Randy Tolsma Bristol Preview

Xpress Motorsports No. 61 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Chevrolet Never Been There, Never Done That BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 9, 1998) - The next event in the 27-race NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season is the Loadhandler 200 to be held on ...

Xpress Motorsports No. 61 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Chevrolet

Never Been There, Never Done That

BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 9, 1998) - The next event in the 27-race NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season is the Loadhandler 200 to be held on Saturday night, June 20 here at Bristol Motor Speedway. For Randy Tolsma, driver of the No. 61 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet, it will mark his first look at the challenging high-banked concrete .533-mile oval. "When you think of great places to race, Bristol is one of them," said Tolsma, 32, a native of Meridian, Idaho. "I've seen this place on television and we are all aware of the reputation it has. This is one tough race track and I can't wait to get on it."

Tolsma has never been a driver to shy-away from the tough competition that the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has to offer. In only 24 starts in full- bodies vehicles, Tolsma has become one of the series newest stars. He has one series win (Bakersfield, Calif. - Oct. 1998), four top-five finishes and nine finishes in the top ten spots. He is currently eighth in the series point standings.

"This truck series is probably the most fun I've had in my life," said Tolsma. "We have a great group of drivers, the competition is very tough and we race on so many challenging tracks. I don't think any driver could ask for anything more than that. I'm just fortunate to be in a situation where we're enjoying some success."

Much of Tolsma's success has come at the short tracks on the tour. Last season's win at Bakersfield was at a banked half-mile. The team scored second and third-place finishes this season at the flat half-miles in Portland (Ore.) and Monroe, Wash.

The most recent short track race was in May at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo., a track that probably is most similar to Bristol. A qualifying miscue put Tolsma at the back of the field for the start and first-lap contact with another truck resulted in a flat tire and a loss of two laps. The balance of the race saw Tolsma race with the leaders and he eventually drove past eventual race winner Tony Raines during a green flag segment to get one of his laps back.

"We were so strong at Odessa," said Tolsma. "That's what has me excited about coming here to Bristol. We have a strong short track program. My crew chief, Dave Fuge, has a lot of Winston Cup experience so I know the truck will be good right from the start. I just need to quickly get my bearings and learn what I need to do to get around here."

The Loadhandler 200 is slated for a green flag on June 20 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. ESPN2 and the NASCAR Truck Network, a division of Motor Racing Network, have live television and radio coverage of the race.

IWX Motor Freight is a Springfield, Mo. based trucking firm having a fleet of 400 trucks. IWX serves 48 states and annually the trucks will log more than 98 million miles.

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On Wednesday, June 17, Randy Tolsma will chat with fans on the popular NASCAR Online web site - www.nascar.com. Tolsma will be on at 3:00 p.m. EDT fielding questions and discussing the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

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Randy Tolsma will be meeting race fans and signing autographs on Thursday night June 18 at the Sears store at the Bristol Mall. The store is located near exit 1 off Interstate 81 in Bristol, Va. The autograph session begins at 5:00 p.m.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Tony Raines , Randy Tolsma