NAPA Autocare 200 Notebook By Brett Borden NASCAR Online NAZARETH, Pa. (July 12, 1998) Notes following Sunday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series NAPA AutoCare 200 at Nazareth Speedway: During the pre-race drivers' meeting, NASCAR Vice ...
NAPA Autocare 200 Notebook By Brett Borden NASCAR Online
NAZARETH, Pa. (July 12, 1998) Notes following Sunday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series NAPA AutoCare 200 at Nazareth Speedway:
During the pre-race drivers' meeting, NASCAR Vice President of Administration Dennis Huth announced that the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series would forego its customary halfway break in the Tempus Resorts 300K at Pikes Peak International Raceway. The new format will be on a one-race trial basis. "The progressive nature of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has necessitated the change," Huth said. "At Pikes Peak, and at Pikes Peak only, for now, there will be no halftime break." Driver Mike Wallace was the first to offer approval of the new format, while Joe Ruttman had one objection. "What if I have to go?" Ruttman asked, eliciting loud laughter from the fans that were on hand for the meeting. Huth said the experiment was the teams' idea. "The teams came to us and said 'We think we're ready now'," Huth said. "We try to listen to our competitors, our fans, and our marketing partners. The decision-making process really began four years ago (when the series began). For the last year, we've been hammering down pretty hard (on this issue), and right now we're going to give it a try."
It had to be galling for Jack Sprague to see a top-five finish get wiped out when the finish line was in his sights. Sprague was snuggled safely in third on Turn 3 of the final lap when he blew a tire. The blowout caused him to hit the wall and relegated him to 10th. "You're going to have a little bit of luck and this whole weekend has been a little bit of bad luck," Sprague said. "At least we weren't leading when that happened. For a while it looked like we were going to come home third and I was going to take that and run with it. But I blistered a right front tire in the first half and blistered it worse in the second half and blew a tire going into Turn 3. I got into the fence and straightened it out and tried to make it back to the pits. I couldn't make it back and hit it again."
There was a lawnmower race Sunday morning at Nazareth, featuring NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers and local celebrities. In the Craftsman Champions Challenge, drivers Jay Sauter and Bob Keselowski teamed with motorsports writer Chuck Givler and Sears store manager Dennis Moyer to cut down the competition. Givler held off defending series champion Sprague in the closing laps as the course disintegrated -- literally -- when one of the backmarkers pulled down the banner rope and oil drums which marked the course.
Ron Hornaday earned his fourth victory in "Laverne", the name he has given to one of his favorite trucks. Laverne has also won at Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and Orlando.
A crew chief shakeup involving the No. 18 Dana Dodge and No. 90 NHL Dodge had mixed results. The No. 18 driven by Butch Miller, which saw Doug Strother step down this past week and Mike Cheek come in as interim crew chief, pulled out a top-five finish, placing fourth. The No. 90 driven by Lance Norick , where Steve Darne took over wrench duties with direction from Cheek, finished 21st.
Shelly Brevak, owner of the No. 31 Auto Trim Design Ford, was probably more nervous than usual Sunday. Aside from the usual race day jitters, Brevak sang the national anthem before the Slim Jim All-Pro Series, NASCAR Touring, race, which preceded the NAPA AutoCare 200. Brevak, who was a junior high music teacher for 14 years, had done the honors before at the Wisconsin State Fair, but never before a race.
Wayne Anderson pulled double duty Sunday, racing in both the Slim Jim All-Pro Series race and the NAPA AutoCare 200 in his No. 84 Porter-Cable Power Tools Ford F-150 truck. Anderson, racing in his father's Porter-Cable Power Tools Chevrolet, finished 14th in the first race. He placed 26th in the latter race after starting 30th.
Source: NASCAR Online