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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Notes (Week of July 14)

18 July 1997

 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
 Notes of Interest
 Week of July 14, 1997



 - The series returns to Colorado National Speedway in Erie, where Butch 
Miller beat Skinner by 0.001-second in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' 
closest finish on June 15, 1995.

 - Miller returned the favor last year, edging Skinner by 0.769-second.

 - Ironically, neither winning team returns with the same driver in 1997. 
Sauter, who finished seventh in last season's Colorado 250 by Snap-On Tools, 
will drive the GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet, while Cintas Rookie 
Irwin will be at the controls of the '96 winning Raybestos Ford.

"I've run there before and that's a plus in my situation," notes Sauter, who 
ran a partial schedule in 1996 with SABCO Racing. "Last year, we qualified 
outside front row, lost a lap, then got back up to (ninth). It wasn't easy 
(and) the hardest part was coming back through the traffic after made the lap 
up. It's a tough track to get hold of but Goodyear's coming back with a great 
tire. They're not falling off (lap speeds) like they did last year."

 - Talk about driver turnover. Of the nine entered drivers (among 28) who 
competed in the 1995 edition of the race, five -- Miller, Dave Rezendes, Bill 
Sedgwick, Ruttman and Sprague -- have changed teams. Seventeen of last year's 
32 starters are pre-entered, 11 of them in a different truck!

 - Rezendes, who returns to the 3/8-mile, compound-banked oval with Charles 
Hardy's Ortho Lawn and Garden Products Chevrolet team, counts a pair of 
fifth-place finishes. That Geoff Bodine Racing Ford, however, now is 
Lovable-sponsored for Tammy Jo Kirk. 

 - Add Ron Hornaday, Ruttman, Sedgwick and Sprague for a total of six entered 
drivers counting a pair of top-10 efforts at CNS.

 - Hornaday's 1995 Busch Pole record, 78.556 mph, is the slowest one-lap mark 
among active series venues. Bickle fast-timed in Petty's Dodge, then led 24 
of the first 27 laps but dropped out when his Cummins Engine Company Dodge 
failed. "This year, I'm coming out to Colorado to finish what I started last 
year," offered Bickle. "Colorado is another short track, my specialty, and I 
hope to continue the success I've had."

 - Bickle's current Sears DieHard Chevrolet ride got a seventh-place finish a 
year ago, with Sedgwick in the driver's seat.

 - Dodge's best finish at CNS is third-place, by Hensley in 1996.

 - Speaking of Dodge, the DANA Corporation Ram will have a new driver at CNS: 
Tom Hubert, a Cottonwood, Calif. native who also is shop manager at Kurt 
Roehrig Motorsports. Hubert finished 28th in May's NASCAR Winston Cup Series 
Save Mart Supermarkets 300 at Sonoma, Calif., then won last month's NASCAR 
REB-CO Northwest Tour stop at the Portland (Ore.) International Raceway. He 
succeeds Michael Dokken, who stood 22nd in NCTS standing following a 17th 
place finish at Louisville. "We're going to concentrate on our 1998 program 
for the rest of the year," said Roehrig, who added that Hubert and Dokken are 
among "four or five" who are part of an evaluation process to select a 
permanent driver.

 - Miller's winning average speed, 56.086 mph, is the slowest among active 
tracks. The now-shuttered Saugus Speedway hosted the slowest race in NCTS 
history - 43.526 mph turned in by Ken Schrader.

 - The exclusive Sanctuary course, in Sedalia, Colo., near Castle Rock, will 
play host to the July 17 RE/MAX-Rick Carelli invitational golf tournament. 
Monies raised will be donated to the John Nemechek Memorial Fund. The Jim 
Engh-designed private facility is owned by RE/MAX's Davy Lee Liniger, who 
also competes in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour. A news conference for 
the Colorado 250 by Snap-On Tools will follow play.

 - Ron Norick, co-owner of L&R Motorsports, announced July 12 that the 
National Hockey League team will temporarily suspend operations to convert 
its Ford equipment to Dodges. Ed Horne, NHL Group Vice President, Marketing, 
said of the Lance Norick-driven team, "The program has been even more 
successful than we could have anticipated. We have been extremely happy with 
the response we've received from existing NHL fans that are NASCAR fans -- 
they're glad we're here -- and we continue to be impressed."

 - Porter-Cable Power Tools will sponsor NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series 
competitor Wayne Anderson in a one-NCTS race deal. Anderson will drive a 
Liberty Racing-owned Ford in the August 16 Federated Auto Parts 250 at 
Nashville (Tenn.) Speedway USA.


The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has grown significantly in 1997. This 
season's first 13 events have produced an average entry of 42.9 teams and 8.2 
drivers failing to qualify. The figures in 1996 were 34.9 and 3.4, 
respectively. One hundred twelve different drivers have attempted to compete 
in the series this year, agains 92 a year ago. Sixteen different drivers have 
won more than $100,000 this season, compared with just eight at this point 
last year. 

By NASCAR Public Relations