Dennis Setzer took the checkered flag ahead of Matt Crafton to win the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway Saturday afternoon. Setzer held onto the lead during a green/white/checkered finish that ended under caution as Kyle Busch and Johnny Benson wrecked in turn 3. Rick Crawford, Ken Schrader and Erik Darnell rounded out the top five finishers.
It’s been three weeks since we raced at Atlanta, and I can’t wait to get back into the truck this weekend at Martinsville. As many of you may remember, two years ago I was able to drive my Red Horse Racing Toyota to victory there. But that was then. Even though we won at Martinsville in 2006, I don’t look at this race any differently than I do any other race. I go into this weekend’s race at Martinsville just like I went into Atlanta and California – knowing we can win. I try not to harp on the win two years ago because a lot has changed since then. We’ve got splitters on the trucks now, we have a different gear rule, they took a little power out of the engines, and the truck is totally different from the one we ran there a couple of years ago.
As the drivers of the Craftsman Truck Series roll into Martinsville, Va., for the fourth race of the season it will mark the first time since the season opener at Daytona International Speedway that the Truck Series will have a full field for Saturday’s Kroger 250. The San Bernardino County 200 at Auto Club Speedway had a field of 35, just one short of a full field, but the American Commercial Lines 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway saw a field of only 32. Currently, there are 38 drivers entered for a field of 36 at the Virginia short track.
In light of recent developments, which included Tony Raines and Kenny Wallace both moving to lesser-funded, single-car operations, is it better for series veterans to sit out completely, waiting for the right opportunity that will get them a competitive ride? Or should they take any ride offered to them, hoping against hope that the underdog will, in fact, triumph?
The first off week of the season allowed our staff to take a look at the other racing series that NASCAR has to offer; as such, they did a little ranking of some other drivers that the fans love to follow. Whether they are seasoned veterans in the waning years of their career, or young drivers who are trying to prove themselves, they were all considered for this poll of the best stock car driver without a full-time ride in the Sprint Cup Series. Check below to see if your budding superstar — or old favorite — made our list!
While Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck teams were home this Easter weekend — spending quality time with family and catching up on March Madness — the Nationwide Series spent Saturday afternoon roaring around Nashville Superspeedway, the series’ sixth stop this season. While this column is normally reserved for discussing the trends of the hottest and coldest teams in Sprint Cup, on this off week we’ll take a quick look at what’s going on in the other series; and considering who’s raced most recently, Nationwide plays a prominent role in the column to come. Come in and see who else is sharing that fire in this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not. At this point, we take a look at which non-Buschwackers, or Nationwhackers, or Insurance Adjusters, or whatever they’re called now, in NASCAR’s other two premier series.
Once again, Craftsman Truck Series fans have to wait another week to see anymore on track action when the series returns to the track next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. The ratings for the American Commercial Lines 200 a couple weeks ago in Atlanta showed a 31% jump, netting 753,000 households compared to the 565,000 for the same race in 2007. Despite climbing ratings reports, the truck series remains the least popular of NASCAR’s top three series. Inspired by a column earlier this week by fellow writer Danny Peters, I give you four reasons why you should watch the Truck Series.
Q: Is the front splitter made of the same carbon fiber that the rear wing is made of? My friend says it is made of wood, but I thought that was changed before the car made its competition debut.
We ended last time by starting at Daytona. We were ready to go racing. Daytona Speedweeks is always exciting. It’s always great to be at the world center of racing. Leading up to the race, the Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150 was running great with Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International. We got ready to qualify, and qualified a little bit better than we expected because the truck that we took to Daytona is really good in race trim, and we knew how good it was. At the beginning of the race, I sort of got boxed in and there was no where to go. The inside line I was in sort of pushed me toward the back, so we hung around there for a little while. At Daytona, with the intake reducer on it, the racing is really close there for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series so at the beginning of the race we just kind of let the ranks get sorted out. That’s not necessarily my style, but we did.
Toyota broke through with their first Sprint Cup win as a manufacturer on Sunday. What else can we expect from them throughout 2008, and how will the other three go about stepping it up?