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Beth Lunkenheimer

Message Board Promo 5/26/08

*Still haven’t joined the Frontstretch Forums? Here’s a peek at what you’re missing this week:* “What was wrong with Haas CNC’s cars this weekend, and why has NASCAR missed the problem all season?”:http://www.frontstretch.com/board/index.php/topic,2607.0.html “Who are the biggest gainers and losers in the maturity department?”:http://www.frontstretch.com/board/index.php/topic,2610.0.html “Which track will lose its date in favor of a Kentucky Speedway visit?”:http://www.frontstretch.com/board/index.php/topic,2603.0.html Click “here”:http://www.frontstretch.com/board/ to join the forums and tell us what you think on these topics du jour. Don’t miss out on a chance ... Read More »

Tearing Apart the Trucks : West Coast Rookies

Tearing Apart the Trucks : West Coast Rookies

After an exciting season opener at Daytona International Speedway, the series heads out west for the San Bernardino County 200 at California Speedway. In 2000, a young rookie by the name of Kurt Busch won the Motorola 200 at California to close out the truck series season. That win was his fourth of the season, and Busch remains the only truck series rookie to score a win at the two mile track. Read More »

Tearing Apart the Trucks : Season Preview Part II

Tearing Apart the Trucks : Season Preview Part II

Last week, we talked about Craftsman leaving the series, team mergers and splits, and the 2008 rookie class. This week, we examine which drivers find themselves with new teams during the offseason and what to expect from the series. Jack Sprague, winner of the 2007 season opener at Daytona, joined Kevin Harvick, Inc. and will be driving the No. 2 Chevy. American Commercial Lines will be primary sponsor for the first 15 races, but there has been no word yet on the last 10. Sprague joins rival and defending truck series champion Ron Hornaday, Jr. In 2007, the two combined for 3 wins and 32 Top 10's, and Sprague finished 9th in the series standings. Sprague and Hornaday, Jr. have six championships between them and are the only two drivers in the truck series to have three championships to their individual credit. Read More »

Tearing Apart the Trucks : Season Preview Part I

It's hard to believe it's that time again. The offseason is quickly coming to a close, and people are already making predictions and talking about offseason changes. Perhaps the biggest news during this offseason was the announcement in December that Crafstman will be ending their sponsorship of the truck series at the end of the 2008 season. Read More »

The Best Of The Frontstretch : Tearing Apart the Trucks: Kelly Sutton Makes Her Return

When the Craftsman Truck Series rolls into Kansas on April 28th, Kelly Sutton will make her return to racing after an extended absence. Sutton and Billy Ballew Motorsports announced a four race deal for Sutton to drive the No. 51 Team Copaxone Chevy Silverado at the beginning of this month: Sutton will also pilot the truck at Mansfield Motorsports Park (May 26th), Texas Motor Speedway (June 8th), and Memphis Motorsports Park (June 30th) in her debut season for Ballew. The return of Sutton once again brings a woman back into the Truck Series as at least a part-time competitor; but Kelly Sutton isn't just any racer, and it's not because she's female, either. Sutton has been battling relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), an "autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system" for the last 19 years. She was diagnosed with MS at the age of 16; tingling and numbness on her right side sent her to the doctor, where a spinal tap and an MRI revealed MS. Doctors told her she would be confined to a wheelchair within 8-10 years; instead, she's developed into one of the best female drivers in the United States. Read More »

The Best Of The Frontstretch : Tearing Apart The Trucks : Fike’s Fall From Grace

The drivers of the Craftsman Truck Series got a break this past weekend, and while some drivers spent that time resting and relaxing, others spent it capturing headlines. Aaron Fike was arrested Saturday night with lady friend Cassandra Davidson at Kings Island after the park reported Fike's SUV as suspicious. Fike tried to drive away when the Mason City Police Department approached the vehicle, but another officer pulled in front, forcing him to stop. After a thorough search of the car, the two offenders were taken into custody and arrested after officers found heroin, syringes, and spoons with residue stashed inside. According to police, Fike admitted taking the drug; if that's true, those words will cause another promising Truck Series career path to be flushed down the tubes. NASCAR's substance abuse policy was instituted in 1988, and it's pretty straight forward. NASCAR may conduct random drug tests on a whim; if a driver refuses to take the test, he is suspended until he passes, giving NASCAR a reason to consider allowing him to return to the track. However, if he fails the test outright, he is immediately suspended, offered a treatment plan, and considered for reinstatement only after completing his recovery under the watchful eyes of NASCAR. Although it will consider lifting a suspension, NASCAR officials have said there is one rule they will not bend : a three strikes and you're out policy. Read More »

Driver Review: Ricky Rudd

Driver Review: Ricky Rudd

*Ricky Rudd* *2007 Ride:* No. 88 Yates Racing Ford - February to July; No. 88 Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Ford - July to November *2007 Primary Sponsor:* Snickers *2007 Owner:* Robert Yates *2007 Crew Chief:* Butch Hylton *Stats:* 31 Races, 0 Wins, 0 Top 5s, 1 Top 10, 33rd in points. *High Point:* In what turned out to be his only Top 10 finish of the season, Rudd started and finished the Coca Cola 600 in seventh place. A big gamble on fuel mileage allowed Rudd to be in the right place at the right time to gain track position while other drivers had to pit for a splash of gas to make it to the finish. "I was having to save gas so much the last couple of laps," Rudd said. "We obviously didn't have a winning car, but we knew we had a top-12, top-15 car." Read More »

Driver Review : Kurt Busch

Driver Review : Kurt Busch

*2007 Ride:* No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge *2007 Primary Sponsor:* Miller Lite *2007 Owner:* Roger Penske *2007 Crew Chief:* Roy McCauley, Troy Raker, Pat Tryson *Stats:* 36 Races, 2 Wins, 6 Top 5s, 14 Top 10s, 7th in points. *High Point:* Making the chase seemed almost impossible after a 100-point penalty assessed by NASCAR following a pit-road incident with Tony Stewart's car. Busch ran his No. 2 Dodge right into the side of Stewart, forcing jackman Jason Lee to jump up on the hood of the car to avoid being hit. Following the 13th race, Busch found himself tied for 17th with Greg Biffle, 740 points back from leader Jeff Gordon. Read More »

Running Their Mouth : Ford 400

"I have a great race team. I really feel like I let these guys down [all season long]. We lost a lot of close races this year, so it feels great to win one ... and win a close one. Congratulations to Jimmie and Rick Hendrick and those guys. I want to thank DeWalt, USG, R&L Truck Carriers, and all of our sponsors that make this happen. It was an awesome run today." _Matt Kenseth_ "It was a great run tonight for the Miller Lite Dodge. We feel like we went out with a bang with this good car. We came up just a bit shy, but overall [it's] just a great season for us, to win a couple races and be in contention at a lot of race tracks. We finished seventh overall [in points]; this team deserves it. We worked really hard, and hopefully, we will carry this [momentum] right on in to Daytona." _Kurt Busch, finished 2nd_ Read More »