Series off-week news 2010-06-14
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes-Open Week Father's Day A Special Observance For NASCAR Families Father's Day is a special holiday -- and even more so in NASCAR, where many drivers, crew members and officials were introduced to ...
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes-Open Week
Father's Day A Special Observance For NASCAR Families
Father's Day is a special holiday -- and even more so in NASCAR, where many drivers, crew members and officials were introduced to the sport by their fathers and grandfathers.
This Father's Day weekend is different for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitors because it's the first time in many years there's no race scheduled.
Some, like David Starr (No. 81 Randy Moss Motorsports Toyota), will have the opportunity to spend Father's Day with their fathers. For Starr, it will be a generational observance: father Jimmy and Starr's son, 15-month-old David Jr.
"Last year, David Jr. was very young. This year, he is a little older and understands it a little more," said Starr. "We're going to have a lot of fun together and I'm very excited."
Others won't be able to spend the day with fathers -- because either father or son will be working.
"Unfortunately, I will be racing midgets in Kokomo (Ind.)," said Brad Sweet (No. 90 Toyota), who splits his time between NASCAR Camping World Trucks and the U.S. Auto Club open wheel circuits. "My dad, Don, was very involved with all my go-karts growing up and got me in my sprint car.
"I just remember him working late nights 'cause he built my cars from scratch. The best moment for me was him being able to watch my first truck race."
Austin Dillon (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet) is on the opposite side of the fence. Dillon will be in Myrtle Beach, Fla., supporting brother Ty's racing efforts. Father Mike Dillon -- and grandfather Richard Childress -- will be with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Sonoma, Calif.
"When we were at Daytona and I was in the draft for the first time during practice, he came up over the radio every now and then to push me and make me do things that I might otherwise hesitate on," said the 20-year-old Dillon of his father, director of competition at Richard Childress Racing and a veteran of more than 150 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. "If anybody knows my dad, they know that he's pretty wild to hang out with. He's a good guy and he has helped me a bunch. Between me and my grandfather, we try to keep him calmed down but he wants the best for both of us."
Ricky Carmichael (No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet) and his father, known as "Big Rick," were inseparable throughout the younger Carmichael's Supercross career. His father was his mechanic from 1985 through 1996 and had a 100% success rate -- meaning he never made a mistake or had a part break.
Chase Austin (No. 46 Walgreens Dodge) remembers his father's first race car -- a dirt mini stock. "I'd go with him to Thunderhill Speedway in Mayetta, Kan., to watch. Of course, most of the time I'd end up in the dirt racing my Hot Wheels and playing with the other kids, but those were special times."
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Director Wayne Auton is among those whose fathers have passed. Robert "Hoot" Auton was a longtime NASCAR Sprint Cup Series official whose sons, Wayne and Buster, have followed in his footsteps.
"I was asked last week if there was one person you could have dinner with again today who had passed on and who would it be," said Auton. "Well, I pick two. My father and my grandfather."
Charting The Progress Of Aric Almirola
One day, Aric Almirola (No. 51 Zyclara/ Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota) might look back at 2010, and know this was the season that made his career.
He finally was given a chance to display his talent, and has taken full advantage of it.
Though running NASCAR national series races since 2005, only once has Almirola competed in a full season (2006 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series).
With Kyle Busch starting his own team this season, the No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota seat opened up. Almirola slid in seamlessly.
Through nine races, Almirola has two wins, three top fives and seven top 10s, and is second in points.
His Loop Data statistics far surpass previous years. This season, Almirola has a Driver Rating of 101.6, an Average Running Position of 8.7, 40 Fastest Laps Run, a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 85.5% and a Pass Differential (passes minus times passed) of plus-38.
Consider his previous season:
2005: Almirola ran four races with an average finish of 20.5, a Driver Rating of 72.2 and an Average Running Position of 20.2.
2006: In a full season, Almirola finished 18th in the points. His Driver Rating was 71.2 and had just 25 Fastest Laps Run.
2007: In just three races, he had a Driver Rating of 52.4 and an Average Running Position of 23.2.
2008: He only ran one race, at Texas, finishing 17th with a Driver Rating of 58.7.
2009: Running 16 races, Almirola had an average finish of 8.9, a Driver Rating of 94.9 and an Average Running Position of 9.5.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes the next three weekends off before embarking on a run of 10 consecutive races. The last time the series ran 10 races without a break was 1999.
Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota) expressed frustration after finishing third in a three-way scrum that decided Michigan's VFW 200 -- the NASCAR Sprint Cup star beaten by NASCAR Camping World Truck regulars Aric Almirola and Todd Bodine (No. 30 Germain. com Toyota). Bodine took the opportunity to tweak his rival. "A lot of guys in this sport have lost sight of that fact of why we're here and why we do this. It's a shame that some people can't go back out there and enjoy it," he said. The two aren't likely to race head-to-head again until late July.
Austin Dillon extended his Raybestos Rookie of the Year lead with a fifth-place finish in the VFW 200. Johnny Sauter was the most recent Raybestos contender to score back-to-back, top-five finishes. In fact, 2009 rookie of the year Sauter had five straight: Chicagoland, Iowa, Gateway, New Hampshire and Las Vegas.
Surprises Abound As 2010 Season Passes One-Third Mark
Todd Bodine leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points standings after nine races. That's no surprise since Bodine is the 2006 series champion and with 18 victories, stands fourth (with Dennis Setzer) on the alltime wins list.
But "business as usual" stops there.
Pre-season favorite and four-time champion Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Longhorn Chevrolet) hasn't won -- the longest he's gone in a fulltime season without a victory. Hornaday, although fourth in points, is 170 points behind Bodine.
Youngsters and newcomers have made their mark. Aric Almirola, 26, became the season's third multiple winner in Michigan and holds the runner-up spot 55 markers behind Bodine.
Timothy Peters (No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota) won the season opener at Daytona and continues to hold the No. 3 spot in points.
Jason White (No. 23 GunBroker.com/ www.rmef.org Ford) won the Keystone Light Pole at Daytona. White was literally nowhere in pre-season rankings but guess what? He is seventh in points coming off a pair of top-10 finishes as the schedule pauses.
Newcomers Nelson Piquet Jr. (No. 15 Qualcomm/ ArcSight Toyota) and Narain Karthikeyan (No. 60 Safe Auto Insurance Chevrolet) have showed Formula One does translate into NASCAR competition.
Austin Dillon, 20, won poles in consecutive races.
Johnny Sauter, the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year continues to impress with a hard-fought victory at Kansas Speedway.
The race for the series owners' championship currently is "pick 'em:" Ninety-three points covers Bob Germain's No. 30, Kyle Busch's No. 18 and the No. 2 of DeLana Harvick.
Up Next: Iowa
Iowa Speedway joined the NASCAR national series family in 2009. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series followed the NASCAR Nationwide Series to the .875-mile Newton, Iowa facility. The 175-mile event marked the first time the series had competed in the state of Iowa. facility with veteran Mike Skinner won the Lucas Oil 200 presented by SPEED on Mediacom from a pole position start. This year's race will be held on Sunday, July 11 following a four-week break in the schedule.
Next Race: Lucas Oil 200 presented by SPEED on Mediacom
The Place: Iowa Speedway (.875-mile oval)
The Date: Sunday, July 11
The Time: 2 p.m. ET
Race Distance: 200 laps/175 miles
TV: SPEED, 1:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SIRIUS NASCAR Radio. (Listen locally on KXIA-AM 101.1)
2009 Polesitter: Mike Skinner
2009 Winner: Mike Skinner
Schedule prior to race:
Saturday -- Practice, 11:45 a.m.-- 12:50 p.m. and 2-3:30 p.m. Qualifying-- 6:30 p.m.