LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Friday, Sept. 24, 1999 — Ford Division claimed its first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) manufacturers’ championship this evening by virtue of Greg Biffle’s record ninth win of the season at The Orleans 250 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ford unseated four-time manufacturers’ champ Chevrolet for the 1999 title.
“We’re thrilled to have won the 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series manufacturers’ championship,” said Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology and head of Ford’s worldwide racing efforts. “We’ve all worked very hard to continually improve our NASCAR truck racing program over the last five years, and this is the only series right now where the ‘Big Three’ go head-to-head every week, so it all makes this first championship very rewarding.
“One thing we’ve tried hard to do over the years is improve the depth of our program from top to bottom, and the fact that seven drivers contributed points toward this year’s championship shows that there’s been contributions and hard work from a lot of different teams within the Ford program,” said Davis. “The only thing better for us now would be to add our first drivers’ championship to the mix before the season is over.”
Since the series inception, Ford has steadily increased its success on NCTS tracks. Four race wins in 1995 grew to six in 1996, eight in 1997 and increased to 10 victories in 1998. Through 22 races in 1999, Ford NCTS teams have won 12 races – a record for the manufacturer. Ford is currently on a five race win streak, its longest in series history.
Greg Biffle, driver of the #50 Grainger Ford F-150, has been by far the biggest story among Ford-powered NCTS teams in 1999. Biffle’s first nine career wins have come in the last 17 NCTS races, and he has won four of the last five, six of the last eight, and eight of the last 12 NCTS races. Biffle also has four pole positions.
Biffle (85 points) and Mike Wallace (30) lead in points contributed to Ford’s win in the 1999 NCTS manufacturer’s race. Other Ford drivers who have earned points for Ford this season include Kevin Harvick (12), Kevin Cywinski (12), Mike Bliss (nine), Ron Barfield (six), and Rick Crawford (four).
Manufacturer’s points are awarded on a 9-6-4 scale to the various makes of trucks (Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge) based on their finishing position related to each other. A manufacturer only is eligible for points in the highest-finishing position, no matter what the overall finish. Chevrolet had won the title in the first four years of the series’ existence.
With just three races left in the season, Ford now sets its sights on capturing its first NCTS driver point’s championship. Ford’s Greg Biffle holds a 130-point lead over second-place driver Jack Sprague.