PARTS Pro Trucks Lakeland Preview

PARTS PRO TRUCK SERIES TAKES ON THE BIG TRACK COLUMBUS, Ga. - In NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing, it is not considered a superspeedway, but for drivers who compete on the nation's short tracks, USA International Speedway is certainly a...

PARTS PRO TRUCK SERIES TAKES ON THE BIG TRACK COLUMBUS, Ga. - In NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing, it is not considered a superspeedway, but for drivers who compete on the nation's short tracks, USA International Speedway is certainly a change of pace. The 3/4-mile facility in Lakeland, Fla. will play host to the Professional Association of Racing Trucks (PARTS) Pro Truck Series Saturday, April 10. Over 60 trucks are expected to show up for the California Quickshine 100, which will be run in conjunction with the opening race of the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series. Last year, Butch Gafnea of McCalla, Ala. used the final race of the PARTS season at USA International to claim second place in the final point standings and the PARTS Hoosier Tire Rookie of the Year Award. Gafnea set fast time in qualifying to start on the pole and held on to the position for the win. While the Alabama driver will be one of the drivers to watch when the trucks return, he is not the only driver followers of the series expect to see up front. Randy Gilbert of Dallas, Ga. won the first race of the 1999 PARTS Pro Truck Series season at Lanier and showed he would be a strong contender. The last visit to USA International Speedway also proved to be a showplace for J.C. Beattie. Beattie, a college student from Baltimore, Md., finished second in the 100-lap event, but was putting pressure on Gafnea the entire time. Kevin Barrett, 1998 PARTS Pro Truck Series Champion, is another driver to keep an eye on. Barrett qualified third fastest last year, but could only manage an eighth-place finish, after suffering handling problems. "We will be ready when we return this time," said Barrett. "That sure is a big track and drives different than the tracks we normally run. It's going to be a tough race and there will be about 30 trucks out there that are capable of winning." Action at USA International Speedway will get underway on Friday, April 9 with practice and qualifying for the PARTS Pro Truck Series and NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Drivers. Saturday's activity will begin with the first practice session beginning at 1:30 p.m. and racing action getting started at 4:00 p.m.

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Series Stock car