Teams happy about the Charlotte 2003 race

Lowe's Motor Speedway schedule addition already a hit for NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 26, 2002) - Despite the fact that there is still more than seven months before the green flag falls on the Hardee's 200,...

Lowe's Motor Speedway schedule addition already a hit for NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 26, 2002) - Despite the fact that there is still more than seven months before the green flag falls on the Hardee's 200, last week's announcement that the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will be racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2003 is already creating a buzz.

"This will be one of those races that we'll be talking about winning for the next seven months," said NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series owner Bobby Hamilton."When NASCAR added Daytona to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, it was the biggest thing that happened to the series. Charlotte is just another step to help build the future of the series."

The Hardee's 200 bolsters the lineup of exciting May events at Lowe's Motor Speedway highlighted by the NASCAR Winston Cup's Memorial Day classic - the Coca-Cola 600. The Hardee's 200 will take place under the lights Friday, May 16, following qualifying for The Winston - NASCAR's all-star event.

"Pairing the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and The Winston qualifying will create an exciting event in support of The Winston weekend," said NASCAR President Mike Helton."The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in itself is one of the most exciting forms of motorsports. While it continues to win the attention of the casual and hardcore race fans, bringing the series to Charlotte will take it to another level."

A race at Lowe's Motor Speedway further strengthens the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as one of the nation's premier motorsports series. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series began racing in Charlotte when the track opened in June 1960. In 1982 when the NASCAR Busch Series was formed, it also landed two dates at the 1.5-mile track.

In the past two seasons, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has expanded to more superspeedways. Race dates at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Dover (Del.) International Speedway were added in 2000 followed by Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and Kansas Speedway in 2001.

The last time the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series raced in North Carolina was September 1996 at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Ironically, the series' return to North Carolina - a hotbed for stock-car racing - is bringing as much, and possibly more, attention to the series than its recent expansion outside the Southeast.

"Lowe's Motor Speedway is the final element," said Terry Cook, driver of the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford."When I was growing up, the World 600 (now Coca-Cola Racing Family 600) in Charlotte was right up there with the Daytona 500. Now the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will also get to race there."

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series - which compares favorably in cable TV ratings when matched against open wheel racing circuits - has been a steppingstone for many drivers in the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Winston Cup Series including Stacy Compton, Mike Skinner, Ron Hornaday, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jaime McMurray, Jay Sauter, Jack Sprague, Greg Biffle, Scott Riggs and Ricky Hendrick.

With the Charlotte area being the home of many NASCAR teams, the Hardee's 200 allows the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series crews and drivers to compete in front of their peers, family and friends for the respect and attention the series deserves.

And, of course, hometown bragging rights.

NEWS OF NOTE

* Third quarter True Value Person of the Year... Ken Schrader has been named NASCAR's True Value Person of the Year for the third quarter because of his continuing work with charities. Schrader, who has 33 career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts including five this year, most recently finished 10th at the Virginia is for Lover's 200 at Richmond International Raceway.

* Craftsman continues support..."The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is living up to expectations and this is a great time to be a part of the series," said series director Wayne Auton. " There are many exciting things on the horizon for the series which people will soon be hearing about." Craftsman is currently in its eighth season sponsoring the series.

* Championship update with four races to go... Mike Bliss (No. 16 IWX Motor Freight/Knights Inn Chevrolet) increased his lead to 55 points over second-place Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Racing Ford) after the Hardee's 250 at South Boston Speedway on Sept. 21. Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Performance Dodge) is currently third in the standings, 112 points back. Robert Pressley (No. 18 Dickies/Square D Dodge) fell three spots to eighth-place in the standings.

* Etc.... Coy Gibbs (No. 20 MBNA Chevrolet) will attempt his fourth NASCAR Busch Series start this weekend in the Mr. Goodcents 300 at Kansas Speedway. After this weekend, Gibbs will attempt one more NASCAR Busch Series start-Oct. 19 at Memphis Motorsports Park. Gibbs is currently in ninth-place in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings after finishing second at the Hardee's 250--his best finish ever in the series...The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to action on Oct. 13 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Las Vegas 350. Musgrave is the defending champion.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Mike Skinner , Ken Schrader , Kevin Harvick , Jay Sauter , Kurt Busch , Robert Pressley , Stacy Compton , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Ricky Hendrick , Jack Sprague , Coy Gibbs , Terry Cook , Rick Crawford , Jamie McMurray , Scott Riggs , Mike Bliss , Mike Helton