Race Weekend Central

Tracking the Trucks: UNOH 225

*In a Nutshell:* Kyle Busch took the checkered flag 0.302 seconds ahead of rookie Parker Kligerman to win the UNOH 225 Thursday Night at Kentucky Speedway. Busch drove from the back of the pack after missing the drivers’ meeting to score his 29th career Truck Series victory. Brendan Gaughan, Todd Bodine and Jason White rounded out the top 5.

*Who Should Have Won:* *Kyle Busch* Busch posted the sixth quickest time in the first practice session and fifth quickest in final practice before qualifying his No. 18 Dollar General Toyota in eighth. However, because he missed the drivers’ meeting, he was forced to start from the rear of the field, and in typical Kyle Busch fashion, he drove right on up to the front, leading his first lap after winning the race off of pit road under the third caution. Though polesitter Johnny Sauter and rookie Nelson Piquet, Jr. both managed to drive past the No. 18 under green, it was Busch whose truck held on until the end (Sauter broke an axle and Piquet found himself involved in the seventh caution with five laps remaining).

Tearing Apart the Trucks: A Rookie Checkup

_The Camping World Truck Series returns to action next Thursday night at Kentucky Speedway for the UNOH 225. Just nine races in, the top 5 in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings find themselves separated by just 40 points. But how have those top 5 drivers fared so far this season?_

*Cole Whitt*
*Stats:* Nine starts, one pole, two top 5s, five top 10s, one DNF

Cole Whitt currently holds a commanding 22 point lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Standings and has certainly shown promise this season. Piloting the No. 60 Red Bull Chevrolet, Whitt has led 65 laps over four races. Though he missed the field at Daytona, the young driver hopped behind the wheel of Shane Sieg’s No. 93 and finished a respectable 14th. His lone DNF came during the series’ most recent race at Texas Motor Speedway. He currently sits second in the Truck Series standings. The 20-year-old also has one start in the Nationwide Series at Charlotte where he started 14th and finished 15th, one lap down.

Tracking the Trucks: WinStar World Casino 400K

*In a Nutshell:* Ron Hornaday, Jr. took the checkered flag 0.936 seconds ahead of rookie Parker Kligerman to win the WinStar World Casino 400K Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Though Hornaday actually crossed the start / finish line in second, he was the beneficiary of a black flag issued to then-leader Johnny Sauter and scored his first win this season. David Mayhew, Brian Ickler and Joey Coulter rounded out the top 5.

*Who Should Have Won:* *Ron Hornaday, Jr.* Johnny Sauter and Austin Dillon clearly had the fastest trucks in the field, but Dillon was involved in a wreck with a loose Matt Crafton that took him out of contention for the win though his crew did manage to keep him on the lead lap while making repairs to the No. 3 Chevrolet.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Germain’s Texas Dominance Stopped?, Arpin’s Debut

Almost a third of the way through the schedule races this season, the Camping World Truck Series heads off to Texas Motor Speedway for a Friday night showdown. Germain Racing teammates Brendan Gaughan and defending champion Todd Bodine have a combined ten wins and 16 top-10 finishes in 26 starts at the mile-and-a-half track.

After a dismal start to the 2011 season that featured just one top-10 finish prior to last week’s race, Bodine looked to turn things around for the No. 30 team. And that’s exactly what happened–after starting tenth, Bodine led nine laps and posted a strong third-place finish that bumped him back inside the top 10 in points. There’s no doubt the turnaround couldn’t have come at a better time as Bodine rolls into the track that features six of his 21 career Truck Series wins.

Tracking the Trucks: O’Reilly Auto Parts 250

*In a Nutshell:* Clint Bowyer took the checkered flag 1.695 seconds ahead of Johnny Sauter to win the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway Saturday afternoon. Bowyer took the lead for the final time with 46 laps remaining and checked out from the rest of the field on the way to his third career win in 11 starts. Todd Bodine, James Buescher and rookie Joey Coulter rounded out the top 5.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Truck Series Celebrates 400th Start

The Camping World Truck Series rolls into Kansas this weekend and celebrates a milestone. The O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 marks the 400th race since the series was first dreamed up in 1994. Born from an idea and a “we’ll give it a try” attitude, the Truck Series has turned into more than anyone could have imagined 16 years ago.

After a four-race demonstration series was held at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, CA, a 20-race scheduled was released for the first ever Truck Series season. The inaugural race was held February 5, 1995 at Phoenix International Raceway, where Mike Skinner, behind the wheel of the GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, beat out Terry Labonte to claim his first of 28 career victories.

Fan’s View: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow – Kimi Raikkonen’s NASCAR Debut

It takes commitment, NASCAR does. It doesn’t much matter whether you’re talking about racing or watching, it’s a long season that has the ability to eat up your entire life, if you’re not careful. 36 races, 40-some-odd teams, more than 20 tracks, at least three series. Drivers, crew chiefs, owners, engineers, commentators…. If you’re in …

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Tracking the Trucks: North Carolina Education Lottery 200

*In a Nutshell:* Kyle Busch took the checkered flag 0.317 seconds ahead of Clint Bowyer to win the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday night. Busch took the lead for the first and only time with seven laps remaining and never looked back. Cole Whitt, James Buescher and Ron Hornaday, Jr. rounded out the top 5.

*Who Should Have Won:* *Kyle Busch* In a departure from the usual, Kyle Busch seemed to struggle with handling for much of the race and even spun his No. 18 Toyota to bring out the fourth caution of the night. But despite the handling issues, Busch and crew chief Eric Phillips worked on the truck and managed to pull enough out of it to take the lead when it counted the most. The win marks Busch’s third consecutive this season and his 28th career Truck Series victory.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte

After claiming the pole, Timothy Peters led for 30 laps and was running solidly in the top five. It looked like Peters was headed for a surefire top finish, but a lap 62 crash ended his night, relegating Peters to a 32nd-place finish. Peters also dropped one spot in points for a total of four positions lost in the last two weeks.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Raikkonen Set to Debut

At just three years old, Raikkonen knew he was born to race, and it didn’t take long to start tallying his success. In 2001, he signed on with the Sauber Forumla 1 team and scored four points-paying finishes. Fast forward to 2007 when Raikkonen finally won the Driver Championship before he left Ferrari at the end of the 2009 season. He spent some time in rally racing and won all six stages in the Rallye Vosgien in France, in late 2010.

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