THIS RACE: This will be the 14th NASCAR Craftsman TruckstSeries (NCTS) race at Martinsville Speedway. There will be eight Tundras in the field at Martinsville -- the 21 race of the 2005 NCTS season. RECENT RACE: In the most recent NCTS race at...
THIS RACE: This will be the 14th NASCAR Craftsman TruckstSeries (NCTS) race at Martinsville Speedway. There will be eight Tundras in the field at Martinsville -- the 21 race of the 2005 NCTS season.
RECENT RACE: In the most recent NCTS race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Sept.24), Toyota driver Todd Bodine captured the checkered flag and two other Tundra drivers recorded top-10 results. Bodine started third, led 114 laps and passed Ted Musgrave on the final lap en route to the victory. Tundra drivers following Bodine to the finish line were Mike Skinner (sixth) and Brandon Whitt (ninth).
TODD TALKS LAS VEGAS: Todd Bodine dominated the Las Vegas race in his No.30 Germain Racing Tundra, leading the field four times for a total of 114 laps, including the final lap around the Las Vegas circuit. The win was Bodine's second NCTS victory this season and the fourth of his Craftsman Truck Series career. "Our Tundra was just incredible," said Bodine. "The longer it ran -- the stronger it got. It was just an unbelievable truck. Mike Hillman, Sr. (team manager) and Mike Hillman, Jr. (crew chief) have put together what has got to be the best race team in Craftsman Truck Series history."
EARLIER THIS YEAR HERE: Earlier this year, in the first NCTS race at Martinsville (April 9), three Tundras finished among the top-10. Todd Bodine started on the outside of the front row, led 74 laps and crossed the finish line fourth. Chad Chaffin led nine laps and recorded a season-best fifth-place finish, and Mike Skinner crossed the finish line ninth.
POINTS PACE: After the first 20 races of 2005, three Toyota Tundra drivers are among the top-10 in the NCTS championship point standings. Mike Skinnner sits fourth in the championship standings with 2,627 points, just 250 points behind leader Dennis Setzer. Following Skinner in the standings are Todd Bodine (2,593 points) in fifth- place and David Reutimann (2,493 points) in ninth-place.
SCORE SIX: Toyota drivers have registered six wins in 2005, and Toyota has ten NCTS victories since the beginning of the 2004 season. Along with Todd Bodine's win at Las Vegas, other Tundra race-winners this year include Mike Skinner at Richmond (Sept.8) and Bristol (Aug.24), Brandon Whitt at Memphis (July 23), and David Reutimann at Nashville (Aug.13). Bodine also recorded Toyota's first win of the 2005 campaign when he guided his No.30 Germain Racing Tundra to `Victory Lane' at Kansas (July 2).
D.W. TO DO IT AGAIN: It will be `One and Done' for Darrell Waltrip at Martinsville when he takes the steering wheel of the No.12 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Toyota Tundra for his final appearance as a NASCAR driver. "I love racing at Martinsville -- always have," says Waltrip, a three-time NASCAR Cup champion (1981, 1982 and 1985). "I've won there 11 times in the past, but knowing this is definitely the last time racing there does make me sad. I love the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series because it's a great place for these young drivers to get their feet wet, and it gives old guys like me the chance to go out and have some fun."
MORE ABOUT D.W. AND MARTINSVILLE: During his stellar racing career, Waltrip has made 16 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts since 1995, including six races at Martinsville. In 1996, Waltrip recorded the best result of his Craftsman Truck Series career when he had a fifth-place finish at Martinsville. In that same race, Waltrip started on the outside of row one, his best starting spot in a NCTS race. Overall, the Owensboro, Ky.-native has eight top-10 finishes in his 16 NCTS starts -- which include the starts he made last year at Martinsville and Indianapolis in the No.11 Toyota Tundra.
TOYOTA APPRECIATES D.W.: "Toyota Motorsports and TRD, USA have been fortunate to be able to work very closely with Darrell and have him field a Toyota team during our first endeavor in the upper levels of NASCAR," says Pat Wall, vice president and manager of Toyota's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program. "Obviously, we've benefited from D.W.'s expertise and years of experience, as well as his relationships with fans, team owners, drivers and NASCAR. Not only is D.W. a tremendous representative for the sport, but he's been a great ambassador for the Toyota Tundra NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racing program."
CENTURY MARK: Mike Skinner will be making his 100th career NCTS start at Martinsville. Skinner, the inaugural NCTS champion in 1995, has 18 career NCTS wins -- including two wins in the No.5 Bill Davis Racing Tundra this year. In addition, the Daytona Beach, Fla.-driver has 22 career NCTS poles, including five this season in his Tundra. Skinner was a NCTS regular in 1995 and 1996, and returned to the series full-time at the beginning of the 2004 season.
MIKE HAS ONE: Mike Skinner has one NCTS victory at Martinsville, winning the 1996 race at the track.
STREAKING SKINNER: In the past five races, Mike Skinner has scored two wins, three top-fives and four top-10 finishes to move into fourth-place in the NCTS championship standings. Skinner could possibly sit higher in the standings except for some `self-inflicted' damage. "Basically, when you self-inflict wounds -- when you make contact with a lapped truck with 18 laps to go or get caught speeding on pit road a time or two -- those are self-inflicted wounds," says Skinner. "Those things took my chances of winning and my race team's chances of winning away. When those things happen, it's really, really hard to look in the mirror when you get back home. When you self-inflict wounds it's pretty hard."
TODD TALKS MARTINSVILLE: "I'm looking forward to racing at Martinsville," says Todd Bodine, driver of the No.30 Germain Racing Tundra. "I grew up around the track, graduated high school about 45 minutes from the track (Rocky Mount, Va.), and remember watching my brothers (Geoffrey and Brett) race Modifieds at Martinsville. I also won a Cup pole (2001) at the track and have a few top-10s there."
TUNDRA DEBUT: Jack Sprague will make his debut in a Toyota at Martinsville when he takes over the steering wheel of the No.60 Wyler Racing Tundra. Sprague, a three-time NCTS champion (1997, 1999 and 2001), replaces Chad Chaffin who has been with the team since its debut earlier this year at Milwaukee (June 24).
SPRAGUE SPEAKS: "I'm excited about this opportunity with Wyler Racing and Toyota," says Sprague. "My time with XPress was awesome, but we just decided it was time to part ways and luckily this position with Wyler became available. Jeff Wyler reminds me a lot of Rick Hendrick -- and that was the most comfortable situation I've ever had in my career. I also have worked with Tony Furr (No.60 crew chief) in the past and we really had fun. The Toyota trucks have been awesome all year and trust me, I have noticed them as they passed me."