Busch Cars and Craftsman Trucks Make History
With rain on both Monday and Tuesday shuffling the schedule, the NASCAR Busch Series cars, preparing for the May 24 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, and the Craftsman Truck Series machines, testing for the inaugural Hardee¿s 200 on May 16, shared the 1.5-mile superspeedway from 8:30 a.m. until rain ended the session 30 minutes early at 9:30 p.m.
According to those in the garage area, it was the first time since the truck series debuted in 1995 that the pickups had shared a race track with the cars.
¿It was a really neat experience,¿ said David Starr, driver of the No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet truck. ¿The cars were obviously much faster and I really had to watch my mirror and rely on my spotter in order to give them the right of way. We gave each other room and it worked really well after we got the hang of it.
¿It was a cool situation and I would like to thank Lowe¿s Motor Speedway because it gave drivers in both series more track time and considering the weather the last two days we all really needed it.¿
Making their first visit to Lowe¿s Motor Speedway, several of the truck drivers found the track to be quite a challenge.
¿Lowe¿s Motor Speedway is a lot harder to drive than I thought,¿ explained Terry Cook, driver of the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford. ¿Turns one and two are a lot like Texas because you barely lift off the throttle. Three and four are just a handful. If you don¿t get into the corner just right or get over the bump just right, you¿re going to struggle. I¿ve thought of a thousand ways to do it wrong and only two ways to do it right.¿
Among the quickest of the more than 30 truck series teams testing was surprise visitor and Winston Cup veteran Jeremy Mayfield, who joined Ted Musgrave and Jason Leffler in a trio of Ultra Motorsports Dodges. The same No. 7 Mayfield piloted was driven by Stuart Kirby on Tuesday and, at this point, there has been no announcement of who will actually be in the seat for the May 16 Hardee¿s 200.
With a race this weekend near St. Louis, most of the Busch Series teams tested only during the afternoon and by sunset rookie Coy Gibbs was in the lone car still logging laps. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Ron Hornaday were once again among the fastest heading into the May 24 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300.
The entire day of testing was run without a major incident as the caution flag was unfurled for only blown engines and spins.
The next on-track action at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway comes Thursday, May 15, when the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series drivers practice and qualify for the Hardee¿s 200.
Tickets for all Coca-Cola 600 Month of May events are still available and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.