The Frontstretch: Tearing Apart the Trucks : Series Debut at Iowa Speedway by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Friday September 4, 2009

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Tearing Apart the Trucks : Series Debut at Iowa Speedway

Beth Lunkenheimer · Friday September 4, 2009


After an exciting debut at Chicagoland Speedway last weekend, the Camping Word Truck Series doesn’t have to travel far to make its second debut at a new track in as many weeks. Saturday night, Iowa Speedway will host its first ever Camping World Truck Series race.

The Nationwide Series visited the 0.875 mile track for the first time last month. They put on a wild race, and we can only expect the same from the Truck Series. Despite the fact that clean air allowed the leader to pull away last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, there was great racing back in the pack. If a mile and a half track can bring three and sometimes four wide racing to the Truck Series, then I can only imagine what a track that’s a little more than half that length can bring.

The LucasOil 200 will also feature the return of the No. 3 Chevrolet to the Camping World Truck Series for the first time in ten years. Austin Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress, will pilot the RCR 40th Anniversary Chevrolet. Mike Skinner piloted the No. 3 RCR Chevrolet to the inaugural series championship in 1995, and Jay Sauter piloted the truck from 1997 until 1999.

Austin Dillon will pilot the return of the No. 3 Chevrolet this weekend in the LucasOil 200 at Iowa Speedway.

In 2008, Austin Dillon ran 13 races in the Camping World East Series. The 19 year old driver scored one win, six top 5 finishes and ten top 10 finishes. He finished second in the standings behind champion Matt Kobyluck. Dillon also won the Pro Late-Model championship.

“This will be a special weekend for my family. To have the opportunity to drive the No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado is amazing,” Dillon said. “Mike Skinner and that team set the bar pretty high by in 1995 earning RCR’s seventh NASCAR championship. I’m just looking forward to taking the next step in my racing career.”

Austin Dillon is no stranger to Iowa Speedway. He has already raced at Iowa Speedway three times this season. In May, he finished 16th in the Camping World Series East-West showdown, and he finished second the ARCA / REMAX Series race in July. Last month, Dillon finished 28th in the Nationwide Series race after getting caught up in a mid-race incident.

“We couldn’t have picked a better race track for me to make my Truck Series debut than Iowa. I enjoy racing there and feel confident heading back,” Dillon said. “Our overall goals are to learn as much as we can during the race, earn a solid finish and, more importantly, have fun.”

And Austin Dillon should have quite a bit of fun. His biggest benefit is that he already has some experience at the track, so he can focus on just getting used to racing a truck at the 0.875 mile track. Alongside Austin Dillon, Camping World West Series regular, Jamie Dick hopes to make his series debut this weekend as well. He will pilot the SS Green Light Racing Chevrolet.

Two Truck Team Members Suspended

Earlier this week, NASCAR announced that two members from the No. 99 Truck Series team were suspended for violating the substance abuse policy. Crew chief Gary St. Amant and crew member Mike Hennesey have both been suspended indefinitely under Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 7-5 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy). Hennessy’s violation was found Thursday August 27th, and St. Amant’s was found Friday August 28th while the series was at Chicagoland Speedway.

Gosselin’s Sponsor Revealed

Last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, Mario Gosselin stated he had signed a sponsor and plans to run full time in the 2010 season. The official announcement was supposed to come at Talladega Superspeedway, but early this week, broke the news. will sponsor the No. 12 Chevrolet for at least ten races next season with the intent to fund all 25 races for Gosselin. The paint scheme will be revealed October 31st at Talladega Superspeedway, and the following week, Mario Gosselin will don the colors of for the first time in the WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Did You Know…

  • Johnny Benson will be in the broadcast booth for three races with SPEEDtv starting with this weekend’s race at Iowa Speedway? Benson take the place of Michael Waltrip while his Sprint Cup Series obligations prevent him from being at the Truck Series races.
  • PC*MILER Navigation will sponsor Tayler Malsam’s No. 81 this weekend? The company has already sponsored Malsam’s teammate Mike Skinner several times this season.

*Mike Skinner has a new sponsor this weekend? Toyota of Des Moines (Iowa) will serve as primary sponsor of the No. 5 Toyota.

  • Billy Ballew Motorsports has signed a major primary associate sponsor for the remainder of the season? This weekend, Brian Ickler will pilot the No. 51 Miccosukee Resort / Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota in place of Kyle Busch.
  • MRD Motorsports will be absent this weekend? The team doesn’t have the sponsorship money to make the trip to Iowa Speedway or Gateway International Raceway. As of Monday, Dennis Setzer did not have a ride lined up and will not be making the trip to the track.
  • J.R. Fitzpatrick won the Canadian Tire Series race in Montreal? He scored his fourth Canadian Tire Series win when he dominated the NAPA Autopro 100 presented by Mobil 1 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last weekend.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Breaking Down A Sprint Cup Season Eight Races In
Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties
The Frontstretch Five: Flaws Exposed In the New Chase So Far
NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Darlington
NASCAR Mailbox: Past Winners Aren’t Winning …. Yet
Open Wheel Wednesday: How Can IndyCar Stand Out?


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