Topics of Interest
Last Year: Joe Ruttman and the Bobby Hamilton Racing Dana Team started from the pole in last year’s Craftsman 175 and led 41 laps, enroute to victory lane for the third time last season. “We had to beat them last year on a green-white-checkered flag run to the end, but this year, I hope we can just flat get out front and stay there,” said Ruttman. “It seems like every race I have won is a close one. I have very few wins that were going away. I guess the one good thing about that is the fans get to see a good race.” Both victories this year came at the end of a restart with under five laps to go in the event. Daytona in February was a nail biter, and Pikes Peak in May was the same situation.
Points Race/Average Finish: Coming into the Craftsman 175, Ruttman and the Dana Team sit a top the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points championship race a mere 32 points ahead of Scott Riggs. This fact is a direct result of the team’s consistency. They have the best average finish of any team in the Truck Series at 6.25 and have finished in the top 10, a Series high, 14 times in 16 events. “You’ve got to be consistent to be a contender,” said Ruttman. “Last year, we had a fast truck at most of the races, but we were up and down with our finishes. This year we’ve been pretty lucky. We have had a minimal amount of on-track problems. I just hope that trend continues.”
Track Record: Last year, Ruttman set the track record for the Truck Series at the Chicago Motor Speedway, with a lap of 30.600 seconds or 117.612 MPH. Solider Field: Ruttman has an interesting past in the city of Chicago. In the 1970’s, Ruttman was a factory Polaris rider and competed in a snowmobile race at Solider Field.
This Week’s Truck: The Dana Racing Team will be racing “Goober” for the third week in a row. Over the last two weeks, Goober has finished third and fourth respectfully at Indianapolis Raceway Park and Nashville Super Speedway. The team has raced this truck 27 times. It has five poles, three wins, 11 top five finishes, and 15 top ten finishes to its name. It is also the same truck the team used last year to win at Chicago Motor Speedway.
“This is a big race for Sears and Craftsman. They have been with the Truck Series since the beginning, and now they have a race in their own backyard. I’m sure everyone with Craftsman’s race program and within Sears is very excited about the event. I just hope we can have a repeat of last year’s performance.”