* Mark Martin looking for first NHIS victory * Point leader Bodine joins the Whelen 'mod squad' * Brendan's winnings 'Gaughan' to the Hoyas New Hampshire 200 News & Notes No wins in New Hampshire -- yet ... Mark Martin (No.
* Mark Martin looking for first NHIS victory
* Point leader Bodine joins the Whelen 'mod squad'
* Brendan's winnings 'Gaughan' to the Hoyas
New Hampshire 200 News & Notes
No wins in New Hampshire -- yet ... Mark Martin (No. 6 Scotts Ford) will make his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at NHIS on Saturday. The season's four-time winner has yet to win at the 1.058-mile track.
O brother where art thou? ... Kyle Busch (No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet) hopes to follow older brother Kurt into the track's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Victory Lane. No brother combination ever has won a series race at the same track.
Kurt Busch won the New Hampshire 200 as a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate in 2000.
Home isn't a bad place to be ... It's homecoming week for Scarborough, Maine competitor Ryan Moore (No. 40 Key Motorsports Chevrolet), a former NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series driver. Will familiarity help guide Moore and his Barry Dodson-led team to its first top-10 finish? "Sure, it helps to know the racetrack and everything but it's not going to help if we don't have the truck driving the way it needs to drive," said Moore. Bowyer tosses his hat in the ring ... NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Clint Bowyer nearly joined a very short list of drivers winning in their first series start when he led 84 laps of April's Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Bowyer gets another chance this week as he drives Morgan-Dollar Motorsports' No. 46 Chevrolet. All in the family ... Tony Hirschmann III, spotter for Terry Cook (No. 10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) is the son of four-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Tony Hirschmann and a seven-time winner at NHIS.
ETC: ... Crawford and Setzer are the only drivers to have competed in nine series races at NHIS. No driver has 10 starts. Setzer's 7.3 average finish is second-best among drivers with multiple starts at NHIS. Musgrave is the leader with a 6.0 average. ... 159 different drivers have chased $3.6 million in New Hampshire posted awards. ... NHIS has yet to see a margin of victory of a second or more in 10 editions of the New Hampshire 200. The total margin of victory -- nine races; one finished under caution -- is 3.942 seconds. The closest finish came in 2002 when Cook edged Setzer by .189 second. ... Michel Jourdain Jr. (No. 50 Roush Racing Ford) will participate in Sunday's Fiestas Patrias, the largest one-day Hispanic event in Las Vegas. The event celebrates Mexico's independence. Craftsman, Univision and Las Vegas Motor Speedway will provide hospitality for 500 VIPs and present other activities prior to the Sept. 23 Smith's Las Vegas 350. ... Bobby Hamilton Racing announced Monday that 19-year-old Chase Miller will replace Timothy Peters in the No. 4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge at NHIS and Las Vegas. The Georgia driver won an ARCA RE/MAX event at Pocono Raceway this summer in only his second series start.
On The Right Track
NHIS appeals to this quintet ... Five winners of the New England 200 will belt in for Saturday's race and that definitely counts for something -- if only the odds of a good finish. The five who will attempt to end the series' longest streak of different winners (shared with Homestead-Miami Speedway) are Ron Hornaday Jr. (1996), Dennis Setzer (1999), Jack Sprague (2001), Terry Cook (2002) and Rick Crawford (2005).
Setzer, Sprague consistent as well ... Setzer leads all series drivers with five top-five finishes at NHIS and shares the top-10 finish record of six with Sprague. Sprague, meanwhile, has won three Budweiser Poles and is one of two to win from the No. 1 position. Jimmy Spencer is the other.
Maybe a rookie winner? ... Two Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates count victories at NHIS -- Andy Houston in 1998 and Kurt Busch in 2000. Only one freshman competed in last year's race, matching the series record. Rookie of the Year Todd Kluever finished 28th.
"The setup we won with in 2002 would probably just barely make the show. It's ever-changing and an evolution." -- Terry Cook on staying ahead of the curve.
"Loudon's a little of everything and it's a lot unforgiving. There's no room for the driver to make an error of any kind." -- Todd Bodine (No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota).
"I think it is a time for reflection for all of us. That will not necessarily make us better racers, but maybe it will make us better people and maybe that's exactly what Peter would have wanted." -- Marcos Ambrose, No. 20 Aussie Vineyards/Team Australia Ford, on the passing of countryman and motorsports icon Peter Brock.
In The Loop
In 2005, nearly half of the green flag passes -- 43.56 percent -- occurred on New Hampshire International Speedway's front or backstretches. There's a reason for that: the length of those straights give a driver an excellent opportunity to pull alongside exiting a turn and powering past before the two competitors reach the next corner.
How did this factor into Rick Crawford's victory? Crawford fashioned 67 percent of his green flag passes -- 21 of 31 -- on straightaways.
Turns 2 and 4 are virtually equal in passing potential. Turn 2 produced 17.44 of the race's passes with 17.27 taking place in Turn 4.
Crawford ranked near the top of two key categories (see below). He was No. 1 in average running position (3.85) and No. 2 in Speed in Traffic (123.906). Ironically, second-place finisher Dennis Setzer was first in the latter category. Crawford topped the field with a Driver Rating of 132.1.
Next Race: New Hampshire 200
The Place: New Hampshire International Speedway
The Date: Sept. 16, 2006
The Time: 2:15 p.m. (ET)
TV: SPEED, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 1.058-mile, paved oval
Race Purse: $537,434
2005 Winner: Rick Crawford
2005 Pole: Matt Crafton
Schedule: Friday -- Practice, 10:15 -- 11:25 a.m., 1:30 -- 1:50 p.m. (rookies) & 2-3 p.m. Saturday: Qualifying, 9:30 a.m.