Mansfield: News of note, schedule

Kvapil, Skinner and Ohio governor promoting state literacy program NEWS & NOTES Bang Racing duo, Ohio governor read in Columbus ... Kvapil and teammate Mike Skinner (No. 42 Toyota Tundra Toyota) will join Ohio Governor Bob Taft at inner city...

Kvapil, Skinner and Ohio governor promoting state literacy program

NEWS & NOTES

Bang Racing duo, Ohio governor read in Columbus ... Kvapil and teammate Mike Skinner (No. 42 Toyota Tundra Toyota) will join Ohio Governor Bob Taft at inner city Leawood Elementary School in Columbus on Thursday morning to promote literacy and Taft's major education initiative, OhioReads. Taft will read from the new NASCAR children's book, Speedway Superstars, before giving each of the 425 students in attendance a copy of the book, published by Reader's Digest Children's Books. Bang Racing and Toyota Motorsports will donate $10,000 to the OhioReads program.

Add Ohio connections ... Skinner's wife, Angie, a Capital University graduate and Jackson native, was a news department intern at NBC affiliate WCMH in Columbus. She later filed helicopter traffic and business reports for WNCI radio. Additional samplings: Jeriod Prince of Vermillion is truck chief for Matt Crafton's No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. Kay Keselowski, New Carlisle, owns the No. 29 K Automotive Ford driven by her son, Brad. Doug Howe (No. 07 Green Light Racing Chevrolet), Cuyahoga Falls, is crew chief for Shane Sieg. Joe Slonkosky, Versailles, is truck chief for the No. 31 Aramendia Plumbing Dodge driven by Joe Aramendia. Dave Quay, Richfield, (No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota) is Bill Lester's transport driver and is president of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Drivers Association. Other Ohio hauler drivers include Tom Czoka, Youngstown (for Bang's No. 42) and Brian "Bubba" Carr, Celina, (Jon Wood's No. 50 Roush Racing Ford).

Autographs, hauler parade kick off Mansfield doings ... Twenty-three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors, including former champions Kvapil, Skinner and Sprague, will sign autographs at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Sears Richland Mall store in Mansfield. A hauler parade to Mansfield Motorsports Speedway follows.

Etc. ... Three female drivers -- the most since last fall's event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- have entered the UAW/GM Ohio 250. Tina Gordon (No. 13 Vassarette/Microtel Chevrolet), Teri MacDonald (No. 72 MacDonald Motorsports Chevrolet) and Kelly Sutton (No. 02 Copaxone Chevrolet), if all qualify, would make series history as the most female drivers to start a race. ... Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) seeks his third consecutive first-time race victory. Musgrave won inaugural events at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2003 and South Boston Speedway in 2001. ... Shane Hmiel (No. 15 Earl Small's Harley-Davidson Chevrolet) is looking for a belated birthday present in Mansfield. Hmiel turns 24 on Saturday. ... Aramendia and wife Carolyn announced the birth of their son, Joe Jr., on May 4. ... The past seven series short track races, dating to June 2003 at Memphis Motorsports Park, have produced seven different winners. Six are entered in the UAW/GM Ohio 250: Musgrave, Carl Edwards (No. 99 Superchips Ford), Kvapil, Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet), Wood and Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford).

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Hines counts Mansfield race victory ... Two-time U.S. Auto Club national champion Tracy Hines boasts a USAC national midget victory at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. Hines, a seven-time USAC winner in Ohio, captured Mansfield's race in August 2003.

QUOTEBOOK

"Mansfield will be a tough race. Like any short track, there is not a lot of room for 36 trucks on a track that small. My truck looked pretty rough after the Martinsville race last month and I expect it to look pretty similar after Mansfield." -- Carl Edwards, after participating in a recent late model race at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway.

"The only thing you know for sure is you don't know much about the place." -- Brandon Whitt (No. 38 Cure Autism Now/McMillin Homes Ford) on Mansfield. Whitt ranks second in Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings.

"At times you enjoy it and at times you hate it. If you beat and bang too much, it can easily adversely affect the performance. We are going to keep it as straight as we can for as long as we can." -- Andy Houston (No. 2 Team ASE/Carquest Dodge), on short track racing. Houston will make his 100th series start in the UAW/GM Ohio 250.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Ron Hornaday Jr. won the first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series short track race on April 8, 1995 at Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway Park, a .375-mile oval. Hornaday, who won twice in Tucson, is the all-time series short track winner with 15 victories. The next three on the career list -- Mike Skinner (12), Jack Sprague (10) and Dennis Setzer (seven) -- will compete in the UAW/GM Ohio 250.

Fast Facts

What:  UAW/GM 250 (Race No. 4 of 25).

Where: Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Speedway.
When: 2 p.m. ET, Sunday, May 16.

Track layout: .5-mile paved oval.
Race length: 250 laps/125 miles.

Posted awards: $440,784.

TV: SPEED Channel, 2 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Optional Practice, 9 a.m. -- 12 noon and 1 - 4 p.m. Saturday -- Practice 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Qualifying 4:00 p.m.

Top 10 In Points: 1.Carl Edwards 486. 2. Travis Kvapil 464. 3.Dennis Setzer 455. 4. David Reutimann 455. 5. Mike Skinner 424. 6. Matt Crafton 407. 7. Rick Crawford 406. 8. Chad Chaffin 396. 9. Bobby Hamilton 395. 10. Jon Wood 388.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Mike Skinner , Andy Houston , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer , Rick Crawford , Jon Wood , Matt Crafton , Tina Gordon , Shane Hmiel , Kelly Sutton , Bill Lester , Chad Chaffin , Tracy Hines , David Reutimann , Carl Edwards , Joe Aramendia , Brandon Whitt , Shane Sieg , Teri MacDonald , Travis Kvapil