*Former NCWTS Competitors Shine In 2010 Chase *Danny Stockman Enjoys Calling Shots For Dillon *New Hampshire Hornaday's Stomping Ground Five NCWTS Graduates Make The Chase In 2010 As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series relished an open week...
*Former NCWTS Competitors Shine In 2010 Chase
*Danny Stockman Enjoys Calling Shots For Dillon
*New Hampshire Hornaday's Stomping Ground
Five NCWTS Graduates Make The Chase In 2010
As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series relished an open week on the schedule after nine straight weeks on the road, the lights shined in Richmond, Va., on the 12 drivers who qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Five of those drivers -- Kevin Harvick (No. 2 KHI Chevrolet), Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch (No. 18 KBM Toyota), Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards -- are Truck Series graduates. All five received their starts in NASCAR's top-tier series following their success in the Truck Series.
Harvick and Kyle Busch currently own teams in the series and are both entered in this weekend's running of TheRaceDayRaffleSeries.com at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Biffle, the only Truck Series champion out of the five, explained Saturday how the series helped prepare him for the future: "I learned so much about our sport and about different aspects of it on so many levels. I learned how to enter and exit pit road and how to get into your pit box without losing positions. Today, the drivers are exposed to green-white-checkered flag restarts and much more."
In addition to the championship, Biffle earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2000 and collected 16 wins, 42 top fives and 12 poles before moving up to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2001.
He won the Nationwide Series championship the following year.
He is the only driver who has the chance to win all three national series championships -- a feat that has never been done.
"It would make a driver's career to win a Sprint Cup," Biffle said. "To win all three and be the first to win all three -- it would be really cool to be able to do it first."
Starr: Always Happy No Matter The Situation
Well traveled is one way to describe David Starr (No. 81 Zachry Toyota). Always successful would be another -- and likely the best.
Starr will complete the 2010 season with SS Greenlight Racing after competing in the schedule's first 15 races for Randy Moss Motorsports. When RMM elected not to enter Starr at Chicagoland Speedway on Aug. 27, he caught a one-race deal with SS Greenlight and drove its backup truck to a 10th-place finish.
That was enough for team owner Ken Smith to ink a contract for the year's final eight races.
"We have assembled a team that will only grow with David behind the wheel," said Smith.
Starr, sixth all-time in the series with 258 starts, has finished among the top 10 in the championship standings seven times with four different teams: Spears Motorsports, Red Horse Racing, Circle Bar Racing and HT Motorsports.
"I couldn't be happier to be with them," said Starr.
Starr currently ranks ninth in the standings following a finish of 14th in Kentucky.
Wayne's Words: Trip To New England Always Enjoyable
"The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to New Hampshire this weekend -- a trip we always look forward to for the scenery and, of course, the seafood -- I can taste the lobster now.
"The September race has become a tradition we all enjoy. The leaves are always changing colors and it is our first taste of fall-like weather -- which is a nice change from the summer heat we have experienced recently. And who doesn't love New England seafood?
"New Hampshire is just over a mile -- somewhat similar to a short track -- but does display some unique features. It has a relatively flat surface and long straightaways. The biggest challenge drivers face is getting on the brakes in the right spot before going through the turns and then heading down the long straighaways.
"I really look for Ron Hornaday Jr. -- who has three wins at New Hampshire -- to shine this weekend. He has had some misfortune this year, but we often joke that this track is his own little playground.
"And we can't forget Northeast native Todd Bodine who has never won at New Hampshire, but has two top-five finishes.
"Considering he has already won four races this season, I wouldn't count him out this weekend as a contender."
-- Series Director, Wayne Auton
Q&A With Danny Stockman: Opportunity AT RCR Worth Taking
At the beginning of the season, third-generation racer Danny Stockman took a chance leaving Kevin Harvick Inc. -- a team who won two series championships in three years with Stockman as the truck chief -- to join Richard Childress Racing as crew chief for Austin Dillon (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet). It was the first time in his career Stockman would be making the calls. It was a challenge he was ready for -- the duo set out as rookies together and have done more than turn a few heads in the process.
What is it like working for a rookie driver?
"I love working with a rookie driver. I wouldn't have it any other way. We're both rookies who are very passionate and driven and wanting to prove ourselves, so it's good to work with someone that has the same goal as me. We both want to prove ourselves, and its fun to come up through the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series together."
What has been the biggest challenge the season? Biggest surprise?
"Sometimes it's hard because with most of the tracks we go to, Austin has no experience, so it's difficult to determine how the truck will feel once the weather cools down and we are in race conditions. We have fast trucks and we prove that by earning poles and being fastest in practice on a consistent basis, but I feel like we are missing something, set-up wise, under race conditions. I'm working hard as a crew chief to get to the point where I know exactly how loose or how tight he needs the truck to feel in order to be fast. We're building a good notebook right now so that next year, when we visit these racetracks for the second time, we can make a run for the championship. The biggest surprise so far this year has definitely been all of the pole awards we have earned. Austin tied the record for poles by a rookie competitor this year. He is proving that he is capable of doing this."
How did you get involved in racing?
"I'm a third generation racer. My grandfather raced midgets and sprints, mainly on the West coast, and was even invited to the Indianapolis 500 in 1956. My father was a driver-crew chief, owned his own race team and built chassis for a living. I began racing when I was three years old in quarter midgets. At 19 years old, I moved to Las Vegas to work for Orleans Racing as a mechanic. In 2006, Rick Carelli hired me at Kevin Harvick Inc. We won the championship in 2007. In 2008 we led the point standings until the last race of the season, and then won the championship again in 2009. This is my first year at RCR, and I've enjoyed working as a rookie crew chief with a rookie driver this season."
Most Popular DriverMore than 21,527 votes have been cast for the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series most popular balloting. Fans can visit www.nascar.com and vote for their favorite driver on the NCWTS page.
Fans also may write in their favorite driver who is not among the nominees by sending an e-mail to email@example.com and submit their write-in vote. Voting ends on Nov. 12.
The winner will be announced at the NCWTS postseason banquet. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series awards will again take place in South Florida at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel on Monday, Nov. 22.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at New Hampshire has been won from the pole three times -- Jack Sprague (2001), Jimmy Spencer (2003), and Ron Hornaday Jr. (2007).
Every race since has been won from a top-10 starting position. Kyle Busch won last season after starting second.
Andy Houston -- who spots for Austin Dillon -- won the truck race at New Hampshire in 1998. He started seventh and led 56 laps.
Past race winners Ron Hornaday Jr., Dennis Setzer and Kyle Busch are entered in TheRaceDayRaffleSeries.com 175.
Mike Skinner (No. 5 Exide-International Toyota) remains winless in 2010. He is the only driver to win in 2009 who competed in both last season and this season still searching for a win.
Ricky Carmichael (No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet) held his second annual charity golf tournament on Monday to support ECHO, a local non-profit organization that supports homeless families in the Tallahassee area.
Hornaday Jr. Has Performed Better Than Finishes Show In 2010 Most drivers would give their right foot to have the season Ron Hornaday Jr. is having this year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
One driver who probably wouldn't: Hornaday Jr.
Statistically, it's a down year in just about every category for the four-time champion.
He has one win, compared to six in each of the last two seasons. To match that total, Hornaday would have to win five of the final seven races.
He has nine top fives. Last year, he had 15. The year before that, 14. To reach last year's sum, he'd need to finish in the top five in all but one of the remaining events.
The same holds true for top 10s. He has 11, making it impossible to match last year's total of 20.
But there are signs that bad luck is the culprit here. Hornaday's Loop Data statistics suggest that he has performed much better than he has finished. His average Driver Rating is 106.7, and he has scored a rating over 100.0 in 12 of the 18 races. His Average Running Position is an impressive 8.8 -- he's running in the top 10, just not finishing there all that often.
This weekend in New Hampshire should fit nicely into Hornaday's comeback plans. His last three finishes at New Hampshire: first, first, second. In the two wins, he scored a rare perfect Driver Rating of 150.0, with incredible average finishes of 1.7 and 1.8. Overall at New Hampshire, he has a series-best Driver Rating of 133.4.
Up Next: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will roll the dice in the city that never sleeps for the running of the Smith's Food & Drug Stores 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The 1.5-mile track hosts the series for the 14th time on Saturday, Sept. 25.
Johnny Sauter (No. 13 Curbs Records Chevrolet) won last year's race in dominating fashion. No driver has ever won back-to-back races at Las Vegas. Mike Skinner and Jack Sprague remain the all-time winners at the famed track with two victories each.
In 12 of 13 previous races, the winner has started from a top-10 starting position.
The Race: TheRaceDayRaffleSeries.com 175
The Place: New Hampshire Motor Speedway(1.058-mile oval)
The Date: Saturday, Sept. 18
The Time: 3 p.m. ETRace Distance: 175 laps / 185.15 miles TV: SPEED, 2:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SIRIUS NASCAR Radio(Listen locally on WGIR-FM 101.1.)
2009 Polesitter: Mike Skinner
2009 Winner: Kyle Busch
Schedule (All times ET):
Friday: Practice, 10--11:20 a.m., 1:15--2:30 p.m.
Saturday: Qualifying, 10:05 a.m.