Race Weekend Central

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Truck Series Debut at Iowa Speedway

After an exciting debut at Chicagoland Speedway last weekend, the Camping World Truck Series doesn’t have to travel far to make its second debut at a new track in as many weeks. Saturday night (Sept. 5), Iowa Speedway will host its first ever CWTS race.

The Nationwide Series visited the 0.875-mile track for the first time last month. They put on a wild race and we can only expect the same from the Truck Series. Despite the fact that clean air allowed the leader to pull away last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, there was great racing back in the pack. If a mile-and-a-half track can bring three- and sometimes four-wide racing to the Truck Series, then I can only imagine what a track that’s a little more than half that length can bring.

See also
Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 US Cellular 250 at Iowa

The Lucas Oil 200 will also feature the return of the No. 3 Chevrolet to the CWTS for the first time in 10 years. Austin Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress, will pilot the RCR 40th Anniversary Chevrolet. Mike Skinner piloted the No. 3 RCR Chevrolet to the inaugural series championship in 1995 and Jay Sauter piloted the truck from 1997 until 1999.

In 2008, Dillon ran 13 races in the Camping World East Series. The 19-year-old driver scored one win, six top-five finishes and 10 top-10 finishes. He finished second in the standings behind champion Matt Kobyluck. Dillon also won a pro late model championship.

“This will be a special weekend for my family. To have the opportunity to drive the No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado is amazing,” Dillon said. “Mike Skinner and that team set the bar pretty high by in 1995 earning RCR’s seventh NASCAR championship. I’m just looking forward to taking the next step in my racing career.”

Dillon is no stranger to Iowa Speedway. He has already raced at Iowa Speedway three times this season. In May, he finished 16th in the Camping World Series East-West showdown, and he finished second the ARCA Re/Max Series race in July. Last month, Dillon finished 28th in the Nationwide Series race after getting caught up in a mid-race incident.

“We couldn’t have picked a better racetrack for me to make my Truck Series debut than Iowa. I enjoy racing there and feel confident heading back,” Dillon said. “Our overall goals are to learn as much as we can during the race, earn a solid finish and, more importantly, have fun.”

And Dillon should have quite a bit of fun. His biggest benefit is that he already has some experience at the track, so he can focus on just getting used to racing a truck at the 0.875-mile track. Alongside Dillon, Camping World West Series regular Jamie Dick hopes to make his series debut this weekend as well. He will pilot the SS Green Light Racing Chevrolet.

Two Truck Team Members Suspended

Earlier this week, NASCAR announced that two members from the No. 99 Truck Series team were suspended for violating the substance abuse policy. Crew chief Gary St. Amant and crew member Mike Hennesey have both been suspended indefinitely under Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 7-5 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy). Hennessy’s violation was found Aug. 27 and St. Amant’s was found Aug. 28 while the series was at Chicagoland Speedway.

Gosselin’s Sponsor Revealed

Last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, Mario Gosselin stated he had signed a sponsor and plans to run full time in the 2010 season. The official announcement was supposed to come at Talladega Superspeedway, but early this week, MyTireMonkey.com broke the news.

MyTireMonkey.com will sponsor the No. 12 Chevrolet for at least 10 races next season with the intent to fund all 25 races for Gosselin. The paint scheme will be revealed Oct. 31 at Talladega Superspeedway and the following week, Gosselin will don the colors of MyTireMonkey.com for the first time in the WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Did You Know?

  • Johnny Benson will be in the broadcast booth for three races with SPEEDtv starting with this weekend’s race at Iowa Speedway? Benson take the place of Michael Waltrip while his Sprint Cup Series obligations prevent him from being at the Truck Series races.
  • PC*MILER Navigation will sponsor Tayler Malsam‘s No. 81 this weekend? The company has already sponsored Malsam’s teammate Skinner several times this season.
  • Skinner has a new sponsor this weekend? Toyota of Des Moines (Iowa) will serve as primary sponsor of the No. 5 Toyota.
  • Billy Ballew Motorsports has signed a major primary associate sponsor for the remainder of the season? This weekend, Brian Ickler will pilot the No. 51 Miccosukee Resort/Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota in place of Kyle Busch.
  • MRD Motorsports will be absent this weekend? The team doesn’t have the sponsorship money to make the trip to Iowa Speedway or Gateway International Raceway. As of Monday, Dennis Setzer did not have a ride lined up and will not be making the trip to the track.
  • JR Fitzpatrick won the Canadian Tire Series race in Montreal? He scored his fourth Canadian Tire Series win when he dominated the NAPA Autopro 100 presented by Mobil 1 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last weekend.

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