NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES RETURNS TO WALT DISNEY WORLD SPEEDWAY LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA., December 16, 1997 -- Defending champion, Joe Ruttman, and more than 50 other trucks turned out this week for open testing at Walt Disney World Speedway...
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES RETURNS TO WALT DISNEY WORLD SPEEDWAY
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA., December 16, 1997 -- Defending champion, Joe Ruttman, and more than 50 other trucks turned out this week for open testing at Walt Disney World Speedway as they prepare for their season-opening Chevy Trucks Challenge on January 18th.
Top unofficial speeds were posted in the 124 mph range by defending series champion Jack Sprague, Mike Bliss, Bob Keselowski, and '96 series champion Ron Hornaday, Jr.
Testing was originally scheduled for two days, but was shortened to one due to continued rainfall in the Orlando area on Monday. Tuesday's test session continued throughout the day and was interrupted by only a few separate incidents, none involving injury.
MIKE BLISS: "It's (the test) going well. We're trying some different motor deals with Bill Pink who is associated with Robert Yates. We think we like what Bill's worked on this winter so far. We've got a different setup here than we did last year, and it seems to be working right now. We're just playing around right now. It's a test, and that's what we're doing. We're not trying to go as fast as we can. We're just trying to learn as much as we can."
JOE RUTTMAN: "This test, I think, is critical. It helps everybody. All in all it levels the playing field because everybody gets a chance to run. It's obvious it just gets tougher every year, so when we come back, based on the information we?ve gathered, it's really going to be difficult to dominate this field. There's an awful lot of good trucks turning an awful lot of good times. That's my first impression."
Last night, 37 drivers from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series signed autographs in the lobby of Race Rock for 2 hours. Drivers in attendance included the three past series champions -- Jack Sprague, Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Mike Skinner -- as well as Winston Cup Driver Ernie Irvan who is co-owner in the Irvan-Simo #44 truck entry. ***
Tickets to the Chevy Truck Challenge on January 18, 1998 are now available at Ticketmaster by calling 407/839-3900 (Orlando) or 813/287-8844 (Tampa).