Both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Chris Showalter will make history at Kansas Speedway in Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway, ringing up their 400th race.
Now Travis Kvapil’s crew chief for Randy Moss Motorsports, Showalter is the only individual to participate in all 399 series races beginning with the 1995 inaugural event at Phoenix International Raceway.
Showalter hasn’t just been there. He’s done it all, at least on pit road.
The Ohio native, Kvapil’s 2003 championship crew chief, boasts three wins in that role at Xpress Motorsports including the Bristol Motor Speedway victory that proved to be pivotal to Kvapil’s title. He also guided Jack Sprague to series victories in 2004-05.
“I think it says a lot that the series is so strong that we are celebrating 400 starts and that I have not had the desire to go do anything else,” said Showalter. “The truck series kind of reminded me of our Saturday night down-home racing that I grew up doing. It’s grassroots. We ran the shorter tracks in the beginning and it just seemed like a home for me.”
As a truck chief, Showalter was part of Mike Bliss’s 2002 championship that included five victories. Showalter also scored truck chief wins with Terry Cook, Dennis Setzer and Randy Tolsma.
Showalter went to Victory Lane for the first time in July 1995 at Colorado National Speedway as a shock specialist for Liberty Racing. That was the afternoon that Butch Miller edged Mike Skinner in a photo finish that, at an estimated 0.0001 seconds, remains the closest, non-electronic decision in series history.
Showalter also has performed as spotter and tire changer. He’s been a crew member for six different teams and since 2006 with Morgan Dollar Motorsports which became Randy Moss Motorsports in 2009.
There have been many highlights for Showalter during his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career topped by his 2003 championship season with Kvapil.
“But winning at Mansfield (Motorsports Park) in 2004 with Jack Sprague is special to me for personal reasons. I grew up about 30 minutes from the track,” Showalter said. “So to grow up dreaming of racing, leaving town to follow my dreams and then come back and win the inaugural race was just amazing.”