News & Notes
HT Motorsports Terry Cook has been the surprise this year, in the Camping World Truck Series and has been quietly having a career year so far.
He sit's sixth in the points, recorded his third top five finish at Lowe's and his third race this year his driver rating has been over 100.0.
In fact Cook at Lowe's, ran 126 of the 134 laps in the top 15 and translates to 94% of the race he was in the top 15.
If you look at the loop data after six races; Cook has a sixth best driver rating of 89.4%, his average running position of 11.0 is sixth, he has 14 fastest laps run sits ninth and has a 81.6% for laps in the top 15.
He's done that, while his team struggled with finding sponsorship and came close to switching to a part-time schedule.
But Cook kept on racing the No. 25 Toyota, getting great finishes and just prior to the race at Lowe's.
Cook's hardwork driving paid off as Cajun Industries came on board as a co-sponsor for the rest of the 2009 season.
Which was nice to see, it will keep Cook racing full-time, and we'll see as the season rolls along just were he'll figure in the points or will he challenge for the title.
In 13 previous seasons, he's never finished better than seventh in the points and he's on a pace to better that mark.
Teamwork has Randy Moss Motorsports sitting second in the points with Mike Skinner and rookie Tayler Malsam, sits 12th in the points and leads the rookie standings.
Six races into the season, Skinner got RMM it's first win, and he's contending for the title. Malsam has been a surprise for me, he's faired better than what I thought he would and he's clicked with Skinner.
The amazing thing about RMM, the team was with Chevrolet up to a month before the 2009 season started. Then the team signs Mike Skinner who came with help from Toyota and they changed manufacturers.
Their team work hard to change over their truck fleet to Toyota's and built a few new Tundra's. Also both Malsam, Skinner, most of the No. 5 crew are all from Bill Davis Racing.
The success RMM, has had is a testament to just how good Bill Davis's teams were.
It's nice to see co-owners Randy Moss and Morgan Dollar running so well, exspecially with all the changes they made over the off-season.
Like both Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart in Cup, they were doubted for those changes and many wrote them off for making those moves.
But we know all three haven't missed a beat.
We're one race away, from having run one quarter of the truck schedule and after Lowe's. The Championship battle is starting to take shape as three contenders have entered the fray and sure in the coming races we add a few more.
After this off weekend, the trucks will have five straight race weekends and two things can happen. We could have more contenders emerge or will Horn put the points lead out of reach.
So far we have seen, Ron Hornaday, Mike Skinner and Matt Crafton step up as contenders for the title.
Horn so far in 2009, he hasn't finished out of the top 10, last week at Lowe's he got his first win of the season.
After six races, he's compiled; one win, four top five, six top 10 finishes, one pole and led 114 laps.
Mike Skinner's back rejuvenated with a new team, running well, very competitively and he'll be tough down the stretch to Homestead.
After six races, he's compiled one win, three top five, four top 10 finishes, led 98 laps and one-DNF.
Matt Crafton's been running strong, shouldn't be a surprise, he's tough, competitive and sure we'll see him in victory lane before long.
After six races, he's compiled one top five, five top 10 finishes and led 12 laps.
With the stretch of five races, sure we see more contenders step up or we could see the points leader widen his points lead.
Coming off this weekend's bye for the truck series, it's five straight weekends of racing and if your a Horn fan your excited for this stretch of the season because he just dominates these tracks.
First up, Dover were he's won before, last year finished third and never finished out of the top 10 at the track.
Second Up, Horn swept Fort Worth last year and he'll be tough again this season at the track.
Third Up, will be Michigan were Horn recorded his worst finish during his stretch last year due to the Rowdy One taking him out on the last lap.
Fourth Up, will be Milwaukee were he's a past winner, always runs well, and has never finished out of the top 10.
Fifth Up, will be Memphis were last year Horn dominated, it's another strong track for him, he's always tough, very competitive and we could see him dancing with Elvis again.
The Rookie Chase
Tayler Malsam was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race at Lowe's, it's his second time winning it and he had a career best eighth place finish.
Malsam and his No. 81 One Eighty Toyota showed they can adjust, keep digging to whatever happens on the track and run competitively battling for the best possible finish.
He ran most of the race in the top 15, he'd go on a ride spinning through the grass after contact with T.J. Bell and just moments later his teammate Mike Skinner went for a wild ride.
His pit crew lead by crew chief Doug Wolcott, repaired the damage and got him back out in 21st. place on the lead lap.
Malsam would battle his way to finish eighth, ran a great race and now leads Buescher by five points in the Raybestos Rookie battle.
At Lowe's, five rookies finished in the top 20, it was the fourth race this season a rookie scored a top 10 finish and the third-time a rookie at Lowe's has finished in the top ten.
The Raybestos Rookie of the Year Standings -after six races of 25.
Tayler Malsam 62
James Buescher 57
Johnny Sauter 54
Ricky Carmichael 45
J.R. Fitzpatrick 42
Brent Raymer 24
Chris Jones 19
Chase Austin 16
Brian Ickler 8
The Scott Minute
B/R's Brian Scott has a rough outing at Lowe's, narrowly missing one wreck only to get collected twice in wrecks not of his doing and brought home his damaged truck to a 21st place finish.
from the beginning of the race, he battled a tight condition, started seventh due to the race starting on owner points and would start losing positions.
Scott just played it smart, didn't try to race and just let the truck come to him as the race went on.
He would have Timothy Peters race him side by side with him for position, when Peters got loose below him, spun into the wall and just missed collecting him.
On the ensuing caution, he'd pit twice for tires, then fuel and adjustments. He restarted 17th, but never got a chance to see how his truck handled or if his crew fixed the tight condition.
A lap later the second caution came out for Malsam spin, that caused Skinner's wild ride and Scott was one of several trucks damaged in the ensuing log jam of stopped trucks trying to avoid driving into debris or hitting either Skinner or Bell.
Scott damaged the front end of his truck, need to pit three times under the yellow to make repairs on pit road.
His team did a awesome job keeping him on the lead lap and he'd restart 24th on lap 40.
By lap 80, Scott would be back racing in the top 15, probably could have used pit strategy for a decent finish as on lap 85 green flag pit stops started.
But it was for not, since on lap 87, Scott would be collected in the wreck caused by the Rowdy One when he clipped race leader Colin Braun.
Scott would have damage to his left rear, also extensive damage to his right side, but his pit crew got to work repairing the No. 16 and got him out back out racing just four laps down to the leader.
Scott would switch gears to just racing for the best possible finish, which was 21st, make the best of a tough day and he dropped to 10th in the points.
May 29: AAA Insurance 200 at Dover International Speedway on Speed at 8:00PM and note the race is tape delayed. (Friday)
June 5: WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on Speed at 8:30PM the Set-Up Show and 9:00PM Race Time. (Friday)
June 13: Michigan 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Speed at 1:30PM the Set-Up Show and 2:00PM Race Time. (Saturday)
2009 Manufacturers Championship Standings
2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver Points Standings
1.) Ron Hornaday Jr. 966
2.) Mike Skinner -84
3.) Matt Crafton -89
4.) Kyle Busch -114
5.) Todd Bodine -129
6.) Terry Cook -180
7.) Johnny Benson Jr. -187
8.) Chad McCumbee -196
9.) Stacy Compton -204
10.) Brian Scott -207
Thanks to the following; racingreference.info, truckseries.com, catchfence.com, nascar.com, jayski.com, sports.yahoo.com, speedtv.com, racingone.com and kevinharvickinc.com.
Photo Credit: sports.yahoo.com
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