Topeka Post Race Notes

Lund Look 275K Sunday Notebook Shawn A. Akers TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 23, 1998) Some notes and quotes from Sunday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Lund Look 275K at Heartland Park Topeka: It wasn't as hot Sunday at Heartland Park...

Lund Look 275K Sunday Notebook Shawn A. Akers

TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 23, 1998) Some notes and quotes from Sunday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Lund Look 275K at Heartland Park Topeka:

It wasn't as hot Sunday at Heartland Park Topeka as it has been in past years for the Lund Look 275K, but the 99-degree heat still took its toll on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers.

Several drivers needed oxygen following the event, and some even had to be carted away. Rick McCray, who dropped out of the race after 38 laps due to engine problems, was taken away flat on his back due to heat prostration.

Randy McDonald, driver of the No. 26 Ford, had to be relieved during the race by Bryan Reffner due to the heat. Reffner's Ford gave way after only two laps due to suspension problems, and he was waiting around as a relief driver for whoever needed him.

Even winner Stacy Compton was still winded after coming into the media center after celebrating in Victory Lane.

The veteran road racers had their way throughout most of the day, but all were befallen by misfortune. Bud Pole winner Boris Said, who led laps four through 19 and raced in the top-three nearly all afternoon, grabbed the lead from Mike Bliss on the frontstretch on lap 73, but then saw the rear end break on his No. 44 Federated Auto Parts Ford.

Tom Hubert, who started in second position, led three times for 32 laps, but was caught up in a late accident while trying to make his way back toward the front of the field. Ron Fellows encountered early problems as well, dropping out after only 16 laps due to transmission problems.

"We broke the drivetrain," Said said. "The truck was good all day, and we just paced ourselves, and we really made a good pit stop, and at the end we had something for Bliss. Something broke in the rear end when I went by him. I went by him, and just all of a sudden had a bunch of neutral. I feel really bad for the sponsor. They've been sticking with us all year. I put a lot of effort into it. We'll win one of these sooner or later. The Ford was good all day. It was really tough. It just broke six laps too soon."

It may not have been another victory for Jimmy Hensley, but his third-place run Sunday at Heartland Park Topeka may have felt like one considering the circumstances. Throughout most of the day, Hensley did not run in the top-10, but with a couple of caution flags and accidents near the end of the 81-lap event, the winner of last week's race at Nashville moved up through the field and wound up with a top-five run.

"We didn't feel like we had a third-place truck today," said Hensley, who moved up one spot in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings to seventh. "I just kept the Cummins Dodge on the track and missed the wrecks. I tried to keep the tires on the truck because I really felt like we had better tires on toward the end of the race. I'm not really a road course racer, but we'll take it. This almost feels like a win here at Topeka."

Jack Sprague made up some valuable ground in the championship points race on Sunday. The driver of the No. 24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet finished fourth, while series frontrunner Ron Hornaday had his problems, but still managed to finish eighth.

Sprague is now 18 points behind Hornaday in the points race with nine races remaining on the schedule.

"It was a tough race. It was really tough today," Sprague said. "We didn't have the best truck. I thought it would have raced better than it did. It actually ran good, but it fell off real fast. (Crew chief) Dennis Conner and the crew did a great job in the pits for me today 'cause we were really, really in bad, bad, bad shape there for a while. The guys kept me in it all day but it never got real good."

Tommy Archer, a veteran road racer, took over for Bob Keselowski in the No. 29 Mopar Performance Dodge on lap eight during the first caution flag of the afternoon. Keselowski is still not fully recovered from the injuries he suffered in a crash during the Florida Dodge Dealers 400 at Homestead, Fla., in April.

Archer brought the No. 29 Dodge home in 10th place for Keselowski and his team. He led two laps, taking the point at lap 31.

Archer practiced the No. 29 in the final practice session for the trucks on Sunday morning. He clocked the 14th-fastest lap out of 25 trucks in the practice session, a lap of 85.718 mph.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Boris Said , Stacy Compton , Ron Fellows , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Tom Hubert , Jack Sprague , Tommy Archer , Bryan Reffner , Jimmy Hensley , Randy McDonald , Mike Bliss