S.M.'s Craftsman Update No. 11: News and Rumors

Horn FanSenior Writer ISeptember 24, 2008


John Andretti will be back driving the No. 15 for Billy Ballew Motorsports at Talladega.


Ricky Carmichael will be running select truck races for Kevin Harvick, Inc. in 2009. The plan is to secure sponsorship first, then he'll be in a third-team truck, but the deal hinges on sponsorship.

He currently runs for Ken Schrader Racing in the Camping World East Series, and KHI has entered him in the Talladega ARCA race next month.


Ted Musgrave and Jim Harris, team owner of the No. 59 Team ASE/Harris Trucking Toyota Tundra, have mutually parted ways immediately.

The split happened while at Las Vegas, right after Musgrave wrecked the truck trying to qualify for the Qwik Liner 350 at Las Vegas.

Stacy Compton drove the No. 59 for the Las Vegas race. HT Motorsports is evaluating their options and will announce who's driving the remaining six races. They may switch drivers each race or go with one driver.


Ted Musgrave maybe headed to Randy Moss Motorsports for the 2009 NASCAR Truck Series season. It's not official yet, but it might have caused the split with the HT Motorsports if he let them know he's leaving.


Ryan Lawler will be driving for TRG Motorsports for the Chevy Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway in October. He has some sponsorship backing and may run more than one race for TRG Motorsports.


J. R. Fitzpatrick will be doing a two-day test with TRG Motorsports at Iowa Speedway on Sept. 23-24. He's the 2006 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion (its youngest ever), and he is making the move from Canada to further his career in stock cars.


Mike Skinner will be helping Team Red Bull this week at Lowe's driving the No. 84 car at this week's test. He may even drive the No. 84 for a couple of races, it's rumored that Allmendinger maybe out of the car after Kansas.



The Points Battle in trucks

Six races remain in the CTS season. Once again the points battle is the best in NASCAR and it's not even close to be locked up yet.

Johnny Benson would have a disastrous Las Vegas, finishing 27th with a DNF, and he has no cushion left in the points race.

Benson went into the race with a 74-point average and left holding a one-point lead over Ron Hornaday. It's the closest between first and second after 19 races in series history.

Should Hornaday's momentum continue leading to another championship year, he'll be making history, as the series' first back-to-back champion.

With the battle heating up heading into Talladega, keep your eye out for the next three drivers in the points: Matt Crafton 164 points back, Erik Darnell 224 points back and Mike Skinner 227 points back.

Plus, had Todd Bodine not received two 25-point penalties, he would be sitting third at 207 points back, and it could be a six-driver point battle.

It will really only take one bad race from either of the top two and they're right in the thick of the points battle. One thing for sure, it's going to be a great points race to Homestead and I'm excited about it.


Shrub Sighting

The Shrub will be driving in the No. 32 Lifelock Toyota Camry car for team Braun in the Kansas Lottery 300 Nationwide race.

Of course he'll be driving the No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry car for JGR and looking for redemption at Kansas.


Speed Bump

Yesterday, AJ Allmendinger lost the No. 84 Red Bull ride, turning down a one year contract extension to stay with the team. It is believed he has a three-year offer from another team and will be heading there.

While Allmendinger's name is still on the entry list at Kansas, it might be his last race for the team and have to wait for an announcement from Team Red Bull.

Mike Skinner has replaced him in this week's tests at Lowe's and maybe driving in a couple of races for them in the No. 84.

It looks like we may see Scott Speed taking over the No. 84, running up to seven races and then competing for the ROTY honors in 2009.

It's no secret Team Red Bull has a lot of money invested in developing Speed, and the Austria-based executives favor the moving of Speed to cup.

TRB should be having a press conference to announce who's driving the No. 84 next year and Speed's believed to be the leading candidate for the ride.

It would be exciting for his fans to see what he can do in the COT car; he's going to shock the doubters, and yes, Virginia, the "Speed Demon's" really is talented. 

But I could also see GM Jay Frye throwing us a curveball. Having Mike Skinner announced as the driver of the No. 84, have Speed taking over the Bill Davis Racing No. 5 truck with Red Bull for a year and running in six Cup races in 2009.

Enabling TRB in 2010 to be a three-car stable, having Vickers in the No. 83, Skinner in the No. 84 and "the Speed Demon" in the No. 82.

Just have to wait and see what the announcement will be, and either way I'm excited about seeing Speed move up.

If you don't know it yet or haven't realized it. I'm a huge fan of Scott Speed's. I am always looking for articles about him and file them away for future use. One thing you're guaranteed to find great quotes regarding him.

Here's a partially quote from Krista Voda, host of NCTS Setup on Speedtv.

"I love watching him because you don't know what he will say or do next, nor do you know what shoes he will wear next. I spotted him eating a turquoise-colored snow cone at Nashville while wearing perfectly matching turquoise shoes. How many other rough-and-tumble Truck Series drivers would do that?"

Thanks to LJ's suggestion, going to be creating a B/R fan club for Scott Speed, and Mary Jo came up with a great nickname for him, "the Speed Demon."


Upcoming Races

Oct. 4: Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Super Speedway on Speed at 4PM (Saturday)

Oct. 18: Kroger 200 at Martinsville Motor Speedway on Speed at 3:00PM (Saturday)

Oct. 25: Atlanta 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Speed at 1:00PM (Saturday)


NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Points standing

1. Johnny Benson                          2858

2. Ron Hornaday                               -1

3. Matt Crafton                             -164

4. Erik Darnell                                -224

5. Mike Skinner                              -227

6. Rick Crawford                            -246

7. Todd Bodine                              -257

8. Jack Sprague                             -402

9. Dennis Setzer                            -463

10. Terry Cook                              -492


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