CONCORD, N.C. (April 23, 2008) - When the Craftman Truck Series resumes this weekend in Kansas after nearly a month off, there is one driver in particular who is looking forward to heading back to The Jayhawk State. Erik Darnell and his Northern Tool +Equipment Ford F-150 rolled into victory lane last year after leading 92 of the 167 laps in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250. The win gave Darnell his first victory in the Craftsman Truck Series.
“It’s always special going back to the place where you picked up your first career truck series win,” said Darnell. “I always thought about what it would be like to celebrate in victory lane, and to do at Kansas was an awesome feeling.”
With that said though, heading back to Kansas also means Darnell will go into Saturday’s race as the defending champion. However, he doesn’t feel any added pressure of being last year’s champ. “Just because we’re the defending champion, I don’t feel like there’s any added pressure to go back there and run well. There’s pressure every week to run well,” explained Darnell.
If the team wants to have another successful run at Kansas, crew chief Matt Puccia says it begins with qualifying. “Since track positioning is so important at this track, we need to qualify up front if we want a good shot of getting back to victory lane,” said Puccia. He added that with Kansas and Atlanta similar in track size, they are bringing the same truck they used back in March. The truck tested well before the Atlanta race and Puccia feels it’s their best chance at a win.
Darnell currently sits eighth in the standings after four races. His best finish thus far in 2008 is a fifth-place finish in Martinsville. “Coming off a top-five finish in Martinsville, I hope the momentum carries over to Kansas,” said Darnell.
Having that momentum when the green flags drop Saturday evening, may just be what Darnell and his Northern Tool + Equipment team needs to pull off another Kansas performance to remember.
About Northern Tool + Equipment
Northern Tool + Equipment has been a supplier of high-quality tools and equipment for more than 27 years, selling products through direct mail, the Internet and at nearly 65 retail locations in 11 states. Along with a deep selection of hand, power and air tools, Northern Tool + Equipment carries a wide variety of products, including generators, pressure washers, air compressors, hydraulics, small engines, trailers, water pumps, tractors, welding equipment and much more. Northern Tool + Equipment also serves as the exclusive distributor of NorthStarTM brand equipment, which is fabricated and assembled at the company’s 250,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility. For more information, visit www.northerntool.com.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Travis Kvapil and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.