Series' drivers Charlotte Go-Kart preview

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers to clash on Charlotte Go-Kart track. The Battle is on for bragging rights as drivers compete to be first-ever Charlotte (Go-Kart) winner. CHARLOTTE, N.C. -Before the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series...

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers to clash on Charlotte Go-Kart track.
The Battle is on for bragging rights as drivers compete to be first-ever Charlotte (Go-Kart) winner.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -Before the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers clash for the first time on Charlotte's famed speedway, they will battle for top honors at another local race track - a go-kart track that is.

Ten of the Series' toughest drivers will tackle the 12-turn road course at Victory Lane Indoor Karting Center in Charlotte on Wed., May 14 as part of the "Craftsman Go-Kart Challenge." The drivers will be dueling for bragging rights, in hopes of becoming the first-ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver to visit the winner's circle in the racing hotbed of Charlotte.

And it doesn't matter if that first Charlotte win comes in a go-kart. After all, to racers, a win is a win.

"I'm on a roll right now, and I want to be the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver to win the first event in Charlotte - whether it's go-karts or trucks," said Dennis Setzer, driver of the No. 46 ACXIOM/Computer Associates Chevrolet and already a two-time winner in 2003. "Coming in to Charlotte, we have not lost a race in eight weeks, so we want to keep our streak alive. First go-karts, next the Hardee's 200."

Setzer will be joined on the go-kart track by NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Rick Crawford, Carl Edwards, Brendan Gaughan, Tina Gordon, Bobby Hamilton, Travis Kvapil, Jason Leffler, David Starr and Jon Wood.

"This is one of the things that we do where the competition will get pretty intense," said Bobby Hamilton, driver of the No. 4 Square D Dodge and current points leader. "It's going to be an action-packed race, and we're all going to be racing our hearts out to have bragging rights for the remainder of the season."

But who wins the race won't necessarily be determined by the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver piloting the go-kart. To throw a wrench into the plan, each driver will be paired with a member of the local media as well as a sponsor executive in an hour-long endurance go-kart race.

Each team member will race the kart for 10-minute intervals before handing off the wheel to a teammate. The winner will be the team with the best-combined overall time. Awards also will be presented to the driver with the quickest lap time during the event.

"This will be another track I've never raced on, but I don't believe there are any NASCAR rules about testing at this one," said Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Roush Racing Ford. "I may have to go there in advance and walk the track to get a feel for it. It's tough being a rookie everywhere you go, but I have a feeling there will be a lot of rookies out on the track for this go-kart race."

Fans are encouraged to come to Victory Lane Karting Center Wed., May 14, between 4-7 p.m. to cheer on their favorite NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver. Fans attending can win various prizes, including a Craftsman tool box signed by the drivers and four tickets to the inaugural Hardee's 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Fri., May 16.

"I don't know who will have more fun at the karting event - the drivers or the fans," Hamilton said. "But I guarantee it will be fun."

Victory Lane Indoor Karting Center is located at the Intersection of I-85 and I-77, exit Statesville Avenue at 2330 Tipton Drive, Suite 100. Experience Charlotte's first and only Indoor Competition Karting Facility, which includes 54,000 square feet of PURE ADRENALINE. Driving suits and helmets are provided to drivers 16 years and older. For more information please visit www.377FAST.com or call 704-377FAST(3278).

Craftsman, the Official Tools of NASCAR, has sponsored the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since it began in 1995. According to a 2002 EquiTrend survey, Craftsman is rated the No. 1 brand in the nation among men for overall quality. Sears sells more than 1,800 Craftsman hand tools, all made in America and guaranteed forever. Sears offers Craftsman tools, merchandise and related services nationwide through its Full-line stores, Sears Hardware stores, Sears Dealer stores and Orchard Supply Hardware stores, as well as through specialty catalogs and online at www.sears.com.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Jason Leffler , David Starr , Dennis Setzer , Rick Crawford , Brendan Gaughan , Carl Edwards , Travis Kvapil