S.M.'s Craftsman Update, Issue No. 16

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S.M.'s Craftsman Update, Issue No. 16

Happy Halloween

You just can't ignore funny stuff like this and it would be wrong not to stick it in my Update, so enjoy. Krista Voda, host of the NCTS Setup on Speed, was asked her favorite childhood Halloween costume in a article on speedtv.com.

"I went to school as a booger by dressing all in green and smearing Vaseline on my arms and neck. I was very slimy but won best costume. I hung a cardboard sign around my neck that said, "I'm a booger" because everyone thought I was the Jolly Green Giant.

Be interesting to see if she does the NCTS Setup pre-race show in a costume and it will be out there if she does.

Rumors

Cale Gale will be driving the No. 2 American Commercial Lines Chevrolet Silverado truck for Kevin Harvick, Inc. at Texas and will be his sixth career start in trucks.

Jeremy Mayfield is negotiating with Billy Ballew to purchase half of the team. The plan is for him to purchase the No. 15 team, with the truck being run out of Bully Ballew Motorsports shop and a teammate to the No. 51 truck.

While it's not definite yet, it may happen with him purchasing the truck and if he gets a Cup ride, someone else will be driving the truck.

Brian Lawler will be driving the No. 15 Ergon Toyota Tundra for Billy Ballew Motorsports at Texas and won't be in the TRG Motorsports No. 7 like originally planned.

Paul Tracy makes his truck series debut at Texas with Germain Racing in the No. 9 truck, sponsored by Bombardier Learjet/Sport Clips.

Travis Kvapil will be driving the No. 09 Zaxby Ford F-150 truck at Texas for Roush-Fenway Racing.

Max Papis will be making his truck series debut, driving the No. 07 Geico Toyota Tundra truck for Germain Racing at Texas.

Richard Johns will be driving the No. 89 Lafferty Performance Chevrolet Silverado truck at Texas Motor Speedway.

J. C. Stout will be driving the No. 36 Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool Ford F-150 truck and Jack Smith will be driving the No. 63 Dave Porter Truck Sales Ford F-150 truck for Mittler Racing at Texas.

2009 Team News

Both Erik Darnell, his No. 99 team and his sponsor Northern Tools and Equipment will be moving up to the Nationwide Series. Darnell will be sharing the No. 6 RFR car with David Ragan and which races he's driving should be announced shortly.

Good luck, Erik, too bad it's not full-time, he's going to be a great driver and we'll be seeing him in Cup shortly.

Jack Sprague announced in a interview with Speed, he won't be returning to the No. 60 Wyler team in 2009 and will help them with landing a sponsor.

The Herd Racing team, will have Deist Industries, Inc. as a associate sponsorship for the team's No. 75 Ford F-150 truck, driven by Brett Rowe in 2009 and for 10 races. The team is looking and working on finding more sponsors too run two full-time trucks and run a handful of Nationwide races in 2009.

Jason White and his long-term sponsor Gunbroker.com are looking for opportunities for the 2009 NASCAR season. In either the Nationwide Series or the camping World Truck Series.

Hornaday's Corner

Ron Hornaday's looking to pull off a Texas sweep this Friday night. Earlier this season, he dominated the Sam's Town 400, leading 140 of the 172 lap race and set a track record for most laps lead by the winner.

In eleven races at TMS, he recorded one-win, three-top five and seven top 10 finishes.

For the second of three races in a row, fifth of the season. Hornaday will once again will have sponsorship from the Veterans Of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), in the sharp looking red, white and blue No. 33 truck.

Statistical speaking Hornaday leads many categories, in the truck series this season and here's the impressive numbers:

Average Starting Position -----------------4.4

Average Running position  -----------------6.6

Number Of Fastest Laps ------------------503

Laps Run In The Top Fifteen ---3,196 for 87.6%

Laps Led ----------------------1,244 for 34.1%

Driver Rating ---------------------------116.9%

Races Led ----------------------18 of 22 Races

Speed Bump

Scott Speed led his first Cup lap, Lap 37, at Atlanta and being at TMS another cookie-cutter of Atlanta. Should be another great weekend for him.

He's sitting 35th in car owner points—25 points behind 34th and 80 points ahead of the red.

Keep your fingers crossed for no rain this week at Texas, be exciting to see him qualify in the Silver No. 84 Red Bull car, rather than lineup in 35th starting position.

He's also going to be running in the NCTS in the No. 22 Red Bull Toyota Tundra truck for Bill Davis Racing.

He should have another great truck race, in the Spring race was running fifth, having started from the tail end of the field till the races wild finish took him out.

Upcoming Races

Oct. 31st. - Chevy Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway on Speed at 8:30PM (Friday)

Nov. 7th. - Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on Speed at 7:30PM (Friday)

Nov. 14th. - Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Speed at 7:30PM (Friday)

Top Five Picks for Texas Motor Speedway

1. Ron Hornaday: he's always run really good at Texas, been great on 1.5 mile tracks, the third times the charm with him winning Friday night under a full moon on Halloween and he'll qualify top four or start front row if it rains.

2. Johnny Benson: he'll be points racing Hornaday again, should bounce back with a better handling truck, last week was a fluke with a missed setup, will be points race Hornaday and be charging to the front with 20 to go.

3. Todd Bodine: like Atlanta, he'll start up-front qualifying well be up front most of the day and should with a good truck challenge for the win.

4. Erik Darnell: he should be really good at TMS, Roush-Fenway drivers always have run great at the track, should qualify well and with a good truck vying for the win.

5. Scott Speed: he ran a great Spring race here, with TMS being similar to Atlanta expect another great race from him, should qualify well, run top ten all race and if he's got a good truck, after the last pit stop he'll charge up to the front vying for the win or use pit strategy to win.

My "sleeper pick," is for another great wild finish at TMS on Friday night. With any of the five above mentioned drivers winning a Halloween night race.

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Point Standing

1. Johnny Benson                     3324

2. Ron Hornaday                        -31

3. Todd Bodine                         -218

4. Matt Crafton                        -297

5. Erik Darnell                           -297

6. Rick Crawford                       -341

7. Mike Skinner                         -343

8. Dennis Setzer                       -524

9. Jack Sprague                        -532

10. Chad McCumbee                  -670

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