Hickory NCTS bragging rights preview

NCTS Drivers to Battle for Bragging Rights at Hometown Track HICKORY, N.C. -- Craftsman Motorsports and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will bring three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers back to their old stomping grounds at Hickory...

NCTS Drivers to Battle for Bragging Rights at Hometown Track

HICKORY, N.C. -- Craftsman Motorsports and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will bring three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers back to their old stomping grounds at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 8.

Former Hickory track champions and current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Andy Houston, Robert Huffman and Dennis Setzer will compete for bragging rights in a 10-lap Late Model shootout at the track where they cut their teeth. Marty Houston, a crew member on the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado, part-time driver in the Series and Andy's brother, also will race in the Craftsman Challenge: Hometown Bragging Rights Race presented by Goodyear.

Fans will have the opportunity to get autographs from each driver from 6-7 p.m.

"I always love to go back to Hickory and mess around at the track, and this is going to be a really neat deal for the fans and for us," said Setzer, driver of the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado. "Andy, Marty, Robert and I are all from this small area, we all got our start at Hickory Motor Speedway, and now we are all competing at one of the most prestigious platforms of motorsports -- the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. It will be great to get back to our roots."

This won't be the first time that the Houstons, Huffman and Setzer have gone head-to-head on the race track. From Saturday night racing at the short track in their hometown to high-banked superspeedways on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit, these local heroes have battled for top billing in Hickory for years.

Each driver has taken the checkered flag on multiple occasions at Hickory, and all four have been crowned the track champion -- Setzer (1983 and 1993), Huffman (1988 and 1989), Andy Houston (1994) and Marty Houston (1997). But none may be more important than this 10-lap match race that will give one driver bragging rights in his hometown for the entire year.

"I haven't raced at Hickory since 1998, so I am really looking forward to getting behind the wheel and racing there thanks to the help of Goodyear and Craftsman," said Andy Houston, driver of the No. 2 ASE/CarQuest Dodge in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "The track has been an important part of my career, and it has meant a lot to my family. I would love nothing more than to win this match race."

As energized as the drivers are about returning to their grassroots, the fans in the grandstand also will get a taste of the excitement. The track will randomly select four fans each to be paired with one driver for the race.

The winning driver's fan will receive a replica bragging rights trophy and tickets to the Infineon 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte on Friday, May 21.

"The fans at Hickory are some of the best around, and they are going to get treated to a great race," said Robert Huffman, driver of the No. 12 Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "We're all excited about going back and racing where our careers began. It's going to be a lot of fun."

The shootout is scheduled to follow the Late Model feature and will begin at approximately 9 p.m. The drivers will be piloting Late Models borrowed from current Hickory competitors. Goodyear will provide tires for the race.

One common bond for the drivers is their Goodyear rubber, which has been exclusive in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since its inception in 1995. Other highlights for the world's largest tiremaker are the 50th anniversary of non-stop involvement with NASCAR and being the longest-running sponsor of the sanctioning body.

Admission to Hickory Motor Speedway is $10 for adults, $6 for teens and seniors, $3 for seven-12 and free for six and under; or a family pass can be purchased for $25. Admission to the pits is also $25. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the autograph session will begin at 6 p.m.

For more information, call 828-464-3655 or visit www.hickorymotorspeedway.com.

Craftsman, the Official Tools of NASCAR, has sponsored the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since it began in 1995. According to a 2002 EquiTrend survey, Craftsman is rated the No. 1 brand in the nation among men for overall quality. Sears sells more than 1,600 Craftsman hand tools that are guaranteed forever. If any Craftsman hand tool ever fails to give complete satisfaction, return it for free repair or replacement. Sears offers Craftsman tools, merchandise and related services nationwide through its Full-line stores, Sears Hardware stores, Sears Dealer stores and Orchard Supply Hardware stores, as well as through specialty catalogs and online at www.sears.com and www.craftsman.com.

-craftsman/sears-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck , Stock car
Drivers Andy Houston , Marty Houston , Dennis Setzer , Robert Huffman