February 19, 2008 11:42 AM

Fontana to Set the Tone for 2008 Season

CONCORD, N.C. (February 19, 2007) - With the 2008 season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in the books, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to California Speedway this weekend for the second race of the year. With a new rule package in place, speculation is that racing will look much different than it has in years past, with Daytona-like drafting packs becoming commonplace at speedways where they once weren't.

Erik Darnell, driver of the No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150, agrees with the early speculation.

"Fontana is going to be the first 'race' of the season in a way," said Darnell. "Daytona and Talladega, those two races are anomalies in a way, because restrictor plate racing is so different. This will be the first time we're heading to a more conventional track with the new engine rules. The tapered spacers that we're going to be running will create a different look for the season."

While the new rule package will debut at Fontana, it will not be the first experience the Truck Series drivers have with the configuration. The series tested at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month.

"We saw in Atlanta when we tested there last month that you're going to be able to run with your foot to the floor lap after lap," Darnell added. "With conditions like that, it's going to be very hard for someone to pull away from the pack. I believe that you'll wind up having packs of trucks together, like we see at Daytona and Talladega. I think being the leader with a few laps to go might be a scary situation. Once we get a few races behind us, I am sure we'll all have a better handle on things."

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at 3:00 PM EST this Saturday, February 23, at California Speedway.

About Northern Tool + Equipment

Northern Tool + Equipment has been a supplier of high-quality tools and equipment for more than 26 years, selling products through direct mail, the Internet and over 60 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

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 and Joey Clanton; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

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