Loudon: News of Note, schedule

McMurray back to continue rejuvenation of No. 2 Ultra Motorsports team News of Note: McMurray gets second ride for Ultra Motorsports … After winning the Bud Pole at Richmond International Raceway and finishing second to teammate Ted Musgrave...

McMurray back to continue rejuvenation of No. 2 Ultra Motorsports team

News of Note:

McMurray gets second ride for Ultra Motorsports … After winning the Bud Pole at Richmond International Raceway and finishing second to teammate Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge), NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray gets a return engagement in Ultra Motorsports’ No. 2 Team ASE/Carquest Dodge at New Hampshire International Speedway. McMurray is the record eighth different driver to win a Bud Pole for Jimmy Smith’s Ultra Motorsports, which has won 42 poles overall. Jimmy Spencer (No. 13 Menards Chevrolet) drove the No. 2 truck from the pole to Victory Lane in 2003. McMurray’s Richmond performance was the team’s first top-five finish of 2004.

Etc. … With the seat still warm from Tony Stewart’s third-place run at Richmond, Ricky Craven takes over the No. 47 ACXIOM Chevrolet this week at New Hampshire. The Chevrolet All-Star truck has top-five finishes with Stewart, Robby Gordon and Michael Waltrip. … Truck chief Richie Letendre has been named interim crew chief for Brandon Whitt’s No. 38 Werner Ladders/Cure Autism Now Ford. He replaces Jerry Pitts, who left Clean Line Racing following the Richmond event. … Hank Parker Jr. (No. 21 AirVest Toyota) and wife Wendy welcomed the birth of their second child, Madison Hope, on Sept. 11. … Only two winners, Spencer (2003) and Sprague (2001) have won from the Bud Pole at New Hampshire International Speedway. Craftsman’s Win from the Pole bonus, unclaimed since the June 28 event at Milwaukee, is worth $18,000 this week. … Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford) will make his 190th consecutive series start in the SYLVANIA 200 presented by Lowe’s. … With his $9,100 in winnings at Richmond, Sprague becomes the first $5 million career winner. His total is $5,002,679 in 188 starts. … Two Raybestos Rookie contenders have scored victories at New Hampshire International Speedway. Andy Houston (No. 59 Harris Trucking Dodge) won in 1998; Kurt Busch won in 2000. … Bobby Hamilton Racing has announced an alliance with HT Motorsports, which fields the No. 59 Harris Trucking Dodge. The team will be operated out of the BHR shops near Nashville for the remainder of the 2004 season. Andy Houston will be HT's driver at New Hampshire.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Sprague near perfect in six NHIS appearances … With four top-five finishes and just one run worse than eighth, Sprague has a near-perfect record at New Hampshire International Raceway. He has led 498.318 miles and is the track’s leading series money winner with $132,925. This week’s race marks Sprague’s first start at NHIS since his 2001 victory.

QUOTEBOOK

“The biggest challenge anytime you go into a series or you go into somebody’s backyard, is to try and beat them at their home game. I can assure you that the guys that I am most focused on are the top-10 drivers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series because they do this every week whether they are testing or racing.” – Ricky Craven on his debut in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

“The way I look at it, New Hampshire is really what put me on the map. For a guy from Long Island who raced in New England, we never had a premier race track to really showcase talent until they built New Hampshire International Speedway.” – Steve Park, No. 62 Orleans Dodge.

“Since they’ve changed the configuration of the track as far as opening up another groove on the bottom, the track has gotten ‘racey’.” Now, if you’ve got a good race truck, you can drive right around everybody and not touch them and stay out front all day long.” – Terry Cook, No. 10 International Truck and Engines Ford, the 2002 New Hampshire winner.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Three of eight former New Hampshire International Speedway winners were first-time winners on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. They are Jay Sauter (1997), Andy Houston (1998) and Jimmy Spencer (2003).

Fast Facts

What: SYLVANIA 200 presented by Lowe’s (Race No. 18 of 25).

Where:  New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, N.H.

When: 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18.

Track layout: 1.058-mile paved.
Race length: 211.6 miles/200 laps.

Posted awards: $502,614.

TV: SPEED Channel, 1 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday – Practice 9 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Qualifying 1:30 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Steve Park , Jimmy Spencer , Hank Parker Jr. , Jay Sauter , Robby Gordon , Andy Houston , Kurt Busch , Ricky Craven , Terry Cook , Rick Crawford , Jamie McMurray , Brandon Whitt