* Teammates Crawford, Starr Rewind Wild '04 Finish * Four Iconic NASCAR Families Compete At Gateway NCTS Etc. * Brendan Gaughan's runnerup finish at Bristol Motor Speedway was the Las Vegas driver's best since running second to Mark Martin...
* Teammates Crawford, Starr Rewind Wild '04 Finish
* Four Iconic NASCAR Families Compete At Gateway
* Brendan Gaughan's runnerup finish at Bristol Motor Speedway was the Las Vegas driver's best since running second to Mark Martin (No. 21 Mark Martin Ford) at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2006. Martin this time ran third.
* Bristol winner Johnny Benson (No. 23 Exide Batteries Toyota) is the season's fourth multiple winner. The victory was Benson's first on a short track. Benson and Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet) are the only drivers with top-10 finishes on all five short tracks in 2007.
* And now they're teammates. Rick Crawford (No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) and David Starr (No. 10 MAXXForce International Diesel Power Ford) were a very big part of the story line at Gateway International Raceway in 2004. Starr won the race -- leading only the last lap -- and Crawford wound up taking a wild, 500-foot ride, driver side down, after a Turn 2 accident during a multiple green-white-checker finish. "It was a memory of racing you'd rather forget," said Crawford. "It wasn't a bad spill and it showed two things: How safe the trucks are, but also with all of the head and neck restraints that you have now, that it was quick for a driver to escape -- even after a spill like that." Chad Chaffin and Starr, running third and fourth, raced for the win after leaders Bobby Hamilton and Shane Hmiel collided. "He (Chaffin) was slowing his truck down and kinda blocking me in the lower lane," said Starr. "He got on the brakes too early to block the center (of the turn) and I just got into the back of him square enough where it made him wiggle ... and I passed him to win the race."
* Two points to ponder: One, there never has been a first-time series winner at Gateway and two, the best finish by a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate is fourth by Carl Edwards in 2003.
* Mittler Bros. Motorsports, the series' only St. Louis-based team, will compete in its 10th consecutive Ram Tough 200 with driver Scott Lynch (No. 63 Cooper Bussmann Ford). Five entered teams have run all nine Gateway races.
Promotion Targets Homestead Finales
Competitors in NASCAR's three national series aren't the only ones looking forward to Ford Championship Weekend Nov. 16-18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Ford, the Official Truck of NASCAR, for the fourth time has renewed its Race to the Dream promotion sponsored by Ford trucks which culminates in an entrant being selected the "Ultimate Fan Champion."
That fan will experience a complete front and backstage view of the three days of competition including a ride in the pace truck prior to the Nov. 16 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Ford 200.
Fans can enter by going to www.racetothedream.com. One finalist will be selected each week until the contest closes on Oct. 30.
"We know that NASCAR fans also are also truck enthusiasts so it's a great opportunity for us to combine two of their favorite passions into a truly unique experience," said Todd Eckert, Ford Truck and SUV Manager.
Chevrolet, Dodge Share Gateway Victory Lead
Chevrolet, currently second in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Manufacturers' Championship points, shares the most victories at Gateway International Raceway -- three -- with Dodge.
That fact may give the latter truck builder hope as it seeks win No. 1 of the 2007 season.
Dodge's wins came in 2001, 2003 and 2005 -- thus it is due in 2007. Chevrolet's three victories were logged in 1998, 2000 and 2004.
"We didn't have much of a piece (truck) tonight. This is probably the worst truck in our stable. You won't see it again this year -- I can promise you that." -- Mike Skinner, after his 19-races-led streak ended at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 22.
In The Loop:
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader Skinner has seesawed between good and bad finishes at Gateway.
In 2003, his first race there, Skinner scored a 12th-place finish. The following year: 28th place.
Over the last two years, the pattern continued with a fourth-place finish followed by a 35th-place finish.
The sequence predicts a good finish this year by Skinner. Over the last two years, Skinner has a Driver Rating of 91.0, which is 13th-best -- and one spot ahead of Ron Hornaday Jr.
Hornaday, the prime candidate to catch Skinner in the standings, is 92 points out in second. He has a Gateway Driver Rating of 87.8 and an Average Running Position of 11.7.
Though not exactly in the championship hunt, figure Ted Musgrave to have a strong showing at Gateway. He won there in 2005 and finished second last year. Over the past two years, Musgrave holds the top numbers in Driver Rating (136.0), Average Running Position (3.8), Fastest Laps Run (54) and Laps in the Top 15 (307).
Homecoming For Schrader
Ken Schrader ran his only NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Gateway in 2001 finishing 17th.
He finished fifth in Gateway's 1999 NASCAR Busch Series race driving a Chevrolet owned by now ESPN analyst Andy Petree.
Brothers And Such
St. Louis native Kenny Wallace (No. 51 Flanders Provisions Co. Chevrolet) will return to the series after an absence of nearly nine years. Wallace last competed at Phoenix International Raceway in 1995.
The Wallace family -- Kenny, Mike and Rusty -- is one of four to have three brothers race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
"I have some unfinished business with Mike," said Wallace. "He may have more starts there in a truck, but I've had some good runs in Busch and I look forward to this opportunity to get a good top-five run in our hometown."
Mike Wallace's best Gateway finish is fifth.
Each of the families -- the Wallaces, Bodines, Greens and Sauters -- is represented in the Ram Tough 200. The entry includes Wallace, Todd Bodine, David Green (No. 1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota) and Tim Sauter (No. 07 Lester Buildings Chevrolet).
Raybestos Rookie of the Year Standings
The roster of eligible Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates will drop to five following this week's Ram Tough 200. That's because the rookie agreement requires that eligibility is terminated if a candidate fails to attempt to qualify for eight of the season's first 17 races.
Up Next: New Hampshire
The big question as the series heads for New England for the Sept. 15 New Hampshire 200 is this: Will the 1.058-mile New Hampshire International Speedway see its 12th different winner?
NHIS and Homestead-Miami Speedway, which joined the schedule in 1996, have identical records as tracks where no previous winner has been able to revisit Victory Lane. That's probably bad news for seven NHIS winners expected to compete, including defending New Hampshire 200 champion Johnny Benson.
It's difficult -- if not impossible -- to explain why past winners have experienced such frustration in Loudon, N.H. Consider this, though: It's been the same story with the NASCAR Busch Series and in spades. Kevin Harvick became the track's 21st different winner when the series visited NHIS on June 30.
The track has no winners common to both series. David Green is the only NBS winner expected to compete in the New Hampshire 200.
Next Race: Missouri/Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200
The Place: Gateway International Raceway
The Date: Sept. 1, 20071
The Time: 5:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: SPEED 5:00 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 1.25-mile oval
Race Purse: $618,893
2006 Winner: Todd Bodine
2006 Pole: David Ragan
Schedule: Friday -- Practice 2:30 -- 3:30 p.m., 3:45 -- 4:15 p.m. (rookies) and 6:15 -- 7:15 p.m. Saturday -- Qualifying 1:05 p.m.