Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Truck races become hot item


In less than a year, the SuperTruck series already is a big favorite among racing fans.

When P.J. Jones won the first SuperTruck exhibition race in Bakersfield, Calif. last July, he thought NASCAR’s new racing series could eventually be a big hit. Give the SuperTrucks a couple of years, he figured, and the series could be very popular.

It hasn’t taken that long.

The 1995 NASCAR SuperTruck season kicks off today at Tucson Raceway Park – less than a year after the first exhibition race. The race will be televised live nationally by ESPN at 4:30 p.m.

“It’s been a lot quicker than anyone expected,’ Jones said. “In the past, the only place you could see trucks race was somewhere out in the desert. No one has seen trucks run on oval tracks. Now you’re seeing some big events.’

Today’s action kicks off a seven-month SuperTruck schedule over racetracks from California to New Jersey. ESPN will broadcast a handful of races, including today’s.

SuperTrucks have taken off so quickly, Jones said, that engine and parts suppliers were backed up for months after the inaugural Winter Heat series, which was held at TRP.

“Things are starting to get better, but at the start of the year, no one had anything,’ Jones said.

For the 25-year-old racer, there’s not much difference between racing cars and the modified trucks.

“It’s a close-knit type of racing, which I like,’ Jones said.

Jones won one of the Winter Heat races in Tucson and placed second in another. He’s done a little bit of everything in his racing career, following in the footsteps of his father, Parnelli Jones, who won the 1963 Indianapolis 500. Now, however, Jones is focusing solely on racing SuperTrucks and Indianapolis 500 testing for Toyota.

The 1995 SuperTruck series is the first national truck racing event sanctioned by NASCAR. All 20 races will be televised nationally.


* What: NASCAR SuperTrucks Series by Craftsman: Racing Champions 200

* When, where: Today, Tucson Raceway Park. Super Late Model qualifying, 12:30 p.m.; SuperTrucks qualifying, 1 p.m.; Super Late Model main event, 3 p.m.; SuperTrucks main event, 4:30 p.m.

* TV/Radio: ESPN will televise the SuperTrucks race live at 4:30 p.m.

* Admission: $18 for adults; $15 for children 12 and older, senior citizens and military; and children 11 and younger admitted free of charge.

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