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Monday, December 22, 2014
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Published: Friday, 5/7/2004

Auto racing notes

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

TRUCKING TO OHIO: When the UAW/GM 250 Craftsman Truck Series gets cranked up in Mansfield, Ohio, next week, the field should be packed with all of the top drivers on the circuit. The winners of the three previous events this season - Carl Edwards, Bobby Hamilton and Rick Crawford - have committed to run at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. It will be the first NASCAR event featuring one of its top racing circuits to take place in Ohio in almost 50 years.

Former Craftsman Truck Series champions Mike Skinner, Jack Sprague and Travis Kvapil are also entered, along with former Winston Cup (now Nextel Cup) drivers Ted Musgrave, Steve Park and Geoff Bodine.

Toyota has made its debut in NASCAR this season and all seven Toyota teams have filed entries for the race, including Darrell Waltrip s Tundra driven by David Reutimann, who is leading the rookie of the year standings.

This is the fourth race in the 25-event season, and it runs Sunday, May 16 at 2 p.m. It will be carried live on the SPEED channel. It is a 250-lap race over the half-mile oval, with $440,784 in prize money on the line.

ON THE MEND: The ARCA drivers took their licks circling the two-mile Michigan International Speedway oval recently for a round of open testing, and none of them was likely happier about a day at the track than ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Bobby Gerhart. He was back behind the wheel for the first time since a football injury in February.

Gerhart was playing touch football in the parking lot of his hotel prior to the season-opening race at Daytona and injured his hamstring. He went on to win the Daytona pole and ran the race before getting back home and realizing the injury was much worse than initially thought.

After rehabbing the injury, Gerhart was anxious to get back in the car.

“It s like any other sport because it s hard to be away for a certain amount of time and be as good as you maybe once were, or can be,” Gerhart said. “It s a big culture shock.”

Gerhart is expected to be part of the field when the ARCA RE/MAX Series runs at Toledo Speedway on May 16, and at MIS for the Flagstar 200 in June.



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