Leffler snaps winless streak with Dover victory Sears will sponsor July's series stop in Michigan NEWS AND NOTES * Sears to sponsor July series event at Michigan ... The July 26 series race at Michigan International Speedway becomes the Sears...
Leffler snaps winless streak with Dover victory
Sears will sponsor July's series stop in Michigan
NEWS AND NOTES
* Sears to sponsor July series event at Michigan ... The July 26 series race at Michigan International Speedway becomes the Sears 200. The mid-summer weekend has a festival atmosphere, with live music and infield carnival rides accompanying the racing action.
* Leffler, Team ASE Racing droughts over ... Jason Leffler (No. 2 Team ASE Racing/Carquest Dodge) happily relinquished the record of most second-place finishes without a victory when he won the May 30 MBNA Armed Forces Family 200 at Dover International Speedway. Leffler finished in the runnerup position six times in 2002. Scott Riggs scored the team's last victory in August 2001 at Chicago Motor Speedway.
* Welcome back with a win ... Ultra Motorsports' new crew chief, Dennis Connor, posted victory No. 24 on the series -- and first without Sprague, with whom Connor won three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series titles. That duo's last win came in September 2001 at Richmond International Raceway.
* Final word on Ultra Motorsports ... Dover was win No. 27, one shy of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series record held by Roush Racing.
* Just two competitors perfect after six races ... It isn't difficult to see why Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) and Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford) stand one-two in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings. Hamilton and Crawford are the only drivers to have completed all 1,128.802 miles run in 2003.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
* Convergence could work in Terry Cook's favor ... Terry Cook (No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford) hasn't won at Texas Motor Speedway, but is surrounded by those who have. His K Automotive team won in 1999 with Setzer and crew chief Rick Ren quarterbacked 2001 fall winner Travis Kvapil (No. 16 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet).
* Starr looking for fifth straight top-five in O'Reilly 400K ... David Starr (No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet) counts four consecutive top-five finishes at Texas Motor Speedway -- three thirds and a fourth. Crawford also has finished among the top five four times but not in succession. Seven different drivers -- including Gaughan, Kvapil and Setzer -- count a trio of top-five postings.
* Texas is good prospecting for rookies ... Rookie competitors have won four races at Texas Motor Speedway. Kenny Irwin started the trend by beating fellow rookies Boris Said and Crawford in 1997. Kvapil and Gaughan followed. Not surprisingly, all won Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. No other track on the current schedule has more than a single rookie winner.
* "I just got impatient. I pressured him and he spun, and I spun to miss him and took myself out of the race. It was a real learning experience for me." -- Jason Leffler, on his 27th-place finish in last year's O'Reilly 400K.
* "It's easy sometimes to be the driver. Last week, when I crashed on race morning, I had to go out and entertain at hospitality, which is not that hard. While I was out there, my guys worked their butts off getting the backup truck ready to race. When I got back to the transporter and saw the looks of exhaustion on their faces, there's not much you can say other than 'thanks.'" -- Bill Lester, No. 8 Dodge Motorsports Dodge, whose 11th-place finish at Dover duplicated his career best effort in last year's O'Reilly 400K.
* "If you can get through the corners, then you'll have a fast truck at that place." -- Chad Chaffin, No. 18 Dickies Dodge, on racing at Texas Motor Speedway.
* "Without sounding cocky, I think we're getting close to putting everything together for a win. Texas is a good place for first-time winners." -- Jon Wood, No. 50 Roush Racing Ford.
* "Everybody drives pickup trucks in Texas and they like to come out and see us race the trucks." -- David Starr, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet.
* "It's not that we are out there racing every weekend for the points championship but we are trying to race smart." -- Bobby Hamilton, who's led all six races in 2003.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
* Four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race winners at Texas Motor Speedway have gone on to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series -- three of them active competitors. In fact, Greg Biffle, Tony Raines and Jack Sprague currently are battling for 2003 Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.
What: O'Reilly 400K (No. 7 of 25).
Where: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas.
When: 9 p.m. ET, Friday, June 6.
TV: SPEED Channel, 9 p.m. ET.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday -- Practice, 12:30 to 2:45 p.m. Qualifying, 4:15 p.m. Final practice 7:25 to 8:25 p.m.