Kvapil scores Toyota's first in NASCAR national competition Waltrip brothers set to renew truck rivalry dormant since 1996 NEWS & NOTES Toyota wins for first time at Michigan ... After two early-season runner-up finishes, Toyota claimed ...
Kvapil scores Toyota's first in NASCAR national competition
Waltrip brothers set to renew truck rivalry dormant since 1996
NEWS & NOTES
Toyota wins for first time at Michigan ... After two early-season runner-up finishes, Toyota claimed its first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory on July 31 at Michigan International Speedway. Travis Kvapil (No. 24 Line-X Toyota) passed his Bang Racing teammate Mike Skinner (No. 42 Toyota Tundra Toyota) with 17 laps to go for the historic win in the truck's 13th series appearance. Each of the series' four manufacturers won a race in July -- Ford at Kansas Speedway, Dodge at Kentucky Speedway and Chevrolet at Gateway International Raceway.
Waltrip brothers prepare to battle at IRP ... Brothers Darrell (No. 11 Toyota Tundra Toyota) and Michael Waltrip (No. 33 Monaco Coach Corporations Chevrolet) will compete against each other in the Power Stroke Diesel 200 for only the second time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Michael got the best of Darrell Waltrip in November 1996, finishing fourth while his older sibling finished 20th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Darrell finished sixth at IRP in 2002.
Etc. ... Competitors boasting six of nine series victories at IRP are expected to compete in this week's 10th edition of the event. They are Skinner (1995-96), Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet, 1998 and 2001), Terry Cook (No. 10 Power Stroke Diesel Ford, 2002) and Edwards (2003). ... If he wins this week, Sprague will become the first $5 million career winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In 185 starts, the three-time champion has won $4,964,569. He'll also celebrate his 40th birthday on Sunday. ... Three of the top-five finishers in last year's Power Stroke Diesel 200 are former Raybestos Rookies of the Year -- Edwards (2003), first; Kvapil (2001), second and Brendan Gaughan (2002), fourth. ... Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet), carries a 33-point lead over Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) into race No. 19 of 25. Setzer's advantage has fluctuated from a high of 131 points (June 28 over Edwards) to six points (July 10 over Hamilton). He has held the No. 1 spot for 10 consecutive races. ... Indianapolis Raceway Park is one of only five venues to host a race in each of the series' 10 seasons. ... Bud Pole starters have won four of the nine races held at IRP with the winner being one of the top-three qualifiers only once. ... Among competitors doing double duty this week is Shane Hmiel (No. 15 Earl Small's Harley-Davidson Chevrolet), who'll again substitute for Kasey Kahne in the NASCAR Busch Series. Hmiel drove Kahne's No. 38 Great Clips Dodge to a fourth-place finish at The Milwaukee Mile. Hmiel finished fourth at IRP last year. ... The preliminary entry for the Power Stroke Diesel 200 lists 52 teams. That's six more than made qualifying attempts a year ago. ... Johnny Benson will get a second stint behind the wheel of the Bill Davis Racing No. 23 Toyota Tundra Toyota. In his debut with the team last week at Michigan International Speedway, Benson drove to a fourth-place finish from 31st. ... Crew Chief John Monsam, released from the No. 50 Roush Racing team of Jon Wood, has signed with Bang Racing and guided Skinner to a third-place finish at Michigan. Monsam has won with a series-record seven drivers. Wood's new crew chief is veteran Roush Racing employee Tony Price. Ten of 30 fulltime series teams -- a third - have made a crew chief change since the season began.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Watch out for these guys ... Skinner, Sprague and Cook have led a combined eight races at Indianapolis Raceway Park, winning five. Skinner led all 250 laps en route to victories in 1995 and 1996 and is the track's all-time series lap leader with 350. Sprague and cook have led 237 and 221 laps, respectively.
"When you pack in 25,000 people there on a Friday night, as a driver I get excited, especially since I've run exceptionally well at IRP. A lot of people don't like it when the pressure is on but I like it and I perform better." -- Terry Cook, a former Indianapolis resident. "There isn't another track on the circuit that comes close to IRP. The fans are always treated to an action packed race. The same goes for the drivers. There have been some incredible last-lap finishes there and I have been fortunate to come out the winner a couple of times." -- Jack Sprague. "I think it is important to start up front at IRP since I have won from the pole twice. I hope we get a chance to qualify. We have not had that opportunity much recently. If we have the chance to qualify, I'm confident we will have a truck good enough to qualify toward the front." -- Mike Skinner, noting Bud Pole qualifying for three of the past four races was canceled due to inclement weather.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The NASCAR Busch Series' No. 2-ranked driver and Raybestos Rookie of the Year leader Kyle Busch made his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 2001. The then-16-year-old Busch finished ninth after starting from the rear of the field in a backup truck. Busch is due to drive the No. 47 ACXIOM Chevrolet in Friday's Power Stroke Diesel 200.
What: Power Stroke Diesel 200 (Race No. 14 of 25).
Where: Indianapolis Raceway Park, Clermont, Ind.
When: 8 p.m. ET, Friday, Aug. 6.
Track layout: .686-mile paved oval.
Race length: 200 laps/137.2 miles.
Posted awards: $485,784.
TV: SPEED Channel, 8 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Carl Edwards.
2003 polesitter: Terry Cook.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday, Practice 11:45 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. Qualifying 3:45 p.m. Trucks impounded following qualifying.
Top 10 in Points: 1. Dennis Setzer 1,971. 2. Bobby Hamilton 1,938. 3. Carl Edwards 1,826. 4. Ted Musgrave 1,785. 5. Matt Crafton 1,783. 6. Chad Chaffin 1,780. 7. Travis Kvapil 1,749. 8. Rick Crawford 1,670. 9. Mike Skinner 1,628. 10. Jack Sprague 1,600.