Michigan 200 News and Notes

Michigan 200 News and Notes

Benson Looks To Repeat In Front Of Home Crowd

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 11, 2007) – Last year at Michigan International Speedway, Johnny Benson (No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota) was able to deliver his first series win for his hometown fans. The win helped jump-start his season and propelled him to a second-place finish in the standings.

Benson is currently eighth in the standings and could use a similar bump this weekend.

“I am very excited about Michigan.  It is my home track on the NASCAR side, and it is a great place to race,” Benson said. “This is where we turned things around last year and I am hoping to do it again.  We have had some unfortunate luck the last few weeks, even though our truck has been incredibly fast.

Hopefully we can come out of Michigan with another win.”

After last year’s win at Michigan, Benson went on to capture four more victories. Benson is hoping to earn his first of this year at home.

“We have a ton of family and friends here, so that always pumps you up when you are racing,” Benson said.

Wayne And Connie Spears Reach 300 Races

Wayne and Connie Spears, owners of Spears Motorsports, will become the first owners to reach 300 races this weekend. The Spears are the only owners to field a team in each of the series’ 13 seasons, including the inaugural race at Phoenix International Raceway in 1995.

The Spears gave Kevin Harvick (No. 2 Camping World Chevrolet) his first permanent ride in a NASCAR national series in 1997, when he ran 13 of the season’s 26 events. The following year, Harvick competed full-time for Spears Motorsports in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series. He won the West Series championship that year, clinching the title in the final race of the year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was during Harvick’s title run that the Spears missed two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races to attend the West Series races.

Spears Motorsports has four wins, three by David Starr (No. 10 International MAXX Force Diesel Ford) between 2002 and 2004. Current driver Dennis Setzer (No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet) won the Ohio 250 last month at Mansfield Motorsports Park.

Cook Will Be Third Driver To Compete in 250 Races

Terry Cook (No. 59 Harris Trucking Toyota) will hit a major milestone this weekend when he becomes the third driver in series history to compete in 250 races. Rick Crawford (No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford) and Jack Sprague (No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota) share the series record with 256 starts.

“I hope to be here for another 250 races,” Cook said. “I feel like I haven’t reached my prime yet as a driver and that I have a lot of racing ahead of me. To be affiliated with Jim Harris and the HT Motorsports Toyota Tundra team is one of the best opportunities I’ve had in racing and I think we have a bright future together. I’m proud to have competed in 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races and I’m equally excited about the next 250 on the schedule.”

Adding to the excitement of his 250th race is the fact that it comes at Michigan International Speedway. He hails from Sylvania, Ohio, a mere 50 miles from the track.

“To have my 250th career start at what I consider my true, hometown track is a very big deal to me,” Cook said. “I never thought I’d compete in 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races, and it’s not a goal where I looked at the calendar and said ‘I want to do that at Michigan.’ It’s just something that’s worked out that way. To do both is more than I ever dreamed of.”

In his 12-year career, Cook has racked up six wins, 26 top fives and 92 top 10s. He has experienced success at Michigan, where he has five top-10 finishes in seven starts.

Cook has competed in 231 consecutive races, a series record. He has started every race since the beginning of 1998.

NCTS Etc.: Poles, Politics and Pulling Double-Duty

Skinner’s Pole Streak Ends … Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) saw his streak of consecutive Budweiser Poles end at six last Friday, two short of the series record he set in 1995. Skinner was knocked off the pole by Todd Bodine (No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) by 0.081 of-a-second.

Skinner is the most proficient qualifier in series history. He has 38 career poles in 138 starts, leading 2nd place Jack Sprague by eight poles.

Skinner set the series record with eight consecutive poles in 1995, the series’ inaugural season. He went on to win four of those races.

Skinner won two of the six races he started on the pole this season. He has won seven races from the pole in his career, one short of Sprague’s series record.

Team Owner Hits Political Road … Gene Christensen, owner of Green Light Racing, announced his candidacy to run for U.S. Congress on Friday. The Colin County resident  is seeking  to represent Texas’ 4th Congressional District.

Green Light Racing fields two trucks in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – the No. 07 Lester Buildings Chevrolet driven by Tim Sauter and the No. 08 GPSStore.com Chevrolet driven by Chad McCumbee.

In addition to his duties as owner and president of Green Light Racing, Christensen is a businessman and philanthropist. He is the Executive Director of People Against Drugs and the Affordable Public Housing Agency.

NEXTEL Cup Stars Go Truckin

At least six NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series stars will trade in their cars for trucks this weekend to compete in the Michigan 200.

AJ Allmendinger (No. 00 Aaron’s Lucky Dog Toyota), Kevin Harvick, Bobby Labonte (No. 4 Open Joist Dodge), Ken Schrader (No. 18 Fastenal Dodge), Mark Martin (No. 21 Ford), and Kyle Busch (No. 51 Chevrolet) are all expected to compete in Saturday’s race.

Martin and Labonte finished two-three to Johnny Benson at Michigan last year.

Toyota Leads Manufacturers’ Standings

Todd Bodine became the first Toyota driver to go to Victory Lane since Mike Skinner won at Martinsville in March.  With the win, Toyota was able to stretch its lead in the Manufacturers’ Standings to 12 points over Chevrolet.

Chevrolet had closed the gap to seven points after reeling off three straight victories – two by Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet). Hornaday Jr. was the top finishing Chevrolet on Friday, but the manufacturer lost points after finishing behind a Toyota and a Ford.

In The Loop:  Skinner and Bodine Stay Near Top Of Loop Data

The hits just keep on coming for Mike Skinner.

Skinner’s pre-race numbers for last Friday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway were near or at the top of most of the Loop Data statistics. He finished second.

Now, Skinner returns to a track where he has had similar success – Michigan International Speedway.

In two races at the track, Skinner has an average Driver Rating of 114.1 (third-best), an Average Running Position of 8.026 (third-best) and the third-fastest Green Flag Speed at Michigan over the past two years.

He also has 182 Laps in the Top 15, which is the second-most.

Last week’s winner, Todd Bodine also has good numbers at Michigan. He has a 96.3 Driver Rating and an Average Running Position of 11.424.

Adding intrigue will be the participation of a number of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series regulars. Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin, Kyle Bush, AJ Allmendinger and Bobby Labonte will all pull double duty and run the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race as well.

Harvick and Martin, in particular, have excellent numbers in the Craftsman Trucks. Thanks to a second-place finish in last year’s race at Michigan, Martin has the top pre-race Driver Rating at 143.1 and an Average Running Position of 2.696. He also has 33 Fastest Laps Run, which is more than any driver.

Harvick, with a fourth-place finish in 2005, has an Average Running Position of 5.670 and a Driver Rating of 122.7.


Schedule: Friday – Practice 10 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.; 1:10 p.m.. – 1:40 p.m. (rookies) and 1:50 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday - Qualifying 11:05 a.m.

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Entry List: Michigan 200

00 AJ Allmendinger     
1 Aaron Fike
2 Kevin Harvick    
4 Mike Bliss    
5 Mike Skinner    
6 Travis Kvapil    
7 Jason White
07 Tim Sauter
8 Blake Bjorklund
08 Chad McCumbee    
9 Ted Musgrave    
09 Stacy Compton    
10 David Starr    
13 Willie Allen
14 Rick Crawford    
15 Bill Lester    
16 Boston Reid    
18 Ken Schrader    
21 Mark Martin    
23 Johnny Benson    
30 Todd Bodine    
33 Ron Hornaday Jr.    
36 TBA          
40 Clay Rogers    
46 Travis Kittleson    
47 Kraig Kinser    
50 T.J. Bell    
51 Kyle Busch    
59 Terry Cook    
60 Jack Sprague    
171 Bryan Silas    
75 Dennis Setzer    
77 Brendan Gaughan    
186 Dana White    
88 Matt Crafton    
191 J.C. Stout    
99 Erik Darnell

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Truckwhackers ? Four Cup drivers entered in truck race
SCENEDAILY

With the Craftsman Truck Series running in conjunction with the Nextel Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, some Nextel Cup regulars will be pulling double-duty. The preliminary entry list for Saturday's Michigan 200 has 37 entries.

Nextel Cup drivers Kevin Harvick (No. 2 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet), Mark Martin (No. 21 Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford) and Kyle Busch (No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet) are entered in the race. Ken Schrader continues to drive the No. 18 Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge while Bill Elliott pilots Schrader's normal Cup entry for the weekend.

The No. 36 entry of Bill Davis Racing does not have a driver listed for the race.

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Johnny Benson Makes Fourth Appearance at MIS in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

… Grand Rapids, Mich., driver Johnny Benson will be making his fourth appearance at MIS in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, having previously finished first, fourth and 24th here. His victory in last year’s truck race was the first of his career.


… Dennis Setzer and Terry Cook are the only NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers to have finished every mile in MIS Craftsman Truck Series history. Each has completed seven races for a total of 1,404 miles. Setzer, Cook, Rick Crawford and David Starr have started all seven career races at MIS.

… Dennis Setzer’s Chevrolet victory in the 2005 Craftsman Truck Series race was the first MIS Truck Series victory for Chevrolet in the backyard of the automotive capital of the world.

… Mark Martin is scheduled to make his second consecutive truck series start at MIS. Last season, he placed second, finishing only behind local favorite Johnny Benson. Martin will also be pulling double-duty by starting his 43rd NEXTEL Cup race on Sunday.

… Greg Biffle has won four career races at MIS, including the first two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races in track history (1999 and 2000).

… In 2003, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at MIS was won by Brendan Gaughan. It was fastest race in series history, averaging 154.044 mph.

… There has never been a repeat NCTS pole winner at MIS. Mike Skinner’s AAA Pole Award in last year’s event, gave MIS its fifth different pole winner (qualifying was rained out in 2004 and 2002).

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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Preview: Michigan
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Todd Bodine became the first Toyota driver to go to Victory Lane since Mike Skinner won at Martinsville in March. With the win, Toyota was able to stretch its lead in the Manufacturers' Standings to 12 points over Chevrolet.

Chevrolet had closed the gap to seven points after reeling off three straight victories - two by Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet). Hornaday Jr. was the top finishing Chevrolet on Friday, but the manufacturer lost points after finishing behind a Toyota and a Ford.

Rick Crawford finished third in Friday's race, the highest finish for a Ford. Ken Schrader finished eighth, the highest for a Dodge.

In The Loop: Skinner and Bodine Stay Near Top Of Loop Data

The hits just keep on coming for Mike Skinner.

Skinner's pre-race numbers for last Friday's race at Texas Motor Speedway were near or at the top of most of the Loop Data statistics. He finished second.

Now, Skinner returns to a track where he has had similar success - Michigan International Speedway.

In two races at the track, Skinner has an average Driver Rating of 114.1 (third-best), an Average Running Position of 8.026 (third-best) and the third-fastest Green Flag Speed at Michigan over the past two years.

He also has 182 Laps in the Top 15, which is the second-most.

Last week's winner, Todd Bodine also has good numbers at Michigan. He has a 96.3 Driver Rating and an Average Running Position of 11.424.

Adding intrigue will be the participation of a number of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series regulars. Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin, Kyle Bush, AJ Allmendinger and Bobby Labonte will all pull double duty and run the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race as well.

Harvick and Martin, in particular, have excellent numbers in the Craftsman Trucks. Thanks to a second-place finish in last year's race at Michigan, Martin has the top pre-race Driver Rating at 143.1 and an Average Running Position of 2.696. He also has 33 Fastest Laps Run, which is more than any driver.

Harvick, with a fourth-place finish in 2005, has an Average Running Position of 5.670 and a Driver Rating of 122.7.

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Harvick Set to Drive the No. 2 Chevrolet at Michigan
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Kevin Harvick will drive the No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday's Michigan 200 at the Michigan International Speedway. Harvick is scheduled to drive the No. 2 truck for Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), once more this season at the Phoenix International Raceway.

Doing the Math at Michigan International Speedway: In two NASCAR Truck Series starts, Kevin Harvick has completed 200 of 200 laps (100.0%). Harvick has previously earned one top-five and one top-10 finish, and has led 11 laps in the Truck Series at Michigan.

Harvick has six previous Busch Series starts at the two-mile speedway, of which he has completed 738 of 738 laps (100.0%), and led 32 laps. He has two top-five and four top-10 finishes, and went to victory lane in 2003 while racing for Richard Childress Racing (RCR).

Out of 12 starts in the NEXTEL Cup Series, Harvick has completed 2250 of 2291 laps (98.2%), and has led 88 laps. He has amassed two top-five and four top-10 finishes.

No. 2 Truck Team Statistics: The No. 2 truck team has featured four drivers this season: Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Cale Gale and Daniel Pope. The team has only missed one race, with two top five and three top ten finishes, and has led 17 laps.

Charlie Wilson Quotes: "Michigan is a multi-groove track that requires a good driver and a truck with a lot of horsepower. It is fairly easy to pass and is always full of great racing. "This is a great racetrack for Kevin, Michigan is a big, fast track, and that's what he likes. This is the race that all the manufacturers want to win because of Detroit -- it's a matter of bragging rights."

Kevin Harvick Quote: "I think everybody loves Michigan because you can race from the bottom of the race track to the top of the race track. Tires wear out and everything changes as you go through a fuel run. So it's a lot of fun for the drivers to go there and race and move your truck around, and make adjustments as things change."

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Toyota Race Preview: Michigan
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Toyota Takes One: Toyota earned its first win in NCTS competition at Michigan International Speedway in June 2004. The win came in Toyota’s 13th start in the series with Travis Kvapil behind-the-wheel of a Tundra. In three NCTS starts at the Brooklyn, Michigan track, Tundras have earned two wins, with win number two coming last year by Michigan-native Johnny Benson in the No. 23 Bill Davis Racing Tundra.

‘Home’ Away From Home: Michigan International Speedway is considered the ‘home’ track for two Tundra drivers. Benson is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-native and fellow Tundra driver Jack Sprague, driver of the No. 60 Con-Way Freight Tundra, is from Spring Lake, Mich. Benson continues to have strong ties to Grand Rapids as he is a partner in Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich.

Michigan Man: Benson earned his first career NCTS win at Michigan International Speedway last June, which kick started a string of success resulting in a total of five wins on the season and a second-place finish in the NCTS point standings. “Obviously, winning last year at Michigan was a pretty neat deal,” says Benson. “I grew up on the other side of the state, but Michigan can be considered one of my home tracks. It’s always nice to go up there because they have some great fans that come out to the race. I’m definitely looking forward to returning to the track.”

Long-Time Cooking: Terry Cook will make his 250th career NCTS start on Saturday at Michigan driving the No. 59 Harris Trucking Tundra. During his 12 years in the series, the Sandusky, Ohio-native has recorded six wins, eight poles, 26 top-fives and 92 top-10 finishes.

Cook on Career: “It’s pretty cool to have reached 250 starts in the Craftsman Truck Series,” says Cook. “It’s not a goal that I set out to achieve, but to have the opportunity to get 250 starts and make a career in this series is pretty cool. I’ve raced for some great owners over the years. To still be here and come up on 250 starts in the series is great. I’ve seen it all -- coming up through the short tracks to the big speedways like Daytona and Talladega. I’ve seen the series grow over the last 10 years and I’d like to see it grow even more for the next 10 years.”

Michigan No Stranger for Mathews: Ryan Mathews has made only three starts in the No. 36 Tundra for Bill Davis Racing this season, but Michigan is a very familiar track for the rookie driver. Mathews made two starts at the two-mile speedway in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition during the 2006 season. He finished second in the August event and earned his best start -- seventh -- in the June event a year ago.

String of Starts: Tundra drivers have earned the pole position in eight of the first nine NCTS races this season, including the last seven races in a row. Mike Skinner earned six consecutive poles in the No. 5 Tundra for Bill Davis Racing dating back to Atlanta Motor Speedway in March. Skinner’s streak ended at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend when Todd Bodine earned the pole in the No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Tundra. Sprague earned the pole at the Daytona season-opener.

Winning Ways: Bodine earned the 30th win for a Toyota Tundra in NCTS competition Friday night at Texas. The win was Bodine’s 11th career NCTS win and his fourth victory at Texas. Bodine ties fellow competitor, Brendan Gaughan, for the most wins in the series at a single track. Tundras have earned five wins in the first nine races this season with Skinner, the series points leader, earning three of those wins (California, Atlanta, and Martinsville). Sprague won the season-opener race at Daytona.

Top Tundras: Tundra drivers hold six of the top-10 spots in the NCTS championship point standings. After nine races, Skinner continues to sit atop the point standings for Bill Davis Racing. Tundra drivers trailing Skinner in the standings are Bodine (third), Ted Musgrave (fifth), Sprague (seventh), Benson (eighth) and rookie Aaron Fike (10th).

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Chevy Race Preview: Michigan
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Although each of the 25 races on NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) schedule is important, there is a special significance for the Silverado race teams when the series heads to Michigan International Speedway (MIS). The 2.0-mile track is in the back yard of General Motors and the Chevrolet brand.

"With its proximity to Detroit, Michigan is the place where everyone wants to win," said Dayne Pierantoni, Chevrolet Program Manager, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for GM Racing."

"It is a great track which requires the entire package of engine, aero, and handling. The drivers usually like it because the track lets you run multiple lines and race really hard. I'm sure Ron Hornaday would like to make up for a lost opportunity in Texas and Matt Crafton has been strong each week as well. With the Nextel Cup cars in town, we've got Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch in addition to our regular Silverado lineup. Hopefully, at the end of the day, we'll have another win for Chevrolet."

Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 Camping World Silverado, and his Rick Ren-led Kevin Harvick, Inc. (KHI) team have tremendous momentum on their side. Heading in to the Michigan 200, they are second in the point standings, just 82 points out of the lead. So far in 2007, Hornaday's record includes two victories, four top-five and eight top-10 finishes in the nine NCTS races so far. The two-time NCTS champion and NCTS race wins record holder with 31 victories, is looking forward to the annual visit to the Irish Hills of Michigan.

"I like racing at Michigan, it's a really fast track," said Hornaday. "There are different grooves, and you can pass and race. I am taking a truck that can race high or low. You could see four-wide racing this weekend. Rick Ren and the guys will get everything worked out in practice, and then we should be pretty fast for the race."

Behind the wheel of the KHI No. 2 Camping World Silverado teaming with Hornaday is the boss, Kevin Harvick, making his fourth NCTS appearance of the season.

"I think everybody loves Michigan," said Harvick. "You can race from the bottom of the race track to the top of the race track. Tires wear out and everything changes as you go through a fuel run. So it's a lot of fun for the drivers to go there and race and move your truck around, and make adjustments as things change."

Billy Ballew Motorsports (BBM) will field two Silverados at Michigan as well. Full-time BBM driver Bill Lester, No. 15 Christian Debt Consolidation Silverado, will team with Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the No. 51 Flanders Beef Patties Silverado.

"We didn't have a good truck last year," said Lester. "We were too loose on entry into the center and thus slow off if I remember right. I'm looking forward to heading to the track in the No. 15 Christian Debt Consolidation Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy Silverado. The truck we are bringing is conducive to a racetrack like Michigan where it is full of speed with lots of room to pass. The draft comes back into play here too so I enjoy that aspect of it. I made my second Cup start here last year so I have fond memories of the place."

"I'm looking forward to going back to Michigan with Billy Ballew," said Busch. "Michigan is a racy track with room for three and four wide racing. I hadn't raced in the truck there since 2005 where we had a pole and a second place finish. We are bringing my favorite truck, we drove it in Dover a few weeks ago and it was strong. Chassis 11 has already brought us three wins before hopefully it will again this weekend."

For two Morgan-Dollar Motorsports (MDM) team members, the Michigan race represents an opportunity to visit home. Kurt Binkley, rear tire changer for the No. 47 Ginn Resorts Silverado, is from nearby Ann Arbor. Sara Dykehouse, team public relations manager is from nearby Spring Lake, Michigan.

Travis Kittleson will pilot the No. 46 Bob Steele Silverado out of the MDM stable for the second time this season.

"I am pumped up and ready to go racing again," said Kittleson. "After an unfortunately short race in Kansas when I wrecked the truck early, I know Morgan-Dollar Motorsports is putting together a great piece for me, and I am really excited. I have never been to Michigan before, so it will take some time to get acclimated to the track, and then get in the routine of running steady, consistent laps.

"I am just really looking forward to getting the laps under my belt and getting the experience. Michigan is such a fast race track, and Kansas was pretty much the same way. I was able to learn quite a few things from my track time in Kansas, like getting better control of using the brake pedal to carry speed through the corner and just turning laps and acquiring as much experience as possible. I am running the NASCAR Busch Series race at St. Louis next month for Joe Gibbs Racing so getting the opportunity with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports will only help me prepare for that race that much more."

Rookie contender Willie Allen, No. 13 ThorSport Silverado, is looking forward to the Michigan race as well.

"I'm excited about going to Michigan International Speedway," said Allen. "It's a fast multi-grooved racetrack and should be a lot of fun. We had some bad luck last week at Texas with our engine so we're looking to bounce back this week. The GM and Chevy Headquarters are nearby, so it would be nice to get a great finish for all the people there that support us."

On The National Scene: Team Chevy Silverado's Green Light Racing president Gene Christensen announced his Republican candidacy for Texas' 4th Congressional District on Friday June 8th, as part of the NCTS event at Texas Motor Speedway. The long time Collin County, Texas resident, businessman and philanthropist fields the No. 08 The GPS Store/Garmin Silverado driven by Chad McCumbee and the No. 07 Lester Buildings/ASI Silverado driven by Tim Sauter.

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Labonte to Drive the No. 4 Dodge at Michigan
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Cup veteran Bobby Labonte climbs behind the wheel of the No. 4 Open Joist Dodge this weekend. It will be his second start for BHR. Labonte drove this particular truck last season at Michigan and finished third. Mike Bliss was scheduled to pilot the Open Joist Dodge, but is unable due to a previous commitment with his NBS team.

He will be making his 10th NCTS start on Saturday. In nine previous races Labonte has scored one win, five top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes.

Labonte will pilot "Demon" Saturday at Michigan. This particular chassis has raced five times this season. This is the same chassis Ruttman raced last week in Texas. After a racing incidental crash, the Open Joist Racing Team worked overtime to repair the damage and have it ready for this weekend's Michigan 200.

Labonte on Driving at Michigan: "I was given the opportunity to race this truck last year at Michigan. We had a good solid run; we led for a while, and ended up finishing third. It's a really good team and the guys work hard at Bobby Hamilton Racing. Dodge is a big supporter of that truck and they are big supporter for me too. That made it an easy decision to help them out again. We want to give them a win and they really could use one. Michigan is a favorite track of mine and I enjoy the Craftsman Truck Series. It's a tough field, but hopefully we will have something for the guys on Saturday."

Bobby Labonte Career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Stats

NCTS Starts: 9
Wins: 1
Pole: 0
Top five finishes: 5
Top 10 finishes: 5

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Driver to win the Michigan 200

1001 Mark Martin +500     
1002 Kyle Busch +500     
1003 Kevin Harvick +600     
1004 Mike Skinner +600     
1005 Ron Hornaday +600     
1006 Todd Bodine +800     
1007 Johnny Benson +900     
1008 Jack Sprague +1000     
1009 Travis Kvapil +1100     
1010 Rick Crawford +1600     
1011 Erik Darnell +1800     
1012 Ted Musgrave +2000     
1013 Mike Bliss +2500     
1014 Dennis Setzer +2500     
1015 Matt Crafton +3500     
1016 David Dtarr +5000     
1017 Brendan Gaughan +5000 

@TheGreek

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Busch Ready To Battle in Brooklyn
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Kyle Busch will be once again piloting the No. 51 Flanders Beef Patties Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday's Michigan 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. Busch and Ballew hope to bring home the win after such a strong performance in Dover where Busch was in contention for the win until a tire forced him to give up the lead and go down pit road.

Busch has one previous start at the Michigan International Speedway for Billy Ballew Motorsports; in 2005 Busch not only took the pole for the Craftsman Series race he broke the track record with a time of 39.645 seconds and a speed of 181.612 mph, which still stands today.

"I'm looking forward to going back to Michigan with Billy Ballew," Busch said. "Michigan is a racy track with room for three and four wide racing. I hadn't raced in the truck there since 2005 where we had a pole and a second place finish. We are bringing my favorite truck; we drove it in Dover a few weeks ago and it was strong. Chassis 11 has already brought us three wins before, hopefully it will again this weekend."

Flanders Beef Patties will be back as the primary sponsor on the No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports NASCAR Craftsman Truck. Flanders Beef Patties is headquartered and produced in Waycross, GA and is the No. 1 selling economy beef patties in the United States. The product is sold in 49 states in all major grocery retailers and independent grocery retailers across the country. Flanders Beef Patties was also the primary sponsor at the Dover International Speedway.

"We are excited about having Flanders Beef Patties back on board the No. 51 truck this week," Ballew said. "We came so close in Dover for the win and it would be great to put Flanders in Victory Lane this weekend in Michigan. Kyle is a talented racecar driver and if anyone can put the truck there, he can. It should be an exciting weekend for both teams with Lester in the No. 15 having a solid run last week and a great qualifying effort. So hopefully we'll be able put them both out front."

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Who to Watch: Michigan
TruckSeries.com

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series come to the Irish Hills of Michigan for the tenth race of its 2007 season. The racing action on the two-mile Michigan International Speedway rewards those that find the right setup, but the wide racing groove and long straightaways also allow for some of the most intense, high speed three- and even four-wide racing the series will see all season long.

With speeds approaching 190 miles per hour down the straightaways, the draft will play a major role as drivers jockey for position. With the large aero profile of the trucks, the fabled "slingshot" pass will again be seen frequently. Look for one driver to tuck closely behind another down the straightaways, and then just prior to reaching the corner, pop out of line and use the aero boost to sweep past to take the position.

Here are our driver capsules for the Michigan 200:

A.J. Allmendinger, No. 00 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota: Allmendinger's first four starts of 2007 didn't result in a finish better than 15th, that coming in the season opener at Daytona. The other three finishes were 25th or worse. But his last two starts resulted in a second at Charlotte and a ninth at Dover. Confidence is the key in this sport and Allmendinger is starting to get Look for another top ten from this team this weekend.

Aaron Fike, No. 1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota: Fike's only previous Michigan start resulted in a 34th-place finish in the Busch race in 2005. He's only run two Truck races on tracks two miles in length or longer, and has an average finish of 17.0. He's shown he can run up front, but with the Cup talent in the field this week a top-15 is more likely than a top ten.

Kevin Harvick, No. 2 Camping World Chevrolet: Harvick has only started two Truck races at Michigan, an eleventh-place finish in 1999 followed by a fourth in 2005. The No. 2 Chevrolet was up front in qualifying the last time it raced at Dover, and the team truck with Ron Hornaday driving has been a threat all season long. Look for Harvick to be among the top five in the final sprint to the checkered.

Bobby Labonte, No. 4 Dodge/Open Joist Dodge: Labonte doesn't make a lot of Truck Series starts, but he maximizes his effort when he does. In nine starts, he has one win and five top-five finishes. His last start was in the 2006 race at Michigan where he hopped into the No. 4 and drove it to a third-place finish. BHR has shown signs of a return to a consistent top-ten team, and Labonte should have a chance to run up front this weekend.

Mike Skinner, No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota: Skinner's 2007 season is one for the record books: his average start after nine races is 2.1 and his average finish is 3.7. He's scored seven top-five finishes and has been in the top ten every week. He's the defending pole winner at Michigan, and he's finished in the top five in two of his previous four Truck starts at MIS. He's going to be the favorite for the pole and should be in the lead pack coming off turn four for the checkered.

Travis Kvapil, No. 6 K&N Filters Ford: Kvapil and the Roush Fenway Racing team were close to their first victory at Texas, but settled for sixth after getting tangled up with a handful of laps to go. Kvapil won at Michigan in 2004 to give Toyota it's first ever series win, but there's nothing he'd like more to get his first win in a Ford there this weekend. He's never been lower than seventh in three races at MIS, look for him to continue that streak this weekend.

Jason White, No. 7 Hooter's Energy Drink Chevrolet: In one previous Busch start at MIS, White started 33rd and finished 32nd. In five Truck starts in 2007, he's progressively gotten better week in and week out. He was 35th at Daytona, 28th at Kansas, 26th at Mansfield, and 22nd each of the last two weeks at Dover and Texas. If he continues to improve, a top-20 finish might be on the horizon soon.

Tim Sauter, No. 07 Lester Buildings Chevrolet: Sauter is coming off his best finish of the season last week at Texas, a very solid 14th. The Green Light team is starting to give Sauter what he needs on the track, and the results have shown it. After five finishes outside the top 20 to start the year, he's been in the top 20 for the past four.

Blake Bjorklund, No. 8 Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Chevrolet: Since the Atlanta race in March, Bjorklund has only finished outside the top 20 twice. He's scored back-to-back strong runs, with a 16th at Dover and a 19th at Texas. He's had a very consistent season, and he's headed to a track where he has two ARCA starts under his belt. Michigan could be a breakout race for Bjorklund.

Chad McCumbee, No. 08 TheGPSStore.com/Garmin Chevrolet: McCumbee is back in the Truck Series after taking time off to make his Cup Series debut at Pocono last week. McCumbee ran 18th at MIS last year, and has scored all three of his top-10 finishes in the Truck Series on superspeedways. McCumbee should be among the top 15, and if things play out his way he could race for a top ten.

Ted Musgrave, No. 9 Team ASE/U-Coat It Toyota:
Musgrave has three wins at MIS's sister track in California, but is still looking for his first trip to victory lane at Michigan. He has two top-five finishes in the Truck Series in five starts. Michigan is the track that launched Musgrave into the spotlight with a strong fifth place run in an under funded Cup Series program in 1993, leading to a ride with Jack Roush in 1994.

Stacy Compton, No. 09 Zaxby's Ford: The last time out in this ride, Compton raced to second at Dover. The Wood/JTG Racing team has seen its Truck program get progressively stronger this season, and Compton has been one of the beneficiaries. A win may be on the horizon, but maybe not quite yet this week. A top ten is no longer a surprise, and Compton could dice for a top-five.

David Starr, No. 10 International MaxxForce Diesel Ford: Starr finally got the monkey off his back with a strong run and some good racing luck last week. A fifth place at Texas could be a harbinger of things to come for this team. All season long the team has been stronger on paper than results have indicated. Look for that to change. Another strong run is due in Michigan.

Willie Allen, No. 13 ThorSport Racing Chevrolet: Allen's season has been consistent, but engine problems in practice have forced him to start from the back more often than not. Those problems jumped up and got him in the race last week. Allen has been steady and consistent, but needs to now perform inside the top-15. The ThorSport team has excelled on superspeedways in recent years, so Allen's hopes for the season's first top-15 run are high.

Rick Crawford, No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford: Crawford might be the only guy that has been as consistently fast as Ron Hornaday over the past month, but due to rotten racing luck, he's got little to show for it. Crawford has four top tens at Michigan, but no finish higher than sixth. That should change on Saturday; Crawford should challenge for a top-five.

Bill Lester, No. 15 Christian Debt Consolidation Chevrolet: Lester is at his best on the tracks that have the highest speeds, and Michigan should be one of his strongest. He's qualified as high as fifth twice, but that's the high water mark. He's never finished higher than eleventh, and last year finished a dismal 33rd. Lester's team performs well on speedways too. Lester's had some rotten luck this year; if that stays away he could challenge for a top ten.

Boston Reid, No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Ford: Reid makes his return to the series for the first time since Talladega last October. Reid always races better than he qualifies so even if he doesn't qualify in the top 20 that doesn't mean he won't be there at the checkered flag.

Ken Schrader, No. 18 Fastenal Dodge: Schrader has 45 Cup starts at MIS, and has finished in the top ten six times. He's also qualified on the pole a couple times. Schrader's only career Truck start came in 2005 when he raced a third truck for Darrell Waltrip. He qualified eighth but finished a lap down in 29th. The BHR team is on the rise, and should carry the momentum from Texas into Michigan. Look for another top ten run out of Schrader this weekend.

Mark Martin, No. 21 Bush's Beans Ford: Martin finished a close second to Johnny Benson in this race last year, and was the dominant force at MIS's sister track in California this February before tangling with Ron Hornaday on a restart. Martin should be strong this weekend, and could give Wood/JTG Racing its first series win.

Johnny Benson, No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota: The defending race winner used that victory to catapult himself to four more wins and a second-place finish in the series championship in 2006. His season has been good, but not spectacular to this point so there is no place better for Benson to come than his home track. In three Truck races at MIS, Benson has two top five finishes. He'll be in the mix late in the going and could pull off back to back wins in the Irish Hills.

Todd Bodine, No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota: Bodine racked up his first win in a year at Texas last week. He's averaging a 7.7 finish so far in 2007, and has a 6.5 average finish at MIS. He's never qualified higher than 18th, but never finished worse than ninth in his two previous starts. He was fourth last year, and with momentum on his side from his win last week he should he among the favorites this weekend.

Ron Hornaday, No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet: Hornaday has had a masterful season to this point. Only an eleventh-place finish at Atlanta keeps him from top ten finishes in each race, and he's led 307 laps on his way to two wins. He's been the man to beat since Charlotte, and he's carrying a 4.9 average finish heading into Michigan. He's never finished higher than seventh at Michigan in three Truck starts, but that could change this weekend.

Ryan Mathews, No. 36 Bill Davis Racing Toyota: Mathews heads into Michigan headed to a track that he's actually raced on before. He has two ARCA RE/MAX Series starts there in 2006, and finished second there in August. It may be a lot to ask for a top ten so early in the process, but if it comes anywhere, it will come here.

Clay Rogers, No. 40 Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet: Roger's only career MIS start was the Truck race in 2005, and he finished 26th that afternoon. The Key Motorsports team was tenth at California earlier this season with Mike Bliss at the wheel, which should give Rogers an added boost of confidence coming in.

Travis Kittleson, No. 46 Bob Steele Chevrolet: Kittleson comes in with little to show for his previous Truck starts, but that's not to say he can't get the job done. He found trouble early at Kansas, but Michigan's wide open spaces should allow Kittleson to get up to speed and mix it up.

Kraig Kinser, No. 47 Ginn Resorts Chevrolet: Kinser's season took a turn for the better last week in Texas when he brought his truck home 15th. That's the good news. The bad news is it was still just his second top-20 finish of the season.

T.J. Bell, No. 50 Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford:
Bell had a decent run end last week with an avoidable accident. After two good runs at Charlotte and Mansfield, Bell has crashed out of the last two races. He needs to get off the slide, and Michigan is a good place for it. Jack Roush always places a lot of emphasis on racing in the Irish Hills, so this would be a good place for Bell to rack up another top ten.

Kyle Busch, No. 51 Flander's Beef Patties Chevrolet: Busch has been thrust into the media spotlight this weekend with his Cup ride status, so he'll be looking to escape the spotlight in the Truck garage. Michigan was kind to The Shrub in his only other series start; he started from the pole and finished second in 2005.

Terry Cook, No. 59 Harris Trucking Toyota: Cook reaches a milestone this weekend as he makes his 250th career series start, appropriately at the track closest to his hometown in nearby Sylvania, Ohio. Cook and this team have learned to walk, and now it's about time for them to start to run. They've been in the top 20 every race since Atlanta, and only two of those races have been lower than 15th. Cook was eighth at Dover for a season best, and has five top tens in seven previous Michigan starts. Look for another top ten out of this team this weekend.

Jack Sprague, No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota: Sprague's season has been turned upside down since Charlotte. A runner-up finish at Mansfield was a highlight of the stretch, but in the other three races he's finished 34th at Charlotte, 28th at Dover and 26th at Texas. His average finish has slipped to 15.1, but that doesn't indicate how well this team has run all season long. Michigan should allow this team to strut its stuff, and the wide racing surface should help Sprague stay out of other people's trouble.

Bryan Silas, No. 71 Nortrax Chevrolet: Silas will attempt to make his third series start this weekend. He'll have to sweat out qualifying, and if he makes it in he'll look to log laps and gain experience. He has veteran Andy Hillenburg in his corner, and that he up the learning curve.

Dennis Setzer, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet: Setzer was hoping to build some momentum after winning at Mansfield, but he's backed that up with a 19th at Dover and a 16th at Texas. Setzer has never finished lower than 14th in seven Michigan starts and was the winner there in 2005. It might be a lot to ask for another win at this point, but Setzer's chances of racing into the top ten are helped by the wide groove and the amount of drafting that's done at Michigan.

Brendan Gaughan, No. 77 South Point Hotel and Casino Chevrolet: Gaughan won at Michigan in 2003 in the fastest Truck Series race ever run. His 2007 season has definitely been a roller coaster, with several ups and downs. He was on the way up at Mansfield, but the bottom dropped out at Dover. Texas was no better as he was taken out by another driver's mistake. He should have a strong truck in Michigan, but needs the monkey off his back.

Dana White, No. 86 1888karport.com Chevrolet: White will need to race his way in on time, and that's going to be his biggest challenge of the weekend. If he does make the race, it will be his first career start at Michigan.

Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menards Chevrolet: Crafton's season has hit a road bump the past three weeks. A strong run at Mansfield was ended with a trip into the turn three wall, and engine problems sidelined him at Dover. He rebounded to seventh at Texas last week, which should bode well this week at Michigan. He scored a fifth-place there last year, and with this team's prowess on the speedways he should be a threat to mix it up in the top five this year again.

J.C. Stout, No. 91 Sterling Trucks Chevrolet: Stout will have to race his way into the field, but has proven to be a strong qualifier when he needs to pull out a good lap. Stout has never raced at Michigan, but he should make his debut here this weekend.

Erik Darnell, No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford: Darnell has had rotten luck every week but one this year, and that was when he went to victory lane at Kansas. It's still his only top-ten of the season, but that doesn't indicate how well this team runs. If Darnell can get 100 trouble free laps in the books on Saturday, he should be among the top ten.

Purely for entertainment purposes, here's my predictions for Michigan:


Pole: Yes, he was knocked off the top of the ladder last week in Texas, but he still started second and that tells me he's still at the top of his game when it comes to qualifying, so I'm sticking with Mike Skinner.

Who will race in on speed: Jason White, Travis Kittleson, Kraig Kinser, Kyle Busch, Bryan Silas, and J.C. Stout.

Winner: It's tough to pick against the Toyotas and Ron Hornaday. The usual suspects will be strong, but this race has a lot of Cup flavor to it. With all that's going on in his world right now, it's easy to assume Kyle Busch might be distracted. I think he'll be distracted enough to go to victory lane on Saturday.

Top five, behind the winner, in no particular order: Mike Skinner, Ron Hornaday, Johnny Benson, and Rick Crawford.

Top ten, behind the top five, in no particular order: Terry Cook, Matt Crafton, Ted Musgrave, Todd Bodine, and Erik Darnell.

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Re: Michigan 200 News and Notes

Three More Chances for Martin

Seven-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series winner Mark Martin has just three more chances this season to visit Victory Lane with Woods Brothers/JTG Racing.

Martin, co-driver of the No. 21 Wood Brothers/JTG Ford F-150, will see one of his chances Saturday in the Michigan 200 at Michigan International Speedway.

The legendary NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver specifically picked this race as one on his limited 2007 season with the team. He sees Michigan's wide and fast two-mile layout as a track with everything a driver loves.

"I've always said the trucks are a lot of fun to drive," Martin said. "Michigan is a fun place to race. That's a perfect combination."

Michigan International Speedway is similar to California Speedway, where Martin led the most laps during the series' February visit. Martin was close to victory in that race before being knocked into the infield greass by Ron Hornaday Jr. during a re-start at the end of the race.

"We had a great truck at California, so we have every reason to believe it should be good at Michigan. They're so much alike," Martin said. "It's amazing just how much these trucks at Wood Brothers/JTG Racing get every time I get in one. As a group, they've got what it takes to win. If the right circumstances play out, I think you'll see one of them in Victory Lane pretty soon."

If Martin can make it to Victory Lane Saturday, it'll be the first time a current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver wins a truck series race at MIS. Martin finished second there last year with Roush-Fenway Racing.

Saturday's Michigan 200 takes the green flag at 2:30 p.m. (ET). RacingOne will be trackside for the race.

www.racingone.com

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NASCAR - Craftsman Truck - Michigan 200 Preview

Date: Saturday, June 16th

Start Time: 3 p.m. (et)

Site: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan

Track: 2-mile banked, paved oval

Laps: 100

Miles: 200

2006 Finish

Defending champion: Johnny Benson

Runner up: Mark Martin

Pole winner: Mike Skinner (178.758 m.p.h.)

Top 10:

1. Johnny Benson (Start: 5)
2. Mark Martin (9)
3. Bobby Labonte (7)
4. Todd Bodine (25)
5. Matt Crafton (6)
6. Rick Crawford (17)
7. Ron Hornaday Jr (8)
8. Dennis Setzer (10)
9. Terry Cook (12)
10. Jack Sprague (15)

Average speed: 116.534 m.p.h.

Time of race: 1 hour, 45 minutes, 2 seconds

Margin of victory: 0.112 seconds

Caution flags: 8 for 29 laps

Lead changes: 14 among 6 drivers


Past winners

2006 Johnny Benson, Toyota, 116.534 m.p.h.
2005 Dennis Setzer, Chevrolet, 122.387 m.p.h.
2004 Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 125.479 m.p.h.
2003 Brendan Gaughan, Dodge, 154.044 m.p.h. (race record)
2002 Robert Pressley, Dodge, 142.208 m.p.h.
2001 , , Not Held
2000 Greg Biffle, Ford, 138.408 m.p.h.
1999 Greg Biffle, Ford, 121.889 m.p.h.

Notes

In 2006, Johnny Benson clipped Mark Martin by less than a second for his first career Craftsman Truck Series title. Benson crossed the finish line 0.112 of a second ahead of Martin before 60,000 fans. Benson and Martin traded for the lead on the last 51 laps, with Benson reclaiming the advantage for good on lap 73 of the 102-lap race. Pole sitter Mike Skinner led for 25 laps, but finished 11th, while Martin led six times for a race-high 33 laps. Benson seeks to become the first back-to-back winner of this race since Greg Biffle posted wins the first two years of the race (1999-2000).

2005 saw Dennis Setzer crossed the finish line under caution to capture his 13th career Craftsman title. Setzer edged pole sitter Kyle Busch for the win. Busch led the first 16 laps, building a lead of more than one second before fading all the way to the back of the field with a tire problem.

Meanwhile up front, the lead changed hands a few times. Ricky Craven, Ted Musgrave, Bobby Hamilton and Kevin Harvick all took turns leading the field. Hamilton was leading with 19 laps to go when Setzer made a sweeping move and brought Musgrave with him. With 10 laps to go, Setzer's lead was just 0.172 over Musgrave. A lap later, Todd Bodine and Brandon Whitt clipped fenders and caught Steve Park sending him spinning into the outside wall. The cleanup took a long time leaving just two laps to the checkered flag. On lap 99, just past turn two, Musgrave blew his engine while running second. He brought his truck to the bottom of the track and out of the way, but NASCAR brought out the white and yellow flags together meaning the final lap would be run under caution.

Terry Cook will hit a major milestone this weekend when he becomes the third driver in series history to compete in 250 races. Rick Crawford and Jack Sprague share the series record with 256 starts. Cook has competed in 231 consecutive races, a series record. He has started every race since the beginning of 1998.

The next race in the Craftsman Truck Series championship is the Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 at The Milwaukee Mile scheduled for Saturday, June 22nd, as Benson once again defends his title.

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Kvapil rolls to Michigan truck pole
SCENEDAILY.COM

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Roush Fenway Racing's Travis Kvapil will start from the pole in the Craftsman Truck Series Michigan 200 this afternoon at Michigan International Speedway.

Kvapil turned a lap of 179.596 mph to lead qualifying Saturday morning as he easily outpaced Wood Brothers/JTG Racing's Mark Martin (178.682 mph).

Rounding out the top five were Billy Ballew Motorsports' Kyle Busch, Bill Davis Racing's Mike Skinner and Busch teammate Bill Lester.

Failing to make the field was Fast Track Racing's Bryan Silas.

The race is scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT today.

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Michigan 200 Starting Lineup
 
1 Travis Kvapil Ford 40.090 seconds (179.596 m.p.h.)
2 Mark Martin Ford 40.295
3 Kyle Busch Chevrolet 40.444
4 Mike Skinner Toyota 40.484
5 Bill Lester Chevrolet 40.500
6 Todd Bodine Toyota 40.525
7 Jack Sprague Toyota 40.578
8 Chad McCumbee Chevrolet 40.606
9 Ted Musgrave Toyota 40.627
10 Johnny Benson Toyota 40.660
11 Brendan Gaughan Dodge 40.689
12 Aaron Fike Toyota 40.738
13 Willie Allen Chevrolet 40.760
14 Ron Hornaday Jr. Chevrolet 40.862
15 Ryan Mathews Toyota 40.885
16 A.J. Allmendinger Toyota 40.887
17 T.J. Bell Ford 40.976
18 Terry Cook Toyota 40.993
19 Kraig Kinser Chevrolet 41.040
20 David Starr Ford 41.065
21 Ken Schrader Dodge 41.095
22 Bobby Labonte Dodge 41.131
23 Matt Crafton Chevrolet 41.144
24 Dennis Setzer Chevrolet 41.162
25 Erik Darnell Ford 41.207
26 Stacy Compton Ford 41.233
27 Rick Crawford Ford 41.321
28 Clay Rogers Chevrolet 41.464
29 Travis Kittleson Chevrolet 41.973
30 Kevin Lepage Chevrolet 41.996
31 Jason White Chevrolet 42.029
32 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 42.058
33 Blake Bjorklund Chevrolet 42.119
34 Tim Sauter Chevrolet 42.443
35 Boston Reid Ford owner points
36 J.C. Stout Chevrolet 42.711
 
Failed To Qualify

71 Bryan Silas

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Kvapil scores first win in 3 years
June 16, 2007

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) -Travis Kvapil patiently stalked Kyle Busch around Michigan International Speedway, finally passing him with one lap to go Saturday to score his first Craftsman Truck Series win since 2004.

Busch led four times for 38 laps, but was struggling to control his Chevrolet when Kvapil closed in on him over the final 10 laps. Kvapil, the 2003 series champion, made several peeks around him, only to scoot back in line behind Busch.

He finally attempted a pass in the fourth turn, sliding ahead of Busch as they closed in on the start/finsh line with the white flag waving above them. Kvapil then pulled away on the final lap to win for the first time since Sept. 18, 2004.

``I knew I was a little better than Kyle, but I just didn't want to get out there too soon,'' said Kvapil, who started from the pole.

It was Kvapil's second win at Michigan, sixth of his career, but first since he joined Roush Fenway Racing at the start of this season. He replaced Mark Martin, who won six times in the truck last season.

``It feels like it's been forever,'' said Kvapil. ``There were big shoes to fill after Mark Martin left this team.''

Crew chief Mike Beam said the team had been feeling the heat to get back to Victory Lane. They took pride in finally doing it at MIS, which is team owner Jack Roush's home track.

``We've struggled all year, we felt we've really let Travis down,'' Beam said. ``I knew Travis could do this, we've got all the confidence in him. And it's good to win here for Jack in Michigan, they've been putting the heat on us - this is our Daytona 500.''

Busch said his truck was too loose to hold off Kvapil's charge.

``I was all over the place, the middle, the bottom, the top,'' Busch said. ``I just could never find a place that would let me get a good run off the corner. Our truck was good enough, solid enough to win the race, but just not quite good enough to get where I needed to be off the corner.''

Brendan Gaughan finished third and was followed by Mike Skinner, Ted Musgrave, Rick Crawford and Todd Bodine. Kevin Harvick, Johnny Benson and Ron Hornaday Jr. rounded out the top 10.

Skinner extended his lead in the standings to 113 points over Hornaday.

The race opened up after Martin lost the engine on his Ford. He led four times for 35 laps before the failure, and finished 33rd.

``Mark was the class of the field today,'' Busch said. ``He was gone. Nobody could touch that thing. But thankfully we could make a race out of it when his motor went.''

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