Later Start for 2012 Season
Dale Wilkerson March 2011
With NASCAR planning to eliminate the early season off week for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, fans who attended the Camping World Truck race, at the Darlington Raceway, left wondering if the next season’s truck race will be early in the season or moved back to summer or fall.
The 2010 race was announced late as a replacement for the closed Milwaukee Mile event. That date was in mid-August, on a day that had both thunderstorms early and high temperatures in the afternoon. The crowd for the stand alone event this year drew about the same as the last time Darlington hosted a truck race in conjunction with a Sprint Cup race weekend. A few things that might help the series could be larger fields, a longer race, and a better mix of makes and models.
Top photo is the #29 Penske Dodge driven by Parker Kligerman and bottom photo the #10 Ford driven by Chase Mattioli. Photos by C.D. McAbee
39 trucks attempted to qualify for the race which under current rules can only start 36. I would like to see the truck fields upped to at least 40 per race if not the same 43 as Sprint Cup and Nationwide.
With this being a standalone race, a few more laps would also help the crowd. I know the trucks normally run shorter races but for a standalone event, 300 miles would work out to 225 laps of racing.
As for makes and models, there were plenty of Chevrolets and Toyotas in the race. For Dodge and Ford fans, y’all had one (that is 1) each to choose from. Dodge has cut back in all series but the MOPAR fans would love to see the Dodge Ram return to the level of dominance it enjoyed with drivers like Bobby Hamilton, Ted Musgrave, and Robert Pressley a few years ago. And some GMC owners have been waiting since 1995 to cheer for the favorite truck. Don’t tell me a Chevrolet and a GMC is the same thing, and don’t tell that to a GMC owner.
When the 2012 schedule is announced I hope to see, and fill sure we will see, Darlington back on the truck series schedule, and I hope it gets a few laps added as well.
Friends of Droppin' the Hammer, David Starr #81 and Max Papis #9