NEWS & NOTES, PART II * O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 milestone for Spears Motorsports ... This week's O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 marks the 200th appearance by a truck fielded by Wayne and Connie Spears' team. Hank Parker Jr. continues to...
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
* O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 milestone for Spears Motorsports ... This week's O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 marks the 200th appearance by a truck fielded by Wayne and Connie Spears' team. Hank Parker Jr. continues to substitute for regular driver David Starr. The Spears, who live in Agua Dulce, Calif., have boosted the careers of a number of drivers -- most notably Ron Hornaday Jr. and Kevin Harvick, the latter winning the 1998 NASCAR Winston West Series championship for the team.
* Points standings couldn't be much closer after Milwaukee ... A single point is the difference between NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Orleans Dodge) and his two closest rivals, Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) and Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford). In fact, a 73-point blanket covers the top-six contenders after nine races.
* Three two-race winners after GNC 200 ... Gaughan, the ninth consecutive different winner at The Milwaukee Mile, joins Dennis Setzer (No. 46 ACXIOM/Computer Associates Chevrolet) and Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Performance Dodge) as competitors with two victories apiece in 2003. Gaughan's 109.689 mph average speed was a series record at The Milwaukee Mile. The race saw just a single caution period to match the series mark for fewest yellows.
* BPU Checkered Flag Charities will host a NASCAR/IRL/Media softball game on Thursday at the new 4,500-seat Community/America Ballpark just outside Kansas Speedway. Former major leaguers Brian McRae and David Segui will manage the squads and face off in a home run contest. ... Also on Thursday evening, Terry Cook will visit Kauffman Stadium to throw out the first pitch at the Detroit Tigers/Kansas City Royals game. ... Crawford and Travis Kvapil (No. 16 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet) are the only fulltime series drivers without a DNF following Hamilton's engine failure at Milwaukee. ... Raybestos Rookie contender Randy Briggs (No. 53 CupTire.com Ford) is the leader of the Waste Management Picking Up Places Award standings. Briggs, the Milwaukee Mile winner with 12 places gained, is the only competitor to have won the prize twice.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
* Musgrave, Setzer solid at Kansas Speedway ... Musgrave and Setzer are the only series competitors to have finished among the top five in both editions of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250. In addition, Setzer won the Bud Pole for the inaugural race. Jon Wood (No. 50 Roush Racing Ford) boasts a pair of top-10 finishes at Kansas Speedway.
* The only lap that matters is the last ... Neither driver leading the most laps in two previous races at Kansas Speedway has won the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250. Crawford led 127 of 167 laps one year ago before a rear end leak ended his day. Jack Sprague led 80 laps in 2001 but was denied by engine failure.
* "You'd better watch out; those tracks are right up our alleys." -- Brendan Gaughan, on competing back-to-back at Kansas and Kentucky speedways, both 1.5-mile layouts.
* "There will be a little pressure for me because this team had its best finish ever last year at Kansas." -- David Stover (No. 63 Summer Bay Resort/Dave Porter Truck Sales Ford), on the eighth-place performance by Carl Edwards (No. 99 Roush Racing Ford), in 2002.
* "Having raced dirt tracks growing up, people assume I would like short tracks better but actually I prefer the 1.5 to two-mile tracks. I almost won at Texas so maybe we can repeat that performance at Kansas." -- Carl Edwards.
* "The last two weeks have hurt us but we'll be fine. If we are in 11th place with two or three races to go this year, then I will get worried." -- Chad Chaffin (No. 18 Dickies Dodge), who's 11th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings following a 13th-place finish at The Milwaukee Mile.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
* Jason Leffler (No. 2 Team ASE Racing/Carquest Dodge) is the only competitor to have won two Bud Poles at Kansas Speedway, each in a different national series. Leffler sat on the pole in 2001 for the inaugural NASCAR Winston Cup Series Protection One 400. Last June, Leffler ran a track record 165.812 mph to capture the No. 1 starting position for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250.
What: O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 (No. 10 of 25).
Where: Kansas Speedway.
When: 2 p.m. ET, Saturday, July 5.
Track layout: 1.5-mile paved oval.
Race length: 167 laps/250.5 miles.
TV: SPEED Channel, 2 p.m. ET.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice, 10:15 -- 11:15 a.m. and 1:05 -- 2 p.m. Qualifying, 3 p.m. Final practice 5:50 -- 6:45 p.m.