With just nine races remaining to determine the 2010 championship, the Camping World Truck Series rolls into Chicagoland Speedway for the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 Friday night. Todd Bodine holds a healthy lead over Aric Almirola in second, but the top five is all but decided despite so much action remaining this season.
While the rest of the field sets their sights on the big prize, Eddie Sharp Racing will attempt to make their Truck Series debut with veteran Steve Park behind the wheel of their No. 41 Bollegraaf Van Dyk Baler and Lubo USA ESR Toyota. Team owner Eddie Sharp opened his shop in 2005 after working with several ARCA championship-contending drivers and winning that championship with Justin Lofton behind the wheel in 2009.
This weekend marks the first of what Sharp hopes is many races in the Truck Series for ESR.
“To have a guy of Steve Park’s caliber driving in the seat for us in this outing makes this event extra special,” Sharp said. “ESR is taking the next step moving into the NASCAR ranks, and we are working hard to build strong infrastructure for the organization. Park is a perfect fit for ESR’s premiere in the Truck Series.”
Park has 62 prior Truck Series starts with his lone win coming in 2005 at Auto Club Speedway. Additionally, he has 16 top-10 finishes and a career average finish of 17.3. He ran full-time in the K&N East Series from 2008-2009, scoring one win and 15 top-10 finishes in 24 starts. This season he’s made just two starts in the series.
“I couldn’t be happier to run with ESR in the Truck Series. I have been friends with Eddie Sharp for a long time, and I have such a respect for what Eddie has built,” Park said. “It is always fun to be around Eddie, and I know for a fact, with his reputation in the ARCA Racing Series, that his entrance into the Truck Series will bring success.”
Because there are 38 trucks currently on the entry list for this weekend’s race, Park will be forced to make the field on time during Friday afternoon’s qualifying session.
Randy Moss Motorsports Shuts Down No. 81 Team
Earlier this week, it was reported that Randy Moss Motorsports had shut down the No. 81 team due to a lack of funding. David Starr‘s sponsor Zachry had signed on for only a partial schedule, and that combined with several wrecked trucks recently has put the team behind the eight-ball financially.
On Tuesday, a team source speaking on condition of anonymity told Sirius Speedway’s Dave Moody the No. 81 team will sit out both Chicagoland and Kentucky while they reevaluate the future of the team.
For this week only, Starr will pilot the No. 21 ASI Limited Chevrolet for SS Green Light Racing in place of Butch Miller. Miller will be atop the pit box and serve as crew chief for the weekend.
Through 16 races this season, Starr currently sits ninth in points and boasts just six top-10 finishes.
Did You Know?
- NASCAR has informed the teams that qualifying will once again use the multi-truck procedure this weekend? A maximum of two trucks will be allowed on the track at any given time in a format similar to the one used at Pocono Speedway a few weeks ago.
- MRN’s Pete Pistone reported on his Twitter page early Thursday, “Hearing mystery 25th truck race in 2011 goes to Kentucky as a tripleheader with Cup and NW in July.”
- Johanna Long returns to the series this weekend behind the wheel of the No. 15 Toyota for Billy Ballew Motorsports. It will be the first mile-and-a-half track for Long in the Truck Series.
- Rick Crawford will pilot the No. 73 SUPERSEAL Chevrolet again this weekend after a successful outing in Kansas. Travis Sharp will be atop the pit box.