Gander Outdoors Truck Series News (6004)

Gander Outdoors Truck Series News

Johnny Sauter passed Kyle Busch on the next-to-last lap of Saturday’s Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway and held on to post his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season and the third of his career.

Busch ran second, .453 seconds back. Ron Hornaday Jr. finished third, followed by his team owner, Kevin Harvick, who recovered from early trouble to finish fourth.

Austin Dillon held the lead by four truck-lengths over Max Papis when Dusty Davis’ crash in Turn 3, after contract from Todd Bodine’s Toyota, brought out the 10th caution on Lap 202 of 250. The accident bunched the field for the subsequent restart; by then Harvick, who restarted ninth, had regained two laps he lost on pit road early in the race.

During the five green-flag laps that followed, Busch worked his from sixth to second and Harvick from ninth to fifth. Bodine’s spin caused the 11th caution on Lap 214 and tightened the field for a restart on Lap 220, with Dillon in the lead.

Busch regained the lead in the first corner and paced the field through one more yellow-flag period until Matt Lofton’s spin in Turn 1 brought out the 13th caution and set up a four-lap sprint to the finish.

Note: The race was red-flagged for 9 minutes, 40 seconds after a violent crash on Lap 135 involving James Buescher and Jeffrey Earnhardt. That wreck in Turn 3 occurred seconds after a multitruck collision in Turn 2 that caused the seventh caution of the race.


By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records Chevy Silverado at ThorSport Racing, was able to bump Kyle Busch from the lead on Lap 248 of 250 and held Busch off the final .526 miles to win the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway this afternoon.  It was a special win for both team and family, since Sauter's wife Cortney is at home, due with their second child on Monday morning - a litle girl.

Busch took the lead on Lap 218 and held it through two restarts, but caution came out on Lap 241 due to a spin and Sauter was able to run Busch down becoming the first Truck Series regular to win a race this season.

"I told the guys yesterday that we had a fast truck, and this thing could blow people down all day," Sauter said. "What a race.  I said to Joe (Shear Jr, crew chief) that we were going to race the race track today. Preparation. He said back to me that it was tires, tires, tires.  We just had smart pit strategy and some great cautions that helped throughout the race.  I'm so proud of the No. 13 guys - fast pits, great execution, we were absolutely dialed in all week here.  We just gelled the whole time.  Teamwork wins these things."

Following Sauter, Busch finished second, closely followed by Ron Hornaday, Kevin Harvick and Timothy Peters.

The win is Sauter's third in the Truck Series and first at Martinsville. With the win, Sauter becomes the new Truck Series points leader, leading teammate Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Menards/Tarkett Chevy Silverado at ThorSport Racing, by five points.

"Now I get to go home and be a dad," Sauter continued. "I have the easy job, I get to go drive fast and hopefully, like today, win races.  Cortney's got the tough job, having our daughter!  It's just a special weekend for everybody. I'm really proud to bring a win home for the Safe Auto staff and everyone at Curb Records.  And above all, Duke and Rhonda Thorson.  No one realizes what they go through every week to give us great equipment and invest in this Series and these teams. That Granddaddy is ours, guys!"

ThorSport PR

Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today that they have signed former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen to drive a limited schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during the 2011 season. Raikkonen is scheduled to make his NASCAR debut as a teammate to owner Kyle Busch in the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20.

Raikkonen comes to NASCAR with a resume that includes the 2007 Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship. Over his nine year career in Formula 1, the Finnish driver registered 18 wins and 62 podium finishes. The 31-year old is currently competing for a World Rally Car Championship for his own team, ICE 1 Racing.

"We are honored that Kimi Raikkonen, a former Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion and proven winner, has chosen to start his career in NASCAR with Kyle Busch Motorsports," said Busch. "Adding one of the most talented drivers in the world is a continuation of building a team of proven winners and champions at KBM. I look forward to assisting in Kimi's transition to NASCAR as both an owner and teammate."

"I am really excited to have the opportunity to start my venture into NASCAR with Kyle Busch Motorsports," said Raikkonen. "Kyle is one of the best in NASCAR, and being able to draw on his knowledge will be a valuable asset as I make my transition to a new form of racing. He has put together an experienced team that builds fast race trucks. I look forward to being a part of a team that has proven to be a winner on and off the race track."

"We are extremely excited to have Kimi Raikkonen begin his transition to NASCAR behind the wheel of Kyle Busch Motorsports' Toyota Tundra's," said KBM General Manager Rick Ren. "As NASCAR looks to expand their fan base and generate further interest in certain demographics, having a former Formula 1 Champion with worldwide appeal is a huge deal not just for KBM but for the sport as a whole."

Details of sponsorship and a schedule of races that Raikkonen will compete in will be released at a later date.

Kyle Busch Motorsports

After two hour and twenty minute practice sessions this morning at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, the ThorSport Racing teams emerged in the top three at the end of the day. 

The No. 88 Menards/Tarkett Chevy, driven by Matt Crafton, was conservative in practice session one, running only 24 laps and posting fifth-fastest times.  The team changed a fuel pump and made additional changes.  In session two, however, Crafton and team dialed in on a mock qualifying run to post the second-fastest speed of 94.51mph for the day.   

At the end of the day, Crafton was pleased. "We all say you've got to run at the top at Martinsville consistently - from practice to qualifying to race - in order to place.  Track position is just that important.  So we're one step closer to figuring this place out.  Now we've got to make sure we bring the A game tomorrow for qualfiying. It's going to be a colder track at 10am." 

The No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records Chevy, driven by Johnny Sauter, had major adjustments in the first practice to get the controls just right, then came out charging in the first lap of second practice.  Sauter posted the top time on the boards on lap one, and continued to dominate the speed charts throughout the second practice.  Without running a qualifying run, he still posted the third-fastest speed of the day at 94.50mph. 

"This is the best track we've ever had here," said Sauter. "It was a little too tight on exit all day, but then again, that can be your best friend on a long run at Martinsville.  I'm ready for qualifying tomorrow - I really feel like my team is ready to do this, and this truck is definitely ready to do this."


1) Austin Dillon   No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy                 94.78MPH

2) Matt Crafton   No. 88 Menards/Tarkett Chevy                94.51MPH

3) Johnny Sauter No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records Chevy    94.50MPH


ThorSport Motorsports

Brendan Gaughan gets tapped often to promote races at Martinsville Speedway. The fit isn’t natural. Gaughan graduated from Georgetown University, he hails from Las Vegas, NV, and he didn’t cut his teeth racing on short tracks. Still, the old-school charm of the flat, tight half-mile circuit is not lost on Gaughan, nor is the fervor of the Virginia race fan. But he has this moniker...that he hates the place.

“I didn’t grow up on short tracks. I’m a big track guy, but I do enjoy racing at Martinsville Speedway. It’s one of those hard-nosed tracks. It’s old-fashioned. It’s a mean, tough place to race and it should never come off of the NASCAR schedule,” said Gaughan. “I remember running top five, finishing sixth and looking at my truck and there wasn’t a straight panel on it anywhere! One day, before I quit this great sport I want a “W” there. I’d love to have a Martinsville trophy with a sticker hanging next to it that says ‘I hate Martinsville.’”

Gaughan loves the Martinsville area, and has always enjoyed interacting with the fans and locals during his race weekends and media advances. He knows that though he’s promoted as hating Martinsville, he actually doesn’t really hate the place. What he really hadn’t realized is that he isn’t half bad at the track that befuddles many racing drivers.

“I didn’t realize I’ve actually done OK at Martinsville Speedway. The moniker that I hate the place is a long-standing joke that came about after I’d had a rough day racing at another track. When I was interviewed I said, ‘yeah, had a bad day, and the next thing I get to do is go race at my favorite track, Martinsville.’ Mike Smith from Martinsville called me up, and because of our bantering back and forth, I just continue to say I hate Martinsville with a smile on my face,” beamed Gaughan. “I love going to that area. I love working with Mike and the Martinsville fans are true NASCAR fans. It’s funny because I’ve done so much pre-race media for the track. I love the track, I love the area. But if anyone asks me, I hate Martinsville.”

Gaughan has earned two top-ten finishes and three 11th-place finishes in ten trips to Martinsville. He’s completed 2254 of 2256 laps in the Truck Series. In his Sprint Cup Series debut at Martinsville, he started 11th and finished 17th on the lead lap. These are impressive numbers for a guy who started out racing in off-road and has had to learn the subtle nuances of short-track racing all the while competing against the best in NASCAR.

In the weeks between Darlington and Martinsville, Gaughan participated in two of his favorite past-times. Scuba diving, and, watching the NCAA tournament. With his Hoyas out of the tourney, Gaughan will likely cheer for VCU—the team that defeated Georgetown.

Watch Gaughan’s No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra on Saturday, April 2nd, at Martinsville Speedway. The action starts on SPEED with practice airing at 2:00 PM ET on Friday. Qualifying is on air at 10:30 AM Saturday followed by racing at 2:00 PM—all on SPEED. If you’ll be away from a TV, set the DVR and tune your radio dial to your local MRN affiliate.

Germain Racing has earned two championship titles in the Truck Series. The Toyota team owns 22 victories and 9 pole awards in the series that continues to grow ratings on SPEED. For more information on Germain Racing, visit or follow the team on Twitter @GermainRacing.

Brendan Gaughan holds eight Truck Series victories to go along with his two K&N Pro Series West championship titles. He currently ranks 21st in the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver’s points standings following his 26th-place finish at Daytona.  Follow Gaughan at or on Twitter @Brendan62

Germain Racing PR

As Martinsville Speedway gets its turn on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule this weekend, Todd Bodine and the No. 30 Tundra team are looking forward to continuing to build on what they had at the Virginia short-track last fall when the Chemung, NY, native led 83 laps en route to a third-place finish.

“We finished third but we had a really good truck. I got out run on tires at the end—we had like 50 laps more on our tires than anybody. We understood that. It’s what we did to get track position and take a chance. We ran really well. It definitely helps this Tundra team going back to Martinsville,” said Bodine.

The team seems to have the pieces put together. Bodine hopes this weekend could signal the end of Germain Racing’s nil in the win column in the short-track category.

“We’ve run well at Martinsville, just never got it done. The guys have done a great job putting a truck together that’s specific for Martinsville. Hopefully we can use it the best we can and finally get it done,” explained Bodine.

Bodine will race chassis GR-016. The truck is new to Germain Racing this year. It debuted in race number three as a No. 62 Tundra for teammate Gaughan.

“This week the guys have prepared GR-016 as the chassis for the No. 30 Tundra. It will be our first time using the truck as a 30, but, we are confident it’s the best choice for the Martinsville race weekend. We learned a lot about Martinsville last fall, and certainly we hope to build on that this weekend,” said Hillman Jr.

Bodine has competed in 14 Truck Series events at Martinsville—he is one of many NASCAR drivers to have made their first career start at the track. This Saturday he’ll compete in his 169th Truck Series race when he fires up the Tundra for the fourth race of the 2011 season. Bodine has 732 NASCAR career starts to date.

Watch Bodine in the No. 30 Tundra on on Saturday, April 2nd, at Martinsville Speedway. The action starts on SPEED with practice airing at 2:00 PM ET on Friday. Qualifying is on air at 10:30 AM Saturday followed by racing at 2:00 PM—all on SPEED. Can’t get to a television? Tune your radio to your local MRN affiliate.

Follow Germain Racing on Twitter @GermainRacing or on the web at or become a fan on Facebook:

When shopping for your new or used car or truck, head directly to to find the perfect vehicle or visit your local Germain dealer in Ohio, Florida, or Arkansas. is part of Germain Motor Company, a top-25 automotive retail network with 21 dealerships and more than 60 years of experience.

Germain Racing PR

A motivational letter that Kyle Busch received during the off season from Kyle Savoie (sa-VOY), a 12-year old fan, has inspired Busch to develop a program that will recognize children for experiences and achievements that had a positive effect on their lives.

The "Riding Shotgun With Kyle Busch Motorsports" Essay Contest will allow one child, age five to 12, in the greater Dover, Del. area to have a decal with their name and 2.5" x 3.5" photo above the passenger window of Busch's No. 18 Toyota for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway on Friday, May 13.

"The message behind Kyle Savoie's letter was how dreams are important and to never give up on your dreams," reflected Busch. "He even sent us his five dollar-allowance with the letter in an effort to help support our KBM truck team.  He suggested that if other kids followed his lead, they could serve as the sponsor for a race.  In return, he suggested that we would put their names and school pictures on the truck. I obviously don't want kids to send us their allowances, but I loved the idea of recognizing kids for positive experiences and achievements by putting their name and picture on my truck!  Too many stories in the news these days are about negative issues. This essay contest will be a great way to create a positive news story with the help of children in the greater Dover area."

To recognize Kyle Savoie for inspiring the contest, a decal with his name and picture adorned the area above the passenger window of the No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra driven by Busch in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 18.

The Dover race is the second of 10 races throughout the 2011 season that an essay contest winner will follow in Savoie's footsteps and "Ride Shotgun" with Kyle Busch Motorsports. The other remaining races scheduled are, Kansas (June 4), Kentucky (July 7), Michigan (Aug. 20), Bristol (Aug. 24), Chicagoland (Sep. 16), Talladega (Oct. 22), Texas (Nov. 4) and Homestead-Miami (Nov. 18).

The topic of the essay is to describe an experience and/or achievement that occurred in the last 12 months that has affected your life in a positive way using 150 words or less. The deadline to submit an essay for the Dover race is April 29, 2011. Entries can be submitted via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed in to:

Kyle Busch Motorsports

351 Mazeppa Rd.

Mooresville, N.C.  28115

Attn: "Riding Shotgun" Essay Contest



Essay Topic: In 150 words or less, describe an experience and/or achievement that occurred in the last 12 months that has affected your life in a positive way.

Eligibility: Children age five to 12 who reside in the United States are eligible.

Essay Deadline: The winning essay for Dover will be selected on April 29, 2011. Sorry, but entries submitted after the deadline (deadline in parentheses) will not be considered due to time constraints.

Prize: One winner in each race market will have their name and a 2.5" x 3.5" photo displayed above the passenger side window of the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra for the selected race.  Within six weeks of the completion of the race, the winner will receive an autographed 8" x 10" photo of the No. 18 KBM Toyota Tundra from the race in which their name appeared on the truck.

Submitting entries: Entries can be submitted via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed in to:

Kyle Busch Motorsports

351 Mazeppa Rd.

Mooresville, N.C.  28115

Attn: "Riding Shotgun" Essay Contest

In addition to your essay and 2.5" x 3.5" photo*, please be sure to include the following information:

*Parent or legal guardian must approve submission of the contestant's photo.  By submitting a photo, parent or legal guardian grants Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) the right to display submitted photo and child's name on the No. 18 Toyota Tundra and the company website and/or marketing materials.  Photos will become the property of KBM and will not be returned to the contestant. No purchase is necessary to submit an entry.



Parent or Guardian Name:





Contact Phone:


Closest NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Track:

Kyle Busch Motorsports has announced it will be teaming up with Lafferty Motorsports, LLC to sponsor Chris Lafferty in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The truck, which has already been dubbed "We The People’s" truck, will participate in races across the country during the upcoming two seasons. "The # 89 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the Tea Party is a natural fit," said Dustin Stockton media director for "We will literally drive ‘We The People’ to the front row in racing and government."

Stockton dismissed criticism about a political organization sponsoring a NASCAR team. "We don’t see ourselves as a partisan organization. Our goal has always been to recruit and educate people to the benefits of limited government, fiscal restraint, and personal responsibility; that has nothing to do with traditional partisan politics." is a mission-driven organization. The mission components are designed around:

· Representing the people (through sponsorship opportunities),

· Sharing in racing achievements.

· Restoring the importance of understanding the Constitution for America’s future.

The diversity of the, Tea Partiers’ and Race Fans will enable the team to excel both on the racetrack as well as participate in a wide variety of activities and rallies that extend outside of the racetrack. is seeking separate contributions to help fund the team and has launched the website where supporters can offer their support in increments as small as $5.

The team will kick off the sponsorship over the 4th Of July Holiday at Kentucky Motor Speedway Race on July 7th.

Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) and Cooked Perfect Meatballs, a Home Market Foods brand, announced today their partnership for two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events during the 2011 season. Cooked Perfect Meatballs are a leading brand of frozen meatballs sold in grocery stores throughout the U.S. Cooked Perfect Meatballs will be the primary sponsor of the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado driven by four-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday for the Kroger 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on April 2 and the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on August 24.

"This will be Cooked Perfect Meatballs' first venture into the motorsports industry," said Hornaday. "It is really exciting to partner with a company and a brand that are new to NASCAR.  KHI is a great team to be associated with and we look forward to giving the Cooked Perfect family a wonderful experience.  We were able to take our No. 33 truck to victory lane in Martinsville last October and hope to take the Cooked Perfect truck there this spring."

"Cooked Perfect is excited to see the No. 33 Cooked Perfect Meatballs Chevrolet Silverado on the track at Martinsville and under the lights at Bristol" said Michael Weiermiller, Vice President of Sales for Home Market Foods. "Who better to have driving our truck than four-time champion, Ron Hornaday. We want to thank Kevin and DeLana Harvick and the employees at KHI. Everyone has displayed such enthusiasm since we have joined the racing family and have been nothing short of excellent.  We cannot wait to see the success of our investment on both the track and in the NASCAR industry, and are thrilled to introduce our Cooked Perfect Meatballs to NASCAR fans."

Kevin Harvick PR

NASCAR driver Rick Crawford has entered into a multi year agreement to manage and promote Mobile International Speedway. Crawford’s career began at MIS racing for owner’s Lee and Ida Fields and has now come full circle with his return to the Speedway. “I am truly humbled that Ida Fields has chosen me to takeover her and Lee’s baby. Growing up, I thought winning at Daytona was just a dream and that dream came true, today another dream has become a reality,” said Crawford. “We’ve got a lot of work to do and I hope our fans and our racers will be patient with us as we get started.”  I

da Fields added the following: “I had a great partner in Lee and we were able to build the track into something special. I see a lot of Lee in Rick and Lee would be so proud that Rick has come back to Mobile International Speedway.” Crawford’s management team is in place as of today and is making preparations for the Speedway’s Annual Swap Meet this Saturday and Miller Lite Super Late Model series season opener on March 26th.

Rick Crawford

Timothy Peters has always had a good feeling headed into a race at Martinsville Speedway. He’s never felt as good, though, as he is headed into the Kroger 250 Camping World Truck Series race in two weeks.

The historic Virginia oval is Peters’ home track, so of course he should feel a bit of confidence. And there are the two wins he has at Martinsville, one in the Kroger 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in 2009 and the other in the big season-ending Late Model Stock race in 2005.

“It’s no secret how much I love Martinsville,” said Peters during an off week before the Kroger 250 on April 2 and the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 on April 3.

There could be even more love going around this time, thanks to the addition of veteran crew chief Butch Hylton to Peters’ Red Horse Racing Team in the off season.  The two have had pretty fair success at Martinsville the past couple of seasons. Peters won the Kroger 200 in the fall of 2009. Hylton was on the pit box for both Martinsville truck series winners in 2010, Kevin Harvick in the spring and Ron Hornaday in the fall.

“With Butch working with me after being at Harvick (Kevin Harvick Incorporated) the past two seasons, it’s helped me a lot. He’s done so much to improve our equipment,” Peters. “Butch and I spent one whole day this week going over his notes and my notes from Martinsville back to 2009. Hopefully that will all help some.”

Peters had mixed results at Martinsville a year ago on his way to a sixth-place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points standings. He finished fourth in the Kroger 250 and wound up wrecking out in the fall.

“There’s always a lot of pressure at Martinsville because it’s home and because we run well there. But after last year, I’ve tried to relax that pressure a little bit coming in there,” said Peters.

Peters is off to a consistent if not flashy start to the 2011 season. He was 11th in the season-opener at Daytona, 12th the following week at Phoenix and sixth at Darlington last Saturday night. He’s third in the points headed to Martinsville on April 2 in what is an amazingly tight points race. Just nine points separate leader Matt Crafton and fifth place Johnny Sauter. Peters is seven points back.

“We’ve been consistent. Phoenix should have been better, but I tried to put the truck somewhere I shouldn’t have and wound up spinning through the grass,” said Peters. “But we’re still in pretty good shape in the points.

“The points are tight and are going to get tighter as the season goes on. With the new points system it keeps the window of error really small. You really can’t afford to have that bad day.”

And a bad day is something Peters doesn’t expect at Martinsville.

Martinsville Speedway PR

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