RON HORNADAY/No.33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet has the pole for Friday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 Race at Phoenix International Raceway. His best lap was 27.319/131.776 mph around the one-mile desert speedway. The 50-year old Truck veteran racer is currently six points behind JOHNNY BENSON/No.23 Toyota for the Drivers’ Championship. The series does not award any points for pole position. The PIR pole marks Hornaday’s nineteenth pole in 224 Truck races. With two remaining races on the schedule, the PIR race is crucial to both Hornaday and Benson, who qualified fourteenth.
Second through fifth were KYLE BUSCH/No.51 Billy Ballew Motorsports; ERIK DARNELL/No.99 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford; Rookies SCOTT SPEED/No.22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota; and BRIAN SCOTT/No.16 Xpress Motorsports. All 35 entries qualified.
The weather was sunny and warm, with clear blue skies and little breeze.
The Friday night truck race marks the penultimate round of title sponsorship for Craftsman Tools, which is also the Official Tool of NASCAR. Craftsman has been on board as Truck title sponsor nonstop since 1996, the second year of the series. Craftsman Tools will remain in its role as Official Tools of NASCAR.
Next year Camping World will be the title sponsor for the Truck series, which also sponsors the NASCAR Camping World Series West and NASCAR Camping World East Series. It also has been the primary sponsor for Hornaday this season, and will continue through 2009 with the California native who has been on and off with the Truck Series since the beginning in 1995. He has three Driver Championship on his resume (1996, 1998, and 2007) and is going for his fourth.
Earlier in the day, Speed introduced his personally designed T shirt which will be sold to raise money for Chron’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis – the latter a disease which Speed suffers. It hindered his European racing, including Formula One, for several years before he was diagnosed and treated by the medical staff on his Red Bull F1 team. Speed’s T shirt will be sold at the track and online on the website of Scottsdale, AZ-based Muze Clothing. Speed and Muze collaborated on ‘The Muffin Man’ T shirt and 100 percent of the profits will go to the Southwest Chapter of the Chron’s & Colitis Foundation of America – CCFA.
The 150-lap/mile Truck race will start at 6 PM local time and be televised live on SPEED TV.