News and Notes
The Green Dot
Have you ever wonder what that green dot on the windshield of the trucks is?
The green dot is placed in the upper right-hand corner of the windshield, it's the TIWI brand logo for Inthinc Inc.s placed on the lap counter, keeps accurate timing and scoring information for NASCAR.
The company also has a crash data reader, which is on board each vehicle in the three elite series.
The Camping World Truck Series Michigan 200, has 32 teams on the entry list, four trucks short of a full field, and it could be worse.
The break down is 26 full-time teams and six part-time teams.
While most racing series are effect with the down ward rating trends this season. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Speed TV is not, they are having rating gains, three out of five races have had double digit rating increases in the Nielsen Household Ratings.
Daytona was up 12% from last year, Atlanta was up 16% and the Dover race was up 24%. With the Series being NASCAR's No. 3 series it's exciting to see a surge of new fans watching the races and especially with the economy effecting the series.
What's driven up the ratings, is the 18 to 49 age bracket in Men, sure a few fans have been won over being tired of just four Cup teams dominating everything.
It helps if your teams are smaller having a mix of young talent and wily veterans, makes for a really competitive race, from the drop of the green to the last lap checkers the trucks offer it all to it's fans and it's awesome that more fans have discovered the trucks are the best show in NASCAR.
Michigan with the trucks has become known for it's close finishes. Five out of seven races were decided by a second or less and two others ended under caution.
In the inaugural race in 1999, Greg Biffle won the race by .153 seconds.
In 2002, Robert Pressley would win by .102 seconds.
Of course in 2003, Brendan Gaughan won the race by 11.477 seconds, it was the fourth widest win margin in the series and set a still record pace of 154.044 mph.
Johnny Benson would win in 2006 by .116 seconds.
Travis Kvapil won it in 2007 by a margin of .292 seconds.
In 2008, Erik Darnell won by .005 seconds, which is a mere quarter inch of bumper cover, beating JB, and it was the series second closest finish.
Most definitely will be a exciting race, the odds are in favor of another close finish.
Double File Restarts - Opinion
With the two stop pit rule in place, it's going to be impossible to have the trucks run the new double file restarts, with the lap trucks at the back of the field.
While I do like the rule, I'd rather see NASCAR leave the trucks a lone for now and just finish the season with the two stop rule.
Now I hate the two stop rule, never thought I want to see it stay, but I think the rule has help some teams save money and allowing them to enter more races.
Most teams have multiple sponsorships that range from three to five race sponsorship, only a handful of teams have full sponsorships from one sponsor and many others are lining sponsors up for one race at a time.
If the two stop rule with five member pit crews is working, I'd rather see a 32 like Michigan has, than see one with the old seven member pit crews making one stop and with a field of 23 or less trucks.
The other thing to remember, most of the teams who were lucky to attract sponsors also have done it by lowering their sponsorship costs and by changing the rules now it could hurt them financially and effect their schedule of full-time versus part-time. \
So NASCAR for the remainder of 2009, just keep the two-stop rule in place for now. With the plan in 2010, to implement the Double File Restart rule, switch the trucks back to seven member pit crews and one stop.
O'Reilly Raceway Park has announced they've reached an agreement with AAA Insurance as the title sponsor for the Camping World Truck Series race at the track, it's a two year deal and the race is now called the AAA Insurance 200.
Sun Studios and Memphis have partnered together to create a special award for the pole winner, a sleek, black acoustic Sun Studio guitar to be given with a laser engraving on the face.
It will be given in two ceremonies, first right after qualifying and on the main stage during driver introductions in front of the fans.
The first race, the new award will be given is the June 27 truck race, the MemphisTravel.com 200 presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts. It will be given at NASCAR race days held at Memphis Motorsports Park.
It's a reunion of sorts for Stacy Compton and Mark Melling, as Wyler Racing's No. 60 truck will sport Melling Engine Parts on it's quarter panels and a long standing working relationship in NASCAR.
Going For Win No. 50
Roush Fenway Racing at Michigan in the truck series, will be going for win No. 50 at Michigan and ot's a track that has been dominated by the team.
They have four truck wins, along with 11 Cup wins at MIS. We Could see Colin Braun get his first win, he'll have a good truck, they are the defending race winner and trying to end the teams 24 race win-less streak.
First, J.R. Fitzpatrick is back in the No. 4 at Michigan, he'll have Auto-Owners Insurance on-board as sponsor.
Second, Horn will have Turtle Wax on board the No. 33 as sponsor this week.
Horn at Michigan has done something that's pretty impressive, taking loop data from the last four years, he's made 229 green flag passes for position at MIS.
Which is deceiving if you just look at his stats, five races, three top 10 finishes and led 12 laps. But the track also is one of nine, that horn has never won at before and sure he'll be racing hard to get the win.
He should arrive, unload with a fast truck, qualify well, be fast all race and run up front all day vying for the win.
I doubt we'll see his No. 33 pit crew make another mistake on pit road, as it's been a while since they've made one like having a tire get away.
Crew chief Rick Ren will have them on their game making no mistakes at MIS.
This week the team will be racing chassis No. 028. Last year at MIS, it sat on the out side pole with Jack Sprague, got totaled at Vegas and rebuilt for the Happy boss to drive to a third place finish at homestead.
This year, the GOAT drove it to a eighth place finish at Fontana.
The Rookie Chase
Johnny Sauter was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race at Texas, it was his third time winning the award.
Sauter was the keystone Light Pole winner, the first since Scott Speed last year at Bristol, and he also led the first 42 laps of the race.
He over came a bad pit stop that cost him the lead, he ran the entire race in the top 10 and would finish sixth.
Both Sauter and his team seem to be working better together, they have three top 10 finishes in the last four races and sure we'll see the No. 13 in victory lane soon.
Tayler Malsam would finish ninth, ran a great race and earned his third top 10 finish of the season.
Ricky Carmichael ran a great race, got caught on the races second caution flag on lap 122 putting him a lap down and never got it back finishing 11th.
James Buescher would fight a ill handling truck most of the race, by the time they got it running good it was after he was three laps down and would end up with a 18th place finish.
Brian Ickler would start the race fourth, get as high as third, after pitting during the first caution and shortly after restarting he had issues with the sway bar.
He dropped back in the field, on a green flag restart, he'd get a speeding penalty and ultimately finish the race in 22nd.
The Raybestos Rookie Of The Year Standings
1.) Johnny Sauter 87
2.) Tayler Malsam 83
3.) James Buescher 73
4.) Ricky Carmichael 54
5.) J.R. Fitzpatrick 52
6.) Brent Raymer 30
7.) Brian Ickler 22
8.) Chris James 16
9.) Chase Austin 15
June 13: The Camping World Truck Series Michigan 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Speed at 1:30PM the Set-Up Show and 2:00PM Race Time. (Saturday)
June 19: Camping World RV Sales 200 at The Milwaukee Mile on Speed at 8:30PM the Set-Up Show and 9:00PM Race Time. (Friday)
June 27: MemphisTravel.com 200 presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts at Memphis Motorsports Park on Speed at 5:30PM the Set-Up Show and 6:00PM Race Time. (Saturday)
Top Five Picks For the Camping World Truck Series Michigan 200
1.) Kyle Busch in three races at the track, has compiled two top fives, three top-10 finishes, one pole and led 55 laps.
Busch will be tough, should qualify well, have a fast truck, will either be leading or vying for the win.
Like earlier this season, at Charlotte, after missing the Kansas race were he led most of the race, but in the end got beat by a fastest truck.
2.) Mike Skinner is six races at the track, has compiled three top fives, four top 10 finishes, two poles and led 67 laps.
Skinner will have a fast truck, qualify well, be tough all race and be their in the end leading or vying for the win.
3.) Todd Bodine in four races at the track, has compiled two top fives, two top-10 finishes and led 42 laps.
Bodine with a good truck will be tough to beat, should qualify well, his pit crew proved at Texas they can fix his truck and should be vying for the win.
4.) Dennis Setzer in nine races at the track, has compiled one win, two top fives, six top-10 finishes and led 21 laps.
Setzer is the only driver on the entry list with a win at Michigan, should run well, needs to qualify well, and could see the MRD Motorsports crew use pit strategy to get him the lead for the win.
5.) Ron Hornaday in five races at the track, has compiled three top-10 finishes and led 12 laps.
Horn's hungry for a win at MIS, will unload with a fast truck, qualify well, run well and be their in the end vying for the win.
My Sleeper Pick is, Colin Braun last year as a rookie, he collected a top-10 finish. RFR owes this track, he have a really good truck and if everything falls his way we could see him get his first career win.
My Rookie of the Race is, J.R. Fitzpatrick it's his first start at the track, he's 252 miles from his home of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, he'll have a large group of his fans attending the race cheering him on and think he'll respond to them with a decent finish.
This week it's Michigan International Speedway, were the Truck Series has raced at since 1999.
Track Lengths: Two Miles
Race Lengths: 100 Laps/ 200 Miles
Banking: 18* (Corners); 12* (Frontstretch); 5* (Backstretch)
Lengths: 3,600 Feet (Frontstretch); 2,242 Feet (Backstretch)
Race Winners: Greg Biffle and Travis Kvapil with two wins a piece.
Friday, June 12
10:15PM to 11:25PM - Practice
1:30PM to 3:00PM - Final Practice
Saturday, June 13
9:30AM - Qualifying (two laps, all positions)
2PM - Race Time
2009 Manufacturers Championship Standings
2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver Points Standings
1.) Matt Crafton 1,202
2.) Ron Hornaday Jr. -30
3.) Mike Skinner -39
4.) Todd Bodine -66
5.) Brian Scott -135
6.) David Starr -153
7.) Johnny Benson Jr. -155
8.) Chad McCumbee -162
9.) Terry Cook -179
10.) Rick Crawford -189
Thanks to Jayski.com, speedtv.com, kevinharvickinc.com, catchfence.com, truckseries.com and sports.yahoo.com.
Photo Credit: sports.yahoo.com
Editors note: Due to get this posted today, the Scott Minute will be posted this week separately, but will be back in the Update next week.