NASCAR big rig drivers rev up

| 4/12/2002

The big boys of racing made their way back to the track this past weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway as the International Truck Challenge kicked off its second season.

The lesser-known drivers of the National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) Winston Cup teams took the wheel - and the spotlight - in a fierce skills competition of their own.

NASCAR Winston Cup race team drivers will exhibit their skills over four weekends throughout this season for the "International Truck Challenge," a series of timed obstacle courses designed to showcase the talents of NASCAR's big rig drivers, as well as the powerful trucks they rely on to get them from race to race.

"The rig drivers of NASCAR play a crucial role in keeping Winston Cup drivers in the race from week to week," said Steve Keate, president, truck group, International Truck and Engine Corporation. "The International Truck Challenge gives us a great opportunity to showcase their skills and reward them for their hard work."

Testing a variety of tough truckdriving skills with two intricate 180-degree turns, two slalom runs, a series of tethered barriers and a simulated loading dock, the competition awards points to drivers for skillfully maneuvering the obstacle course while racing against a clock. Superior driving skill is awarded with bonus points, but mistakes result in deductions, instead of tickets.

The winner of each of this year's four competitions receives $1,000 and a shot at the end-of-season $20,000 jackpot from International, awarded to the points leader after the season's final event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Races will take place during Winston Cup Series events at Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX/April 6; Lowe's Motor Speedway, Charlotte, NC/May 18; Chicago Motor Speedway, Chicago/July 13; and Atlanta Motor Speedway, Atlanta/Oct. 26.

For driver standings throughout the racing season, or for more information on the International Truck Challenge, visit or