Memphis: GM Racing preview

MATT CRAFTON, NO. 88 MENARDS SILVERADO, remains a strong contender in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings battle with his runner-up finish at the Milwaukee Mile. He is third in the standings, just 67 points behind the leader. In the...

MATT CRAFTON, NO. 88 MENARDS SILVERADO, remains a strong contender in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings battle with his runner-up finish at the Milwaukee Mile. He is third in the standings, just 67 points behind the leader. In the 11 races held thus far in 2008, the Tulare, California native has five top-five finishes including a win at Lowe's Motor Speedway; six top-10 finishes; no DNFS; has completed 97.7% of the possible laps run and has an average finishing position of 9.8 In seven starts at Memphis Motorsports Park, Crafton has one top-five and six top-10 finishes; completed 99.9% of the possible laps at MMP; has average starting position of 12.9 and averaging finishing position of 9.6.

TEAM CHEVY SILVERADO ON THE TRACK: Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Silverado Program Manager, NCTS: "Racing at Memphis Motorsports Park for most of our Silverado drivers is like going back to the roots of their careers-the beating and banging excitement of a local short track. Our teams and drivers have had great success there in the past. Ron Hornaday, Jack Sprague and Matt Crafton have great records at Memphis. Chad McCumbee is off to a great start this season, he just needs a little luck to fall his way. Donny Lia grabbed the win at our last short-track event, Mansfield, so that team is pumped and ready to go for Memphis.

"Memphis tends to be a little slick from the heat that usually descends on the city about the time our Silverado teams hit town. The track has minimal banking so it is always a challenge to get the trucks to turn in the center while still maintaining forward bite for drive up off the corners. The Chevy Silverado teams and drivers have been solid all season on the short tracks,

"One of the great things about racing in Memphis is the fans. They greet the stars of the NASCAR with open arms and are enthusiastic about the Truck Series. It makes it that much more fun to race under the stars in Memphis. Our Silverado teams are looking for good results Saturday night."

FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT:

* RON HORNADAY, NO. 33 CAMPING WORLD SILVERADO: "Memphis has been a good track for me over the years. I won there in 1998 and I've had some good runs there since then. It's a flat, smooth track that has very little banking in the corners. Last year, we started second and led some laps and we ended up finishing third. This will be a good opportunity for us to gain some points back that we've lost this year. There is a lot of racing left this season so we just need to take one race at a time and keep doing what we've been doing all year and try to win another championship for everybody at KHI, Camping World and everybody that supports this race team."

* JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 2 AMERICAN COMMERCIAL LINES SILVERADO: "I really like going to Memphis to race, because it is usually hot and slick. The three-quarter-mile oval lends itself to tight, beating and banging racing. I would like to get back to victory lane so I can get that cool trophy. I would love to add another Elvis to my trophy case. The key to making a fast lap at Memphis is not about the first lap but the second. For some reason in the past, the tires we have to run take a good lap to get heat in them. So being able to get all you can out of the tires the first lap so they are primed for the second is crucial. Then it is really about rolling through the center of the corners and not having to lift."

* MATT CRAFTON, NO. 88 MENARDS SILVERADO: "I love racing at Memphis; it's probably one of my top-3 favorite tracks. The short-track feel, the outcome is more in the driver's hands than some other tracks. The track really wears tires out; you can really fall off from the beginning of a run to the end. So you have to be very disciplined with the throttle, have to take care of your equipment early in the run. Memphis reminds me of Mesa Marin in Bakersfield, which isn't around anymore but was one of my favorite tracks to run back in the day. We were happy to take a second-place finish out of Milwaukee; Just like every week, whether you finish in the top-5 or have an off night, you have to put it behind you quickly and be ready for the next race. We've done a real good job of that this season."

* BRIAN SCOTT, NO. 16 ALBERTSONS SILVERADO: "I really enjoy short track racing like we see at Memphis. It is that close side by side and fender to fender racing that most of us grew up on. It is more familiar to me than the mile and a half intermediate tracks that we run in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. It is a whole different type of racing when you get to the short tracks like Memphis, Martinsville and Bristol. It is more getting position on somebody and getting beside someone in the corner and racing them side by side and taking that position away from them. On the bigger tracks it is more of a strategy passing game. You have to plan it and time it to get it just right. You can't really get position or pinch somebody down unless it is the last lap or so because that other truck is going to get loose and spin out and perhaps take you with them. The whole aerodynamic issue plays such a larger role there than on the short tracks like Memphis. Short track racing relies much more on instinct."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jack Sprague , Matt Crafton , Chad McCumbee , Donny Lia