As the Camping World Truck Series returns to the track this weekend for the Built Ford Tough 225 presented by The Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers at Kentucky Speedway, Randy Moss Motorsports celebrates its one year anniversary at the same track where the team made its debut.
“It is definitely exciting to come to our one-year anniversary mark and head back to where our first race was last year,” Dollar said. “Mike [Skinner] and Tayler [Malsam] have done a great job for our program, and to have them both in the top seven in the points standings says a lot about our organization and the people we have working at Randy Moss Motorsports.”
In the final 13 races last season, RMM fielded a truck for Willie Allen (two races), Landon Cassill (two races), Marc Davis (one race), Jimmie Johnson (one race) and Donny Lia (seven races). In those 13 races, the five drivers combined scored two top-10 finishes, including a best finish of sixth by Cassill at Talladega in October.
Those results have changed drastically with Malsam and Skinner during the first 11 races of the 2009 season. The team scored its first victory when Skinner found himself at the front of the field at Kansas in late April. Rain ended the race with 55 laps remaining, but it was still the first time RMM had visited victory lane.
Though they’ve only scored one combined win in 22 starts this season, both Malsam and Skinner have been running pretty well. Skinner currently sits third in the standings, just 134 points behind leader Ron Hornaday Jr. Malsam finds himself in seventh in the standings, nearly 300 points out of the lead, but he does lead the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings by just one point over Johnny Sauter.
Despite the fact that the team has found some success since its creation, team co-owner Randy Moss remains focused on the future of the team.
“As much as it’s nice to look back and see the accomplishments that we have achieved so far, we’re looking forward to the future. There are great opportunities for us, and we are setting our goals high,” Moss said. “Mike is in position for the championship, and Tayler is in position to win the Rookie of the Year award. To be in a position to win two trophies at the end of the season is something to be proud of.”
Randy Moss has definitely made the most of his venture into being a Camping World Truck Series team owner. He made a very smart decision to join with a team that already had the equipment and had been around NASCAR for a while. That allowed the formation of Randy Moss Motorsports to go much more smoothly during their transition into the sport.
Since Moss joined the series a year ago, the team has made a tremendous amount of progress. Just when it looks like there won’t be a sponsor aboard Skinner’s truck, another company signs on to back the 1995 champion. Malsam has been impressive in his rookie season. He hasn’t gone to victory lane yet but has run in the top five in several races this season, though eventually dropping out before the checkered flag flies.
Overall, the last year has been a success for RMM. Sure they’re not dominating every race and heading to victory lane, but this season is the first full season run by the team since David Dollar did it back in 2004 with Dennis Setzer. I expect more race wins as they continue to improve their chemistry, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Malsam visit victory lane before the end of the season.
Update on Johnny Benson
Last month, Johnny Benson was involved in a crash during a supermodified event at Berlin Raceway that could very well have taken his life. Starting in critical condition, Benson’s condition quickly improved over the days following the wreck. He was left with both collarbones broken, three broken ribs, second and third degree burns on his elbow and bruised lungs that led to some internal bleeding.
An update from Benson’s wife Debbie posted at JohnnyBenson.com on July 2nd states “It has been determined that Johnny has a grade four shoulder separation that will require surgery. Because of the bruise on his lung, it has been recommended to wait another 10 days before proceeding with the surgery.”
Additional information in the update states that Benson expects to hear from the surgeon to schedule the repair to his shoulder sometime during the week of July 20th. Despite the shoulder separation, Benson is determined to return to the track as soon as he can.
“When one door closes, another opens. We’ll hopefully sign on with a good team and win another truck championship,” Benson said. “We’ve had some interesting calls and have listened to some great opportunities. I’m going to get back in shape and get back on the track. I can’t imagine not doing this. I don’t think I could handle not racing. I’d like to race at least another three, four years before I retire.”
Fans wishing to send get well cards to Johnny Benson can send them to JBFC – PO Box 150619, Grand Rapids, MI 49515.
Did You Know?
- There are 39 trucks on the entry list for the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway? Assuming multiple trucks don’t withdraw from the race, this will be the eighth full field in 12 races this season.
- There have been no repeat winners at Kentucky Speedway in nine previous Truck Series races? Setzer, Hornaday Jr. and Skinner hope to become the first repeat winner at the 1.5-mile track.
- Hornaday Jr. helped truck owner DeLana Harvick move past Billy Ballew for the lead in the owner standings following his win a couple weeks ago at Memphis Motorsports Park? The No. 33 leads the No. 51 by 31 points in the quest for the owner’s championship.
- Rick Crawford visited Ford’s Sharonville Transmission Plant Thursday afternoon? The plant, located just north of Cincinnati, Ohio, produces five-speed transmissions for the F-Series Super Duty trucks.
- Hornaday Jr. visited Longhorn’s Kentucky location on his way to Kentucky Speedway for this weekend’s race? The Swedish Match Manufacturing facility is located in Owensboro, Kentucky and produces Longhorn Moist Snuff as well as other tobacco products.
- Aric Almirola will again pilot the No. 15 Toyota for Billy Ballew Motorsports at Kentucky this weekend? A division of Auction Broadcasting Company, LLC, RedTop Auto Auction will be aboard the No. 15 as its primary sponsor.
- Kyle Busch will not be driving the No. 51 Toyota Tundra this weekend due to conflicts with the Nationwide Series schedule? Brian Ickler will pilot the No. 51 RedTop Auto Auction Toyota before getting into his ARCA Re/Max Series car for the Click It or Ticket Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 immediately following the Truck Series race.
- Online voting for the 2009 Most Popular Driver of the Year Award is underway until October 31st at NASCAR.com? Fans can “write in” their favorite driver if he/she is not on the list of nominees by sending their pick to firstname.lastname@example.org.