THIS RACE: The Racetickets.com 200 NASCAR Craftsman Series (NCTS) race at California Speedway will be the 10th Craftsman Truck Series event at the track. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in the field at California. LAST RACE: In the 2006 ...
THIS RACE: The Racetickets.com 200 NASCAR Craftsman Series (NCTS) race at California Speedway will be the 10th Craftsman Truck Series event at the track. There will be nine Toyota Tundras in the field at California.
LAST RACE: In the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series season-opener at Daytona International Speedway (Feb.17), five Tundra drivers finished among the top-10 in the final results. Chasing race-winner Mark Martin to the Daytona checkered flag were Tundra drivers Todd Bodine (second), Ted Musgrave (third), Mike Skinner (fourth), Jack Sprague (fifth) and David Reutimann (ninth).
MORE THAN DECENT DEBUT: Germain Racing teammates Todd Bodine and Ted Musgrave chased Mark Martin to the checkered flag and crossed the finish line second and third in their initial start as a tandem. Bodine, driver of the No.30 Germain Motor Company Tundra, started eighth and led six laps en route to the finish line. Musgrave, driver of the No.9 Team ASE Tundra, started 17th and led six laps on his way to a third-place result. "Second and third is a great way to start the year, even though we wanted to win," said Bodine, after the race. "It's great for me to have a teammate like Teddy and for us to finish together. It's a long year, and this is a great way to start with the points."
MUSGRAVE'S `MOMENT': "At the end of the race I thought Mark (Martin) was overheating, but it was just the sweat coming out from his helmet because he saw two Toyotas teaming up behind him," said Musgrave, following the race. "Todd and I had a plan at the end. Our two Germain Racing Tundras were really strong and I thought we were going to get a win. I'm looking forward to California because I know what the trophy looks like out there."
FOUR SCORE: Teammates Ted Musgrave and Todd Bodine have combined for four victories at California Speedway. Musgrave is a three-time winner (2001-2003) at the track and Bodine captured the California checkered flag in 2004.
TODD TAKES ONE: In 2004, Todd Bodine captured the checkered flag at California Speedway driving the No.30 Germain/Arnold Racing Toyota Tundra. It was Bodine's first career NCTS victory (in his 11th series start), and Toyota's second win during the manufacturer's inaugural season in the series.
CALIFORNIA MEMORIES: What does Todd Bodine remember most about his 2004 win at California Speedway? "The whole weekend is what I remember," says Bodine. "We unloaded quick and were able to work on fine-tuning the truck. We didn't have to worry about being fast because we already were fast from the first practice. We just had to work on little things and that's what allowed us to be so good in the race. Everything worked perfectly because we were so fast when we arrived at the track. The whole weekend was picture perfect."
SKINNER'S STORY: Mike Skinner started the season at Daytona with a fourth-place finish in his No.5 Bill Davis Racing Tundra although it was not the result he was seeking. "I'm just thankful we finished fourth," said Skinner. "The race finish was very frustrating, but if you look back at history and look back at last year -- I can count six races that we dominated and inside 10 laps to go, the caution came out and we lost those races. I'm not going to complain about it because it is what it is but it's really frustrating."
HEADING HOME: Although Mike Skinner now calls Daytona Beach, FL home, he is a California native. He was born in Ontario and grew up in Susanville. He began his racing career at California's Lassen County Fairgrounds and also won three track titles at Susanville Speedway.
LAST WIN IN CALIFORNIA: Before he won a pair of NCTS races last season at Bristol and Richmond, Mike Skinner's last NCTS victory came at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif. during the 1996 season. It was his last season as a full-time competitor in the series before moving to the NASCAR Cup division. He returned to the Craftsman Truck Series full-time in 2004.
JACK'S BEST: Jack Sprague finished fifth at Daytona in the No.60 Con-Way Tundra. "We came to Daytona with a very strong truck and we leave Daytona with a very strong truck," said Jack Sprague. "That's the best I've ever finished at Daytona and I'll take it. We got the season off to a solid start and now we have some momentum heading to California."
LEADERS OF THE PACK: In the 2005 season opener at Daytona, five Tundra drivers led laps in the race -- Mike Skinner (34 laps), Todd Bodine (six laps), Ted Musgrave (six laps), Bill Lester (three laps) and Jack Sprague (one lap).
NEW EXPERIENCE: "I've never raced at California Speedway, so it will be a whole new experience for me," says Joey Miller, driver of the No.12 Curb Records Tundra. "I'm really looking forward to going to California just because I'm a Minnesota- kid that's never really been that far West. The team ran strong there last season and had a good qualifying effort and finish and we expect the same again this year."
MORE EXPERIENCE: David Reutimann, driver of the No.17 Team Tundra Racing Toyota is entering his third year competing in the Craftsman Truck Series. "The competition was extremely tough my rookie year and I thought it was just because I was a rookie and didn't know what I was doing," said Reutimann. "As it turns out, it was tougher last year and it's going to be even tougher this year. The level of competition never seems to go down -- it seems to get tougher at each and every race. Now, it's to the point where if you win a Craftsman Truck Series race, you're really doing something."
STUDENT MECHANICS TO JOIN TOYOTA CREWS FOR DAY: Tundra teams will host nine students from the L.A. Urban League Automotive Training Center (ATC), a thirteen-year partnership between the L.A. Urban League and Toyota Motors Sales, USA (TMS), this Thursday at California Speedway. Students will hear from Pat Wall, VP - TRD, a crew chief, a NASCAR technical inspector, and a TRD engine tuner about various employment opportunities available beyond the traditional automotive mechanic career path. In addition, each student will `shadow' a mechanic for the afternoon as the team prepares for practice, qualifying and the race, including the inspection process and post-practice changes.