* Rookie season paid dividends to Timothy Peters despite limited track time * Urban Youth Racing students in shops, at Atlanta Motor Speedway next week DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 6, 2006) -- With no speedway experience and limited...
* Rookie season paid dividends to Timothy Peters despite limited track time
* Urban Youth Racing students in shops, at Atlanta Motor Speedway next week
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 6, 2006) -- With no speedway experience and limited sponsorship, Timothy Peters (No. 4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge) was unable to run a complete NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule in 2005.
However, Peters doesn't believe the past season in which he finished second to Raybestos Rookie of the Year Todd Kluever was wasted.
Far from it.
Peters, a former NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series late model champion in North Carolina and Virginia, immersed himself in the series -- both on and off the track. The 25-year-old competitor, tapped for career development by 2004 series champion Bobby Hamilton (No. 18 Fastenal Dodge), augmented his abbreviated schedule with fulltime duties in the team's Mount Juliet, Tenn. shop.
"I was there every day not because I had to be but because I wanted to be," said the Providence, N.C. native. "With me being there and knowing how these trucks are being built and put together only helps me communicate more efficiently with (crew chief) Kip McCord and all the other folks who work so hard."
When Peters wasn't in the driver's seat -- he didn't get his first start until last April at Martinsville Speedway -- he was in the pits, on the spotters stand and most importantly, keeping his ears close to teammate and mentor Hamilton.
"Bobby teaches you in two ways," said Peters, whose best finish of sixth place came at Dover International Speedway. "One is by example and the other is a more hands-on approach. He teaches you to be patient on the racetrack, how to watch who you race with and don't race the ones you can't or shouldn't race with and how to take care of your equipment so that you can be around when it counts the most -- at the end of the race."
Peters learned his lessons well, finishing 28th in the standings despite starting only 16 of 25 races. He failed to finish just two races -- one fewer than Kluever.
With two races completed in 2006, Peters ranks 16th among 33 drivers who started both Daytona and California events. He finished a solid 12th in his first trip to Daytona International Speedway, but Peters has his sights set higher.
"I would like to get two wins, lead as many laps as possible and win a pole as well," he said. "Really, I just want to be competitive."
Peters gives his team a six on a scale of one to 10 after a California Speedway race in which the highest finishing Dodge -- Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 08 Corky's Ribs & BBQ Dodge) -- was 22nd. Hamilton and Peters were 23rd and 24th.
"We are trying to identify the areas of concern for us and fix those areas," he said.
Peters looks forward to next week's John Deere 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway having logged a lead lap finish of 18th in his debut at the 1.54-mile speedway last October. Hamilton won the series' first Atlanta race in 2004, finished third in last spring's race and was seventh there in the fall.
"When I see the fire that Bobby Hamilton has in his eyes to run well and at a championship level I have no concern at all," Peters said. "His concern is for all the BHR teams to run up to their potential. I am pleased to be a part of this organization and this team."
NEWS AND NOTES, PART II
Annual Urban Youth Racing visit Atlanta-bound ... Four students from Philadelphia's Urban Youth Racing School will spend a portion of next week at race shops and at the track. They begin Monday at NASCAR Craftsman Truck shops in the Charlotte area and conclude their visit in the garage and on pit road at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Craftsman-sponsored initiative previously coincided with May's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The interns (and their respective teams) are Daniel Colon, (No. 14 Circle Bar Racing, Rick Crawford), Shawna Stanton, (No. 12 and 17 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, Joey Miller and David Reutimann), Nkosi Harmon, (No. 11 Red Horse Racing, David Starr) and Khristopher Fuller, (No. 47 and 85 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, Kraig Kinser and Dennis Setzer). From welding on a race truck to loading the hauler to go to the track, the UYRS students will gain knowledge about the inner mechanics of a race shop. With the garage as their classroom, they will help with everything from pushing the truck through inspection to setting up pits for the race.
ETC. ... Mike Mittler, co-founder and president of Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool and owner of MB Motorsports, Inc. (J.R. Patton, No. 63 Dave Porter Truck Sales Ford), was recently installed as chairman of the board of the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA). The NTMA is a 1,700-member trade association representing the precision and machining industry. ... Orleans Racing (Brendan Gaughan, No. 77 Orleans Hotel Dodge), located adjacent to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will host its annual open house Friday in conjunction with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. The event drew 600 to 700 attendees in 2005. ... The recent Racetickets.com 200 at California Speedway drew an average rating of 1.1 according to Nielsen Media Services, an increase of 10 percent from 2005 making it the series' second-highest-rated, non-Daytona series on SPEED. ... Jack Sprague (No. 60 Con-Way Toyota) will travel to West Yellowstone, Mont.; this week for the 2006 West Yellowstone Snow Blast presented by Arctic Cat. A personal sponsor of Sprague, Artic Cat will introduce its 2007 line of snowmobile sleds at the annual event. "It will take my mind of the fact that we are not at the track for the next few weeks," Sprague said. "Behind the wheel of my Con-Way Toyota is where I want to be but being on a sled with fresh snow is the second best." ... Richie Wauters, crew chief of the No. 15 ditech.com/National Land Liquidations/Krud Kutter Chevrolet driven by Kyle Krisiloff, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last week to repair ligament damage. Wauters, back at the race shop on crutches, was Kyle Busch's winning crew chief at Atlanta in October.
What: John Deere 200 (Race 3 of 25).
Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway
When: 9:15 p.m. ET, Friday, March 17.
Track layout: 1.54-mile banked paved speedway.
Race length: 200 miles/130 laps.
Posted awards: $514,269.
TV: SPEED Channel, 9:15 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2005 winner: Ron Hornaday Jr.
2005 polesitter: Rick Crawford.
Top 10 drivers: 1. Mark Martin 380. 2. Todd Bodine 350. 3. Ted Musgrave 335. 4. Jack Sprague 320. 5. David Reutimann 303. 6. Rick Crawford 289. 7. Mike Skinner 282. 8. Erik Darnell 280. 9. Johnny Benson 268. 10. Jon Wood 258.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice 8:45 a.m. -- 9:50 a.m. Rookie practice 10:15 a.m. -- 10:45 a.m. Final practice 11:00 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. Qualifying 5:10 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.