Joe Ruttman Topeka Pre-Race Notes

O'Reilly Auto Parts 275K August 28th, 1999 Topeka, Kansas TV: ESPN-- (Live) 2:30 PM Eastern Radio: MRN-- (Live) 2:15 PM Eastern Joe Ruttman's Heartland Park Topeka ...

O'Reilly Auto Parts 275K August 28th, 1999 Topeka, Kansas TV: ESPN-- (Live) 2:30 PM Eastern Radio: MRN-- (Live) 2:15 PM Eastern

Joe Ruttman's Heartland Park Topeka NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Results

Date Start Finish Laps Status Money Won

7-29-95 7 2 60 of 60 Running $ 18,250 6-9-96 17 23 67 of 77 Running 5,025 7-27-97 1 1 81 of 81 Running 41,750 8-23-98 9 9 81 of 81 Running 7,570

Totals 289 of 299 (96.6%) $ 72,595

* Well, it is back to the road courses for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. For some that means a tough weekend but for Joe Ruttman and the Dana team it means a chance at victory. Ruttman, one of the Truck Series most successful road racers (3 victories) is looking to duplicate what he accomplished in 1997. That year he won the pole and the race. This year the road races have not been kind to Ruttman. At Portland, a miscue during qualifying put him at the back of the field for the start, and he was only able to record a 10th place finish. That was great compared to the run at Watkins Glen, where an engine let go relegating him to a 25th place finish. But if history at Topeka holds true, Ruttman should have a solid finish.

* On Monday August 16th, Joe Ruttman and the other Dodge drivers were at Heartland Park for a test day with the Dodge Vipers. The test went well except for a small accident on the back straight-away where Ruttman lost his brakes and two of the Vipers where damaged. The drivers did however gain valuable knowledge about the track.

* Joe Ruttman is not driving the same truck the team had at Portland and Watkins Glen. The other two road races this year. That truck, "Catfish" was damaged at New Hampshire in a crash with team owner Bobby Hamilton driving. Instead the Dana team is racing "Goober" which Ruttman had such a good run in at St. Louis last week.

* Currently the Bobby Hamilton Dana Racing team sits just 140 points out of 10th place in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Owner's Point Standings. The team's goal at the beginning of the year was to be in the top ten at the end of the season.

* If Joe Ruttman and the Dana Racing team can record a top ten finish at Heartland Park Topeka it will be their third such finish in a row. It would also be the team's tenth top ten of the year, Ruttman's sixth.

Joe Ruttman

"This is a high speed type of road course. You get going pretty fast and then have two very hard braking points that make this track unique. I like coming here even though it seems as if I have a good run here then a bad one. I guess everything goes in cycles."

I was up here a few weeks ago testing with the rest of the Dodge guys in Vipers and that may help what we can do here. I learned a few things that I can do different that may get me around the track a little quicker."

"Last race the guys performed like winners on pit road. They turned out three of the best stops they have had all year, so I'm fired up to see what they do this week. It's one of those deals where early on they had some trouble during pit stops. So they went to work and now I would put them up against anyone out here."

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Joe Ruttman