News & Notes: Daytona Chevy Silverado HD 250

News & Notes: Daytona Chevy Silverado HD 250

News & Notes: Daytona Chevy Silverado HD 250
RacingOne Report

As Brendan Gaughan and South Point Racing continue the climb back to the heights of 2003, the driver sees personnel as being keys to the operation's renewed success.

"One of the things we lacked last year was our pit crew – good or bad – (it) was a little streaky," said Gaughan on the eve of Friday's Chevy Silverado HD 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Since returning after spending the 2004 season in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Gaughan, who finished 15th last year, has gone about rebuilding and rehiring.

Three employees – Calvin Gravely, Chris Justice and Mike Harris – have become major contributors.

Gravely is a tire changer and suspension specialist. Harris drives the team hauler and also changes tires on pit road and Justice, formerly a standout defensive back on Wake Forest University's Demon Deacon football team, will handle catch can duties as well as back up the jack man in Daytona.

"Chris is a heck of an athlete," said Gaughan, himself a collegiate basketball and football player at Georgetown University. "We needed a tire carrier and we heard there was a (great) tire guy running around without a job so we hired him."

A graduate of the Drive for Diversity program, Justice was torn between his two favorite sports, ultimately taking the South Point job despite making the initial cut to play for a professional arena football team.

"The Carolina (N.C.) Speed deal was a blessing but it was a past passion," Justice said.

"Racing motivates me. You have the different positions just like a football team. Everybody depends on everybody in each environment so that the camaraderie you gain as a group translates over into both industries."

Series Record Seven Champions Will Tackle Daytona

An unprecedented seven former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champions are expected to start Friday's Chevy Silverado HD 250.

The seven, which include inaugural 1995 champion Mike Skinner and 2006 champion Todd Bodine, count a combined 10 championships and 119 victories.

Other champions in the field are Ron Hornaday Jr., 1996, 98; Jack Sprague, 1997, 99, 2001; Mike Bliss, 2002; Travis Kvapil, 2003; and Ted Musgrave, 2005.

Six champions started last year's season-opener.

Ironically, none of the seven has won a series race at Daytona International Speedway. Bodine, Kvapil and Musgrave each have finished second; Bodine most recently a year ago.

The only driver to win a championship and a Daytona race is Bobby Hamilton, who captured the 2005 season opener after winning the title the previous year.

Chevy Silverado HD 250 News & Notes – Part II

Kevin Harvick Inc. Strengthens Sponsorship Portfolio
What a difference a year makes for Kevin Harvick Inc., whose No. 33 Chevrolet and driver Ron Hornaday Jr. came to Daytona in 2006 without sponsorship. All that changed when AES HR Solutions came aboard after mid-season, and last week KHI announced the signing of Camping World for 12 races with the team's No. 2 truck shared by Harvick, Cale Gale and Clint Bowyer. Gale gets the nod for Daytona.

Hooping It Up In Daytona
Gaughan tipped off the new season with appearances at a pair of Daytona Beach area high schools – Spruce Creek and Atlantic – prior to each's appearance in district basketball tournament games. Gaughan spoke to the students about teamwork as well as the philosophy that former Georgetown coach John Thompson imparted.

SPEED Boosts Coverage
Each of SPEED's 23 broadcasts will be preceded by 45 minutes of pre-race coverage hosted by Krista Voda. All of Daytona's activities – practice and qualifying – leading up to the Chevy Silverado HD 250 will be carried live by the series' cable home. Viewership has increased in each season since SPEED began series coverage in 2003. New pit road reporter Adam Alexander joins the team of Rick Allen, Phil Parsons, Michael Waltrip, Ray Dunlap and Voda.

After A Season Away, Schrader Returns
Believe it or not, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series was one of the few places where Ken Schrader didn't compete in 2006. His last start came on Nov. 11, 2005 at Phoenix. Schrader has gone the longest – 11 years 10 months – since his only win at the old Saugus (Calif.) Speedway.

Drivers On The Move

Five competitors among last year's final top 20 come to Daytona with different teams. They
are:

David Starr (No. 10 MaxxForce Ford).

Terry Cook (No. 59 Harris Trucking/Melling Engine Parts Toyota).

Mike Bliss (No. 40 Key Motorsports Chevrolet).

Dennis Setzer, (No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet).

Bill Lester (No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet).

Starr was highest ranked (fourth) a year ago while Setzer becomes the 10th driver for a team that has competed in all but two of the series' 292 races.

Daytona Preseason Thunder Rewind

Three days of NASCAR Jackson-Hewitt Preseason Thunder established Ford – in particular Roush Racing – as the truck to beat in this year's Chevy Silverado HD 250.

New lead driver Travis Kvapil, behind the wheel of last year's race–winning No. 6 Ford, topped every session, followed by Roush teammates Peter Shepherd and Erik Darnell.

The No. 50 will be driven this week by the race's 2004 winner Edwards.

Kvapil's best single truck lap was clocked at 50.180 seconds/179.354 mph.

Toyotas, led by AJ Allmendinger, recorded the fourth through eighth fastest lap speeds.

Series Opens In The Sunshine State For 12th Straight Season

Just once – in the series' inaugural season – has the new year been kicked off outside the Sunshine State.

After the series' "birth" at Phoenix International Raceway in 1995, 12 season openers have been staged at three different Florida race tracks.

Drivers visited Homestead-Miami Speedway in 1996 and 1999 for a race that now serves as the season finale. Walt Disney World Speedway near Orlando opened the 1997-98 seasons. This week's Chevy Silverado HD 250 marks the eighth consecutive race at Daytona.

Two drivers – Mike Wallace and Joe Ruttman – are only double season-opening winners. Only Wallace has won back-to-back openers.

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 
Season Opening Winners 
Year Driver Track
2006 Mark Martin  Daytona
2005 Bobby Hamilton *  Daytona
2004 Carl Edwards  Daytona
2003 Rick Crawford  Daytona
2002 Robert Pressley  Daytona
2001 Joe Ruttman  Daytona
2000 Mike Wallace  Daytona
1999 Mike Wallace  Homestead-Miami
1998 Ron Hornaday Jr.  Disney
1997 Joe Ruttman  Disney
1996 Dave Rezendes  Homestead-Miami
1995 Mike Skinner  Phoenix
* Previous season's champion 


Raybestos Rookie Class Tuned Up For 2007 Campaign

This year's Raybestos Rookie of the Year class may be smaller than last year's, but plenty of talent abounds among the 10 announced candidates.

Among the group are NASCAR national series veteran Tim Sauter; open wheel stars Aaron Fike and Tyler Walker; and Canada's Peter Shepherd.

The 2007 season marks the 12th time the rookie award has been contested. Roush Racing drivers have won the award five times – including three out of the past four seasons.

Several series rookies of the year have gone on to stellar NASCAR NEXTEL Cup careers, including Greg Biffle (1998), Kurt Busch (2000) and Edwards (2003).

Darnell won the 2006 Raybestos Rookie of the Year title.

Raybestos Rookie Candidates
Class of 2007


Willie Allen, Bon Aqua, Tenn.

Kelly Bires, Mauston, Wis.

Blake Bjorklund, Isanti, Minn.

Joey Clanton, Tyrone, Ga.

Aaron Fike, Galesburg, Ill.

Casey Kingsland, Las Vegas, Nev.

Matt McCall, Denver, N.C.

Peter Shepherd, Brampton, Ont. Can.

Tim Sauter, Nacedah, Wis.

Tyler Walker, Los Angeles, Calif.

On The Right Track

Daytona Drama Produces Seven Winners In Seven Races
Odds are good that this year's Chevy Silverado HD 250 will produce Daytona International Speedway's eighth consecutive different series winner.

Of the 36 entered drivers, only three - Mike Wallace, Rick Crawford and Carl Edwards - have visited Victory Lane at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

Daytona has featured a number of dramatic finishes - beginning with the inaugural race in which Wallace overtook Andy Houston in the final lap's fourth turn.

In 2003, Crawford, Travos Kvapil and Robert Pressley swept under the checkered flag literally side-by-side in the series' closest three-way finish.

Two years ago, Bobby Hamilton led just a few feet of the final lap after starting 36th and last.

Daytona finishes have been measured in fractions of a second: Crawford's victory is the closest at 0.027 second. The race's widest finish (in 2001) was 0.318 seconds as Joe Ruttman defeated Ricky Hendrick.

Races have featured green-white-checker finishes on three occasions including a year ago.

Etc.


This year's Daytona race carries record posted awards of $865,783. The figure tops last year's $835,651. A year ago, Mark Martin's victory was worth a record $88,850.


Several teams and drivers will extend records at Daytona. The race will be the 291st for Spears Motorsports and 275th consecutive start for Roush Racing. Crawford and Sprague will make their 248th starts while Cook will compete in his 223rd consecutive race in a streak that began Jan. 19, 1998 at Walt Disney World Speedway.


Last year's 27 finishers was a Daytona high. Martin's winning speed of 146.622 mph also set a track record.


Martin was the track's first pole winner to reach Victory Lane. The trophy, however, has gone to a front row starter on three of seven occasions.


FOX carries two races live in 2006, the first time the series has appeared on national television since 2000; at Martinsville, March 31 and Mansfield Motorsports Park, May 26.

In The Loop

In Todd Bodine's first visit to Daytona International Speedway as a Craftsman Truck Series driver in 2005, he finished third. Last season, in his second visit, he finished second. His third visit? Only time will tell, but the sequence - and the Loop Data - favors a trip to Victory Lane for the defending Craftsman Truck Series champion.

Bodine owns the second-best Driver Rating at Daytona with a 123.9, second only to Mark Martin, who won in his first and only series appearance at the track. He's also quick where it counts – in Daytona's pivotal turns. In Turn 3, Bodine had a third-best average speed of 187.606 mph and in Turn 4, had a fourth-best average speed of 184.074 mph. Bodine also owns the top Green Flag Speed of anyone competing in the Chevy Silverado HD 250 with a 186.658 mph average.

Bodine's consistency at Daytona shows in the numbers. He has a second best average running position of 5.1 and he dominates the Laps in the Top 15 stats, logging a series-best 186 laps in the Top 15. In addition, Bodine has led 22 laps over the last two years, which is third-best overall.

Quotable

"This will be the first time I've ever had a teammate. There have been plenty of times I wished I had a teammate to work the draft with and now I have one." – 2003 Daytona winner Rick Crawford, who'll team with David Starr this season.

"Talk about going from the outhouse to the penthouse! A few weeks ago I was looking for a job and didn't think I was even going to be in a truck at Daytona." – David Starr, who'll work with three-time champion crew chief Dennis Connor in 2006.

"If there was another lap of racing last year, we might have given the Germains and Toyota a one-two Daytona finish." – Todd Bodine reflecting upon his and teammate Ted Musgrave's race with winner Mark Martin.

"Daytona is my home track, and I love it. One of the reasons I love it so much is because we all start from zero, points-wise. Each driver has the chance to be a contender for the championship at Daytona." – Mike Skinner, whose residence in New Smyrna is a few miles from Daytona International Speedway.

"It seems a little strange being called a rookie, but the way NASCAR's rules are set up I have to run the yellow (bumper) stripes, so we might as well run for the award." – Tim Sauter, whose 116 NASCAR national series starts include only three in the Craftsman Truck Series.

"I was second at the white flag and first coming off the second turn. Things really got shuffled around and I wound up ninth. It's pretty tough to take when you have a win at Daytona swept away from you three-quarters of a lap short of Victory Lane." - Terry Cook recalling the 2003 Chevy Silverado HD 250 and why fans find Daytona truck racing so compelling.

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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Preview: Daytona
02-13-2007  TruckSeries.com Report

Kevin Harvick Inc. Strengthens Sponsorship Portfolio ... What a difference a year makes for Kevin Harvick Inc., whose No. 33 Chevrolet and driver Ron Hornaday Jr. came to Daytona in 2006 without sponsorship. All that changed when AES HR Solutions came aboard after mid-season, and last week KHI announced the signing of Camping World for 12 races with the team's No. 2 truck shared by Harvick, Cale Gale and Clint Bowyer. Gale gets the nod for Daytona.

Hooping It Up In Daytona ... Gaughan tipped off the new season with appearances at a pair of Daytona Beach area high schools - Spruce Creek and Atlantic - prior to each's appearance in district basketball tournament games. Gaughan spoke to the students about teamwork as well as the philosophy that former Georgetown coach John Thompson imparted.

SPEED Boosts Coverage ... Each of SPEED's 23 broadcasts will be preceded by 45 minutes of pre-race coverage hosted by Krista Voda. All of Daytona's activities - practice and qualifying - leading up to the Chevy Silverado HD 250 will be carried live by the series' cable home. Viewership has increased in each season since SPEED began series coverage in 2003. New pit road reporter Adam Alexander joins the team of Rick Allen, Phil Parsons, Michael Waltrip, Ray Dunlap and Voda.

After A Season Away, Schrader Returns ... Believe it or not, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series was one of the few places where Ken Schrader (No. 18 Fastenal Dodge) didn't compete in 2006. His last start came on Nov. 11, 2005 at Phoenix. Schrader has gone the longest - 11 years 10 months - since his only win at the old Saugus (Calif.) Speedway.

Drivers On The Move... Five competitors among last year's final top 20 come to Daytona with different teams. They are:

• David Starr (No. 10 MaxxForce Ford).
• Terry Cook (No. 59 Harris Trucking/Melling Engine Parts Toyota).
• Mike Bliss (No. 40 Key Motorsports Chevrolet).
• Dennis Setzer, (No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet).
• Bill Lester (No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet).

Starr was highest ranked (fourth) a year ago while Setzer becomes the 10th driver for a team that has competed in all but two of the series' 292 races.

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Season Opening Winners Year Driver Track
1995 Mike Skinner Phoenix
1996 Dave Rezendes Homestead
1997 Joe Ruttman Disney
1998 Ron Hornaday Jr.* Disney
1999 Mike Wallace Homestead
2000 Mike Wallace Daytona
2001 Joe Ruttman Daytona
2002 Robert Pressley Daytona
2003 Rick Crawford Daytona
2004 Carl Edwards Daytona
2005 Bobby Hamilton* Daytona
2006 Mark Martin Daytona


* Previous season's champion

Raybestos Rookie Candidates Class of '07
Willie Allen, Bon Aqua, Tenn.
Kelly Bires, Mauston, Wis.
Blake Bjorklund, Isanti, Minn.
Joey Clanton, Tyrone, Ga.
Aaron Fike, Galesburg, Ill.
Casey Kingsland, Las Vegas, Nev.
Matt McCall, Denver, N.C.
Peter Shepherd, Brampton, Ont. Can.
Tim Sauter, Nacedah, Wis.
Tyler Walker, Los Angeles, Calif.

On The Right Track - Daytona Drama Produces Seven Winners In Seven Races
Odds are good that this year's Chevy Silverado HD 250 will produce Daytona International Speedway's eighth consecutive different series winner. Of the 36 entered drivers, only three - Mike Wallace (No. 46 DIRECTV Hot Pass Chevrolet), Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar/Power Stroke Diesel Ford) and Carl Edwards (No. 50 Roush Racing Ford) - have visited Victory Lane at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

Daytona has featured a number of dramatic finishes - beginning with the inaugural race in which Wallace overtook Andy Houston in the final lap's fourth turn.

In 2003, Crawford, Travos Kvapil and Robert Pressley swept under the checkered flag literally side-by-side in the series' closest three-way finish.

Two years ago, Bobby Hamilton led just a few feet of the final lap after starting 36th and last.

Daytona finishes have been measured in fractions of a second: Crawford's victory is the closest at 0.027 second. The race's widest finish (in 2001) was 0.318 seconds as Joe Ruttman defeated Ricky Hendrick.

Races have featured green-white-checker finishes on three occasions including a year ago.

Etc... This year's Daytona race carries record posted awards of $865,783. The figure tops last year's $835,651. A year ago, Mark Martin's victory was worth a record $88,850. ... Several teams and drivers will extend records at Daytona. The race will be the 291st for Spears Motorsports and 275th consecutive start for Roush Racing. Crawford and Sprague will make their 248th starts while Cook will compete in his 223rd consecutive race in a streak that began Jan. 19, 1998 at Walt Disney World Speedway. ... Last year's 27 finishers was a Daytona high. Martin's winning speed of 146.622 mph also set a track record. ... Martin was the track's first pole winner to reach Victory Lane. The trophy, however, has gone to a front row starter on three of seven occasions. ... FOX carries two races live in 2006, the first time the series has appeared on national television since 2000; at Martinsville, March 31 and Mansfield Motorsports Park, May 26.

In The Loop
In Todd Bodine's first visit to Daytona International Speedway as a Craftsman Truck Series driver in 2005, he finished third. Last season, in his second visit, he finished second. His third visit? Only time will tell, but the sequence - and the Loop Data - favors a trip to Victory Lane for the defending Craftsman Truck Series champion.

Bodine owns the second-best Driver Rating at Daytona with a 123.9, second only to Mark Martin, who won in his first and only series appearance at the track. He's also quick where it counts - in Daytona's pivotal turns. In Turn 3, Bodine had a third-best average speed of 187.606 mph and in Turn 4, had a fourth-best average speed of 184.074 mph. Bodine also owns the top Green Flag Speed of anyone competing in the Chevy Silverado HD 250 with a 186.658 mph average.

Bodine's consistency at Daytona shows in the numbers. He has a second best average running position of 5.1 and he dominates the Laps in the Top 15 stats, logging a series-best 186 laps in the Top 15. In addition, Bodine has led 22 laps over the last two years, which is third-best overall.

Quotable
"This will be the first time I've ever had a teammate. There have been plenty of times I wished I had a teammate to work the draft with and now I have one." - 2003 Daytona winner Rick Crawford, who'll team with David Starr this season.

"Talk about going from the outhouse to the penthouse! A few weeks ago I was looking for a job and didn't think I was even going to be in a truck at Daytona. - David Starr, who'll work with three-time champion crew chief Dennis Connor in 2006.

"If there was another lap of racing last year, we might have given the Germains and Toyota a one-two Daytona finish." - Todd Bodine reflecting upon his and teammate Ted Musgrave's race with winner Mark Martin.

"Daytona is my home track, and I love it. One of the reasons I love it so much is because we all start from zero, points-wise. Each driver has the chance to be a contender for the championship at Daytona." - Mike Skinner, whose residence in New Smyrna is a few miles from Daytona International Speedway.

"It seems a little strange being called a rookie, but the way NASCAR's rules are set up I have to run the yellow (bumper) stripes, so we might as well run for the award." - Tim Sauter, whose 116 NASCAR national series starts include only three in the Craftsman Truck Series.

"I was second at the white flag and first coming off the second turn. Things really got shuffled around and I wound up ninth. It's pretty tough to take when you have a win at Daytona swept away from you three-quarters of a lap short of Victory Lane." - Terry Cook recalling the 2003 Chevy Silverado HD 250 and why fans find Daytona truck racing so compelling.

The Race: Chevy Silverado HD 250
The Place: Daytona International Speedway
The Date: Feb. 16, 2007
The Time: 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Race Distance: 250 miles/ 100 laps
TV: SPEED, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 2.5-mile tri-oval
Race Purse: $865,733
2006 Winner: Mark Martin
2006 Pole: Mark Martin

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Chevy Silverado HD 250
Entry List 

 
00 AJ Allmendinger
1 Aaron Fike
2 Cale Gale
5 Mike Skinner
6 Travis Kvapil
7 Derrike Cope
07 Tim Sauter
8 Blake Bjorklund
08 Chad McCumbee
09 Joey Clanton
9 Ted Musgrave
10 David Starr
13 Willie Allen
14 Rick Crawford
15 Bill Lester
16 Stacy Compton
18 Ken Schrader
21 Kelly Bires
23 Johnny Benson
28 Brandon Knupp
30 Todd Bodine
33 Ron Hornaday
36 Tyler Walker
40 Mike Bliss
44 Larry Foyt
46 Mike Wallace
47 Kraig Kinser
50 Carl Edwards
59 Terry Cook
60 Jack Sprague
63 Jason White
75 Dennis Setzer
77 Brendan Gaughan
88 Matt Crafton
95 Wayne Edwards
99 Erik Darnell

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Toyota Preview: Chevy Silverado HD 250 at Daytona

02-15-2007 | TruckSeries.com Report

Toyota has competed at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) during the past three seasons (2004-06). Although a Toyota has not finished first in NCTS competition at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, Tundras did grab four of the top-five finishing positions in last year's NCTS event at Daytona. In three seasons at Daytona, Tundra drivers have earned a total of six top-five finishes and nine top-tens.

In 2006, Todd Bodine earned the NCTS driver's title behind the wheel of the No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Tundra and led the way for Toyota to earn its first NASCAR manufacturer's championship. That same year, Toyota Tundra drivers had 12 wins and 14 poles, and seven Tundra racers ended the year among the top-10 in the final championship point standings.

"We were pretty happy with our Tundra at the Daytona test," says Germain Racing's Todd Bodine. "We expect to be as competitive with our 2007 Tundra as we were last season at Daytona. The biggest adjustment we'll have to make is to the new tire, it's a lot different than what we ran there before. Last year, it was a pretty exciting season opener at Daytona. I had a new teammate, Ted Musgrave, and we found that we could work pretty good together. If there was another lap of racing last year, we might have given the Germains and Toyota a one-two Daytona finish."

"We're really looking forward to this year because we had a great 2006 season and came pretty close to winning the championship," says Johnny Benson, driver of the No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra. "My truck was real loose in testing at Daytona and we worked really hard to tighten it up. A lot of the trucks in Daytona testing were real free because if you got underneath someone, they looked like they were getting ready to spin out. I don't think we had that quite as much last year, but that's just something everyone has to figure out."

Toyota is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the U.S. in 2007. Toyota and its dealers employ about 150,000 workers in the U.S. Toyota operates 10 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and builds approximately half the vehicles it sells here.

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New Silverado Set for Daytona Debut in Chevy Silverado HD 250 at Daytona

02-14-2007 | TruckSeries.com Report

New names and faces, same faces different teams and a new Silverado set the stage for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) season-opening racing, Chevy Silverado HD 250. The 100-lap, 250-mile race kicks off the 25-race 2007 season for Team Chevy Silverado. Bragging rights are on the line for the strong Bowtie NCTS Silverado line-up.

The branding of the Daytona race coincides with the launch of the all-new Silverado HD production lineup. No one matches GM's depth and breadth of its HD portfolio to fit the need of every customer.

Not only was it named the Motor Trend Truck of the Year, but also captured the North American Car and Truck of the Year honors at the 2007 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

"Chevy is proud to sponsor the Silverado HD 250. It is an exciting way for us to kick off the 2007 racing season," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet General Manager and Grand Marshall of the Chevy Silverado HD 250.

Silverado on the track has new features as well in 2007. With a new nose that includes a different grill and splitter configurations, teams believe they have the aero package they need. Coupled with the tremendous handling characteristics and Chevy horsepower, teams are looking forward to taking to the Daytona high banks.

“It’s always exciting to go to Daytona in February," said Dayne Pieratoni, Chevrolet Program Manager, NCTS. "We are really looking forward to another great season for Chevrolet in the Craftsman Truck Series. We have added a new team this year with Brendan Gaughan and South Point Racing and we’ve had a few changes within our lineup.

"Most notably is Dennis Setzer moving to the Spears truck, Bill Lester going to Billy Ballew Motorsports, Tim Sauter at Greenlight Racing. Our rookie class shows promise with Willie Allen, Blake Bjorkland, and Casey Kingsland all running for the Raybestos Rookie of the year.

"And finally, we have Ron Hornaday, Matt Crafton, Chad McCumbee and Kraig Kinser all back for this season with Mike Bliss in for the first few races. All in all I believe that we have a great group of teams and drivers this year. We have an all-new look for the Silverado for 2007. I am certainly looking forward to getting back to the racetrack.”

Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 AES HR Solutions Silverado fielded by Kevin Harvick, Inc. (KHI), will lead the Chevrolet Silverado contingent. The two-time NCTS champion is poised to make a strong run this season. With new crew chief Rick Ren on board, Hornaday is easily considered one of the favorites to not only win Daytona, but also capture his third title.

Dennis Setzer, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado, remains a strong contender in the Chevy camp but is now behind the wheel of the legendary truck owned by Wayne and Connie Spears. Setzer's NCTS record is impressive with 16 career victories and three runner-up spots in season ending standings three consecutive seasons. Setzer and the longest-running Chevrolet team in the NCTS are positioned to be a leader from the drop of the first green flag.

A new bullet in the arsenal of Chevrolet ammunition is Brendan Gaughan, No. 77 South Point Racing Silverado. Gaughan has eight NCTS victories to his credit. Led by Bryan Berry, the Las Vegas, Nev. native is looking at the upcoming season with a rejuvenated attitude and a strong team.

Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menard's Silverado, has finished in the top-10 in the standings every season since his full-time NCTS entry in 2003. While still gunning for his first win, his consistency has demonstrated that it is just a matter of time.

The line-up is strong and diverse. Bill Lester will be behind the wheel of the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Silverado. Kraig Kinser is back in the No. 47 Ginn Resorts Silverado fielded by the strength of the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports organization. Tim Sauter and Chad McCumbee will form the powerful Green Light Racing duo.

Willie Allen, No. 13 ThorSports Silverado, Blake Bjorkland, No. 08 MRD Motorsports Silverado and Casey Kingsland, No. 7 Pennington Motorsports Silverado, will all make a run for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title.

Former NCTS champion Mike Bliss will be behind the wheel of the Key Motorsports Silverado for a few races and Cale Gale will compete selected events in a second KHI entry.

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Sprague Takes Truck Pole
J.J. O'Malley


If you liked Jack Sprague’s Toyota in qualifying Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, wait until you see it in Friday’s Chevy Silverado HD 250.

Sprague turned a lap of 50.137, 179.508 mph, to capture the pole for the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series opener.

"Anybody can run around here in qualifying, it’s not that hard," Sprague said after capturing his 30th career Craftsman Truck Series pole in the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota. "Racing’s a different deal. This truck was awesome in drafting practice. I’m more excited about that than winning the pole. To have the speed too is unbelievable. I think we’ve got a shot to win this race. The guys did a great job building this truck, they deserve the credit for the pole.

"We only ran 15 minutes in practice in the draft, and I said, 'it’s awesome,'" Sprague said. "We ran one run this morning, and felt if it back it up, I’d be pretty proud of the truck. I’m looking forward to the race."

Qualifying second was Carl Edwards, running a lap of 178.742 mph in the Roush Fenway Racing Ford. He was followed by defending series champion Todd Bodine in the No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota, 178.370 mph; Travis Kvapil in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, 178.080 mph; and Erik Darnell in Roush’s No. 99 Northern Tool & Equipment Ford, 177.574 mph.

"I think this is going to be a wild race," said Edwards, who won at Daytona in 2004. "Having Erik starting up front will really help. The truck is great, and it’s fun to drive."

Bodine began his 2006 championship campaign with a second-place finish at Daytona, following the No. 6 Ford then driven by Mark Martin.

"It’s always better to start near the front, but at Daytona, it’s just a place to start," Bodine said. "I’ve come the back to the front here, so it doesn’t matter."

The top-qualifying rookie was World of Outlaw sprint car veteran Tyler Walker, sixth fastest in the No. 36 Melling Engine Parts/Harris Trucking Toyota owned by Bill Davis.

"I'm on cloud nine, and can't wait until tomorrow night," Walker said. "Racing at Daytona is a dream come true. We're better in the draft than we are in qualifying trim, so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."

Rounding out the top 10 qualifiers were Terry Cook, Ted Musgrave, Mike Skinner and Johnny Benson, with former Champ Car standout AJ Allmendinger 11th in what will be his fourth start in the series.

"I thought we’d be a little quicker in qualifying, but that’s not a big deal," Allmendinger said. "It’s been drafting great in practice. It’s a truck race, so things will change 100 times before the end of the first lap. I think it’s driving well, and it’s consistent. That’s probably the most important thing. We’ve been working hard on a good race setup and good balance."

Sprague and Bodine had a near altercation during Thursday morning practice.

"Todd was finishing up a run, and he pulled down ­ he didn’t know I was there," Sprague said. "I was in the grass the whole length of the backstretch, jumping over the road course roads. That was a hairy ride at 180 mph with no grip. Fortunately, I didn’t wreck, it only tore the nose up. When I came in the pits, I could hardly notice any damage."

Thursday’s qualifying was held in an intermittent drizzle and cool temperatures. With 37 drivers attempting qualifying runs, the only driver failing to make the field was Wayne Edwards.

The eighth annual Craftsman Truck Series race at Daytona is set the start the first of 100 laps at 8 p.m. Friday.

www.racingone.com

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Re: News & Notes: Daytona Chevy Silverado HD 250

Starting Lineup

1      60       Jack Sprague
   
2     50     Carl Edwards
       
3     30     Todd Bodine
   
4     6     Travis Kvapil
   
5     99     Erik Darnell
   
6     36     Tyler Walker
   
7     59     Terry Cook
   
8     9     Ted Musgrave
   
9     5     Mike Skinner
   
10     23     Johnny Benson
   
11     00     AJ Allmendinger
   
12     1     Aaron Fike
   
13     14     Rick Crawford
   
14     2     Cale Gale
   
15     4     Chase Miller
   
16     33     Ron Hornaday
   
17     47     Kraig Kinser
   
18     09     Joey Clanton
   
19     10     David Starr
   
20     16     Stacy Compton
   
21     18     Ken Schrader
   
22     46     Mike Wallace
   
23     07     Tim Sauter
   
24     13     Willie Allen
   
25     21     Kelly Bires
   
26     88     Matt Crafton
   
27     77     Brendan Gaughan
   
28     8     Blake Bjorklund
   
29     7     Derrike Cope
   
30     08     Chad McCumbee
   
31     75     Dennis Setzer
   
32     40     Mike Bliss
   
33     15     Bill Lester
   
34     28     Brandon Knupp
   
35     63     Jason White
   
36     44     Larry Foyt

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Re: News & Notes: Daytona Chevy Silverado HD 250

Odds to win the Silverado 250

401 Carl Edwards +405     
402 Todd Bodine  +615     
403 Travis Kvapil  +725     
404 Jack Sprague  +845     
405 Mike Skinner   +1015     
406 Johnny Benson +1215     
407 Ted Musgrave  +1415     
408 Ron Hornaday +1415     
409 Mike Wallace +1645     
410 Rick Crawford +1645     
411 Erik Darnell  +1815     
412 Matt Crafton  +2050     
413 Terry Cook   +2050     
414 Dennis Setzer  +2250     
415 David Starr   +2850     
416 Brendan Gaughan +2850     
417 AJ Allmendinger  +2850     
418 Mike Bliss  +3250     
419 Stacy Compton  +3550     
420 Any Other  +3050     

@ TheGreek



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Travis Kvapil  +725     3 units

Kvapil comes back to the truck series to race for Rousch Racing who won this race last year with Mark Martin,Rousch has always been dominate in the Truck series and I look for Kvapil to have a big year.

Erik Darnell  +1815     1 unit

Darnell is another Rousch driver who made some noise last year as a rookie and should only get better this year.Darnell had a nice run last year at Daytona and managed a 6th place finish for his first time on a plate track.

Terry Cook   +2050     1 unit

Terry Cook has one of the best records of any active Truck series regular at Daytona with a average finish of 8.6.In seven starts at Daytona Cook has only finished outside of the top ten once and that was due to a crash.Cook has shown he knows how to race here and is overdue to finally get a win here.

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If you don't have Speed you can get updates here and they are pretty quick.

http://www.truckseries.com/tracksidelive/

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I can't take many more of these bad beats,two brutal beats to start the year off  :x

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mvbski wrote:


I can't take many more of these bad beats,two brutal beats to start the year off  :x

[img]http://www.racingone.com/images/article … _large.jpg[/img]

That is Kvapil in the middle  sad

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