MIKE SKINNER, with a new Truck number, was fastest on Saturday afternoon during NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying for the Las Vegas 350 night race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with a time of 32.664secs.

This is his first pole position since he returned to the Truck Series with Toyota, and his 16th overall. Toyota Racing Development (TRD) negotiated with Bang Racing and the two are 'partnered' so Skinner can now use a new Truck number - Skinner chose #5.

DENNIS SETZER will start beside Skinner, and rookie DAVID REUTIMANN - run by DARRELL WALTRIP - will start third. JACK SPRAGUE starts fourth and HANK PARKER Jr will start fifth. Half of the top ten are Toyotas - and there are eight in the race. Chevrolet has twelve Trucks, and Ford and Dodge have eight each.

There are two women drivers in the race, both rookies. KELLY SUTTON starts tenth, her best start in the series. She is sponsored by Copaxone, the Multiple Sclerosis medication she uses for her disease. DEBRA RENSHAW starts 34th on a provisional.

JR PATTON is the first native American to run the Craftsman Truck Series. The 21-year old is a registered native American Indian and carries the Zia symbol on the hood of his truck. The Zia Indians come from New Mexico. He starts 33rd in his first Truck race. Patton came from the NASCAR feeder series including Super Late Models and the Featherlite Southwest Series, where he was last year's Rookie of the Year.

CARL EDWARDS was fastest in Happy Hour practice, which was also the first and final practice the Trucks had all day. His time was 32.861secs. Edwards will be one busy racer this weekend. He's running both the Truck race and the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Dover Downs.

Edwards started out in Charlotte, flew Roush Air's 727 jet to Dover for Cup practice and qualifying. He then hopped on MATT KENSETH's jet from Dover to Las Vegas, arriving at 8pm PT Friday night. He missed the Truck autograph session downtown Las Vegas.

After Saturday night's Truck race, where he will start 15th, Edwards will take a Roush-chartered helicopter to McCarran Airport executive terminal and fly Kenseth's plane back to Dover. From Dover, he will fly Roush Air back to Charlotte. JACK ROUSH, team owner for Edwards in both race vehicles, ordered Edwards to sleep on all the fight. Jack joked he didn't want to see Edwards walking around at Dover until time for the drivers' meeting. DAVE BLANEY drove Edwards' car in Cup Happy Hour practice.

There are three conflicts for Edwards in the two NASCAR series - Las Vegas, next weekend at California Speedway for Trucks while Cup races at Talladega, and the weekend of 16 October, when both races are on the same day in two different states. The Trucks race at Texas Motor Speedway at 2pm ET and Cup starts around 7-7:30pm ET at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte NC. In the last instance, Blaney could be on standby to start the race, pending approval by NASCAR. Blaney would get the driver points, but Roush would get the owner points.

For the Fontana race next weekend, Edwards will practice and qualify Trucks at Fontana, and then immediately fly to Talladega for drafting practice which he needs for approval to race. He then flies back to Fontana to race Trucks and then back to Talladega for the Cup race. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Edwards doesn't do anything special for these doubles, and doesn't travel with any medical people. But, this weekend, he does have his mother and that's the next best thing.


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