Charlotte, NC (May 15, 2001) The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series makes its annual stop at Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR) for the Jelly Belly 200 on Sunday, May 20 -- and Randy Tolsma is planning a celebration in the mountains. "A portion...
Charlotte, NC (May 15, 2001) The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series makes its annual stop at Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR) for the Jelly Belly 200 on Sunday, May 20 -- and Randy Tolsma is planning a celebration in the mountains.
"A portion of the Rocky Mountains are located in Idaho, so this will feel somewhat like going home," stated Tolsma, an Idaho native. "I always look forward to returning to the Northwest."
In 2000, Tolsma qualified on the outside pole and led 22 laps of the 200-lap event until a late-race miscue in the pits relegated him to a 12th place finish. "I have always enjoyed racing at Pikes Peak International Raceway," Tolsma said. "There are two distinct racing grooves with plenty of room to pass -- so you will see a lot of side-by-side racing. The key is to have a truck that will not only roll quickly through the center of the corner; but also maneuver well enough to turn under somebody and make the pass coming off the corner."
"We plan on taking the same `Big White Truck' we ran at Gateway two weeks ago. The tracks are very similar. PPIR has 10 degrees of banking and Gateway has 11. Since we ran extremely well at Gateway, we anticipate the same great results at Pikes Peak." Tolsma stated.
"The main adjustment all teams will have to make is for the altitude," explained Tolsma. "PPIR is at an elevation of 5,357 feet -- more than a mile high - which in turn affects the performance of the engines. With the new engine configuration NASCAR has given the trucks for 2001, the engine tuner will be an essential part of the team this weekend."
With two top-5 and three top-11 finishes to date, Tolsma currently ranks 6th in the season point standings. He is just five points out of 5th place and 157 points shy of the lead.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition begins with practice and qualifying on Saturday, May 19th and the Jelly Belly 200 on Sunday, May 20th. The race begins at 4:00pm EST and will be broadcast live on ESPN and MRN Radio.