NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race This Week At The Host With The Most Are "Starrs" Aligned For Texas Native At His Home Track? FORT WORTH, Texas (June 5, 2006) -- The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is in its 12th season and no...
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race This Week At The Host With The Most
Are "Starrs" Aligned For Texas Native At His Home Track?
FORT WORTH, Texas (June 5, 2006) -- The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is in its 12th season and no speedway has hosted more truck events than Texas Motor Speedway. The Sam's Town 400 on Friday evening will be the 17th truck series race since "The Great American Speedway!" opened in 1997.
Ten different drivers have won at Texas Motor Speedway with Brendan Gaughan leading the way with four consecutive victories that include the spring and fall races in 2002 and '03. Todd Bodine (2004-F, 2005-F), Dennis Setzer (2004-S, 1999-S), and last June's winner Jack Sprague (2001-S, 2005-S) are the only other multiple winners at Texas.
Texas Motor Speedway is one of only three tracks hosting two Craftsman Truck Series events in 2006. The series returns to Texas on November 3 for the Silverado 350k. "The Great American Speedway!" has hosted a pair of truck series races each season since 1999.
The Sam's Town 400 is the third race this season for the trucks on a 1.5-mile superspeedway. Bodine (March 17-Atlanta Motor Speedway) and Kyle Busch (May 19-Lowe's Motor Speedway) are the two previous superspeedway winners this year.
A year ago, Sprague led the final eight laps of the June race at Texas to claim the win and became the first series driver to win in eight different seasons.
The largest crowds on the truck series circuit are at Texas Motor Speedway and some of the most memorable moments in series history have come in the past decade at Texas.
Some of those include Dennis Setzer wrestling the lead from polesitter Jay Sauter with 35 laps remaining and then staving him off in the closest Craftsman Truck Series race in TMS history, winning the June 1999 race by just 0.208 of a second.
The first all-female pit crew in NASCAR debuted at Texas Motor Speedway in June 2003. The Aaron's Dream Team featured eight females (seven crew members and an alternate) pulling pit crew duties for Shawna Robinson in the No. 49 Aaron's Chevrolet in three races, including the two truck series stops at Texas. The crew members were recruited through Fort Worth-Dallas area fitness facilities.
Todd Bodine roared back from the furthest starting position by a truck series winner at Texas Motor Speedway to earn a victory in the Silverado 350k in October 2004. Bodine started 22nd, but marched into the lead by lap 67 of the 146-lap event. He led twice for 71 laps, including the final 38, en route to a 1.008-second victory over runner-up Johnny Benson.
Greg Biffle was dominant in the June 2000 race as he set a track record for most laps led by a truck series winner (119) and rolled to a 2.741-second win over Mike Wallace. In the October 2000 race, Biffle managed just 80 laps before going out in a single-truck incident in Turn 2 but still won the Craftsman Truck Series championship that day. It was the first time the series title had ever been decided before the final race of the season.
* HOME TRACK ADVANTAGE
David Starr, driver of the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra, is hoping the 16th time is the charm at Texas Motor Speedway. The Houston native has come close to winning at his home speedway with eight top-10 showings, including three third-place finishes. Four times Starr has started on the outside pole, but is still seeking his first win at Texas.
"I've decided that I am going to approach this week's race at Texas a little bit differently than I have in the past," said Starr, who is currently fifth in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points. "This time I am looking at it as just another race in the nine-week stretch that we are on in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Do I want to win there? Yes. I want to win every week. But I am going into Texas this time looking at the big picture and that is to win the championship.
"For years, I have been trying to win at my home track and I have been so close so many times, but the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is just so competitive that it isn't easy to win. This year, there are probably 25 drivers that can win on every given weekend, and that just shows how tough this series is."
Starr cut his teeth in stock cars as a driver for his uncle Mike Starr's Team Texas High Performance Driving School, which operates at Texas Motor Speedway.
"I have a lot of friends, and of course my family is there," Starr said. "The people who are really responsible for me being where I am today are from Texas, so winning there would be something very remarkable for them, too. If it all ended tomorrow, I could live the rest of my life with no regrets, but I have to say that a win at Texas would be very special to me and one of the biggest highlights of my career."
* DOUBLE DUTY
David Reutimann, driver of the No. 17 Team Tundra Racing Toyota, will be pulling double-duty in the driver's seat this weekend. The Florida native will compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Sam's Town 400 on Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway and then head to Nashville Superspeedway, where he will drive the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine for Michael Waltrip Racing on Saturday in the NASCAR Busch Series race. "Our first time at Texas in 2004, we finished third and then in October we were involved in a horrible accident," Reutimann said. "It's something I'd like to forget. Last season, we finished 10th in June and fifth later in the year. We've had good runs at Texas, and I feel like we can keep our momentum going this weekend." Reutimann is currently third in points in the Craftsman Truck Series and has a pair of poles, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes this year.
* TEXAS TIES
Three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers with Texas roots will attempt to make the field for the Sam's Town 400. Robert Richardson, driver of the No. 1 winyourmortgage.com Chevrolet, is from McKinney; David Starr, driver of the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra, is from Houston; and Blake Mallory, driver of the No. 76 Automotive Fabrication Chevrolet, is from Joshua.
* FAST AND FURIOUS
Mike Skinner, driver of the No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota, knows how to get around Texas Motor Speedway -- in a hurry. The veteran driver has qualified on the pole for the past three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at "The Great American Speedway!" Last June, he set a speedway truck series qualifying record with his speed of 182.902 mph/29.524 sec. Skinner's three poles have come in just four starts at Texas and he has finished 11th, 4th, and 2nd from the No. 1 position. His three consecutive poles share a series record with Ron Fellows (1997-99) for most consecutive poles at a single track. Skinner, however, may want to think twice about securing his fourth consecutive pole at TMS considering no truck series pole winner at Texas has gone on to win the race since Brian Reffner in October 2001.
* ROOKIE TRANSITION
Five NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookies are making the transition from open-wheel racing to the truck series. Bobby East, driver of the No. 21 Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford, was the 2004 USAC Midget champion; Kraig Kinser, son of 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, has seven Outlaw feature wins, including the prestigious 2005 Knoxville Nationals; Erin Crocker, driver of the No. 98 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, raced full-time on the World of Outlaws circuit; Kyle Krisiloff, driver of the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet, is the son of former open-wheel driver Steve Krisiloff and a nine-time Grand National champion in quarter-midgets; and Boston Reid, driver of the No. 25 Woodard & Sharp Racing Dodge, was the 2002 USAC sprint car Rookie of the Year.
* VIVA JOURDAIN!
Mexico City resident Michel Jourdain Jr., who previous had competed in open-wheel racing as well as the NASCAR Busch Series, expects to make his series debut in the Sam's Town 400 aboard Roush Racing's No. 50 Ford. Jourdain's attempt to make his first start in the truck series on May 27 ended when rain washed out qualifying at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway and the entry did not have enough owner points to make the field.