NASCAR Nextel Cup veteran Ricky Craven has joined 2004 Nextel Cup Championship winning team Roush Racing for an assault on the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship.

Craven and Roush's 'Race for the Ride' winner Todd Kluever will pilot Roush's two Ford F-150s next year, replacing Carl Edwards and Jon Wood.

The popular 38 year-old New Englander comes to Roush with a wealth of experience in NASCAR racing, most recently with PPI Motorsport, whom he left during the summer. He began his NASCAR career in the Busch North Series in 1990, moved up to the Busch Series in 1992 and ran his first full Nextel Cup season in 1995.

He won rookie-of-the-year honours in all three divisions and has also won two Nextel Cup races, with the most recent being one of the closest finishes in Cup Series history in 2003 when he beat Kurt Busch by .002 seconds in the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington, which officials tagged the closest finish in NASCAR since electronic scoring came into use in 1993.

"I am really pleased to join the Roush organization," Craven said. "I am looking forward to racing in the Craftsman Truck Series since the competition just gets better every year. Our goal is to give Roush another truck championship next year, and I'm also excited to work with an outstanding rookie like Todd. I think the combination will be exceptional."

Kluever (pronounced Kleever), 26, hails from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin where he began racing motorcycles at the age of 14. In 2000, he began racing super late models in Wisconsin and was the track champion at Madison International Speedway in 2001. He made the move to ASA in 2002 and has competed in that series for the past three years. In 50 starts he has earned six top-five and 21 top-10 finishes with his own team.

"I was thrilled when I got the phone call the other day," Kluever said. "I left the last test at Darlington trying not to get my hopes up, but to be chosen for this ride is just amazing. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I have to thank everyone at Roush for making this happen for me. I hope I can carry on the Wisconsin tradition of success at Roush that Matt Kenseth started."

"Our truck program will be very strong next year with the combination of Ricky and Todd," Jack Roush said. "We are lucky to get a veteran driver with the talent and experience that Ricky brings to the table. He will be a huge asset to our program and he will also be a great mentor for Todd.

"I was thoroughly impressed with Todd when I watched him test at North Wilkesboro," Roush continued. "He adapted to the truck quickly, and was smooth and patient. I believe he has a bright future at Roush Racing."