We did not have a good finish at the last race (Portland). I have put pressure on myself to step it up at the Monroe race. I will do what it takes to get up front."
Kevin Harvick is becoming the Mike Stefanik of the West Coast. Taking a page out of the book of last year's NASCAR Busch North and Featherlite Modified series champion, Harvick is battling for twin titles in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the Winston West Series, a NASCAR Touring Division.
The Spears Chevrolet driver stands 11th in the former, first in the latter following the 22-year-old Bakersfield, Calif., native's second-place finish -- to Ken Schrader -- in the May 2 Auto Club 200 at California Speedway.
Defending NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion and current point leader Jack Sprague got his 1997 season rolling last year at Evegreen with his first top-10 finish of the campaign. He finished runner-up in the NAPACARD 200 to Rich Bickle .
Even so, his average finish at the 0.646-mile facility is just 12.33. Just once, Hornaday in 1996, has the point leader following the stop at Evergreen gone on to win the championship.
Rick Carelli, driver of the No. 6 RE\MAX Chevrolet, has tasted victory at Evergreen, but in the NASCAR Winston West Series, in 1993. That was a 500-lap race around the 0.646-mile paved oval.
"I love this track," said Carelli, currently sixth in the point standings, 109 points behind Sprague. "The biggest win of my (racing) career happened here when I was racing in the NASCAR Winston West, and I'd like nothing more than to add a truck win here, too."
Carelli has one career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory, at Bristol, in 1996.
If you're not satisfied with what you've got, don't go with it. That was the philosophy of the No. 52 Ken Schrader-owned Purolator PUREONE Chevrolet team and driver Mike Wallace for this Saturday's race.
"We had originally planned to keep the truck we ran at Portland out on the West Coast and take it to Monroe," Wallace said. "We were disappointed with our performance there (at Portland), and feel we had the wrong package, so we decided to bring the truck back home and put together a new program for Monroe."
Wallace finished 19th at Portland and has slipped to 25th in the standings. However, Wallace had the second-fastest truck in the first practice session on Friday (98.193 mph).
Lonnie Rush, driver of the A&G Coal Corporation Chevrolet, was the fastest truck in a late-starting first-round practice session on Friday. Rush circled the 0.646-mile oval in a fast lap of 98.355 mph.
Bob Keselowski was third in his Dodge (98.185), followed by Stacy Compton (98.106) and Sprague (97.792).
It was guaranteed that once again, there would be no repeat Bud Pole winner in the NAPACARD 200. Last year's Bud Pole winner, Bickle, did not return to the series as a regular in 1998, and was not entered in this year's race.
Tobey Butler won the pole for the race at Evergreen in 1996, while Skinner won the pole in 1995 in the series' inaugural campaign.
Light rains pushed Friday afternoon's schedule for the trucks back a bit, creating a practice session for Saturday morning. Friday's first one-hour practice got under way at just before 4 p.m. PST, and then a second practice was held from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., just prior to qualifying at 7:45.
The trucks will get a final practice session from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday.
No one went home disappointed about not qualifying for Saturday evening's race. A total of 32 trucks entered and qualified for the event. A total of 32 trucks will start the 200-lap race.
Source: NASCAR Online