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A guitar slinging tailgate party in the Music City

by Dave Grayson
Thursday, July 21, 2011


Two years ago bad-boy Kyle Busch smashed his winning guitar trophy and created a lot of controversy in Nashville
Just because the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is taking a weekend off doesn't mean there won't be any quality racing. The racing focal point will shine on Nashville-Tennessee: Music City USA. That's where you will find the hard charging NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. This Friday night's, high intensity, tail gate party will be presented, for your viewing pleasure, by Lucas Oil.

Over the years there has been countless occasions when the truck series was the class act of any NASCAR weekend. Friday night's Lucas Oil Deep Clean 200 is expected to be no exception. The 1.3 mile oval will be large enough for high speed truck racing yet tight enough to the point where drivers will have to set up a passing move very carefully. Waiting for the winner at the end of the race is a true Nashville tradition. The official race trophy is a beautiful Gibson Guitar hand pained by renown artist Sam Bass.


One of the big storylines here is the fact that the Lucas Oil Deep Clean 200 will be ran Busch free. Kyle Busch apparently will be taking the weekend off, from elevating his NASCAR national numbers, in both the truck and Nationwide Series events at Nashville this weekend. Kyle Busch Motorsports development driver Josh Richards will be making his second series start, in the famed #18 Toyota Tundra, with Joy Mining Machinery as the primary sponsor.


Kyle Busch Motorsports' #18 truck is currently leading the series' owner's points standings holding a 43 point advantage over DeLana Harvick, representing Kevin Harvick Inc, and their #2 Chevrolet Truck. Perhaps wanting to take advantage of a Busch free event, the Harvicks have recruited Elliott Sadler, their full time driver in the Nationwide Series, to run their #2 truck Friday night. Bully Hill Vineyards will sponsor Sadler and KHI in both races at Nashville this weekend.


The Lucas Deep Clean 200 will not be "Onion" free. Todd, "The Onion", Bodine will be returning in the #5 Randy Moss Motorsports Toyota with sponsorship provided by International Trucks and Monaco RV's. We are accustomed to seeing the series' two time champion driving the #30 Toyota Tundra for Germain Brothers Racing. But, following the July 7th Kentucky race, the team announced that it would be parking the truck for the Iowa and Nashville events due to a lack of race sponsorship. Both the owners and the driver agreed at the time that it was in the best interest of the team not to take on the expense of unsponsored events and instead focus on the races that were supported.

Meanwhile Randy Moss Motorsports was trying to run a full season, also with partial sponsorship, with driver Travis Kvapil who was dividing his schedule with a full time Sprint Cup ride with Front Row Motorsports. The Moss-Kvapil arrangement was deemed less than spectacular and is mired down in the points at 18th with only two top ten finishes to their credit. When the Moss organization learned of the availability of Bodine for the Iowa race they jumped on the opportunity. Moss provided the truck and the sponsor while the Germains provided the driver, crew chief and the crew members. The result was an encouraging top five finish and another pairing up for this weekend's Lucas Deep Clean 200.

In recent days Bob Germain met with Moss owner David Dollar. After comparing notes they discovered that, between the two of them, they had enough individual race sponsorships to run one truck for the full remaining season. A bargain was struck that will have Dollar provide the race truck with the Germains doing the prep work and pit service. While this arrangement has all the appearances of becoming an official merger, that we've seen so many times in NASCAR recently, the two team owners are insisting that it's actually just a collaboration.

Following their Iowa accomplishment it appears to be a strong collaboration that could yield even better results in Friday night's Lucas Deep Clean 200. In last year's series appearance at Nashville Todd Bodine won both the Keystone Light Pole award as well as the race.


When it comes to special award presentations at the end of a NASCAR race there are two special trophies that drivers covet. One of them is certainly the custom grandfather clock that comes with winning a race at the Martinsville Speedway. The other special trophy is the beautiful Gibson Guitar custom painted by Sam Bass, the official artists of NASCAR.

Since 2002 Sam Bass has been transforming his love of music and racing into these beautiful custom guitars such as the one that will be presented to the winner of the Lucas Deep Clean 200 Friday night. It takes approximately 150 hours to create this beautiful and unique trophy. By the way, the cover of the souvenir programs for the NASCAR weekend at Nashville is another result of Sam Bass' vision and something that he's also been doing for many years now.



The Lucas Deep Clean 200 is 150 laps/200 miles around the Nashville Super Speedway's 1.333 mile oval.

Located in Lebanon-Tennessee, The Nashville Super Speedway is always challenging to the drivers because of its concrete covered, D shaped, oval. The turns are banked at 14 degrees and then converts down to 6 to 9 degrees on the straightaways.

The race has 31 entries for a possible 36 starting berths. That means that knock out qualifying polices will not apply on Friday and all teams will get to start the race.

The Lucas Deep Clean 200 will be broadcast live by the SPEED Channel with the pre race show beginning at 730 pm eastern standard time.

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