Wild race at Michigan shakes up point standings; Hamilton back on top NEWS & NOTES Wild Michigan race scrambles points standings ... Hamilton regained the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship lead from Musgrave with his...
Wild race at Michigan shakes up point standings; Hamilton back on top
NEWS & NOTES
Wild Michigan race scrambles points standings ... Hamilton regained the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship lead from Musgrave with his third-place finish June 18 at Michigan International Speedway. The defending series champion is five points up on Paramount Health Insurance 200 winner Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet), who moved from fourth to second in the standings. Musgrave is third with Ricky Craven (No. 99 Superchips Ford) holding the fifth. The top four positions are covered by 56 points after a race in which Hamilton, Setzer, Musgrave and Craven were among 13 drivers who traded the lead 17 times.
Setzer makes history in Michigan ... Setzer had gone 27 races without a victory before becoming the 2005 season's eighth different winning driver. In doing so, Setzer joined Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) as winners in a record eight seasons. Setzer's last victory came in June 2004 at Texas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR Busch champ Truex to drive a truck ... Billy Ballew Racing's successful game of "musical seats" continues at The Milwaukee Mile with 2004 NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr. making his NASCAR Craftsman Truck debut in the No. 15 Chevrolet. Truex takes over the controls of a truck that twice has gone to victory lane with Kyle Busch, counts a pair of Bud Poles and stands fifth in series owner points standings. Truex is Ballew's fifth different driver. Busch's bid to become the series' fourth driver to win three consecutive starts came up a position short as he finished runner-up to Setzer in Michigan.
Six previous winners in Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 field ... Six winners of seven (of 10) previous events at The Milwaukee Mile are in the field for Friday's race -- most ever for a series race. Musgrave is the track's only two-time winner. Other Milwaukee Mile winners entered are Sprague, Terry Cook (No. 10 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford), Brendan Gaughan (No. 77 Jasper Engines & Transmission Dodge), Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) and Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota).
ETC. ... Busch became the series' youngest pole winner at age 20 years one month 16 days when he topped the qualifying chart at Michigan International Speedway. He ousted his older brother Kurt from the record books. The 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion was 21 years 10 months 27 days of age when he won the pole at The Milwaukee Mile in 2000. Kyle Busch is the youngest pole winner in two of NASCAR's national touring series. He was the top qualifier for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Auto Club 500 in February at California Speedway. ... Bill Lester (No. 22 Waste Management Toyota) will sign autographs during a Thursday appearance prior to the Chicago Cubs-Milwaukee Brewers baseball game. The team's show truck also will be on site. Lester will carry the Waste Management colors at The Milwaukee Mile as part of the company's 2005 sponsorship campaign. ...Cook's 200th series start concluded with a 13th-place finish at Michigan. Cook will be making his ninth consecutive start at The Milwaukee Mile, the site of his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck appearance in 1996. ... Kelly Sutton (No. 02 Team Copaxone Chevrolet), a non-qualifier in Michigan, attempts to make her 33rd series start this week. Sutton and Tammy Jo Kirk share the record for most starts by a female driver in series competition. ... Eric Phillips, Setzer's Morgan-Dollar Motorsports crew chief, won for the second consecutive time at Michigan International Speedway. Phillips was crew chief for Travis Kvapil in 2004 when Toyota won its first NASCAR Craftsman Truck event.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) leads all series competitors in top five and top 10-finish categories in Milwaukee. Sprague counts five top fives and seven top 10s. Sprague, the No. 4 qualifier for last year's race, saw his run of seven consecutive top 10s end when engine failure relegated him to 32nd.
Hornaday seeks back-to-back wins at Milwaukee ... Hornaday won last June's NASCAR Busch Series SBC 250 and will be making his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck appearance at the track since 1999. The two-time series champion is the only entered driver with victories in both national touring series at The Milwaukee Mile.
"It's obvious what the next step is -- to get a win." -- David Reutimann (No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota), who rides a string of three top-10 finishes into this week's Milwaukee event. The 2003 Raybestos Rookie of the Year is 13th in the championship standings.
"I've been looking forward to racing at Milwaukee all season. This is home for me so we'll have a lot of friends and family cheering for us. We want to run well every week, but it really means a lot to run well at home." -- Todd Kluever (No. 50 Shell Rotella T Ford), a native of Sun Prairie, Wis.
"It's kind of ironic that the first laps I ever ran in a truck were at Milwaukee. I tested there last year to prepare for the race I ran in New Hampshire." -- Ricky Craven, who won't be a complete rookie this week in Milwaukee.
"Kyle Busch has really put the pressure on anyone who hops in that truck. I cannot let my old rival Kyle show me up. It is going to be a blast." -- Martin Truex Jr., who'll make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut at The Milwaukee Mile.
10 YEARS TOUGH
The Sears Auto Center 125 at The Milwaukee Mile marked the mid-point of the 1995 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. Three drivers certain to contend for this year's victory -- Mike Skinner, Dennis Setzer and Ron Hornaday Jr. -- finished one-two-three in the 125-lap race. Two additional competitors active in 2005 finished among the top 10: Johnny Benson was seventh and Jack Sprague finished ninth.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Manufacturer wins come in bunches at The Milwaukee Mile. Chevrolet won the first three races; Ford the next three. Dodge won in 2003-04 and goes for the triple in this year's Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200. Ford is the top winner at the track with four victories.
Next Event: Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 (Race 11 of 25).
Where: The Milwaukee Mile.
When: 9:15 p.m. ET, Friday, June 24.
Track layout: 1.0-Mile Paved Oval.
Race length: 200 Miles/200 Laps.
Posted awards: $498,400.
TV: SPEED Channel, 9:15 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2004 winner: Ted Musgrave.
2004 polesitter: Ted Musgrave.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon and 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Qualifying 5:30 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.
Top 10 drivers: 1. Bobby Hamilton 1,429. 2. Dennis Setzer 1,424. 3. Ted Musgrave 1,405. 4. Ricky Craven 1,373. 5. Ron Hornaday Jr. 1,328. 6. Jimmy Spencer 1,310. 7. Terry Cook 1,282. 8. Matt Crafton 1,275. 9. Jack Sprague 1,253. 10. David Starr 1,242.