1994–95 NASCAR SuperTruck Series exhibition races

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In 1994 and early 1995, seven demonstration races for the newly-born NASCAR SuperTruck Series were held. The races were broadcast during coverage of the Winter Heat Series[1] and were held on tracks primarily based on the West Coast of the United States, featuring four to five trucks each.[2] The series helped begin the careers of future NASCAR drivers like Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Matt Crafton, and Ron Hornaday Jr.[3]

Another exhibition race was held at the Homestead Motorsports Complex at the end of the 1995 season called the NASCAR Supertruck 25, though not as a Winter Heat race.[4]

Supertruck Mesa Marin 20[edit]

1994 Supertruck Mesa Marin 20
Race details
Date July 30, 1994 (1994-07-30)
Location Mesa Marin Raceway, Bakersfield, California
Course Permanent racing facility
.5 mi (.8 km)
Distance 20 laps, 10 mi (16.09 km)
Average speed 81.818 mph (131.673 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Bruce Huartson Race Team
Most laps led
Driver P. J. Jones/Dave Ashley Vestar Motorsports/Dick Landfield Enduro Racing
Laps 7
Winner
No. 1 P. J. Jones Vestar Motorsports

The race was run as a support event to the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour.[5]

Craig Huartson, a NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series driver,[6] won the pole for the race with a lap speed of 91.227 miles per hour (146.816 km/h). After leading the first lap, he lost the lead to offroad racer Dave Ashley,[7] who led for seven laps before relinquishing it to Rob MacCachren. MacCachren would lead until lap 13, when P. J. Jones claimed first, and led for the remainder of the race, beating Gary Collins by 15 seconds.[8] Jones won the race in a Ford, though the team switched to Chevrolet for the next race after General Motors offered the team a technical package.[9]

Race results[edit]

Race results
Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Run Laps Led
1 4 1 P. J. Jones Vestar Motorsports Ford 20 7
2 5 12 Gary Collins Venable Racing Ford 20 0
3 3 21 Rob MacCachren Venable Racing Ford 20 5
4 1 8 Craig Huartson Bruce Huartson Race Team Chevrolet 20 1
5 2 2 Dave Ashley Dick Lanfield Enduro Racing Ford 20 7
Source:[8]

Supertruck Portland 20[edit]

1994 Supertruck Portland 20
Race details
Date August 19, 1994 (1994-08-19)
Location Portland Speedway, Portland, Oregon
Course Permanent racing facility
.5 mi (.8 km)
Distance 20 laps, 10 mi (16.09 km)
Average speed 81.818 mph (131.673 km/h)
Pole position
Driver
  • Craig Huartson
Bruce Huartson
Most laps led
Driver Rob MacCachren Venable Racing
Laps 20
Winner
No. 21 Rob MacCachren Venable Racing

The race, run as an undercard to the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Northwest Series, was sold out.[5][10]

After starting second, Rob MacCachren led all 20 laps of the race.[11]

Race results[edit]

Race results
Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Run Laps Led
1 2 21 Rob MacCachren Venable Racing Ford 20 0
2 5 12 Gary Collins Venable Racing Ford 20 0
3 6 1 P. J. Jones Vestar Motorsports Ford 20 0
4 3 8 Craig Huartson Bruce Huartson Race Team Chevrolet 20 0
5 1 2 David Ashley Dick Lanfield Enduro Racing Ford 20 0
6 4 11 Mike Hurlbert RPM Racing Ford 20 0
Source:[11]

Supertruck Saugus 20[edit]

1994 Supertruck Saugus 20
Race details
Date September 10, 1994 (1994-09-10)
Location Saugus Speedway, Saugus, California
Course Permanent racing facility
.33 mi (.53 km)
Distance 20 laps, 6.7 mi (10.78 km)
Average speed 54.38 mph (87.52 km/h)
Pole position
Driver
  • Gary Collins
Venable Racing
Most laps led
Driver Gary Collins Venable Racing
Laps 15
Winner
No. 12 Gary Collins Venable Racing

The race, held as part of a Featherlite Southwest Tour race weekend,[7] featured a sellout crowd of 6,308.[12]

Gary Collins led the entire race. Originally scheduled for 20 laps, the race was cut by five laps after an incident on lap 14;[13] P.J. Jones, who was in second, backed his Ford into the wall between turns 3 and 4.[12] At the same time, it began raining at the track. As a result, the race ended under caution. Craig Huartson did not finish the race when his engine failed after completing four laps.[13]

Race results[edit]

Race results
Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Run Laps Led
1 1 12 Gary Collins Venable Racing Ford 15 15
2 3 11 Mike Hurlbert RPM Racing Ford 15 0
3 2 1 P. J. Jones Scoop Vessels Ford 15 0
4 4 8 Craig Huartson Bruce Huartson Race Team Chevrolet 4 0
Source:[13]

Supertruck Tucson 20[edit]

1994 Supertruck Tucson 20
Race details
Date September 24, 1994 (1994-09-24)
Location Tucson Raceway Park, Tucson, Arizona
Course Permanent racing facility
.375 mi (.604 km)
Distance 25 laps, 9.4 mi (15.13 km)
Pole position
Driver Spears Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Ron Hornaday Jr. Spears Motorsports
Laps 14
Winner
No. 75 Ron Hornaday Jr. Spears Motorsports

Mike Hurlbert failed to start the race. After Gary Collins led the first lap, P. J. Jones, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Rick Carelli each led for one lap until Jones inherited the lead on lap 5. Craig Huartson led lap 6 before Jones reclaimed first, leading for three laps. Huartson retook the lead on lap 10, but relinquished it to Rob MacCachren on lap 11, who led two laps before Hornaday passed him for first. Hornaday led the final 13 laps to win the race.[14]

Race results[edit]

Race results
Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Run Laps Led
1 1 75 Ron Hornaday Jr. Spears Motorsports Chevrolet 25 14
2 3 1 P. J. Jones Vestar Motorsports Ford 25 5
3 2 12 Gary Collins Venable Racing Ford 25 1
4 5 6 Rick Carelli Chesrown Racing Chevrolet 25 1
5 4 8 Craig Huartson Bruce Huartson Race Team Ford 25 2
6 6 21 Rob MacCachren Venable Racing Ford 25 2
7 7 11 Mike Hurlbert RPM Racing Chevrolet 0 0
Source:[14]

Supertruck Winter Heat 200 No. 1[edit]

1994 Supertruck Winter Heat 200 No. 1
Race details
Date September 24, 1994 (1994-09-24)
Location Tucson Raceway Park, Tucson, Arizona
Course Permanent racing facility
.375 mi (.604 km)
Distance 200 laps, 75 mi (120.7 km)
Average speed 74.324 mph (119.613 km/h)
Pole position
Driver
  • Rick Carelli
Chesrown Racing
Most laps led
Driver Rick Carelli Chesrown Racing
Laps 107
Winner
No. 6 Rick Carelli Chesrown Racing
Television in the United States
Network TNN

The race, along with the next two, were broadcast nationally by The Nashville Network[15] as part of the Winter Heat program, an eight-week series featuring both the SuperTrucks and the Winston West Series.[16] San Francisco 49ers kicker Mike Cofer was initially scheduled to run the race but did not.[17]

Mike Skinner led the first 62 laps of the race; halfway through his run, a caution for debris was called on lap 32. Rick Carelli and Skinner traded the lead on laps 64 and 65 before the former led 79 straight laps. The No. 54 of Steve McEachern spun on the frontstretch on lap 86, bringing out the second caution of the day. On lap 137, T. J. Clark crashed in turn two to force a third caution. Shortly after the green flag wove on lap 143, Ron Hornaday Jr. took the lead, leading for 24 laps before relinquishing it to Carelli. The two battled for first until lap 176, when Carelli held on to the position for the final 25 laps to win.[18]

Dave Ashley failed to start the race. Off-road racer Robby Gordon suffered an engine failure on lap 53, while Mike Hurlbert and T. J. Clark had rear end and suspension problems on laps 86 and 127, respectively.[18]

Race results[edit]

Race results
Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Run Laps Led
1 6 6 Rick Carelli Chesrown Racing Chevrolet 200 107
2 8 1 P. J. Jones Vestar Motorsports Ford 200 0
3 5 75 Ron Hornaday Jr. Spears Motorsports Chevrolet 200 30
4 4 9 Dirk Stephens Butch Stevens Chevrolet 200 0
5 3 18 Johnny Benson Jr. Roehrig Motorsports Chevrolet 199 0
6 14 21 Gary Collins Venable Racing Ford 199 0
7 9 38 Sammy Swindell Akins-Sutton Motorsports Ford 199 0
8 1 3 Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 199 63
9 2 8 Craig Huartson Bruce Huartson Race Team Chevrolet 198 0
10 7 12 Rob MacCachren Venable Racing Ford 197 0
11 10 54 Steve McEachern McEachern Racing Chevrolet 197 0
12 12 20 Walker Evans Evans Racing Dodge 197 0
13 11 23 T. J. Clark T. J. Clark Ford 196 0
14 13 11 Mike Hurlbert RPM Racing Ford 127 0
15 15 06 Robby Gordon Ultra Motorsports Ford 86 0
16 16 2 Dave Ashley Ultra Motorsports Ford 0 0
Source:[18]

Supertruck Winter Heat 200 No. 2[edit]

1994 Supertruck Winter Heat 200 No. 2
Race details
Date December 11, 1994 (1994-12-11)
Location Tucson Raceway Park, Tucson, Arizona
Course Permanent racing facility
.375 mi (.604 km)
Distance 200 laps, 75 mi (120.7 km)
Average speed 76.444 mph (123.025 km/h)
Pole position
Driver
  • Ron Hornaday Jr.
Spears Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing
Laps 106
Winner
No. 1 P. J. Jones Vestar Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network TNN

The second of the Winter Heat races, a competition caution was implemented to be flown at the race's halfway point on lap 100. Pole-sitter Ron Hornaday Jr. led the first 71 laps of the event. During his run, a caution was flown on lap 38 for Ken Schrader's slow truck. Hornaday gave up the lead to Mike Skinner on lap 72. Steve McEachern spun in turn 4 on lap 131 to force another caution, while the third and final yellow flag of the day occurred on lap 141 for debris. Skinner continued to lead until lap 177 when P. J. Jones passed him. Jones led the final 23 laps to win.[19]

Two drivers failed to finish the race: Kerry Teague's engine failed on lap 38, while Johnny Benson Jr. failed to start.[19]

Race results[edit]

Race results
Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Run Laps Led
1 5 1 P. J. Jones Vestar Motorsports Ford 200 23
2 1 75 Ron Hornaday Jr. Spears Motorsports Chevrolet 200 71
3 2 3 Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 200 106
4 11 6 Rick Carelli Marshall Chesrown Chevrolet 200 0
5 6 21 Mike Chase Venable Racing Ford 200 0
6 13 12 Tobey Butler Venable Racing Ford 199 0
7 9 23 T. J. Clark Venable Racing Ford 198 0
8 10 2 Dave Ashley Ultra Motorsports Ford 197 0
9 15 20 Walker Evans Walker Evans Dodge 197 0
10 3 24 Ken Schrader Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 197 0
11 8 06 Mike Bliss Ultra Motorsports Ford 195 0
12 4 8 Craig Huartson Bruce Huartson Race Team Chevrolet 193 0
13 12 31 Gary Balough Griffin Racing Chevrolet 188 0
14 16 11 Mike Hurlbert RPM Racing Ford 182 0
15 7 54 Steve McEachern McEachern Racing Chevrolet 175 0
16 14 51 Kerry Teague Rosenblum Racing Chevrolet 38 0
17 N/A 18 Johnny Benson Jr. Roehrig Motorsports Chevrolet 0 0
Source:[19]

Supertruck Winter Heat No. 3 (1995)[edit]

1994 Supertruck Winter Heat 200 No. 3
Race details
Date January 8, 1995 (1995-01-08)
Location Tucson Raceway Park, Tucson, Arizona
Course Permanent racing facility
.375 mi (.604 km)
Distance 200 laps, 75 mi (120.7 km)
Average speed 66.043 mph (106.286 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Ultra Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Ron Hornaday Jr. Spears Motorsports
Laps 128
Winner
No. 3 Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing
Television in the United States
Network TNN

In comparison to the first two Winter Heat races, the third was marred by cautions; six accidents occurred during the race. Butch Gilliland led the first ten laps of the race before Ron Hornaday Jr. took the lead, holding on for 91 laps. During Hornaday's run from laps 11–101, two cautions were flown: Bob Strait and Steve McEachern crashed in turn three on lap 39, while Craig Huartson spun in turn one on lap 59. The third caution, a result of Kerry Teague's truck spilling oil on the track, resulted in Hornaday losing the lead to Rick Carelli. He led until lap 149, when Mike Skinner took first. Two laps later, the Nos. 2 and 23 trucks of Dave Ashley and T. J. Clark were involved in a crash in turn one. The final caution period of the day came on lap 197 when Gilliland spun in turn four, forcing a green–white–checker finish and extending the race by four laps. Skinner led those laps to win the race.[20]

Of the 18 drivers competing, seven did not finish the race: Clark retired on lap 187 for overheating issues, P. J. Jones' brakes failed on lap 165, Tobey Butler and Teague both suffered engine problems on laps 100 and 99, respectively, Walker Evans' truck overheated on lap 73 and Strait and McEachern's crash forced both of them out of the race.[20]

Race results[edit]

Race results
Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Run Laps Led
1 3 3 Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 204 55
2 4 75 Ron Hornaday Jr. Spears Motorsports Chevrolet 204 128
3 2 6 Rick Carelli Chesrown Racing Chevrolet 204 11
4 5 18 Johnny Benson Jr. Roehrig Motorsports Chevrolet 204 0
5 9 31 Gary Balough Griffin Racing Chevrolet 203 0
6 18 38 Sammy Swindell Akins-Sutton Motorsports Ford 202 0
7 6 12 Scott Lagasse Venable Racing Ford 202 0
8 1 06 Butch Gilliland Ultra Motorsports Ford 202 10
9 17 2 Dave Ashley Ultra Motorsports Ford 198 0
10 16 11 Mike Hurlbert RPM Racing Ford 194 0
11 11 23 T. J. Clark Clark Racing Ford 187 0
12 7 8 Craig Huartson Bruce Huartson Race Team Chevrolet 174 0
13 10 1 P. J. Jones Vestar Motorsports Ford 165 0
14 8 21 Tobey Butler Venable racing Ford 100 0
15 14 51 Kerry Teague Rosenblum Racing Chevrolet 99 0
16 15 20 Walker Evans Walker Evans Racing Dodge 73 0
17 12 37 Bob Strait Strait Racing Ford 38 0
18 13 54 Steve McEachern McEachern Racing Chevrolet 38 0
Source:[20]

NASCAR Supertruck 25 (1995)[edit]

1995 NASCAR Supertruck 25
Race details
Date November 4, 1995 (1995-11-04)
Location Homestead Motorsports Complex, Homestead, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
1.5 mi (2.41 km)
Distance 25 laps, 37.5 mi (60.35 km)
Pole position
Driver Grier Lackey
Most laps led
Driver Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing
Laps 12
Winner
No. 7 Geoff Bodine Geoff Bodine Racing

Following the end of the 1995 NASCAR SuperTruck Series season, the series held a 25-lap exhibition race at the newly-opened Homestead Motorsports Complex. At the time, the track resembled a smaller Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was praised by series champion Mike Skinner. As trucks weren't as aerodynamic as regular stock cars, he commented, drivers had to be more cautious entering the turns.[21]

Pole-sitter Jimmy Hensley led the first two laps before Skinner took the lead. Skinner led until lap 12, when the competition caution was waved, and Geoff Bodine claimed first. Bodine led for three laps, followed by Skinner leading for a lap, then Butch Miller for two laps. Bodine took the lead from Miller on lap 19, and led all but one of the final seven laps (Skinner led lap 22) to beat Skinner by 0.1 seconds.[4] Ernie Irvan, who had failed to qualify for the Busch Series race, finished third.[22]

The track was added to the 1996 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule as the opening race.[21]

Race results[edit]

Race results
Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Run Laps Led
1 4 7 Geoff Bodine Geoff Bodine Racing Ford 25 9
2 9 3 Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 25 12
3 2 28 Ernie Irvan Irvan-Simo Racing Ford 25 0
4 8 98 Butch Miller Jim Herrick Ford 25 2
5 1 30 Jimmy Hensley Grier Lackey Motorsports Dodge 25 2
6 7 6 Rick Carelli Chesrown Racing Chevrolet 25 0
7 5 87 John Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet 25 0
8 3 1 Mike Chase Vestar Motorsports Chevrolet 25 0
9 10 63 Ron Esau Bunce Engineering Chevrolet 25 0
10 6 64 Michael Dokken Wayne Dokken Chevrolet 20 0
Source:[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huntting, Lynn (February 25, 2005). "Press Snoop: NASCAR Truck Series facts". Road and Track. Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  2. ^ Rockne, Dick (May 8, 1995). "Trucks Pick Up Fans, Sponsors". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  3. ^ "About the track". Tucson Raceway Park. Archived from the original on December 12, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "1995 NASCAR Supertruck 25". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Mims, Mark (May 20, 1994). "NASCAR announces debut of Supertruck Racing Series". Longview News-Journal. Retrieved April 5, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Craig Huartson". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Glick, Shav (June 17, 1994). "Ready or Not, Here Come the Trucks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "1994 Supertruck Mesa Marin 20". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  9. ^ Pope, Thomas (February 4, 1995). "NASCAR SUPERTRUCK SERIES OPENS IN PHOENIX". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  10. ^ Zurschmeide, Jeff. Portland Speedway. Arcadia Publishing. Retrieved February 19, 2015. We announced a special exhibition of the brand-new NASCAR SuperTrucks Series. I've never seen anything like it. I had to hang out the SOLD OUT sign, and that broke my heart, says former speedway manager Craig Armstrong.
  11. ^ a b "1994 Supertruck Portland 20". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Esper, Darian (September 11, 1994). "SAUGUS SPEEDWAY : Collins Wins Exhibition for SuperTrucks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c "1994 Supertruck Saugus 20". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  14. ^ a b "1994 Supertruck Tucson 20". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  15. ^ Stephens, Tim (October 9, 1994). "Strait, NASCAR join truckers". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  16. ^ Baumgartner, Lee (November 10, 2016). "Racing heats up with NASCAR Winter Series". Tucson Citizen. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  17. ^ Williams, Charean (November 17, 1994). "New Nascar Series Makes Debut Sunday". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  18. ^ a b c "1994 Supertruck Winter Heat 200 #1". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  19. ^ a b c "1994 Supertruck Winter Heat 200 #2". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  20. ^ a b c "1995 Supertruck Winter Heat 200 #3". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  21. ^ a b Harris, Mike (November 5, 1995). "'Careful' is the key word in first Homestead race". Standard-Speaker. Retrieved April 5, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. (subscription required)
  22. ^ O'Brien, David (November 5, 1995). "Breakthrough Truck Win Super For Bodine". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved March 8, 2015.