Milwaukee: Andy Houston preview

MOORESVILLE, NC- (June 22, 2004) -The Black Cat Fireworks 200 may prove to be an appropriate name for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race this Friday night at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, WI. After last week's caution-filled escapade in ...

MOORESVILLE, NC- (June 22, 2004) -The Black Cat Fireworks 200 may prove to be an appropriate name for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race this Friday night at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, WI. After last week's caution-filled escapade in Memphis TN, tempers will still be flaring and it won't necessarily be forgive and forget on the racetrack. This year's annual running of the NCTS event at America's oldest oval track will be held under the lights for the first time. For Andy Houston, driver of the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge, the rich tradition of the Milwaukee Mile is etched firmly in his mind.

"It is a neat race track; it is a special place for a lot of race car drivers," Houston said. "It has been around forever, and it has a lot of history and a lot of heritage. It is a track that has eluded me, so to speak, with good finishes. The last time I was there I ran fifth. I have had some good opportunities for good runs there. My rookie year is one that comes to mind. We qualified back in the pack but really charged up through the field. I got up to fifth and had the fastest truck on the track, but the alternator went out and the battery went dead so we were done. We ran strong, and from that point on I really liked the racetrack a lot."

Houston hopes to use this weekend's race to help make up some ground in the chase for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship. He currently resides in the 15th position just 100 points out of the top ten. Milwaukee is a place where the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge traditionally runs well. The Ultra Motorsports No. 2 entry has posted five top five finishes in the event's nine year history. Mike Bliss captured the checkered flag in 1998 and Jason Leffler finished second there the last two years.

"We should have some good notes to work off of," Houston said. "Jim Smith has always had good trucks at Milwaukee and hopefully this year will be no different. Milwaukee has big wide flat corners and I mean flat, highway flat. The key to running good at Milwaukee is getting your truck to turn. Just keeping as much speed as you can in the corner and getting the truck to rotate properly in the center so that you are not pushing as you come off the corner. The biggest characteristic there is that you get too tight and can't get it to turn. You do use your brakes quite a bit there but you have those big long straightaways so it's not like Martinsville where the brake heat just builds and builds. There is enough time for them to cool down."

The Black Cat Fireworks 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race is slated for Friday June 25th. The race will be broadcast live on the Speed Channel, MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio at 8pm ET.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jason Leffler , Andy Houston , Mike Bliss , Jim Smith