NCTS Drivers Log Laps in Las Vegas
Four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams are testing tires for Goodyear at Las Vegas Motor Speedway tonight and tomorrow in preparation for the Sept. 23 Smith’s Las Vegas 350. Each of the four participating manufacturers was represented: Dodge (Brendan Gaughan of Las Vegas), Chevrolet (Dennis Setzer), Toyota (Todd Bodine) and Ford (Rick Crawford). For three of the four drivers, it was their first time out on LVMS’ new pavement and high-banked turns.
Having won the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Sam’s Town 300 and last year’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Las Vegas 350 at LVMS, Todd Bodine perhaps knows his way around the 1.5-mile superspeedway better than any of the other participating drivers. The new banking surprised the veteran from Chemung, N.Y.
“I’ll tell you, I was a little skeptical at first, riding around in a (stock) Tundra,” Bodine admitted. “But then I got in the race truck and I was very impressed. The track itself – the shape, the entries and exits, the corners – they’re much better than they appear to be. I think it’s going to be a really good track to race on. I’ve won here in Busch and Truck and I’ve always loved coming to Vegas. Hopefully we can get our truck just as good as it was last time.”
“It’s a big, big change,” said Chevrolet’s Setzer. “It’s a huge change – I cannot believe how much has been changed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The banking’s going to be fun to work with, I think. It’s got some characteristics unique to Vegas already. We’ll see how it works.”
Testing will continue Wednesday at 4 p.m. The session is not open to the public.
Tickets for the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Sept. 23 may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or online at www.LVMS.com.