Built Ford Tough 225 News and Notes

Built Ford Tough 225 News and Notes

ENTRY LIST: Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway

00 Josh Wise
1 David Green
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 Joey Clanton
10 David Starr
13 Willie Allen
14 Rick Crawford
15 Bill Lester
16 Kenny Hendrick
18 Ken Schrader
21 Kelly Bires
23 Johnny Benson
28 Brandon Knupp
30 Todd Bodine
33 Ron Hornaday Jr.
36 Ryan Mathews
40 Chad Chaffin
47 Kraig Kinser
50 Peter Shepherd
59 Terry Cook
60 Jack Sprague
63 Jack Smith
171 Bryan Silas
75 Dennis Setzer
77 Brendan Gaughan
88 Matt Crafton
191 J.C. Stout
99 Erik Darnell

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Re: Built Ford Tough 225 News and Notes

Red Horse Racing Tabs David Green to Drive at Kentucky
TruckSeries.com

Red Horse Racing announced today that Kentucky's own David Green will be behind the wheel of the No. 1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra for the Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Red Horse Racing's decision to have Green pilot the No. 1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota this weekend comes following the arrest of Aaron Fike.

"We are still investigating to get first hand information on what happened with Aaron," said General Manager and Team Owner, Tom DeLoach. "We don't expect to have any definitive answers on the events leading up to Aaron's arrest until later this week."

Green, a native of Owensboro, Kentucky, is a veteran of NASCAR, having raced in all three of NASCAR's top tier divisions since making his entrance onto the NASCAR scene in 1989. Green is the 1994 NASCAR Busch Series Champion and has amassed 386 starts, nine wins, 72 top-five, and 144 top-ten finishes in that Series.

In addition to his impressive career in the NASCAR Busch Series, Green has accumulated 78 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series starts and has raced in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series four times.

Saturday's Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers will mark Green's first race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since 1997.

Green has made seven starts at Kentucky Speedway in a NASCAR Busch Series ride, including a start in June where he drove the No. 91 YRT2 Toyota Camry for Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports to a 26th place finish after qualifying 34th. Green has led two laps at the 1.5-mile tri-oval and has one top-ten.

Green and the Red Horse Racing team will take the No. 1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra to the 1.5-mile tri-oval of Kentucky Speedway for the Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers, under the lights, on Saturday, July 14th, 2007.

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Re: Built Ford Tough 225 News and Notes

Odds to win the Built Ford Tough 225

301 Ron Hornaday +350     
302 Mike Skinner +500     
303 Travis Kvapil +600     
304 Todd Bodine +700     
305 Johnny Benson +700     
306 Jack Sprague +900     
307 Rick Crawford +1200     
308 Erik Darnell +1400     
309 Dennis Setzer +1600     
310 Ted Musgrave +2000     
311 Jon Wood +2000     
312 Matt Crafton +2500     
313 Mike Bliss +2500     
314 David Green +2500     
315 Brendan Gaughan +2500     
316 David Starr +4000     
317 Chad Chaffin +5000     
318 Terry Cook +5000     
319 Field +800     

@TheGreek

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Re: Built Ford Tough 225 News and Notes

mvbski wrote:


ENTRY LIST: Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway

21 Kelly Bires

Jon Wood will drive the 21 truck this instead of Bires.

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WHITE: Team Switches To Dodge at Kentucky
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Officials from Pennington Motorsports announced today that beginning with this weekend’s festivities leading up to Saturday night’s Kentucky Built Ford Tough 225, the No. 7 Hooters Energy Drink team has switched from Chevrolet to Dodge for the remainder of the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.

In an effort to strengthen the Pennington Motorsports program, the team feels by bringing the new manufacturer onboard allows the chance for the team to step up to the plate and produce strong and consistent finishes in the remaining 13 races left on the schedule.

“We’re very excited about this new transition for Pennington Motorsports,” said driver Jason White. “An opportunity was presented to us and as a team we discussed our options and we felt that making the change now will benefit our team not only for the remainder of this year but for next year as well. I want to thank everyone at Dodge who has made this change very smooth and we’re looking forward to producing strong results right off the bat.”

Carrying one of the most respected names in the automotive industry, White and Co. are ready to pick up the pace and be a threat under the lights on Saturday night.

“Trust me, we plan to make the very best of the hand that has been dealt us,” White stated. “The addition of crew chief Barry Dodson has been strong and very influential to the development of this young team and I only expect things to pick up both on and off the track.”

Pennington Motorsports team manger Dwayne Gaulding offered, “The entire team is upbeat about the new and exciting changes going on with our organization. The pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together. We have a championship winning crew chief a great manufacturer who has scored championships in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, we couldn’t be more excited heading into Saturday night’s event. I’m really proud of all the guys in the shop for all their hard work and dedication through this change. We have a good feeling about Kentucky.”

Pennington Motorsports joins Bobby Hamilton Racing (No. 4 and No. 18) as the only other full time team hoisting the Dodge banner.

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Re: Built Ford Tough 225 News and Notes

GREEN: To Drive the No. 1 Toyota for Rest of 2007 Season
TruckSeries.com Report

Red Horse Racing announced today that 1994 NASCAR Busch Series Champion David Green will finish out the year driving the No. 1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Green's first race with Red Horse Racing will be this Saturday during the Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers at the 1.5-mile tri-oval of Kentucky Speedway.

"David Green will be driving the No. 1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota for the rest of the year," said General Manager and Team Owner, Tom DeLoach. "David coached Aaron (Fike, former driver) earlier this year so the team knows him pretty well and it will be an easy transition."

Red Horse Racing's decision to transition to a new driver comes following the arrest of Fike on Saturday.

"Aaron has some things to take care of in his life but Red Horse Racing must continue forward," said DeLoach. "Having a veteran in our truck will serve us well at this time," he continued. "David has the maturity and experience that we need right now."

Green, a native of Owensboro, Kentucky, is a veteran of NASCAR, having raced in all three of NASCAR's top tier divisions since making his entrance onto the NASCAR scene in 1989. Green is the 1994 NASCAR Busch Series Champion and has amassed 386 starts, nine wins, 72 top-five, and 144 top-ten finishes in that Series.

"I'm really excited to return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in the No. 1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra. I last raced in the Craftsman Truck Series in 1997 and am happy to be returning to the Series driving for a great team like Red Horse Racing. I worked with the team earlier this year as a driver coach so I know that they have good equipment, a great leader in Jamie Jones, a hard-working crew, and one of the best pit crews on pit road. I'm looking forward to returning to the Craftsman Truck Series with a Championship caliber team like Red Horse Racing and appreciate the opportunity to drive the No. 1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra."

In addition to his impressive career in the NASCAR Busch Series, Green has accumulated 78 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series starts and has raced in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series four times.

Green and the Red Horse Racing team will take the No. 1 RFMS/Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra to the 1.5-mile tri-oval of Kentucky Speedway for the Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers, under the lights, on Saturday, July 14th, 2007. Live television coverage will be provided by SPEED at 7:30 p.m. ET with radio coverage coming to you live from MRN Radio.

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Who to Watch: Kentucky


The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series trucks make their way around the track at the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway, July 8, 2006. (Davis M. Vaughn Photo)

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series kicks off the second half of its 2007 season this Saturday night with a 225-mile clash on the high banks of the Kentucky Speedway. In the race's seven-year history, the track has produced great racing with two- and three-wide racing often the order of the day. While there have been some dominant performances over the years at Kentucky, there have also been several unpredictable outcomes with the winner coming to the front within sight of the checkered flag.

With unpredictability the hallmark of competition in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, odds are that the winner of the Built Ford Tough 225 will not be determined until the finish line is in sight.

Here are our driver capsules for round 13 of the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway:

Josh Wise, No. 00 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota: Wise only has three previous NCTS starts, but two were on 1.5-mile ovals. In those two races, he scored two top 20 finishes and had a best finish of 13th at Texas. Wise will get some extra experience the night before in the ARCA race, so he could be ready to knock on the door for his first top 10 result.

David Green, No. 1 RFMS-Red Horse Racing Toyota: Last race in Memphis, a last-minute substitute claimed the pole and nearly won the race. Green is hoping for more of that magic this week as he takes over the No. 1 from Aaron Fike. Green hasn't been in a truck since September 1997 at Martinsville, but he does have top 10 finishes in half of his four previous NCTS starts. This is a strong team, look for Green to perform well.

Mike Bliss, No. 4 Dodge Motorsports/Open Joist Dodge: Bliss was not originally slated to run this race, but with no Cup obligations this week BHR opted to put him in the Truck. It's not a bad call when you think about it as he is a former winner at Kentucky Speedway, turning the trick in 2002.

Mike Skinner, No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota: Kentucky Speedway has not been overly kind to Skinner in his four previous starts. He does have a best finish of fourth in 2005, but other than that Skinner has no other finish higher than 13th. He was 31st last year, taken out in a late-race crash. If there is a track on the schedule where Skinner won't qualify well, won't lead a lap, and/or won't finish in the top ten, Kentucky is it.

Travis Kvapil, No. 6 K&N Filters Ford: Kvapil's results at Kentucky have been a roller coaster. He was fourth in 2001, then 16th in 2002. He rebounded to sixth in 2003, but was 15th in 2004. If previous results are any indication on how well he will run this year, look for a top ten finish for Kvapil.

Jason White, No. 7 Hooters Energy Drink Dodge: White only has one start-and-park Truck run at Kentucky, but he does have a 25th-place finish in his one and only Busch Series run at Kentucky. This team just made the change from Chevrolet to Dodge, and it could take a couple of races to get used to the characteristics of the Ram on the speedway.

Tim Sauter, No. 07 Lester Buildings Chevrolet: Sauter has five Busch Series starts at Kentucky and a couple of top twenty finishes. His Green Light Racing team has started to come on strong, and only ill-timed cautions have kept him out of the top ten at the finish in recent weeks. Green Light has shown some strength on intermediate tracks in the past, and with the momentum this team is carrying another top 15 finish is likely. If things work out right, a top 10 isn't out of the question.

Blake Bjorklund, No. 8 Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Chevrolet: Bjorklund has run well on the intermediate tracks this year, but has hit a slump the last three races. After scoring five top 20 finishes in the first nine races of the year, the last three have been rough for Bjorklund as 21st at Michigan has been his best result. Bjorklund would like to get back into the top 20, and two races worth of ARCA experience at Kentucky could help him get back there.

Chad McCumbee, No. 08 TheGPSStore.com/Garmin Chevrolet: McCumbee was solid at Kentucky last year, finishing 18th. He had a streak of four top 20 finishes starting at Charlotte and ending at Michigan, but this team is ready for top 10s. They haven't been in contention for a top 15 finish lately, but coming to a track where they have run well in the past could get them turned around.

Ted Musgrave, No. 9 Team ASE Toyota: Musgrave sat on the sidelines last race at Memphis, but this team nearly had the win with Brad Keselowski behind the wheel. Musgrave should be back filled with fire and desire, and the team knows they can get it done. Musgrave had a sure win taken from him in a crash with a lapped truck in 2001, but since that race he's been in the top ten every time out at Kentucky.

Joey Clanton, No. 09 Zaxby's Ford: Clanton finished 16th in his only previous Busch Series race at Kentucky. This team has done well, even with the drivers playing musical chairs week in and week out. Clanton hasn't been in the top ten since Atlanta, but he should challenge for a top ten finish this week.

David Starr, No. 10 International MaxxForce Diesel Ford:
Ever since getting taken out on lap one at Dover, Starr's season has turned around. He has two top tens, including a fifth at Texas, and two 13th-place finishes. Starr's worst finish in five races at Kentucky is 15th, and he's been in the top ten the last four times out. With this team finally starting to click, another top ten is on order for this week.

Willie Allen, No. 13 ThorSport Racing Chevrolet: Allen has shown he can drive it fast in qualifying, but this team has fought engine issues all season long and that hasn't always allowed them to get the race setup to where he can be consistently fast in the race. This team is just a good break away from a top ten finish.

Rick Crawford, No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford: Kentucky has been both good and bad to Crawford. He finished second in 2006, but was helicoptered out after a hard crash in qualifying in 2005. He's been among the top ten in half his six starts at Kentucky. After a rough outing in Memphis, this team needs to rebound strong.

Bill Lester, No. 15 Christian Debt Consolidation Chevrolet: Lester had his second-best run of the season at Memphis, finishing 12th. He has a great record in qualifying at Kentucky, with a pole in 2005 and an 8.6 average start. Unfortunately the races have not been as kind as his best finish is 12th and his average finish is 21st.

Kenny Hendrick, No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Chevrolet: Hendrick gets the call to fill the seat this week for Xpress Motorsports. Team owner Dave Fuge has orchestrated wins here in the past, but budgetary reasons may mean this truck doesn't run all night.

Ken Schrader, No. 18 Fastenal Dodge: For someone who has raced at hundreds of tracks across the country, it was amazing that Schrader had never competed at Memphis until two weeks ago. Amazingly enough, he will make his first start at Kentucky this week as well. A couple of 18th-place finishes in the last two races don't show how well this team has performed this year. Look for Schrader to challenge in or near the top ten.

Jon Wood, No. 21 Bubba Burger/Bush's Beans Ford: It's been a rough year for Wood, with his only highlight being his Cup debut earlier this season at Las Vegas. He's sat out the last four Busch races as he recovers from an adverse reaction to prescription medication, and he makes his return here in the NCTS. Wood ran three races in 2006, with two top tens. He can get it done, and coming to Kentucky - where he has a pole and a top five finish in the past - will help get his season turned around.

Ryan Mathews, No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota: Mathews comes to his first Kentucky race with a new number as the BDR team changes back to its traditional No. 22. Mathews has been methodical in his entrance to the series, learning the trucks and the tracks as he gains footing and competitiveness. Now that he's got his first top ten, his next one should come pretty quickly.

(VPS Motorimages Photo)
Johnny Benson, No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota: Benson has finished fourth and ninth in his two previous NCTS starts at Kentucky. His fourth-place finish last year came in the midst of a streak of strong runs and wins, and he has started to show flashes of going on the same type of streak this year, and another strong run at Kentucky would get him back in contention for a top five finish in the championship.

Brandon Knupp, No. 28 FDNY Racing Chevrolet:
Knupp has done the start-and-park thing a couple of times outside of his lone "race" earlier this season at Daytona. With just 35 trucks entered, this team can concentrate on race setups rather than a qualifying setup. This team would like to run all night long and finish as many laps as they can. Knupp is looking for experience and a chance to get on someone's radar for a full-time ride in 2008.

Todd Bodine, No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota: Bodine was second in his first NCTS start at Kentucky in 2005, and followed it with a tenth last season. He has a 7.2 average finish in 2007, but he needs to start racking up top fives if he wants to make any headway in the run for the championship.

Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet: Hornaday won this race last year with a very strong performance, and he has been extremely strong on the intermediate tracks this season too. In the last five races, his worst finish is tenth at Michigan and he has top five finishes in the other four starts.

Chad Chaffin, No. 40 Westerman Companies Chevrolet: Chaffin finally gets to make his season debut in the No. 40 Chevy after allowing Stacy Compton to wheel it in Memphis. Chaffin had a top five finish in 2004, but his other runs have been unspectacular at Kentucky. This team started strong but hasn't been able to get up into the top ten and stay there, but having Chaffin back in the seat will give them a burst of confidence throughout the second half of the season.

Kraig Kinser, No. 47 Ginn Resorts Chevrolet: The first eight races of the season had to leave Kinser frustrated, but the last four have been filled with promise and potential. He's been in the top twenty in all, and among the top 15 in three. If they can keep out of trouble, this team will soon start challenging for top tens.

Peter Shepherd, No. 50 Roush Fenway Racing Ford: Shepherd is fast, but lacks experience on superspeedways. He'll run the ARCA race on Friday night for some added seat time, and that should help. Even with his lack of experience, Shepherd has the talent to race among the top 15 and with the right set of circumstances could do even better.

Terry Cook, No. 59 Harris Trucking Toyota: Cook has the 2005 race at Kentucky wrapped up until a flat tire with five laps to go ended his winning run on a flatbed. Cook had a streak of nine consecutive top twenty finishes come to an end at Memphis two weeks ago. Cook has had his ups and downs at Kentucky, but history says if he's not in a crash he ends up in the top ten, so look for another strong run from this team on Saturday.

Jack Sprague, No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota: Sprague's roller coaster season continued at Memphis. He finished second at Mansfield, and between that race and his runner-up finish at Memphis he had three races in which he finished between 26th and 29th. Sprague's results at Kentucky have been equally unpredictable, with three top-three finishes in his first three starts but a 36th and 11th the last two times out. Sprague was married over the Fourth of July so a good run would be a nice present for the new Mr. and Mrs. Sprague.

Jack Smith, No. 63 Dave Porter Truck Sales Ford:
Smith will be making his first start on a track over a mile in length. Smith has done well in his two previous races, staying out of trouble and earning respect. If he runs all night long he could race towards the top 25. This team also benefits from the short entry as they can concentrate on race setups in practice.

Bryan Silas, No. 71 Nortrax/Shell Rotella T Chevrolet:
Silas will be running the ARCA race on Friday night, another driver pulling double duty. He's a raw rookie, but one thing he isn't is afraid to go fast. He continues to harness his talents each time out. He might not be ready to race up into the top ten, but he's logging laps and gaining experience and respect.

Dennis Setzer, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet: Setzer is a former Kentucky winner, and he has five top five finishes at Kentucky on his resume. Setzer and this team are still trying to find their way into the top ten on a consistent basis. He was seventh earlier this season at Atlanta, so they have shown the ability to run near the front on an intermediate track. Setzer has five 19th-place finishes this year, including two in both of the last two races.

Brendan Gaughan, No. 77 South Point Chevrolet: Gaughan's season stats show for every two sub-par races he has, he comes back with a solid run. He is coming off two races outside the top 20, so he should be due for a top ten this week. He comes back to Kentucky off a third place finish last year. Look for them back in the top ten this week.

Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menards Chevrolet: Crafton has four top tens at Kentucky, all of them coming in his last four starts. ThorSport Racing is traditionally strong on the intermediates, and he finished third earlier this year at Atlanta. It will be a tall task to beat the Toyotas and some of the Fords, but Crafton has shown he can race with them.

J.C. Stout, No. 91 Sterling Truck Corp. Chevrolet: Stout pulled off a great qualifying lap to make this race last year, but this year he'll be able to concentrate on race setups rather than fighting to get just one quick lap in the books. Stout is a solid driver that stays out of trouble, and that could get him near the top 20 if things work out right this weekend.

Erik Darnell, No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford: Darnell won at Kansas this year, a track similar in configuration to Kentucky. He's had competitive trucks the last two races, but potential top five finishes have gone awry with problems on pit road. Darnell is hungry for another win, and he could be in position to get it this weekend.

Predictions:

Pole:
Although his qualifying record at Kentucky doesn't show any poles, there is a first time for everything. Mike Skinner will roll from the pole.

Winner: Ron Hornaday, Jr. He's the defending race winner, and he's been on a tear this year.

Top five behind the winner, in no particular order: Travis Kvapil, Skinner, Jack Sprague, Matt Crafton.

Top ten behind the top five, in no particular order: Terry Cook, Brendan Gaughan, Erik Darnell, Rick Crawford, Johnny Benson.

www.truckseries.com

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Re: Built Ford Tough 225 News and Notes

Matthews picks up first career pole at Kentucky

Ryan Matthews driver of the #22-Bill Davis Racing Toyota [formerly #36] has picked up the pole for the Built Ford Tough 225 with a qualifying speed of 172.955. It was the first Series pole for Matthews. Rounding out the top ten were; #15-Bill Lester, #60-Jack Sprague, #5-Mike Skinner, #77-Brendan Gaughan, #99-Erik Darnell, #6-Travis Kvapil, #9-Ted Musgrave, #09-Joey Clanton,#08-Chad McCumbee. The first rookie was [9th] #09-Joey Clanton; first Dodge [14th] #4-Mike Bliss. All trucks entered qualified

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Skinner in complete control in win at Kentucky
July 14th, 2007

Sparta, KY (Sports Network) - Mike Skinner led 135 of 150 laps en route to a victory in Saturday night's Built Ford Tough 225 at the Kentucky Speedway. The No.5 Toyota driver crossed the finish line more than five seconds ahead of Travis Kvapil.

The victory was Skinner's fourth of the season and 23rd of his Craftsman Truck Series career.

Rookie Ryan Mathews brought the field to the green flag for 150 laps of racing. But he didn't last very long up there as first Bill Lester, then Skinner and Brendan Gaughan took turns with the lead. Skinner made a second pass of Gaughan for the fourth lead change in the first six laps.

Following a Rick Crawford spin and crash, Skinner began to build a lead over Gaughan. By lap 20 the margin was two seconds and by lap 25 it had ballooned to 3.677 seconds. Then Gaughan slipped back and Ted Musgrave assumed the chase.

Skinner's lead steadied at around four seconds and it stayed that way through 50 laps. Then Terry Cook and Peter Shepherd got together on the next lap and it brought out the caution flag.

A round of pit stops and Skinner was still the leader with David Green and Kvapil in third. Mathews, the pole sitter, had worked his way back to fourth place after dropping outside the top-10.

The event was slowed by multiple caution flags through the middle portion of the race.

When they finally put a couple of green-flag laps together, Skinner quickly rebuilt his lead just as he had done earlier.

Then on lap 95 Erik Darnell slammed the wall after a tire let go. Once again the caution flag flew. The race would restart with 50 laps remaining.

Todd Bodine stayed on the track while most of the leaders pitted. Mathews started second with Skinner restarting fourth. But Skinner is not one to be patient. Within four laps Skinner was fighting Bodine for the lead and going into turn four he slid below the defending series champion for the lead.

With 40 to go he had the gap up to two seconds and Kvapil was battling Bodine for second. Kvapil made it around Bodine who was beginning to fade on his old tires. Thirty laps remaining and Skinner's lead was over three seconds. Skinner continued on and cruised to the checkered flag unchallenged.

The next race is set for July 27th at O'Rielly Raceway Park.

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Tracking the Trucks : Built Ford Tough 225
Beth Lunkenheimer

In a Nutshell: Mike Skinner won his fourth race of the season Saturday night in the Built Ford Tough 225 at the Kentucky Speedway. Skinner beat runner-up Travis Kvapil by 5.570 seconds. Ted Musgrave, who returned to the No. 9 after a one week suspension, finished third. Ryan Mathews and David Green rounded out the Top 5.

Who Should Have Won: Skinner. Skinner dominated the race and led 133 of 150 laps. He took the lead within the first ten laps of the race and stayed there until he gave up the lead during pit stops on lap 97. He was easily able to pull back to the front with fresh tires against Todd Bodine’s old ones. It was Skinner’s 23rd career victory.

Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race

1. What does the future have in store for Ryan Mathews?


Ryan Mathews, in his seventh career start in the Craftsman Truck Series, captured his first pole and a fourth place finish. It wasn’t all easy, though. When the field took the green flag on lap one, Mathews just couldn’t get up to speed and found himself in 13th by the beginning of lap two. “I don’t know what the problem was on the start and restarts,” Mathews said. “I just didn’t have any forward bite.” He struggled on each restart but had a truck strong enough to work his way back through the pack. Mathews has been slowly improving this season. His worst finish for Bill Davis Racing was 21st at Texas. Since then he’s finished 16th, 14th, 6th and 4th. With teammates like Mike Skinner and Johnny Benson, it’s only a matter of time before Mathews is running consistently for Top 5 and Top 10 finishes.

2. How will David Green do in the No. 1 the rest of the season?

Unless you live under a rock, you know Aaron Fike has been suspended indefinitely. In his place, David Green returned to the Truck Series ten years after his last truck race, and he did it in style. Prior to Saturday’s race, Green’s best finish in five career starts was eighth at Nazareth, but Green brought the No. 1 truck home with a Top 5. It’s too early to say how the rest of the season will go for Green, but he sure is headed in the right direction.

3. Does anyone have what it takes to catch Mike Skinner?

Mike Skinner has led at least one lap in every race this season; 13 so far. He now holds the NASCAR record for most races led since the beginning of the season; following Memphis Skinner was tied with Jason Leffler for that honor. Skinner and No. 5 Toyota Tundra team built momentum in the last four races in 2006, and with four wins, seven poles and twelve Top 4 starting positions, it’s obvious they were able to hold onto that momentum this season as well. Can anyone touch them? Anything could happen if Mike Skinner’s luck runs out, but so far the 2007 season looks alot like his 1995 season when he had eight wins, eight pole starts and won the championship for Richard Childress Racing. Ron Hornaday seems to be the one that has the best chance. With two wins, an average finish of 5.3 and only one finish outside the Top 10, he will still have his work cut out for him. Hornaday currently sits 164 points back from Skinner; last week he was only 103 points back.

Worth Noting/Points Shuffle

Craftsman Truck Series Flagman Dennis James passed away Wednesday. Former NASCAR Southwest Series chief starter Mike Angleini stood in his place Saturday night.

Jack Sprague married Amy Schellenbach on Tuesday, July 3rd. When asked about his wife, Sprague said, “I knew as soon as I met her that she was the one.” The newly married Sprague brought his No. 60 Con-way Frieght Toyota Tundra home 13th.

Mike Skinner continues to lead Ron Hornaday, but his win tonight extended that lead to 164 points. Travis Kvapil and Todd Bodine are tied, but Kvapil moves up one spot to third because he has two wins this season to Bodine’s one win. Rick Crawford rounds out the Top 5.

Johnny Benson and Jack Sprague still sit in sixth and seventh. Ted Musgrave moved up two positions to eighth. Matt Crafton and Dennis Setzer round out the Top 10.

Quotable:


“I am an old man. You’re going to have trucks like that a time or two when you get to my age. It doesn’t happen too often. This Bill Davis Racing team is just on a roll. We have an old guy (Skinner), a kind of old guy (Benson), and a real young kid (Mathews) on this team. We were pretty dominant earlier this year at Martinsville, and Johnny was that good in the second half of the Milwaukee race. If we aren’t careful, that 22 truck (Mathews) is going to leave us in the dust.” Mike Skinner

“We’re a little discouraged. I am happy with second, but the guy we’re chasing in the points won the race and led the most laps here tonight. I am happy with second because our truck wasn’t that great. We worked on it and made it worse, then got it back to where it was and were able to hold on for second.” Travis Kvapil

“After Milwaukee we sat down and we really had a heart to heart and came up with some front end geometry stuff that has really helped us. Watching from the couch was a little different, but we’re back and this is how we’re going to run from here on out this year.” Ted Musgrave finished 3rd after sitting out at Memphis two weeks ago

Up Next:

The Craftsman Truck Series heads to O’Reilly Raceway Park in two weeks for the Power Stroke Diesel 200. The qualifying record was set in 2000 and is held by Joe Ruttman with a speed of 111.843 mph. The defending race winner is Rick Crawford. Coverage begins Saturday night at 8:00 pm EST on Speed. The race can also be heard on your local MRN affiliate.

www.frontstretch.com

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