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Beth Lunkenheimer

Beth Lunkenheimer
Content Director Beth heads up management of our 30-person staff, acting as Tom’s main assistant with technology and personnel while working as Frontstretch’s Truck Series expert. The author of Truckin’ Thursdays and the coordinator of the site’s pre and post-race coverage, she also runs a periodic charity column that spotlights when NASCAR gives back. A childhood transplant to Texas, Beth is a 13-year writing veteran who has contributed content to BRANDT and Athlon Sports, among other outlets.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Jacques Villeneuve Set to Make His Debut

Tomorrow evening, when the Craftsman Truck Series field takes the green flag for the Smith's Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, former F1 driver Jacques Villeneuve will make his NASCAR debut in the No. 27 Toyota Tundra for Bill Davis Racing. Villeneuve is scheduled to run the remaining seven races of the truck season as well as the ARCA race at Talladega in an effort to prove to NASCAR that he is worthy of a Nextel Cup ride for the 2008 season. Bill Davis, certainly inspired by Juan Pablo Montoya's relatively smooth transition to NASCAR from Formula 1, heard Villeneuve was looking for a ride and jumped at the opportunity to offer him one.

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Running Their Mouth: 2007 Sylvania 300 at Loudon

_Each week, we'll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It's the most original commentary you'll ever find; the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here's a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway._ "Well, it must have been the burnout. I think I blew (the engine) up. That's what it's all about (though)...this is unbelievable. I can't believe it happened here. This has always been a good track for us; we just could never get the finish. I'm just so excited to celebrate with all these guys. They deserve it." _Clint Bowyer after his first career win_ "It was a real good day. I'm so proud of this race team. That was a great effort to come from 18th and fight our way up to finish inside the Top 5. Clint Bowyer, my congratulations to him. He was the class of the field today. I'm (just) very happy to get the Chase started off like this. I was having fun racing with Tony. He's a great driver and a class act, and we were mixing it up for sure there a couple of times. It was a good race." _Jeff Gordon, finished 2nd_

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Tracking the Trucks: 2007 New Hampshire 200 at Loudon

*In a Nutshell:* Ron Hornaday, Jr. became the first repeat winner Saturday when he took the checkered flag over Erik Darnell, who charged past Mike Skinner and Todd Bodine in the final 30 laps. The New Hampshire 200 had just four cautions, allowing Hornaday, Jr. to open up a lead that, at times, was more than six seconds. He finished 4.211 seconds ahead of Darnell. Mike Bliss rounded out the Top 5. *Who Should Have Won:* Hornaday, Jr. After rain cancelled qualifying, Hornaday, Jr. started on the pole according to NASCAR rules. The driver of the No. 33 Camping World Chevy clearly had the dominant truck all day. Erik Darnell looked to have a shot to catch and challenge Hornaday, Jr. but he ran out of laps before he had the chance.

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Tearing Apart the Trucks: A Championship That’s Far From Decided

As the Craftsman Truck Series rolls into New Hampshire International Speedway for the 18th race of the season, Ron Hornaday, Jr. finds himself leading the points for the first time since 1999. Mike Skinner had led the championship standings since he won the second race of the year at the California Speedway and found himself tied with Jack Sprague for the top spot. The combination of a 28th place finish for Skinner after a cut tire and a second place finish for Hornaday in the last race at St. Louis, put the driver of the No. 33 Camping World Chevy ahead by just four points, the second closest points margin in series history at this point in the season.

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Running Their Mouth: 2007 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond

_Each week, we'll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It's the most original commentary you'll ever find; the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here's a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway._ "We didn't have the best car tonight until the very end. It was pretty awesome at the end. I kept telling myself I was in practice... we're off to a good start (to the Chase)." _Jimmie Johnson, winner of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400_ "I'm happy for Jimmie, but I hate that he got those ten points on us. Great run for us (though). I had to settle for what - fourth, I guess. Happy to have Nicorette on the car and hope to help people stop smoking." _Jeff Gordon, finished 4th_

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Running Their Mouth: 2007 Sharp Aquos 500 at Fontana

_Each week, we'll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race and capture the story of how the weekend unfolded. It's the most original commentary you'll ever find; the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here's a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Sharp Aquos 500 at the California Speedway._ "This is a special week for the Lowe's team, for us to come back here and get a win at Fontana, my home track, I couldn't be happier, couldn't be more proud of this race team. It is nice to all these to see all these California fans getting rowdy for us on that cool down lap. I can't thank you guys enough. It was just a long hot night, the track kept changing." _Jimmie Johnson_ "I thought he (Johnson) was going to be a sitting duck. I said on the radio that I thought it was going to be me and Kyle (Busch). It's immensely disappointing. Running second is terrible." _Carl Edwards, finished 2nd_

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Tracking the Trucks: 2007 Missouri/Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 at Gateway

*In a Nutshell:* Johnny Benson took the checkered flag ahead of Ron Hornaday, Jr. under caution for his second consecutive win during the Missouri / Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 Saturday night at Gateway International Raceway. Midway through the race, Benson found himself in 20th after running near the front most of the race, but a strong truck allowed him to race through the field for the win. Defending race winner, Ted Musgrave finished 3rd. Todd Bodine and Regan Smith rounded out the Top 5. *Who Should Have Won:* Benson. At one point, Benson pretty much could have counted himself out of the race. A lug nut came loose when his crew was changing left side tires, dropping Benson from running near the front to 20th. Benson passed Hornaday, Jr. on lap 147 and had a near-perfect truck for the rest of the race.

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Racing’s All in the Family at Gateway

When the Craftsman Truck Series takes the green flag Saturday evening at Gateway International Raceway, Kenny Wallace will make his return to the series after an 11 year absence. Wallace, set to run the No. 51 Flanders Provisions Co. Chevrolet for Billy Ballew, is the youngest of the Wallace brothers; one of just four families in series history to have three brothers compete. The Wallaces, the Greens, the Sauters and the Bodines have all left their mark on the series over time.

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Running Their Mouth: 2007 Sharpie 500 at Bristol

_Each week, we'll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race and capture the story of how the weekend unfolded. It's the most original commentary you'll ever find; the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here's a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Sharpie 500 on the newly repaved Bristol Motor Speedway._ "Man, this is the biggest win of my career. I can't thank Bob Osborne enough and all my guys. My pit crew was awesome, and I want to thank my fans for sticking behind us. It means a lot. I am living the dream thanks to Jack Roush, Roush Fenway, Office Depot. Anybody out there who has a dream, just follow it. My little brother is racing tonight, and I know he's watching. Mom, Dad, Kenny...I love you guys, and to win this race is cool. We're back." _Carl Edwards_

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Tracking the Trucks: 2007 O’Reilly 200 at Bristol

*In a Nutshell:* Johnny Benson scored his first career win at Bristol Motor Speedway Wednesday night, taking the checkered flag 0.790 seconds ahead of the newly married Brendan Gaughan. Benson benefited from a two-car crash on lap 180, when Travis Kvapil and Kyle Busch made contact and spun while battling for the lead. As the smoke cleared coming out of turn four, it was Benson who found his way back out front, and he held off all challengers over the final 21 laps to take the victory. Behind Gaughan, Mark Martin finished third in the O'Reilly 200, ahead of points leader Mike Skinner. Rick Crawford rounded out the Top 5 finishers. Behind them, Ron Hornaday, Jr. was sixth, finishing ahead of both Mike Bliss and Jack Sprague. In ninth and tenth were Cale Gale and Danny O'Quinn, both scoring the first Top 10 finishes of their young Truck Series careers. *Who Should Have Won: Benson*. Johnny Benson and crew chief Trip Bruce were on a different pit schedule than the majority of the drivers all night.

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