FONTANA, Calif. - It has been an emotional season for Randy Tolsma and the No. 25 CITGO-SUPERGARD Motor Oil Dodge team. With the season finale this weekend at California Speedway, Tolsma anticipates the event by reflecting on his career best...
FONTANA, Calif. - It has been an emotional season for Randy Tolsma and the No. 25 CITGO-SUPERGARD Motor Oil Dodge team. With the season finale this weekend at California Speedway, Tolsma anticipates the event by reflecting on his career best season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and what brought him to this point in time.
Tolsma is no stranger to the racetracks of California. In 1997 he won his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield in only his 13th career start. His second win came 73 races later in Nashville this past August. Tolsma would like nothing better than to have his third career victory come at California Speedway in the Motorola 200.
After all, it is close to his roots in Idaho. So close yet so far away. Years ago a young Tolsma and wife Tiffanie would make a 751 mile trek from Idaho across the desert to California on Friday afternoon after their day jobs were over and drive though the night to race on Saturday. Sunday morning they would drive back to Idaho and prepare for their 40 hour work week again. 1,502 miles per weekend, for 31 races a year, for three years. The car they drove didn't even have air conditioning.
"As we drove across the desert every weekend to race," recalled Tolsma, "we never imagined I would be 8th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings in the year 2000. No one from Idaho ever made it to the elite NASCAR level. It took a lot of dedication back then and still does. I'm thankful Tiffanie is as much of a racer as I am."
Not only is Tolsma 8th in the point standings, but he has led in 7 different races this year for 334 laps.
Tolsma and No. 25 team felt as if they were on a roller coaster ride starting out the season, as they were collected in an accident in Daytona, finished 6th in Homestead, and got collected in another accident while passing for 2nd place in Phoenix. They then went on to dominate in Bakersfield before loosing an engine.
Critics claimed the No. 25 team's tangle with a bad luck streak was going to set the tone of the entire season. Wrong. They dominated again in Monroe, Washington, but were edged out at the end by Jack Sprague when a late race caution flew. The leader Tolsma pitted for tires but Jack Sprague did not forcing Tolsma to settle for second. The No. 25 team anything but settled after being so close. It created a hungrier beast as the 'Tolsmanian Devil' and his boys let loose and went on a top-10 rampage - collecting nine of them in just 11 races. They'd clawed their way up into 6th position in the points.
Then came Nazareth in July. Just four laps after the green flag flew, Tolsma's CITGO-SUPERGARD Motor Oil day was over. The crash proved to be nothing more than a minor glitch because the team then scored two top tens at Michigan and IRP which helped build the momentum to take the big win, and the Gibson guitar home, at Nashville.
Since the win, Tolsma and Co. scored two top tens at Chicago and Texas, and had bad days at Richmond and Dover. This week they are California Dreamin' and would love nothing less than to take a win and end the season on a high note.
Bud Pole qualifying for the race is Friday October 27th at 3:45 p.m. ET. The green flag will drop on the Motorola 200 on Saturday October 28th at 4:00 p.m.. ET. ESPN 2 and MRN Radio will broadcast the event live as the action takes place.