Truckin' along in the quest for the checkered flag - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Truckin' along in the quest for the checkered flag

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It's not the biggest circuit in racing, but it's one these drivers and teams love, even if it takes just about all they have.

"Yes, it's extremely busy, 12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. The business of racing is one side, but then you have to find the funding to do it which takes as much time as running the race team," said Mark Beaver.

Beaver and Tracy Lowe are partners who own MAKE Motorsports. It's based in Shelby, where Mark also runs a bail bond company. Danny Elfland is the driver, but he spends a lot of time working on the truck.

"The only way I was ever able to drive to be in the position I'm in right now is because I'm able to work on the trucks, most of the race cars I've driven I've worked on at the shop," Elfland told WBTV, while preparing the truck to make a qualifying run for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. "I think it makes a better race car driver to know what you have underneath you.

The truck series has some high dollar teams and others that struggle just to get to the track, and the dollar difference between a truck team and a Sprint Cup team is enormous.

"A good truck team is between 3 and 5 million dollars a good cup team is 4 times that," Beaver added.

The love of racing keeps them coming back, and keeps them in the perpetual search for sponsor dollars. Tracy Lowe says as the economy improves, some companies are coming back into the sport, and teams have more realistic expectations of what they can get.

"Teams are asking for less money because we understand how bad the economy is," Lowe said.

Beaver added that NASCAR truck racing is still quite a deal for sponsors, saying a company can come on board his black Chevy for as little as $10,000.

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