Kyle Busch Wants Championships For Owner Billy Ballew Dhrissy Wallace Tests, Hopes To Break Into NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 12, 2008) -- As another busy season is well underway, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series...
Kyle Busch Wants Championships For Owner Billy Ballew
Dhrissy Wallace Tests, Hopes To Break Into NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 12, 2008) -- As another busy season is well underway, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series takes over Martinsville Speedway this week for a final round of NASCAR-scheduled testing.
With 36 teams represented, the drivers hit the historic short track where they hope to learn information that will be key when the series returns for the March 29 Kroger 250.
A mix of youth and experience topped the morning speed charts for the first day of the two-day test. Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Brian Scott (No. 16 Shark Energy Drink/Albertson's Chevrolet) led the way with a best speed of 94.326 mph, quickly followed by veteran Ted Musgrave (No. 59 Team ASE/Harris Trucking Toyota) with a quick 94.289 mph as his best speed.
One team in the series is testing close to home. Bobby Hamilton Racing VA used the short off-season to relocate its shop from Tennessee to Martinsville.
Merged with operations of longtime engine builder Joey Arrington, the team is looking to be in championship contention.
During a quick lunch break, BHR VA drivers Dennis Setzer (No. 18 Dodge) and Stacy Compton (No. 4 Dodge), a two-time Martinsville Speedway winner, made a stop in the infield media center to visit with media. Setzer ranks ninth in points after the season's first three races.
"This program was already great but it missed Bobby a lot last year," Setzer said. "But with the group we have behind us, it's exciting. Joey's constantly working on the engine. It's exciting for me to see the changes the guys have already made this season." He added, "I'm excited to be back as a force in NASCAR racing."
Setzer's teammate agreed. "It's been fun and great with the people we have behind us," said Compton, also offering praise for the team's manufacturer, Dodge. "It's been amazing the support they have given us," he added.
Leader Of The Pack ... Kyle Busch was busy testing the No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota he's taken to Victory Lane twice so far this season. Busch leads the series drivers' points standings and has brought the team to the top of the owners' points standings.
"We've had a lot of fun running the way we've been able to run," he said. "We've been fortunate enough to have the success that we've had so far with Billy Ballew Motorsports and this truck team."
Even though the driver will pilot the truck for a limited number of races, he's on a mission to stay on top of the standings. "I'm running for a points championship and an owners points championship for Billy Ballew. In order to do that, I've got to drive it up front and win," said Busch. "If we can do that, it'll be a job accomplished."
Next Generation Of Wallace ... One of NASCAR's legendary families is a presence at this week's test. Chrissy Wallace, the middle daughter of NASCAR Nationwide Series veteran Mike Wallace (No. 7 GEICO Toyota), stepped into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ring at the Martinsville test for her introduction to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Testing the No. 03 Toyota for Germain Racing, Wallace is looking forward to all the seat time she can get in her quest to join the series full-time -- something she knows is the next step in her career.
During a lunch break visit to the infield media center on Wednesday, the 20-year-old Wallace said, "After winning in Thunder Roadsters, Legends Cars and Bandalero Cars, once I turned about 14 or 15, I became more serious about it and last year I really realized what I wanted to do. and that was racing.
"The Germains have given a belief in me that I can go out there and run just as good as anyone can run."
Father Mike, who accompanied his daughter to the two-day test, beamed with pride.
"This is a totally different perspective for me, taking a different role, just sitting back observing," said Wallace, a four-time winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "I looked at my mom, Chrissy's grandmother, who is here and had to ask her if she ever thought she'd be here at Martinsville, sitting on top of the trailer, watching her granddaughter race," he said.
"We are incredibly proud of her, and not just because I drive, but because this is what she really wants to do," he added.
The elder Wallace was also quick to mention her 10 wins at Hickory Motor Speedway. "At famed Hickory, she was the first female to win there in 57 years. That's an incredible feat," he said.
What: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series testing (the third of three NASCAR-sanctioned tests for 2008)
Where: Martinsville Speedway
Track Layout: .526-mile oval
When: Wednesday, March 12 through Thursday, March 13.
Times: 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., on Wednesday; 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday
Who: 36 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams