Scott Harvey - coauthor

05/10/00 Volume Nine:
Race 7,
Ram Tough 200
Qualified 5th Finished 9th

After having a week off, we rolled into St. Louis with the same truck we had here last year. To kick off the weekend's festivities, I, along with a few other drivers visited a children's hospital in St. Louis, and said hello to a bunch of kids who were a bit under the weather. We signed a lot of autographs, stood for a lot of photographs…and most importantly, in the end, everybody had a big smile on their faces, myself included.

Once we got to the track, we got unloaded and did the best we could in practice. The truck wasn't the fastest, but at least it was consistent. As I mentioned, it was the same truck we had here last year, with the only difference being that it had the new Silverado body style for 2000. Chevrolet really did their homework with this truck, changing (and improving) the aero package so that the front end had a lot more down force. The other difference from the prior year was the tire that Goodyear brought. It had a different feel to it, which forced every team to adapt their suspension setup a bit. By the end of the practice period, we ended up being 9th or 10th fastest, which is right about where we thought we'd be.

"The night before the race, the rains came to St. Louis and really made a mess of things in the area."

In qualifying, we clicked off a great lap, putting ourselves 5th on the grid. (Then, right before the race, NASCAR disqualified the truck next to us, moving us up to the fourth spot.) When fine-tuning the truck for the race, we had to pay some attention to the fender configuration. With the new body style, the team had a lot more down force, but you have to be careful because too much down force can scrub off straight-line speed. So as it ended up, we had what we thought was the right balance, but in hindsight, it would have been nice to have at least one more practice period.

The night before the race, the rains came to St. Louis and really made a mess of things in the area. About 14 inches of rain came down, and surprisingly, did little to change the track. It did however cause problems for our motor coach, which I will talk about a little later.

When race time came around, we had to wait out a last minute rainstorm, then, had the start delayed for just under an hour while they dried the track. Like I said before, it's amazing how well the track did under the circumstances. When the green flag fell, it took me a lap or two to get a feel for the truck, and what I felt I didn't like. Around lap four or five, the truck was so loose that I almost spun out, but then got shoved up to the high groove (which wasn't such a bad thing).

I decided to take it easy, and let the truck come to me. By the time the first round of pit stops came, I was in 7th or 8th, and felt pretty good about how the truck would be after some adjustments. We took on two tires, left the pits after a great stop by the crew, and didn't lose a spot. Not too shabby!

Next Page

 

Ram Tough 200
Race Results

Pos Name Sponsor
Make
1 Jack
Sprague
GMAC
Finance
2 Jimmy
Hensley
Lance
Snacks
3 Randy
Tolsma
Supergard
Motor Oil
4 Greg
Biffle
Grainger
5 Joe Ruttman DANA
Corporation
6 Steve
Grissom
Motorsports
7 Mike
Wallace
Team
ASE
8 Bryan
Reffner
Johns
Manville
9 Terry
Cook
PickupTruck
.com
10 Randy
Renfrow
Farris
Concrete
11 Brendan
Gaughan
NAPA
Auto Parts
12 Rick
Craw
Milwaukee
Elec. Tools
13 B.A.
Wilson
Sonntag
Redi-Mix
14 Lance
Norick
Aventis
Berhing
15 David
Starr
Conely
Engines
16 Dennis
Setzer
Mopar
17 Randy
MacDonald
3M/Trader
online.com
18 Carlos
Contreras
Hot
Wheels
19 Rob
Morgan
Acxiom
20 Lance
Hooper
Ingles
Supermarket
21 Kurt
Busch
Exide
Batteries
22 Kenny
Martin
Premiere
Truck Parts
23 Jamie
McMurray
Kribs / Rankin
Tech Tool
24 Andy
Houston
CAT Rental
Stores
25 Marty
Houston
Spears
Mnfg.
26 Andy
Genzman
Hastings
Premium Filters
27 Tommy
Powers
Ducane
Gas Grills
28 John
Young
Brevak
Racing
29 Rick
Carelli
Carlin Burners
& Controls
30 Rich
Woodland
 
31 Ryan
McGlynn
BuyersChoice Warranties
32 Coy
Gibbs
MBNA
33 Doug
George
RC
Cola
34 Brad
Bennett
REYBEN
Racing

Ram Tough 200 by Pepsi Race Stats
Time of race: 2 hours, 45 minutes, 40 seconds
Average Speed: 113.726 mph (record)
Margin of Victory: 7.032 seconds
Lead Changes: 3 among 2 drivers
Cautions: 3 for 14 laps

Ram Tough 200 by Pepsi Contingency Awards
Bud Pole Award: Greg Biffle
Clevite Engine Builder of the Race Award: ($650):Ronnie Reavis, No. 24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet
Gatorade Front Runner Award ($2,000): Jack Sprague
Raybestos Brakes Award ($800): Sprague
Rookie-of-the-Race: Carlos Contreras
Ventvisor Super Deflector Award ($500): Sprague

Diary Segments
Terry Cook's Biography
Volume I - Road to Daytona
Volume II - Daytona 250
Volume III - Florida Dodge Dealers 400

Volume IV - The Mini-Vacation
Volume V - Chevy Trucks 150
Volume VI - Dodge California Truck Stop 250
Volume VII - Napa 250
Volume VIII - Line-X 225K
Volume IX - Ram Tough 200
Volume X - Memphis 200
Volume XI - Grainger.com 200
Volume XII - Sears 200
Volume XIII - DieHard 200
Volume XIV - Silverado 200

Volume IX Pages:
Page 1
Page 2