Texas II: GM Racing preview

Ft. Worth - October 30, 2007 - The Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) has major significance to members of Team Chevy Silverado. First, it is the second of two entitlement events for Chevrolet Silverado on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck ...

Ft. Worth - October 30, 2007 - The Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) has major significance to members of Team Chevy Silverado. First, it is the second of two entitlement events for Chevrolet Silverado on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) schedule, the first being the season-opening NCTS event at Daytona International Speedway.

Second, and of major importance, is the seesaw championship battle that Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 Camping World Silverado, is engaged. Hornaday is campaigning to capture his third NCTS championship and heads to TMS with a four-point lead with just three races remaining in the 2007 NCTS season.

After a strong second-place finish last Saturday at Atlanta, Hornaday and his crew chief, Rick Ren are looking forward to Texas.

"We might take this one (Chassis No. 12) next week to Texas," said Hornaday. "This is just unbelievable. They keep bringing me great trucks week in and week out.

"The way we are going to beat Mike Skinner is just to out-race him as hard as we can. We are doing everything we can on our side."

Ren is ready for Texas using the same methodology that has brought the Kevin Harvick, Inc. Silverado team to the point: "These last three races are very important. We just need to keep doing what we have been doing all year. We are not going to change anything we do for any reason.

"We ran second with this truck last week at Atlanta and I feel that we can get another strong run out of it at Texas."

Third, Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menards Silverado, is looking to continue his move up the ranks in the top-10 NCTS standings. In 13 career starts at TMS, Crafton has five top-10 finishes, including a seventh-place finish in the spring 2007 race.

"We didn't have a great truck, but we had a pretty good one at Atlanta," said Crafton. "We just could never quite get it right underneath me. We fought being loose most of the weekend. All in all, I'm pleased with our finish. We kept battling, and we came out o.k. I'm looking forward to Texas...I've had some real good runs there, and have been in position to win there. We can definitely be there again."

And fourth, but equally important, is the Raybestos Rookie of the Year ongoing tussle between two strong Silverado drivers, Willie Allen, No. 13 National Pork Board/Nashville Music City Racing Silverado and Tim Sauter, No. 07 Lester Buildings Silverado.

"Texas has a lot of speed to it and it's one of my favorite tracks," said Allen. "We had a tough time with our National Pork Board/Nashville Music City Chevy Silverado at Atlanta, so we'll look to bounce back at Texas. We'll keep working hard as a team and try to maintain our Rookie of the Year lead with a good finish this weekend."

Fresh off the victory at Atlanta, Kyle Busch is ready to jump back in the cockpit of the No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports (BBM) Silverado for a run at a second 2007 trip to the NCTS victory lane.

"I'd like to turn right around and do it again next week in Texas," said Busch. "It felt good to be back in victory lane with Billy Ballew Motorsports, we are a low budget operation and these guys deserved it. We are bringing one of my two favorite trucks, Richie (Wauters, crew chief) and I have to decide that but either truck gives us a decent shot at back-to-back wins. I'm looking forward to running with J.R. (Norris) who is in the No. 15. J.R. and I've raced some late model races together this year so I hope we can race around each other again in Texas."

Norris knows the value of teaming with Busch in the No. 15 BBM Silverado for the second time this season: "I am really looking forward to racing this weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway making my second start for Billy Ballew Motorsports. Billy has always been supportive of all of this team and especially with my Southeast Series cars and I have to thank him for this opportunity. I know Texas you will see a lot of side by side racing because of the multiple grooves so it should be an exciting race for both the fans and drivers."

Although his four wins at TMS weren't in his No. 77 South Point Racing Silverado, Brendan Gaughan is looking to rectify that situation in this weekend's Silverado 350K.

"I don't know, I wish I could tell you why we haven't had the best races recently at Texas," said Gaughan. "If I knew how we did it, we'd be out there still doing it. I don't know. We had some special years. We had a very special race team. We had a very special truck. We had everything right. We tested a ton. I think that was the biggest difference between then and now - how much we could test and how well that worked out for us. We had a great race team. We had great testing procedures, and we would go to Texas World Speedway right before we would go to TMS every time and know what we needed to be just as fast and to win. We're trying to get back on that program.

"Lone Star, the truck that we won Texas with those four times, has been retired after its wreck at Texas in the spring - so we are going there with a different truck. And it's the truck that is the best one in our stable."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Matt Crafton , Tim Sauter , Brendan Gaughan , Willie Allen , Kyle Busch