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Craftsman Truck Series Class of 2005

Charles Krall, Trackside Editor

TruckSeries.com’s Charlie Krall caught up with the movers and shakers of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on Monday evening as Craftsman kicked off its 10 Year Tough campaign – Celebrating ten years of NASCAR truck series competition.

Many members of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series community gathered for dinner last evening with the media as a part of the annual Lowe’s Motor Speedway Media Tour. The four active previous NCTS champions, Mike Skinner, Jack Sprague, Ron Hornaday, and Bobby Hamilton, were invited to the stage to speak, while members of the media were asked to write down questions that would be asked at random to other drivers throughout the evening.

Some of the evenings highlights included Speed Channel personalities Rick Allen and Ray Dunlap served as the emcees. Allen coordinated from the podium, while Dunlap walked the floor with the wireless mic to speak with each of the drivers in attendance.

Allen provided some serious laughs when he took a quick break for a drink when Dunlap was speaking with one of the drivers. As Allen opened a fresh bottle of Sprite, it exploded in front of the entire room, causing everyone to break into laughs.

Todd Kluever will have a busy SpeedWeeks in Daytona. In addition to his duties behind the wheel of the No. 50 Roush Racing Ford, Kluever will also be racing in the ARCA Re/MAX Series race in Daytona. He will drive a former Jeff Burton backup car, and the race will provide him his first chance to work with crew chief John Monsam.

Kluever’s Roush Racing teammate will be hosting his annual charity snowmobile ride in Maine this weekend. He is expecting over 500 snowmobilers to participate, even with record cold temperatures expected in the area.

Terry Cook received a huge ovation from those in attendance with his reply to a question regarding Valentine’s Day. With the holiday usually thought of as an opportunity for men to give their wife a gift, Cook was asked what he would like from his wife as a Valentine. Cook responded, “anything from Craftsman!” As the room erupted into laughter, Craftsman representative Toure’ Claibourne took the mic and offered to present Cook with the 2005 series championship trophy on the spot. Cook is also scheduled to appear on ESPN2’s morning show, Cold Pizza, on Wednesday. He will be flying to New York this afternoon for his segment, which is expected to be broadcast Wednesday morning between 10 am and 11 am ET.

Brad Keselowski was asked if he finds riding to the track as dangerous as racing on it, to which he promptly said only if he was driving the rental car. When Allen noted that as a 24-year-old, Keselowski was not able to rent a car (usually you must be 25 years old to rent a vehicle), he responded “that doesn’t mean I don’t drive them, I just don’t go through the renting process!”

More laughs were had when Allen read the question for Bobby Hamilton. Hamilton, known for his light colored hair, was asked “when you get scared on the racetrack, does that mean your hair turns black?” After thinking for a second, Hamilton responded, “no, it just means it turns white faster.”

Returning to the series on a full-time basis for the first time since 1999, Ron Hornaday was asked “if you could be any tool, what would you be?” He tried to respond that he would be some sort of grinder, but he was corrected quickly by Jack Sprague. “Who are you trying to kid Hornaday, you’d be a Jack hammer!”

Sprague wasn’t off the hook either. His question was “how many races is it going to be before you turn Hornaday?” Sprague played diplomat with his rival, saying “I learned last year you don’t want to rough up your fellow GM teammates. We are sponsored by the same company, so don’t expect a lot of that out of us. But the good thing is we can team up on Skinner now and kick his (butt)!”

Skinner was reminded of his season in 1995, in which he won 8 races and the series championship. Allen asked Skinner if he thought anyone could ever win 8 races in the series with the current level of competition. As quickly as the question was asked, Skinner shot back “I sure as hell hope so!”

Steve Park was asked what job he’d like to have in Vegas, other than driving for the Vegas-based Orleans Racing team. He said “I’d like to have Brendan’s job,” referring to Orleans Racing teammate Brendan Gaughan. “Oh wait,” Park continued, “I already do!” Park then said he’d like to be a craps dealer at The Orleans. “I always cheer for sevens when I watch craps at The Orleans,” he said. “Every time the house wins, I get to buy tires for the truck!”

Robert Huffman was asked if he ever rubber necks when he sees an accident on the interstate. “After all the people that have seen me crash, I sure do! It’s kinda fun to watch someone else wreck every now and then,” he said with a laugh.

David Reutimann was asked why he had some make-up on his new uniform. As he tried to play it off, he explained the make up was actually remnants of a commercial shoot for Toyota. “They were trying to make it look like I ran through a brick wall, and for anyone who knows me, that’s not much of a stretch,” he said to laughs from the crowd. “I guess some of the make up got on the uniform. I swear, I never wear makeup!”
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