Trucks return to Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2001, it was announced Thursday by LVMS officials. After a one-year absence, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will compete on LVMS' 1.5-mile ...

LAS VEGAS - The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2001, it was announced Thursday by LVMS officials.

After a one-year absence, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will compete on LVMS' 1.5-mile superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2001. The race, which is tentatively scheduled to start at 2 p.m. (Pacific Time) and will be televised live by ESPN2, will be preceded on Saturday, Oct. 13 by a NASCAR Winston West event and a NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series event.

"Every NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway played a major role in determining the series champion," said Chris Powell, LVMS' executive vice president and general manager. "We expect more of the same in 2001. With the Sunday afternoon start in the middle of October, everything is in place for a great event. The weather will be nice and the championship will be on the line.

"When you mix in the NASCAR Winston West Series and the Featherlite Southwest Series, it makes for a great weekend of NASCAR racing."

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competed each year from 1996-1999 at LVMS. In 1998, Jack Sprague won the race but lost out to Ron Hornaday for the points championship by a mere three points. Hornaday finished second in the event and the image of the two competitors doing synchronized doughnuts in the infield grass has been etched in the memory of racing fans ever since.

In 1999, Greg Biffle, who in 1998 clinched the series rookie of the year title in Las Vegas, came to LVMS poised to sew up his first series championship. Despite winning the race, Biffle was penalized by NASCAR for rules infractions, tightening the points race between him and Sprague. Sprague would go on to win the series title.

"I love this race track," Biffle said. "The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series belongs in Las Vegas. This is one of the drivers' favorite places to race."

Sprague also won the inaugural event in 1996, which was the first NASCAR-sanctioned event ever conducted at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Joe Ruttman won the 1997 event.

For the NASCAR Winston West Series, it will be the ninth visit to the superspeedway. David Starr won this year's event and other past winners include NASCAR Winston Cup regulars Ken Schrader (1996, 1997) and Jerry Nadeau (1999).

The NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series has raced twice on the superspeedway but not since 1998. However, the series has raced each year since 1990 on the 3/8-mile Bullring at LVMS. M.K. Kanke won the 1998 event at LVMS.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ken Schrader , David Starr , Greg Biffle , Jerry Nadeau , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Joe Ruttman