Raybestos Rookie victory streak in series reaches fourth season Tight points battle continues as season's mid-point nears NEWS & NOTES TV Timeout; The July 5 O'Reilly 250 at Kansas Speedway was the second highest-rated motorsports program...
Raybestos Rookie victory streak in series reaches fourth season
Tight points battle continues as season's mid-point nears
NEWS & NOTES
TV Timeout; The July 5 O'Reilly 250 at Kansas Speedway was the second highest-rated motorsports program on cable television (behind the NASCAR Busch Series Winn-Dixie 250 from Daytona International Speedway) for the weekend of July 4-6, according to Nielsen Media Research. The race rated fifth among all cable sports programming for the weekend.
Raybestos Rookie wins again; Edwards July 12 victory at Kentucky Speedway marks the fourth consecutive season in which a Raybestos Rookie contender has won in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Each one of the previous three Kurt Busch, Travis Kvapil (No. 16 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet) and Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Orleans Hotel Dodge) has gone on to claim rookie of the year honors. At 23 years 10 months, Edwards is the fourth-youngest series winner.
Championship battle tight nearing mid-point. Just 93 points cover first through seventh in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship standings as the July 25 season mid-point draws near. Of note, the only competitor among the top seven without a victory is the point leader, Kvapil.
St. Louis Cardinal Hall of Famer Stan Musial will be among attendees Wednesday when Gaughan and Stover throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Frontier League All-Star Game at GMC Stadium in Sauget, Ill. The park is the home of the Gateway Grizzlies. Two St. Louis Rams defensive players tackle Brian Young and end Jeremy Staat will serve as honorary pit crew members on Saturday. Young will help service the No. 18 Dickies Dodge of Chad Chaffin, while Staat will be in the pit of Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford).
The Bob Graham for President campaign has extended its sponsorship of Jon Wood (No. 50 Roush Racing Ford) for the remainder of the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. Morgan Shepherd (No. 21 Racing With Jesus/Red Line Oil Ford) extended his record at Kentucky Speedway as the oldest driver to lead a series race. Shepherd, 61 years eight months of age, can become its oldest starter (surpassing A.J. Foyt) by participating in any event beginning Aug. 20 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Bill Lester will be the subject of a pair of announcements - the latter dealing with additional sponsorship of his No. 8 Dodge Motorsports Dodge on Wednesday in Atlanta and Saturday at Gateway International Raceway.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Terry Cook (No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford) is the defending winner in St. Louis. Last year's victory was his first since 1998 and triggered a four-win season. Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Performance Dodge) won in 2001.
"I'm going to be like a kid in a candy store when I get back in that race truck. You can't imagine how difficult it was sitting on pit road watching someone else race the Spears truck."
David Starr (No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet), who returns to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series after sitting out four races due to an injury suffered during a June test at The Milwaukee Mile.
"That was a day I was very sick. It goes to show you how good of a race truck we had that day."
Terry Cook, winner of last year's race at Gateway International Raceway.
"I think our happy hour will end early enough on Friday for me to make it in time for the first heat race."
Carl Edwards, who'll do a Ken Schrader, they are fellow Missourians and compete in a dirt Late Model car in Belleville, Ill.
"You have to give up some on one end to be good at the other end. It's kind of like Darlington."
Jon Wood, on the challenges of competing at Gateway International Raceway.
"We need to go back and start having fun like we were at the beginning of the season."
- Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) on recovering the early season momentum that saw Hamilton lead the point standings for seven races.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Rick Crawford truly is the iron man of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series based upon completing more miles than any competitor in series history. Crawford's current total is 26,385.879 miles run over a career of 159 consecutive races. He passed previous miles-run leader Joe Ruttman (25,616.14) June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway.
What: Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 (Race No. 12 of 25).
Where: Gateway International Raceway, Madison, Ill.
When: 9 p.m. ET, Saturday, July 19.
Track layout: 1.25-mile paved oval.
Race length: 160 laps/200 miles.
TV: SPEED Channel, 9 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.