Fontana: Local drivers return to their roots

Hometown Feeling When NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Drivers Return to their Roots FONTANA, Calif. (September 28, 2004) - It will feel like home for six California-born NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers when they return to the golden state...

Hometown Feeling When NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Drivers Return to their Roots

FONTANA, Calif. (September 28, 2004) - It will feel like home for six California-born NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers when they return to the golden state for the American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway on October 2.

It doesn't matter if they were born in northern, southern or central California, Matt Crafton, Phil Bonifield, Bill Lester, Lance Hooper, Mike Skinner and Brandon Whitt will come to California Speedway for one purpose: to win.

Matt Crafton, who was born in Tulare, Calif., has never won at the superspeedway but still feels the excitement knowing he will be racing in his home state.

"Racing in front of a hometown crowd definitely brings more excitement and intensity to the weekend," he said. "I am going to have friends and family there, so I am really looking forward to it."

Crafton took home his best truck series finish ever at the 2000 California event despite running a limited schedule. "It was my very first truck race ever and I finished ninth," Crafton said. "That was a big accomplishment."

Phil Bonifield, who hails from Napa, Calif. has raced in both the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series at California Speedway. Bonifield will compete in his fifth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at California with his best finish of 24th in 2001.

Northern Californians and Toyota-backed drivers Mike Skinner and Bill Lester, will attempt to drive to the front of the pack to beat their best California Speedway finishes of fifth and 14th, respectively.

It's not just northern California that claims a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver. "Southern" boy Brandon Whitt, who comes from El Cajon, Calif., will drive his No. 38 Werner Ladder /Cure Autism Now Ford around the 2-mile, D-shaped oval. Whitt finished 13th last September at California.

Lance Hooper will compete in his fourth truck series race at California Speedway. The Palmdale, Calif., native's best finish at the superspeedway came in 1998 when he finished fourth in a NASCAR West Series event.

Come watch these drivers impress their home state during the IRL/NASCAR weekend in Fontana. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series American Racing Wheels 200 and the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series 100 join the IRL IndyCar Series TOYOTA Indy 400 on Oct. 1-3. Tickets for Saturday's double-header race day and IndyCar qualifying are $35. Sunday's IRL IndyCar Series TOYOTA Indy 400 tickets are $45. Children 12 and under are free. For ticket and event information call 800-944-RACE (7223) or visit the speedway's website at www.californiaspeedway.com.

-cs-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Matt Crafton , Lance Hooper , Bill Lester , Phil Bonifield , Brandon Whitt