A press conference held today kicked off Saturday's Qwik Liner Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Held this afternoon at ESPN Zone at the New York New York Hotel & Casino, the conference included LVMS president Chris Powell, event sponsor Juan Carlos Martinez of Qwik Liner and Truck Series drivers Todd Bodine, Scott Speed and hometown hero Brendan Gaughan.

Qwik Liner president Martinez extolled the virtues of the series and the speedway.

"Qwik Liner is a company that is core-driven in spray-in bed liners - the lining of truck beds," Martinez explained. "When we introduced this new technology, we felt that our best way to create awareness for this new brand would be a (NASCAR Craftsman) Truck (Series) race.  The Truck fans are basically our customers and we felt it would be a perfect fit with the Truck Series and Las Vegas Motor Speedway."

Las Vegas' Brendan Gaughan is racing at LVMS for the first time in a Truck not fielded by his family's South Point Racing team. Gaughan, winner of the 2003 Las Vegas race, now drives the No. 10 MAXX Force Ford for Circle Bar Racing.

"It's going to a little different, but it's still a family-owned race team. The Circle Bar team is owned by the Mitchell family.  It's still Las Vegas Motor Speedway - it's still home. My family is still here, it's still home. This is one of the few stand-alone Truck races on the schedule. This is probably the biggest market for a stand-alone event. The team knows how important this race is to me. Let's see if I can win it in the 10 Truck."

Todd Bodine, winner of the 2005 race, will drive under the direction of a temporary crew chief Saturday.

"We had a problem last week. (Todd's crew chief, Mike Hillman Jr., was suspended by NASCAR for his involvement in a post-race incident following the Truck Series race Saturday at Loudon, N.H.) I have a new crew chief this week but it's really the old crew chief, Mike Hillman (Sr.). It's not a big deal, Hillman Sr. is more than capable of taking on the job," Bodine said. "I love coming to Las Vegas. I love this town, I love the race track.  You guys do a great job."

Scott Speed is a rarity: the first American Formula 1 driver since Michael Andretti in 1993. For 2008, the 24-year-old Manteca, Calif., native is competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and will visit LVMS for the first time. Speed recently recorded his first Truck Series win in just his sixth race.

"The difference in racing machinery is quite a lot," Speed admitted. "But I think the environment and the atmosphere at the (track) is the biggest difference. To come to a race and hang out with the other drivers and have a very social environment at the race track makes it very enjoyable. The races I've done in the Truck Series so far have been some of the most enjoyable I've done since I got out of go-karts. Everyone races really hard, some people crash into each other, they're mad over the weekend then next weekend they're messing around again. It's a cool environment to be in."

Tickets for Saturday's Qwik Liner Las Vegas 350 may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or online at www.LVMS.com