Race Weekend Central

Tracking the Trucks: F.W. Webb 175

*In a Nutshell:* Kyle Busch took the checkered flag 3.816 seconds ahead of Austin Dillon to win the F.W. Webb 175 Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Busch led all but ten laps on the way to scoring his 30th career Camping World Truck Series victory. Kevin Harvick, Ron Hornaday, Jr. and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top 5. Matt Crafton finished sixth and was the last truck on the lead lap.

*Who Should Have Won:* Hands down, *Kyle Busch* had the truck to beat Saturday afternoon. After leading the final practice and starting on the pole, Busch wasted no time pulling out front. Pulling out to as much as a six-second lead at times, Busch led the first 130 laps until a round of green flag pit stops. And it only took ten laps after that for the field to cycle through and the driver of the No. 18 to reclaim the lead, a spot he never relinquished until the checkered flag flew.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: NASCAR Mexico Champ Quiroga to Debut with KBM

With just seven races remaining on the Camping World Truck Series schedule, Kyle Busch Motorsports is set to debut another driver: German Quiroga. The 31-year-old will pilot the No. 51 Telcel Toyota Tundra in a one-race deal for the F.W. Webb 175 this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Earlier this week, he spent time with the team getting fitted for the truck.

“On Monday we [spent] almost all day with the engineers and mechanics who [work with] Kyle Busch’s truck team to make the necessary adjustments to the seat, pedals and safety of the two trucks that are at our disposal,” Quiroga said.

This weekend’s race will serve as a test session for the two-time champion to determine whether he’s interested in continuing in the series in the future.

Tracking the Trucks: Fast Five 225

*In a Nutshell:* Kevin Harvick had everyone covered for most of Friday night’s race, but in the closing laps had a vibration which forced the team to change four tires on their final pit stop. Austin Dillon’s team performed a two-tire stop faster than anyone else during the late-race fuel stops and Dillon maintained the lead he gained from that exchange of stops to outdistance Harvick to take his fourth career Truck Series win. Nelson Piquet, Jr., Parker Kligerman, and Kyle Busch rounded out the top 5.

*Who Should Have Won: Kevin Harvick* There was no question that Harvick had the best truck in the race on Friday night, but circumstances conspired against him as the laps were winding down. While everyone was planning on doing two-tire stops with around 20 laps to go to the finish of the race, Harvick reported a vibration, and his team was forced to perform a four-tire stop which took much longer than Dillon’s two-tire effort. While Harvick was reeling in the Bass Pro Shops driver as the race wound down, there just wasn’t enough time, leaving Harvick to think about what could have been.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: A Look Back at Ten Years of KHI

Just last week when Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter re-signed with ThorSport Racing, I mentioned that Ron Hornaday, Jr.’s job was likely in danger with the “changing landscape” that Kevin Harvick mentioned for the Truck Series team. And last Friday at Richmond International Raceway, Harvick ended up announcing that the team would be shutting down at the end of the 2011 season.

“The one thing I can tell you is there will be no trucks that run out of KHI (next season). But, as far as what happens with the truck teams, that will come in the weeks to come,” Harvick said. “The reason that the Truck program is really–it’s just tough; it’s a tough model business-wise. We have scrimped and scraped and got the sponsorship and things you need. But from a business standpoint, sometimes you just have to make the decisions as to what you want to do and for us it just didn’t make sense.”

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Silly Season Finally Underway

Here we are in early September, and most of the Sprint Cup Series drivers have inked their contracts and are all set for the 2012 season and beyond. Silly Season this year on the Cup side is rather sedate; most pending free agents have re-signed with their current sponsors for next season. But while most of the focus has been on those guys in Cup, there’s a Truck Series full of Silly Season drivers not exactly taking the safe route. Along with that comes a few big questions as to who will find their spot and who will be left sitting on pit road without a ride to join the fun.

One team that has everything all set for the 2012 season is ThorSport Racing. It’s already been a fantastic summer for the growing organization; they just opened a new 100,000 square foot race shop last month in Sandusky, Ohio that was specifically built to house three teams plus all of the equipment to keep each truck competitive.

Tracking the Trucks: Good Sam Club 200

*In a Nutshell:* Ron Hornaday, Jr. took the checkered flag 1.596 seconds ahead of Clint Bowyer to win the Good Sam Club 200 Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Hornaday used pit strategy and was able to stay out on the track while many of the front runners pitted for fuel in the closing laps. Kyle Busch, Blake Feese and Ryan Newman rounded out the top 5.

*Who Should Have Won:* *Clint Bowyer* Simply put, Clint Bowyer had the truck to beat Friday night. Bowyer ran eighth quickest in the first practice session, and the team didn’t even participate in the final practice because they were so happy with their truck. In fact, Bowyer was just edged by 0.005 seconds by Ricky Carmichael and started on the front row. The driver of the No. 2 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet easily pulled out to a large lead but was forced to pit for fuel. Had the caution flown sometime during the final 49 laps of racing, there’s no doubt that Bowyer would have taken the lead from Ron Hornaday, Jr.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Previewing the Good Sam Club 200

_This week, the Camping World Truck Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Good Sam Club 200. In a departure from the norm, I’m borrowing part of the format of fellow columnist Amy Henderson’s Big Six to touch on a few topics to keep in mind leading into tonight’s race._

*Who will win the Good Sam Club 200?*

Sprint Cup Series drivers have won ten of the 16 races run on the schedule so far this season, and with three of them in the field–Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman–it’s really hard to bet against them. In a combined eight starts at the 1.54-mile quad-oval, the trio has scored five wins–four by Busch and one by Newman–and eight top-10 finishes. The real question for tonight’s race seems to be which one of them will head to victory lane rather than whether it’ll be another win for a Cup Series driver.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Irwin Tools Night Race From Bristol

There are two sides to every story, and this week’s “huh?” actually goes to both sides of the same issue: pit road timing. After Jeff Gordon was beaten off pit road by Brad Keselowski on the final stop, he complained that Keselowski had taken advantage of a somewhat antiquated system of timing the cars’ average time between marked segments on pit road rather than by actual speed at any given point.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: A Bristol Breakdown

*In a Nutshell:* Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag 0.434 seconds ahead of Johnny Sauter to win the O’Reilly 200 Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. Harvick took the lead for the first and final time on a lap 98 restart and went on to lead the final 103 laps, scoring his third consecutive Truck Series victory. Todd Bodine, James Buescher and Timothy Peters rounded out the top 5.

*Who Should Have Won:* *Kevin Harvick.* Once again, Kevin Harvick had a strong truck underneath him in the No. 2 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet. After starting sixth, Harvick spent much of the first half of the race heading toward the front of the field. And once he got out front, he never looked back. Despite a hard charge from Johnny Sauter on the final restart, Harvick pulled out to an insurmountable lead to score his 12th career Truck Series victory.

Tracking the Trucks: VFW 200

*In a Nutshell:* Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag and the caution flag ahead of Timothy Peters to win the AAA Insurance 200 Friday night at Michigan International Speedway. Harvick held onto the top spot on a green-white-checkered finish to score his second victory in four starts this season. Miguel Paludo, James Buescher and David Starr rounded out the top 5.

*Who Should Have Won:* *Kevin Harvick* The driver of the No. 2 TapouT Chevrolet started sixth and dropped back thanks to an early pit stop. And while he didn’t necessarily have the truck to win the race at the beginning, tire strategy and a large number of trucks that were knocked out late in the running of the VFW 200 opened the door for Harvick. He led just 13 of the 102 laps run to become the first driver to win in all three series at Michigan.

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