Back in the truck – Bradberry geared up for weekend race

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 6, 2004

More than a month since his last NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, Chelsea native Charlie Bradberry will climb back into his family-owned truck this weekend to race in the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway.

Bradberry was scheduled to race three races last weekend but due to rainouts, all three were rescheduled. The July 4 race at Birmingham International Raceway has been rescheduled for July 31.

While Bradberry has never run a Truck Series race at Kentucky, he has run several Southeast Series races there.

&uot;(Kentucky) is one of the nicest tracks I’ve been to, one of the nicest in the country,&uot; Bradberry said.

Since the track is fairly new, the new asphalt provides the drivers with a smooth surface.

&uot;The track is real wide, real smooth and real fun,&uot; Bradberry said.

Philip Hamilton, Bradberry’s crew chief, has been to Kentucky with the Truck Series in 2000 with driver B.A. Wilson.

Hamilton said he feels pretty confident with the truck this weekend, although the team has not had any practice there.

&uot;The hardest thing to do is go to a track where we haven’t been able to test,&uot; Hamilton said.

Even though Bradberry has experience at the track, it is often tough for a driver to learn to race the track in a different model while also having to figure out how to make the truck better, Hamilton said.

&uot;It’s tough when (Bradberry’s) trying to run the race track and figure out what the truck is doing,&uot; Hamilton said.

While the team has had limited time in the truck, Hamilton remains optimistic about the upcoming weekend.

&uot;I think we can make a pretty good showing,&uot; he said.

&uot;A Top 10 is not impossible.&uot;

The last time the team ran the truck they will be running this weekend was May 21 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway when Bradberry had worked his way into the Top five before being spun by Nextel Cup driver Kevin Harvick.

The truck sustained minor body damage in the spin but Bradberry knows its potential.

&uot;I think we’ll be pretty good,&uot; Bradberry said. &uot;We’re going all out.&uot;

In the up-coming weeks, Bradberry hopes to also run races at Michigan and Indianapolis Raceway Park, while also continuing to pursue a spot in a few Busch Series races later in the year.

Hamilton said he feels confident in his team’s ability to compete at the shorter tracks.

&uot;I have a lot of confidence in IRP and the possibility of a win at a short track is not far fetched,&uot; Hamilton said.

Even though Bradberry’s team doesn’t have the funding many other Truck Series teams have, Hamilton said his driver’s toughness and aggressiveness can make up for the lack of money at the smaller tracks.

&uot;While we are often competing against multi-million dollar teams, the money factor is not as big at a short track,&uot; Hamilton said.

&uot;Driver’s, like Charlie, who get up on the wheel, are going to do well.