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Is There a Future for the Trucks?

Discussion in 'Motorsports / Racing News' started by GaryS, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

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    With Ford factory participation gone, and generic Ilmore engines optional for all makes, will the NASCAR truck series survive? Toyota has long said they will not allow non-Toyota engines in their sponsored vehicles, so their participation in the series is questionable.

    At best, I'm guessing it will become an all-Chevy series, with a few Ilmore-powered Toyota and Ford bodies run by independents until the supply of sheet metal dries up. Since the spec-engine is promoted as being cheaper than the manufacturer approved design, most of the Chevys will probably use the spec engine.

    Seeing all the empty seats the past few years, I see nothing in the near future that will pay the purses, much less draw new sponsorships.

    If the series folds, what would that do to the remaining NASCAR series that are double-billed at many tracks?
     
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  2. Beentherebefore

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    Is the Ilmore engine still optional or will it now be required? If it will now be required, Toyota, as you said, will be gone. If the Ilmore remains optional, Toyota will probably stay, even if it costs owners more for their motors. Toyota believes that they get enough good publicity out of their participation that they will fork over the extra $$$ to keep their good teams like KBM on the circuit.
     
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  3. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

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    The article I read said it would be optional, but that was some time ago and I haven't seen anything more about it.

    I see Toyota's complaint being teams who do not get factory support using a spec engine, and without Ford and Ram sheet metal, many of the start and park guys would use readily available Toyota sheet metal.

    Just as many fans hoping the Challengers in the Xfinity series would just go away and not embarrass Dodge, Toyotas being lapped might take a bit of luster off the brand.

    Unlike the last return to NASCAR, I doubt Chrysler would use the truck series as a place to re-enter the sport again.
     
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  4. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    All trucks should use thier companys drivetrain.
     
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  5. Beentherebefore

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    IMO, any racecar in any Nascar series should be required to have a motor that matches the brand of the body. Nascar is figuring that driver-oriented fans won't care as long as their favorite driver can battle up front. I, for one, believe that there are still plenty of brand-oriented fans. If spec motors come to dominate, those fans (like me) will stay away from the races and probably not watch them on TV either. Nascar's audiences will drop even more than they already are.
     
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  6. prowler

    prowler Member

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    I remember when the truck series was really popular somewheres around 1994-96 years. I may be off a little as I can't remember the exact time frame. BUT........Dodge was really a player and the new Dodge Rams were really competitive winning many races. In some regards back then the trucks were more exciting to watch than the cars. That was when Dodge was running the opposite black and white Mopar colors. I'm not sure if it was because Dodge decided to concentrate on the Nascar car series but they faded away from the trucks. As much as they were on a roll it seemed like a year later that they were gone except a couple of camps that hung on the the Dodge trucks until there was no support for them. That is when I stopped watching as well. Once and a while I tuned in just to see what was running but as in the car series with no Mopar's racing, little to no interest from me. It's since been that way especially when Dodge pulled out of the car series. It would appear that drag racing is going the same way. With out Dodge in pro stock my interest is little to none there as well.
     
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  7. Beentherebefore

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    This black & white one?


    [​IMG]

    Won the Truck series Championship in 2005 - driven by Ted Musgrave.

    This truck, driven by Bobby Hamilton, actually beat Musgrave by a year, winning the championship in 2004. It was Dodge's first championship in the series although they came close a few times before.


    [​IMG]
     
    #7 Beentherebefore, Dec 26, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  8. prowler

    prowler Member

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    That was great! But no.....the two drivers that wore the opposite black/white Mopar paint schemes were way before that. I want to say it was Dennis Setzer(spelling), and I can't remember who the other driver was. During that time frame there were several other Dodge trucks running as well. The point is, is that Dodge was well represented during that time. Watched them all one by one disappear. Only to have the one's that remained switch to brand-X.
     
  9. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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    There was Jimmy Hensley in the #30 Team Mopar truck, Bob Keselowski in the #29 Winnebago truck , Lance Norick in the #19 Macklanburg-Duncan truck, Dennis Setzer in the #1 Team Mopar truck and quite a few more in the early years of 1995-1996...
     
  10. CudaPete

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    Before that, didn't Setzer run the red Greer-Lacky Dodge? Almost beat Mike Skinner at Milwaukee. One of the best races I ever saw.
     
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  11. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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    YEP !
     
  12. Beentherebefore

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    I asked about that Grier Lackey truck over on the Truck historical thread and nobody could answer my questions.

    1) Who was Grier Lackey? (obviously a team owner but what were his connections to Dodge, if any?).

    2) Whatever happened to him? Watching Joe Bessey driving his truck competitively in one of the first races got me excited that better things were coming for Mopar down the road in Nascar. That came true, of course, but Grier Lackey just kind of dissappeared after a few years.
     
    #12 Beentherebefore, Dec 27, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  13. Beentherebefore

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    If you go to the Nascar Truck series thread in Historical there are pictures/stories from just about all the teams you are talking about.
     
    #13 Beentherebefore, Dec 27, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  14. Beentherebefore

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    The very first race of 1995 (the first full season for NCTS - a few exhibition races were held in 1994) was held @ Phoenix. The Grier Lackey truck (#30), driven by Joe Bessey, finished 4th and I remember it in the middle of the lead pack battle right up to the checkered flag. There were 2 other Mopars in that race - Bob Keselowski (finished 22nd) and Walker Evans (finished 29th).

    Lackey's truck did not run the entire circuit in 1995 (he skipped the Northwest swing), only entering 11 races. The best finish for his truck that year was indeed Setzer's 2nd @ Milwaukee in July.

    In 1996, Lackey entered his truck in all 24 races with Jimmy Hensley as his driver. They got some very good finishes (but no wins) specifically;

    2nd @ Nazareth, 3rd @ Colorado, and 4th places @ Tuscon and Milwaukee.

    The Grier Lackey truck was actually the first one in the series with Mopar Performance as the sponsor, starting in 1996. Bob Keselowski's sponsor at that time was Winnebago. In 1997, Mopar Performance switched their sponsorship to Keselowski.
     
  15. prowler

    prowler Member

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    Yes!!...It was Bob K that I couldn't remember. But the truck series and Dodge's bowing out for some reason is just par for the course regarding how this company has thrown in the towel(s). Here they were, winning and very competitive and what do they do?...Pull out! Nascar..same thing. A winning brand...pull out. And now pro stock....pull out. I would be willing to bet that in the near future we will see DSR having their entire field of Funny Cars and Top Fuel replaced from Mopar to Toyota. Why?.....Because Mopar will pull out! In another three or four years all were going to see in every motor sport is a Toyota banner. That company spends millions upon millions to have their banner waving in the wind or plastered on some bill board. It could be a curling match and the players will be wearing shirts with Toyota on them. It's getting old real fast.
     
  16. Robert J Sublett

    Robert J Sublett Active Member

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    Rich Bickle in the King's 43 Dodge in 1996, owned by not Petty Ent. but Richard Petty Motorsports first version thus they were able to continue with GM on the Cup side 3 years until the 2001 return became official.
     
  17. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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  18. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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    Here is the jacket we got when we were running the "Run with the RAM" program in the NASCAR Super Truck Series 1995-1996.

    Petty racing jacket back.JPG petty racing jacket front.JPG
     
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  19. Robert J Sublett

    Robert J Sublett Active Member

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  20. Robert J Sublett

    Robert J Sublett Active Member

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    Eddie,

    When you guys first went to Richard to put the truck deal together, the rumor was he asked when was a car coming. Is that accurate? Also, the story goes Harry Gant was first choice to drive the truck but after he declined the ride went to Bickle as a thank you for agreeing to change his Cup number so Adam could drive 45.
     

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