The Frontstretch: Race Trax: City of Mansfield 250 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Thursday May 25, 2006

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Race Trax: City of Mansfield 250

Beth Lunkenheimer · Thursday May 25, 2006


On Track

The City of Manfield 250 is the seventh race on the 25-race NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Schedule. The Truck Series will visit the half-mile Mansfield Motorsports Speedway only once in 2006, and drivers will race 250 laps for the checkered flag. This will be only the third visit to Mansfield for the Craftsman Truck Series.

Qualifying itself is Friday afternoon at 6:30 EST, and the race runs Saturday afternoon at 2:00 EST. Thirty-eight teams will compete for 36 starting spots. Qualifying runs consist of two laps, with the fastest lap setting a team’s time and the Top 30 teams in owner standings locked into the field no matter what speed they run. The Craftsman Truck Series qualifying record at Mansfield is 110.585 mph, set by Mike Skinner in the 2005.

What To Expect

Last season in this wreck-filled race, there were 13 cautions, and the race finished under a green-white-checkers. Even worse, there were only six lead changes throughout the full 125 miles. With only two visits to Mansfield before this one, the drivers will have their work cut out for them. Mike Greenwell, a retired Boston Red Sox outfielder, will attempt to make his Craftsman Truck Series debut Saturday afternoon. If all goes as planned, he’s scheduled to run two other truck series races this season; the soonest being New Hampshire in September.

Who to Watch

Jack Sprague has an average finish of 1.5 at Mansfield with a win in the inaugural race and a 2nd place finish in 2005. This will be Sprague’s first start at Mansfield in the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota, and he will definitely be a threat for the win Saturday afternoon. Sprague sits comfortably in 9th in owner standings and will make the field no matter what happens during his qualifying run Friday evening

Rick Crawford has two solid top ten finishes at Mansfield and hopes to make it three. Although he struggled to a 31st place finish in the 2005 City of Mansfield 250, he had a top 5 in the inaugural race and will be a threat if he can stay out of trouble.

Todd Bodine currently leads Ted Musgrave by 17 points. Musgrave has a 13th place finish and a 12th place finish to his credit at Mansfield while Bodine finished 16th in his only start. Musgrave, the defending truck series champion, seems to have a slight advantage over Bodine based strictly upon 2005’s results, but the two are pretty evenly matched going into Saturday afternoon’s race.

Did You Know"¦

* Mansfield Motorsports Speedway started as a 3/8ths-mile dirt oval and was stretched to a half-mile in 1972. A new presse box and 5,000 seats were also added. The blacktop surface wasn’t added until 1999. * Mansfield had several different owners between 1970 and the early 1990’s. The current owners received the speedway in a sheriff’s auction in 1998.

You Don’t Say"¦

"We’re taking the same truck to Mansfield that we ran at Martinsville, so I know we’ll have a good piece there. It’s the same chassis Robert (Huffman) ran at Martinsville, Mansfield, Milwaukee and Memphis last year. Ken Schrader also ran it at Michigan.”Joey Miller on racing at Mansfield for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports

“I am looking forward to racing at Mansfield. It’s kind of like a hometown track for Germain Racing, since it’s so close to Columbus, OH where brothers Bob, Steve and Rick Germain are from. Mansfield is a tough short track and you have to drive a smart race there or you will find yourself in trouble early on in the race. We need another strong finish – which will help our points lead. Ted and I would like nothing else than to give the Germain’s a nice one-two finish at Mansfield.”Todd Bodine on racing at Mansfield

"I’m really looking forward to getting back to Mansfield. I have a win and a second-place finish there, so I’m pretty confident going into the race. On top of that, Mansfield is a home state track for my team owners "" Jeff and David Wyler. So there’s definitely some added pressure there "" I want to win really bad for them in their backyard. I know it would be very special for Wyler Racing to get its first ever victory in Ohio. My No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota has had some great runs this season, but we haven’t been able to get it into victory lane just yet. I think that Mansfield could be the track for us to finally get the checkered flag."_Jack Sprague on his success at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway_

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