April 14, 2008
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams refuse to slow down. Instead, many are taking advantage of the break in the racing schedule. They’re grabbing any chance they can to test at various tracks. They’re gathering information, and sharpening their skills—anything they can do to give them a better chance for the next win.
Two of the Roush Fenway teams took a couple of days to test at Darlington Raceway, which recently was re-paved. Erik Darnell in the No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford got some practice laps in and the No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford was shared by Travis Kvapil and Bobby East. "We tested a brand-new truck that we plan on racing at Lowe’s and Dover next month, and we spent a lot of time comparing it to what we have been racing," said Darnell. "The things we learned here will benefit us at the many fast banked tracks like Lowe’s," agreed his crew chief, Matt Puccia.
Travis Kvapil tested the Zaxby’s truck the first day, then turned the wheel over to Bobby East putting in as much seat time as he could. "That Zaxby’s truck was probably the best stock car / truck I’ve ever driven," said East. He’ll start the 2008 season at Kansas. "I made about 200 laps between the two days so it was good to get the laps in and get familiar with Chad (Norris, crew chief) and the truck before Kansas."
Up north, a few of the Chevy teams were testing at the Richmond International Raceway track. Crew chief Rick Ren said he was very pleased with the track time. "We had a really good test," he said. "We worked on some short track set-ups. We learned a lot and look forward to taking what we learned and applying it at Mansfield. These off-weeks have given our two truck teams an opportunity to assess where we are and regroup before the long summer stretch."