St. Louis: News of note, schedule

Bobby Hamilton Racing steps up pace with third win in six races NEWS & NOTES Bobby Hamilton Racing on a roll since Dover ... The past six races, beginning with Chad Chaffin's (No. 18 Dickies Dodge) June 1 victory at Dover International ...

Bobby Hamilton Racing steps up pace with third win in six races


Bobby Hamilton Racing on a roll since Dover ... The past six races, beginning with Chad Chaffin's (No. 18 Dickies Dodge) June 1 victory at Dover International Speedway, have seen Bobby Hamilton Racing become the series' strongest two-truck team. Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) won last weekend's Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway to become the season's first triple winner. BHR drivers have won three times and posted six top five and 11 top-10 finishes over the six-race span. Points-wise, Hamilton has moved from fifth to second -- his best ranking since June 28, 2003 -- and Chaffin from 13th to sixth, a career high. Hamilton led 133 of 153 laps at Kentucky, most laps led by any winner of 40 series races held on a 1.5-mile track.

Etc. ... Dennis Setzer's (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet) 34-point lead over Carl Edwards (No. 99 Superchips Ford) entering the Kentucky race, slipped to six over Hamilton following the event. Setzer has been atop the standings for eight consecutive races beginning May 16 at Mansfield, Ohio. ...

There have been six different series winners at Gateway International Raceway. Three -- Terry Cook (No. 10 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford), Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) and Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) -- are entered in this week's race. Steve Park (No. 62 Orleans Racing Dodge), drives last year's winning truck of Brendan Gaughan. ... Ultra Motorsports counts four top-two finishes at Gateway, most by any team. The team's No. 2 Team ASE/Carquest Dodge, driven this season by Andy Houston, has been the runner-up in three consecutive years with Jason Leffler (twice) and Scott Riggs. Musgrave and Riggs finished one-two in 2001. ... St. Louis Rams guard Andy McCollum will be the honorary starter at Gateway International Raceway. ... The Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 caps a run of seven consecutive weeks. After a week off the series moves to Michigan International Speedway where the July 31 Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners 200 marks the mid-point of the 2004 schedule of 25 races.


Musgrave, Sprague know their way around Gateway ... Jack Sprague and Ted Musgrave have led every race in which they've competed at Gateway -- four and three respectively. Sprague has led the most laps/miles -- 252 and 315 -- while the pair's combined total miles led of 560 is 46.7% of 1,200 miles run.

Cook isn't one to overlook ... The 2002 winner, Terry Cook also has a third-place finish at Gateway. He is the track's leading money winner with $124,945. Cook, whose last victory came in August at Indianapolis Raceway Park, would like to end the series' current second longest non-winning streak of 44 races. Cook's ppc Racing team won last year's NASCAR Busch Series Charter Pipeline 250 with Riggs behind the wheel.


"This feels almost like a win. I was looking for champagne and a trophy when I got out of my Tundra." - Raybestos Rookie contender Robert Huffman (No. 12 Toyota Tundra Toyota) after his 10th-place finish at Kentucky Speedway. The finish was Huffman's career best on the series.

"I never will tell that; I didn't even tell my teammate." -- Bobby Hamilton, asked to elaborate on the driving tip he'd gotten from son Bobby Jr., last year's NASCAR Busch Series winner at Kentucky Speedway.

"I'm looking forward to Gateway. We should be all right, as long as the track doesn't start with a 'K' or the weather forecast doesn't include rain." -- Shane Hmiel (No. 15 Whitaker Farms Chevrolet) who lost a contending truck to accidents in successive races at Kansas and Kentucky speedways where both schedules were disrupted by inclement weather.

"It is a driver's track with the configuration being different at each end. If you have a pretty neutral truck you can get it through both ends pretty decent even through they are so different." -- Jack Sprague on the challenges of competing at Gateway International Raceway.


In 14 combined NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events at Gateway International Raceway, only a single driver and owner have scored a victory in both divisions. Greg Biffle and Jack Roush won in NASCAR Craftsman Trucks in 1999 and on the NASCAR Busch Series in 2002. Among this week's entered drivers, only Jack Sprague has finished among the top five at the track in each tour.

Fast Facts

What: Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 (Race No. 12 of 25).

Where:  Gateway International Raceway, Madison, Ill.

When: 8 p.m. ET, Saturday, July 17.

Track layout: 1.25-mile paved speedway.
Race length: 200miles/160 laps.

Posted awards: $558,714.

TV: SPEED Channel, 8 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.

2003 winner: Brendan Gaughan.
2003 polesitter: Not held.

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice 11:20 a.m. -- 1:20 p.m. Qualifying 3:30 p.m. Final practice 6:30 -- 7:30 p.m., time permitting.

Top 10 in Points: 1. Dennis Setzer 1,662. 2. Bobby Hamilton 1,656. 3. Carl Edwards 1,562. 4. Rick Crawford 1,510. 5. Matt Crafton 1,501. 6. Chad Chaffin 1,485. 7. Jack Sprague 1,463. 8. Jon Wood 1,454. 9. Ted Musgrave 1,445. 10. Travis Kvapil 1,418.


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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Steve Park , Greg Biffle , Ted Musgrave , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer , Terry Cook , Rick Crawford , Jon Wood , Scott Riggs , Matt Crafton , Shane Hmiel , Brendan Gaughan , Chad Chaffin , Carl Edwards , Jack Roush , Robert Huffman