NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes - Nashville DeLana Harvick Making Mark In NASCAR One Win At A Time In a day and age when female participation in motorsports is garnering more attention than ever, it goes without saying that ...
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes - Nashville
DeLana Harvick Making Mark In NASCAR One Win At A Time
In a day and age when female participation in motorsports is garnering more attention than ever, it goes without saying that DeLana Harvick is making her mark on NASCAR as one of the most successful team owners in series history.
Case in point.
Kevin Harvick Inc., in racing years, is just a baby. Started in 2001 by Harvick and her NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing husband, Kevin Harvick, the organization is yet to even hit the 10-year mark.
But infancy has not slowed the team down one bit.
With 31 victories in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, she is the winningest active owner in the series and ranks third overall in series history. Twenty-nine of those wins have come since 2005. Not to mention the two series championships, 2007 and 2009, she has to her name.
Only twice has a team won three consecutive races with three different drivers -- both done by KHI.
In 2008, Ryan Newman, Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Purina/Beneful Chevrolet) and Kevin Harvick did it, scoring victories at Atlanta, Texas and Phoenix.
And at a time when people have questioned the strength of the team after the loss of key personnel in the off season, KHI shows its inner strength by doing it again over the past three race weekends.
Kevin Harvick dominated at Gateway three weeks ago. Hornaday finally broke his 22-race losing streak at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis on July 23. And Elliott Sadler scored an emotional victory at Pocono Raceway this past weekend.
The stats are astounding.
It took KHI only six races to win its first truck series event -- Phoenix International Raceway in 2002 -- and only six seasons to win its first championship.
And that is just in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
DeLana is working on another record book in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Charity Efforts Highlight Nashville Race Weekend
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers will lend their hands to numerous charity efforts this weekend.
"Nashville Rhythm and Race Fest" kicks off the festivities on Thursday night at Limelight Nashville. The event, which will feature numerous truck series drivers, an autograph session, a concert by country musician Tent Tomlinson and a hauler parade, will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Tennessee.
On Saturday, the series will continue the efforts started by the NASCAR Nationwide Series in June -- which raised $72,778 in monetary donations -- with "Race Fest for Flood Relief." An online auction through The NASCAR Foundation is currently in progress and features items donated by Taylor Swift, Jimmie Johnson and Richard Petty. A series autograph session will conclude the efforts by the racing community this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. Fans are asked to bring a canned food item to the autograph session to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. In June, our sister series collected nearly 900 pounds of non-perishable food items. The city of Nashville was hit by devastating floods at the end of May.
Wayne's Words: Tennessee Bound
"The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Nashville Superspeedway for the second time this season and our second of three visits on the schedule to the Volunteer State.
"I have to admit it feels a little odd to be going back because we have never raced at the speedway more than once a year. Best part about two races for the drivers -- two chances to win the Gibson Guitar Trophy.
"The guitar is a perfect fit for a visit to Nashville -- home of country music. You never know what artist you might run into downtown playing at one of the local venues. And who doesn't love good music, good food and good company?
"The concrete surface presents a challenge for crew chiefs. The track is fast, but conditions do not change as much as other tracks we visit. Once they find a winning combination, it normally sticks around. And that is a good thing considering we practice, qualify and race all in one day.
"Todd Bodine (No. 30 Germain.com Toyota) has had stellar runs at Nashville, but has never been able to seal the deal and take home that guitar. With nine top-five finishes, this could be his year to shine in Victory Lane.
"And who can go to Nashville without thinking about our 2004 series champion Bobby Hamilton Sr.? He was always so proud to be from Middle Tennessee.
"Of all the trophies Hamilton took home in his career, I know the guitar from Nashville Superspeedway was his favorite.
"And what so many fans didn't know about him -- he could actually sing!"
-- Wayne Auton, Series Director
Reutimann Proof NCWTS Training Ground One Of The Best
The last four NASCAR Sprint Cup race winners
-- Kevin Harvick, David Reutimann, Jamie McMurray and Greg Biffle -- are all graduates of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, thus proving the series' developmental roots are showing strong.
Reutimann, who scored his first NCWTS victory at Nashville in 2005, reflected on how the series helped get him to where he is today -- twice a winner, most recently last month at Chicagoland.
"I think the Truck Series did a ton of stuff for me," said Reutimann. "I certainly made my share of mistakes in that series, so I guess you could say that it definitely taught me a lot of valuable lessons that I've taken with me from the Nationwide Series to Cup. You can't look at it (truck series) as a series that you just go learn in because there's a lot of phenomenal drivers out there and it's extremely tough. You're not just out there with a bunch of rookies; you're out there with a great bunch of guys. When you have guys like Mike Skinner, Bobby Hamilton, Dennis Setzer and those guys, you could learn a lot from those guys because they'd been at it so long. I think it was the best of both worlds to be able to learn in it."
Before making the jump to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Reutimann spent significant time in both the Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
"I think it was designed to be that way, but I think it's somewhat unique because some guys just come in and run a couple of Nationwide races and go straight to Cup," he said.
Sweet Following In His Mentor's Foot Steps In NASCAR
Brad Sweet (No. 90 Great Clips Toyota) is hoping following in the footsteps of some of racing's greats will prove just as successful for him. He cut his teeth in racing -- like many others -- in the ranks of USAC (United States Auto Club) and World of Outlaws racing series.
Sweet caught the eye of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Kasey Kahne in 2007, tapping him as Kasey Kahne Racing's latest developmental driver.
The Grass Valley, Calif. native scored his first top-10 finish in seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at O'Reilly Raceway Park in July while driving for Stringer Motorsports -- for which Kahne drove in the Nationwide Series during his climb to NASCAR's top series.
Sweet will sit out the race at Nashville this weekend while running the Belleville (Kansas) Nationals -- an event he won in 2008 -- this weekend in preparation for the upcoming famed Knoxville Nationals next weekend.
His next NCWTS event will be at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. It will be his first visit to the high-banked Thunder Valley.
Long Returns To NCWTS At Nashville
Johanna Long (No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota), the youngest female to ever compete in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event, will make her second series start this weekend at Nashville.
Long, 18, started 15th at O'Reilly Raceway Park two weeks ago and came home in the 17th position.
Manufacturer Bragging Rights On The Line
Manufacturers' bragging rights could heat up this weekend at Nashville.
Team Chevrolet leads the way in victories in the series, with seven.
However, Toyota Motorsports is not far behind with six wins heading into a track on which they have won four races at to Chevrolet's two.
Home Sweet Home For Rear Tire Changers
Tennessee roots run deep for Turner Motorsports. Kyle Collins, rear tire changer for the No.4 Monster Energy Chevrolet, calls Nashville home.
Jonathon Ellis, rear tire changer for No. 31 Wolf Pack Rentals Chevrolet, hails from the mountains of Chattanooga, Tenn.
Harvick, Busch Go Head-to-Head In Owners' Points Battle
Only two points separate DeLana Harvick's No. 2 Chevrolet and Kyle Busch's No. 18 Toyota atop the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner points.
The heated contest gets even spicier when you consider the variables -- there's a different driver in both trucks practically every week.
The No. 2 truck has had four drivers: Kevin Harvick, Shelby Howard, Ken Schrader and Elliott Sadler, who took the machine to Victory Lane at Pocono last Saturday.
Likewise, the No. 18 has also had four wheelmen: Kyle Busch, Brian Ickler, Kasey Kahne and Johnny Benson.
The two trucks' statistics this year are nearly as similar as their points totals. Here's the tale of the tape:
Driver Rating: The No. 2 truck leads 114.3 to 112.7.
Average Running Position: No. 2 leads 7.3 to 7.5.
Laps Led: No. 2 leads 517 to 435.
Fastest Laps Run: No. 2 leads 296 to 268.
Laps in the Top 15 percentage: No. 2 leads 91.3% to 84.0%.
Schrader, who will run the No. 2 this weekend, last ran at Nashville in 2007. He finished 22nd in that race, with a Driver Rating of 53.0 and an
Average Running Position of 22.2.
Ickler will run the No. 18 this weekend with Busch in Watkins Glen. This will be his first series start at Nashville, but he has been strong this season in all four of his series starts. Overall, Ickler has a Driver Rating of 100.1 and an Average Running Position of 10.0.
Up Next: Darlington Raceway
The much anticipated return of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to the famed Darlington Raceway -- the track Too Tough To Tame -- is on the horizon.
It has been six years since the trucks have attacked the high banks of the South Carolina track. The series ran four races between 2001- 2004, three of those in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The 2004 series champion, Bobby Hamilton Sr., who won the inaugural event, is the only two-time winner.
Most notable about the upcoming Too Tough To Tame 200 -- only six current NCWTS drivers competed in the previous races at the track.
Next Race: Nashville 200
The Place: Nashville Superspeedway (1.33 -- Mile D-Shaped Concrete Oval)
The Date: Saturday, August 7 The
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Race Distance: 100 laps / 150 miles
TV: SPEED, 8:30 p.m.
Radio: MRN, SIRIUS NASCAR Radio (Listen locally on WRQQ-FM 97.1.)
2009 Polesitter: Timothy Peters
2009 Winner: Ron Hornaday Jr.
(All times ET):
Saturday: Practice,10 -- 11:15 a.m. and 11:45 -- 1 p.m.; Qualifying, 5 p.m.