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ARTS at TMS recap, 11/6/04

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By Pat Mayberry


The Lone Star Division of the All Star Race Truck Series closed out their season on Saturday with crafty veteran Jon Garrett capturing his third trip to victory lane this season. Garrett used his previous experience to turn in the dominating performance on the 1.2-mile road course at Texas Motor Speedway to cruise to victory lane.


Garrett raced the TMS layout in 2001 and carefully reviewed his notes before his crew started to work on the set-up for this race. "I think that my experience from 2001 was a huge part of my success, along with the hard work of my crew. They spent the past 2 weeks preparing for this race," stated Garrett who has been recovering from a back injury. "Mike Garrett, Colby Tipton and Randy Ortigo worked long hours to make sure that I had the best truck possible."


Colt James bettered Garrett in qualifying with a fast time of 40.932 seconds, but ended his race back in fourteenth spot. "We thought we had a shot for the pole, but I was a bit too cautious in the two low speed hairpins at both ends of the course," recalled Garrett of his qualifying run.


Garrett took advantage of James problems to grab the lead and once in control never looking back. "My main focus was to make sure that I hit my marks, and not miss shifts going into the hairpins, or overdrive those corners as well," stated Garret. "I tried to be as smooth and gentle to the truck as possible. These trucks aren't really made for road course racing, so I wanted to make sure I was as easy on it as possible."


Bryan Meredith was able to make a strong run on Garrett several times in the south hairpin, but Garret worked hard to keep his truck on the bottom knowing he was strong enough hold him off on the rest of the course. "The track conditions were great for most of the race," added Garrett. "Towards the end a lot of debris was on the track, especially in the carousel on the back straight. At one point, there were rocks all the way across the track back there. The TMS crew did a great job of preparing and maintaining the track throughout the day."


Chasing Garrett past the checkers was Bryan Meredith, Gregory Davis, Bill Hamilton, Jon Denham, Robert Walton, Keith Patrick, Jim Beasley, Shane Harris and Jimmy Spillar rounded out the top ten.


Despite being the runner-up in this race, Bryan Meredith captured the Lone Star Division title and the ARTS National Championship Title with his run. Amsoil, Austin Auto Supply, Monarch Transsmissions, GraphicGuys.Com and Meredith Race Engines/TRC Chassis sponsored Meredith's championship season. Meredith was the model of consistency, never finishing outside the top ten in a single event. Meredith posted an awesome winning percentage of .5000 taking home seven wins in fourteen events.


Other standout drivers taking home nation honors from the Lone Star Division are Jon Garrett-ninth, Bill Hamilton-tenth, Keith Patrick-eleventh, Larry Latham-twelfth, Robert Walton-fourteenth, Jimmy Spillar-fifteenth and Todd McLemore in the sixteenth spot. Congratulations to all these Texas drivers for such great seasons. Over one hundred drivers from across the country competed for the ARTS National Title chase in 2004.

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