Mansfield sneak preview

Mansfield, OH: Mansfield Motorsports Speedway has announced its schedule of events for the upcoming NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) Ohio 250 race week. In addition to the on-track events at the speedway, there are several additional ...

Mansfield, OH: Mansfield Motorsports Speedway has announced its schedule of events for the upcoming NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) Ohio 250 race week. In addition to the on-track events at the speedway, there are several additional fan-friendly events on the docket for the week.

Everything kicks off with a driver autograph session at the Sears store at the Westfield Shoppingtown Richland in nearby Ontario, Ohio, on Thursday May 13. A select group of drivers will sign autographs for an hour starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern. The NCTS transporters will be staged in the Sears parking lot for part of the day, and several will be open to the general public for tours during the afternoon. Immediately following the conclusion of the autograph session, the transporters will parade from Sears to MMS through downtown Mansfield to the speedway.

On Friday, NASCAR has scheduled an optional test day for the teams, which kicks off at 9 a.m. Eastern. Spectator gates will open at 8 a.m., and admission is free for the entire day. The NCTS garage area closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, but that is not the conclusion of the festivities at the speedway. The Pepsi Tailgate Party will start at 6 p.m., and will include live music and free soft drinks provided by Pepsi of Mansfield.

Clear Channel Radio Pole Day follows on Saturday May 15. Spectator gates open at 10:30 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, with NCTS practice starting at 11:30 a.m. Bud Pole Qualifying is scheduled for 3 p.m., with final practice for the Ohio 250 beginning at 4:30. Tickets are still available for Clear Channel Radio Pole Day for $10.

A national NASCAR series races in Ohio for the first time in 50 years on Sunday May 16 with the inaugural running of the Ohio 250. Spectator gates open early, 7 a.m. Eastern, to allow race fans camping at the speedway a chance to come in and use the facilities. History will be made when the green flag waves over 36 NASCAR race trucks shortly after 2 p.m. Eastern. A very limited amount of reserved tickets remain for the Ohio 250 in the turns one and two grandstands. All remaining tickets are on sale for $35.

The Inaugural Ohio 250 will be the fourth race of the 25-race NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule in 2004. The series will visit 23 racetracks in 19 states, starting at Daytona International Speedway in February and ending at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. The series completed its second race of 2004 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 13, won by NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (and NEXTEL Cup Series) veteran Bobby Hamilton. The series schedule has 12 events in conjunction with the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, two in conjunction with the NASCAR Busch Series, and five in conjunction with the IRL IndyCar Series.

The tentative race week schedule for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Ohio 250 (all times subject to change without notice):

Thursday, May 13
6:30-7:30 p.m. NCTS Driver Autograph Session, Sears, Richland Mall
7:30 p.m. NCTS Transporter Parade, Richland Mall to MMS
8:15 p.m. NCTS Transporter Parking, MMS

Friday, May 14
8:00 a.m. NCTS Garage and spectator gates open
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. NCTS Optional Test
1:00-4:00 p.m. NCTS Optional Test
5:00 p.m. NCTS Garage closes
6:00 pm-??? Pepsi Tailgate Party @ MMS Midway

Saturday, May 15
7:30 a.m. NCTS Garage opens
10:30 a.m. Spectator gates open
11:30 a.m-1:30 p.m. NCTS Practice
3:00 p.m. NCTS Bud Pole Qualifying (two laps, all positions)
4:30-5:30 p.m. NCTS Final Practice
6:00 p.m. NCTS garage and spectator gates close

Sunday, May 16
7:00 a.m. Spectator gates open
8:00 a.m. NCTS Garage opens
11:45 a.m. Driver's meeting
1:30 p.m. NCTS Driver Introductions
2:00 p.m. UAW/GM Ohio 250

To order tickets for the Ohio 250, contact Mansfield Motorsports Speedway at (419) 524-0183.

For information on Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, please visit www.mansfield-speedway.com.

For information on the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks series, please visit www.nascar.com or www.truckseries.com.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton