ARCH OF OPPORTUNITY: Ricky Carmichael will head to Gateway (Ill) International Raceway for the first time as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes their 18th stop of the 2009 season.
Thus far in 2009, Carmichael has earned his career best Truck Series finish of seventh at Kentucky Speedway. He has recorded five top-15 finishes in 12 starts this season. According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Carmichael has made a total of 267 green-flag passes and has recorded 10 of the fastest laps run this season.
Even though Carmichael has never been to the 1.25-mile track, he and the No. 4 Monster Energy team can lean on three-time Truck Series champion, current point leader and 2008 Gateway International Raceway winner Ron Hornaday,as well as 1998 Gateway Truck Series winner and Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) General Manager Rick Careilli for tips on racing at the facility. Carmicheal also has KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick to go to for tips on racing at Gateway. Harvick is a multi-race winner at the track.
“Rick (Carelli) and (Ron) Hornaday have been real assests this season,” said Carmichael. “They have both really helped to get me going in the right direction on some of these new tracks. I’m really fortunate to have them to lean on. I think they help make me a better driver and our team better with their advice. I also go to Kevin (Harvick) for advice a lot, he has driven at 99.9% of the tracks we go to before and has years of experience that he can pass along to me.”
ALL BETS ARE OFF: While in Chicago for the inaugural Truck Series race, Carmichael and KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick made a little wager over dinner. They decided that whichever driver was able to score a top-five finish in their respective series first (Carmichael in the Truck Series and Harvick in the Cup Series) could buzz the other’s head. The challenge would begin in Iowa for Carmichael and Atlanta for Harvick. Even though Carmichael and the No. 4 Monster Energy team made a valiant comeback to finish 13th in the Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway, it was Harvick and the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil team that was able to strike first scoring a second-place finish in the Pep Boys 500. Harvick won the bet in the first week of competition. A date or location has yet to be set.
BEFORE THE RACE: QUOTES WITH DRIVER RICKY CARMICHAEL:
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON RACING AT GATEWAY FOR THE FIRST TIME?
“I’m really excited. I think coming off of last week in Iowa, where we really struggled, but came back for a decent finish gives me confidence going to a new place. I’m really proud of our team. We seem to improve each week. It is nice when I can be in the truck for a few consecutive weeks. I think that really helps our performance.”
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 4 Monster Energy team will unload truck chassis No.032 at Gateway International Raceway. Chassis No. 032 was previously raced by Carmichael at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis where he had a top-five run going until he was forced into the wall late in the race by another truck. The team repaired the chassis in time for J.R. Fitzpatrick to climb behind the wheel at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Fitzpatrick was the top finishing rookie at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” finishing 11th.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Last week at the inaugural race at Iowa Speedway, the No. 4 Monster Energy team had to pull out a back-up truck following a practice crash. Carmichael qualified in the 26th position, but was able to find a good groove and worked his way into the top 15 by the half-way point. Carmichael was able to gain several more positions to finish the 200-lap race in the 13th position.
ONLINE MEDIA KITS: Media members can now access KHI media kits online at KevinHarvickInc.com. Included on the site are driver bios, driver and team images, KHI history and statistics, team profiles and schedules. Please contact Jessica Stroupe (JStroupe@kevinharvickinc.com) or Alicia Deal (ADeal@kevinharvickinc.com) at KHI for access to the new site.
About Monster Energy
Monster Energy supports the sport, no matter how radical or extreme. Be it Ricky Carmichael’s high-speed, high-banked NASCAR racing program, supercross, rally, insane distance jumping, motocross, MotoGP, roadracing, supermoto, off-road, freestyle motocross, skate, MTB, rock crawling, wake, mini bikes, surf, snow, BMX – the list goes on – the athletes that participate in these unique forms of athleticism are sparked by Monster Energy. Available in Original Monster Energy, Monster Lo-Carb, Monster Assault, Monster Khaos, Monster’s fruit juice hybrid dubbed “M-80,” the party-friendly MIXXD, the ground-breaking Java Monster premium coffee & cream drink line (supercharged with our Monster Energy blend), as well as the new Monster Energy “Hitman” energy shot, there’s something for everyone. Wherever they go, Monster Energy beverages power the Monster Army of athletes. Be sure to check out their never-ending series of adventures at www.monsterarmy.com and www.monsterenergy.com.
About Kevin Harvick Inc.
Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), established in 2001, is a 70,000 sq. ft. facility located in Kernersville, N.C. KHI houses two full-time Truck Series teams, including the 2007 series champions. The No. 33 team is led by three-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday and the No. 4 KHI All-Stars team is comprised of Ricky Carmichael, the most successful motocross racer in American history, J.R. Fitzpatrick and a variety of NASCAR Sprint Cup stars. KHI is also home to the No. 33 Nationwide Series team competing full-time with drivers Kevin Harvick (a two-time Nationwide Series champion), 2008 Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman, Ron Hornaday, Cale Gale and Kelly Bires. The 2009 season marks KHI’s sixth year of full-time competition in NASCAR’s elite divisions. Visit www.kevinharvickinc.com for more information.
September 12, 2009
Gateway (Ill.) International Raceway
Race length: 160 Laps/ 200 Miles
Banking/Turns: 11-degrees turns one and two, 9-degrees turn three and four; 3-degree straight-a-ways
Track layout: 1.25-mile
Practice: 3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m., EST
Final Practice: 7:15 p.m. – 8:15 p.m., EST
Qualifying: 11:05 a.m., EST
TV: The Copart 200 can be seen on SPEED at 2:00 p.m., EST
Radio: The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will broadcast live at 2:00 p.m., EST
No. 4 Chevrolet Silverado Specs:
No. 4 Monster Energy Truck
KHI All-Star team
NASCAR Truck Series
Remaining Scheduled Starts:
September 26 Las Vegas
October 24 Martinsville
October 31 Talladega