NASCAR - Camping World Truck - Kroger 250 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Saturday, March 31st
SITE: Martinsville Speedway (1947) -- Martinsville, Virginia
TRACK: 0.526-mile oval - 800 feet (Frontstretch); 800 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 55,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 18th
TELEVISION: Speed Channel
ANNOUNCERS: Rick Allen, Phil Parsons, Michael Waltrip
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 1:30 p.m. (ET)
RUNNER-UP: Kyle Busch
POLE WINNER: Johnny Sauter (Finished 1st)
LAPS: 250
MILES: 131.5
QUALIFYING RECORD: Matt Crafton, 2011 (96.352 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $481,493 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $40,600; 2nd Place - $22,050; 3rd Place - $15,100
2011 Finish
1Johnny Sauter16Cole Whitt2
2Kyle Busch57Austin Dillon4
3Ron Hornaday Jr108Ricky Carmichael20
4Kevin Harvick39Brendan Gaughan31
5Timothy Peters1210Max Papis11
2011 Kroger 250 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 64.761 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 1 minute, 50 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.453 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 13 for 61 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 12 among 8 drivers
POLE WINNER: Johnny Sauter (95.463 m.p.h.)
Past Kroger 250 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Johnny Sauter (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 64.761 m.p.h.
2010 -- Kevin Harvick (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 62.793 m.p.h.
2009 -- Kevin Harvick (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 60.865 m.p.h.
2008 -- Dennis Setzer (10th) -- Dodge -- 61.311 m.p.h.
2007 -- Mike Skinner (1st) -- Toyota -- 61.753 m.p.h.
2006 -- David Starr (15th) -- Toyota -- 59.219 m.p.h.
2005 -- Bobby Labonte (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 66.639 m.p.h.
2004 -- Rick Crawford (3rd) -- Ford -- 61.490 m.p.h.
2003 -- Dennis Setzer (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 66.921 m.p.h.
2002 -- Dennis Setzer (33rd) -- Chevrolet -- 64.628 m.p.h.
2001 -- Scott Riggs (2nd) -- Dodge -- 70.836 m.p.h.
2000 -- Bobby Hamilton (2nd) -- Dodge -- 71.836 m.p.h.
1999 -- Jimmy Hensley (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 74.282 m.p.h. (race record)
1998 -- Jay Sauter (10th) -- Chevrolet -- 72.154 m.p.h.
1997 -- Rich Bickle (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 72.297 m.p.h.
1996 -- Mike Skinner (16th) -- Chevrolet -- 64.434 m.p.h.
1995 -- Joe Ruttman (2nd) -- Ford -- 65.072 m.p.h.
NOTE: Race formerly called Goody's 150 (1995), Hanes 250 (1996-1997), NAPA 250
(1998-2000), Advanced Auto Parts (2001-03).
Past Kroger 250 Pole Winners (finish)
2011 -- Johnny Sauter -- 1st
2010 -- None -- Weather
2009 -- Rick Crawford -- 5th
2008 -- Jack Sprague -- 24th
2007 -- Mike Skinner -- 1st
2006 -- Bobby Hamilton Jr -- 10th
2005 -- Bobby Hamilton -- 20th
2004 -- Jack Sprague -- 3rd
2003 -- Ted Musgrave -- 2nd
2002 -- Ted Musgrave -- 24th
2001 -- Joe Ruttman -- 4th
2000 -- Mike Wallace -- 2nd
1999 -- Mike Bliss -- 6th
1998 -- Greg Biffle -- 8th
1997 -- Rich Bickle -- 1st
1996 -- Bobby Hamilton -- 31st
1995 -- Not Held
Last Race Results
RACE: NextEra Energy Resources 250 (February 24th)
SITE: Daytona International Speedway -- Daytona Beach, Florida
MILES: 272.5
LAPS: 109
WINNER: John King
RUNNER-UP: Timothy Peters
THIRD: Justin Lofton
FOURTH: Travis Kvapil
FIFTH: Jason White
POLE WINNER: Miguel Paludo (Finished 30th)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 17 minutes, 13 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 119.169 m.p.h.
CAUTION FLAGS: 9 for 37 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 11 among 8 drivers
LAP LEADERS: M. Paludo 1-20; B. Silas 21; M. Paludo 22-43; R. Chastain 44; M.
Paludo 45-46; J. Buescher 47-54; M. Paludo 55-66; J. Buescher
67-68; N. Piquet Jr. 69-83; J. White 84-99; J. Sauter 100-103; J.
King 104-109.
Kroger 250 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
2Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Tide
3Ty Dillon (Lexington, NC)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
5Paulie Harraka (Fair Lawn, NJ)Ford/MC 10 Ford F-150
6Justin Lofton (Westmorland, CA)Chevrolet/
07Jake Crum (Statesville, NC)Chevrolet/Bandit Clippers
7John King (Kingsport, TN)Toyota/Red Horse Racing
08Ross Chastain (Alva, FL)Toyota/ASI Limited
8To Be AnnouncedChevrolet/TBA
09John Wes Townley (Waitville, GA)Toyota/TBA
9Ron Hornaday Jr. (Palmdale, CA)Chevrolet/TBA
10Jennifer Jo Cobb (Kansas City, KS)Dodge/
11Todd Bodine (Chemung, NY)Toyota/Red Horse Racing
13 *Johnny Sauter (Necedah, WI)Toyota/Hot Honeys/Curb Records
14Brennan Newberry (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Ironclad
15Dusty Davis (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/
17Timothy Peters (Providence, NC)Toyota/NTB Service Central
18Jason Leffler (Long Beach, CA)Toyota/Dollar General
22Joey Coulter (Miami Springs, FL)Chevrolet/Steak-Umm
23Jason White (Powhatan, VA)Ford/
24Max Gresham (Stockbridge, GA)Chevrolet/Made In USA
27Jeb Burton (Halifax, VA)Chevrolet/State Water Heaters
29Parker Kligerman (Westport, CT)Dodge/Cooper Standard
30Nelson Piquet Jr (Brasilia, Brazil)Chevrolet/Autotrac/Qualcomm
31James Buescher (Plano, TX)Chevrolet/AccuDoc Solutions
32Miguel Paludo (New Silver, Brazil)Chevrolet/Duroline Brakes
33Cale Gale (Mobile, AL)Chevrolet/Rheem
39Ryan Sieg (Tucker, GA)Chevrolet/RSS Racing
50Natalie Sather (Fargo, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
57Norm Benning (Level Green, PA)Chevrolet/Lady Bug Cleaning
60JR Fitzpatrick (Cambridge, Canada)Chevrolet/TBA
65Tyler Tanner (Auburn, WA)Ford/EF65 Handcleaner
68Clay Greenfield (Clarksville, TN)Dodge/@claygreenfield
70Jeff Agnew (Copper Hill, VA)Chevrolet/TBA
74Mike Harmon (Birmingport, AL)Chevrolet/Koma Unwind
75Caleb Holman (Abingdon, VA)Chevrolet/Food Country USA
81David Starr (Houston, TX)Toyota/Zachry
84Chris Fontaine (Lakeland, FL)Chevrolet/Glenden Enterprises
88Matt Crafton (Tulare, CA)Toyota/Menards
92David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Chevrolet/Fleet Tire
93Chris Cockrum (Conyers, GA)Chevrolet/RSS Racing
98Dakoda Armstrong (New Castle, IN)Toyota/
99Bryan Silas (Stuart, FL)Ford/Rockingham Speedway
* - Defending champion.
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Johnny Sauter---------26th------27th15thWon
Ron Hornaday Jr------3rd14th6th8th2nd2nd3rd
Kevin Harvick3rd---12th---4th---WonWon4th
Timothy Peters------18th35th9th19th22nd4th5th
Matt Crafton13th7th15th3rd17th2nd9th7th11th
Miguel Paludo------------------------12th
Parker Kligerman------------------------13th
Todd Bodine------4th12th2nd12th18th30th14th
Joey Coulter------------------------17th
David Starr12th9th22ndWon11th6th24th18th26th
Nelson Piquet Jr.------------------------30th
James Buescher------------------11th---35th
Jason Leffler---------------------------
John King---------------------------
Ty Dillon---------------------------
Mover of the Week
John King - Started in the 23rd position and finished 1st
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Kevin Harvick
Darkhorse - David Starr
Last Week's Pick to Win (Timothy Peters) - Finished 2nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jason White) - Finished 5th
After a month off following the opening-season race in Daytona, the Camping World Series resumes at Martinsville Speedway for the 18th edition for the Kroger 250.

Last season, this race was fourth on the schedule, as Johnny Sauter passed Kyle Busch with less than two laps remaining to win his third career Truck Series title.

Busch was attempting to win at Martinsville for the first time, but Sauter chased down Busch just after the final restart with four laps to go, and then made the winning pass right before the white flag was displayed for the final lap in the 250-lap race.

Back in 2010, Kevin Harvick put on a dominating performance as he raced to victory over Ron Hornaday Jr. Harvick led 187 of 250 laps and easily held off Hornaday after the final restart with 19 laps remaining to win his fourth consecutive truck race he had entered. He won in his first start of the season in 2010 at Atlanta and ended the 2009 campaign with victories at Phoenix and Homestead. Harvick started first on the grid and became the third pole sitter to win the spring race. Harvick joined Dennis Setzer as the only drivers to win this race in back-to-back seasons.

In 2009, Harvick tapped Kyle Busch out of the way for the lead late in the race and then held off teammate Ron Hornaday Jr in a green-white-checkered finish to win the rain-delayed Kroger 250 in 2009. Harvick started sixth on the grid and took the lead for the only time with 11 laps remaining for his fourth career title. Busch, who dominated the race, leading for 139 laps, fell to 17th, while pole sitter Rick Crawford placed fifth after leading the first 78 laps.

Setzer won this race for the third time and recorded his 18th and last career Truck Series title, as he dominated the 2008 Kroger 250. Starting from the 10th position on the grid, Setzer took the lead on lap 128 and held on the rest of the way to defeat Matt Crafton under the caution. Pole sitter Jack Sprague led twice for 28 laps, but finished a distant 24th.

Mike Skinner became only the second driver to win multiple races on the Truck circuit at Martinsville, as he raced to a 0.527 of a second victory over Todd Bodine in 2007. Skinner, who started on the pole, joined Dennis Setzer as two- time champions. Skinner led for a whopping 246 of the 253 laps, including the final 172, as he recorded the 22nd of his 28 career Truck Series titles. Skinner is tied with Jack Sprague for third place on the all-time list. Ron Hornaday Jr is the all-time leader with 51.

In 2006, David Starr dominated this race, as he claimed the lead on lap 130 and held on the rest of the way to defeat Ted Musgrave by less than a second in the 250-lap event. Pole sitter Bobby Hamilton Jr, who led for the first 18 laps, finished 10th. Starr led for a race-high 121 laps, as he secured his fourth and last career Truck Series title.

When Bobby Labonte won in 2005, he crossed the finish line just .257 of a second ahead of Ricky Craven for his first-ever Truck Series title. The victory was the closest margin of victory in race history. With the win, Labonte became the 12th driver to win in all three of NASCAR's national series'.

In 17 previous races, this event has been won from the front row seven times, however only four times from the pole, including last season by Sauter. In the 26 races held at this track, a top-10 spot has captured the checkered flag 21 times.

Martinsville is one of four tracks to host a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in all 18 seasons beginning in 1995. Kroger has been the top sponsor of the spring and fall races since 2004.

The Camping World Truck Series makes its inaugural visit to Rockingham, NC for the April 15 Good Sam Road Side Assistance Carolina 200 at Rockingham Speedway.

03/27 13:40:52 ET

As of March 27, 2012, at 01:41 PM ET
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