Memphis: Chris Fontaine preview



LAKELAND, FLORIDA - Chris Fontaine of Lakeland, FL will try his skills again in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racing at Memphis Motorsports Park in Tennessee piloting the #16 Xpress Motorsports Ford in the O'Reilly 200 at 8:30 p.m.

This is the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' 13th season. The 200 lap race is the series' 304th race and 10th at Memphis Motorsports Park a three-quarter mile track.

The late Bobby Hamilton, who passed away from complications of head and neck cancer in January, will be honored in pre-race ceremonies being carried live on SPEED starting at 8 p.m.

The running of this race honoring Hamilton is sure to give Fontaine some extra incentive since he has driven several races in a Hamilton prepared NASCAR truck in the past.

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen has proclaimed June 30 "Bobby Hamilton Day." A street within the racing complex will be renamed in Hamilton's honor. Each truck participating in the O'Reilly 200 will carry a special Bobby Hamilton memorial decal on the B post.

This week's race is the third of six to held on a short track in 2007. Mike Skinner won at Martinsville Speedway in March while Ron Hornaday Jr. captured May's stop at Mansfield Motorsports Park. Hornaday is the all-time short track leader with 17 victories. Skinner is second with 14.

Skinner is the current championship leader by 108 points over Hornaday. There have been eight different winners in the season's first 11 races. Skinner has won three times and Hornaday twice. The other winners are Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine, Erik Darnell, Travis Kvapil, Dennis Setzer and Jack Sprague.

Starting up front is one key to winning at Memphis Motorsports Park. The Bud Pole winner has gone on to victory on three occasions -- and in each of the past two years. No Memphis winner has started worse than fifth, Jack Sprague in 2000. Skinner won his seventh Bud Pole of the year at The Milwaukee Mile on June 22. That's three short of his own season record set in 1995. Sprague has won the most poles at MMP -- three.

-credit: left turn

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Johnny Benson , Jack Sprague , Erik Darnell , Chris Fontaine , Travis Kvapil