Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2001

Joe Ruttman is sticking with a proven winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in Bakersfield, Calif.

Ruttman, the 56-year-old driver who won the season-opening race at Daytona, will drive a truck nicknamed ''Goober'' by his Bobby Hamilton Racing Team crew.

''It's a really good truck for the team,'' said Ruttman, who drove it to victories last season in Cicero, Ill., and Indianapolis. Hamilton, a regular on the Winston Cup circuit, also won with ''Goober'' in Martinsville, Va.

''Bakersfield is a whole different animal,'' Ruttman said. ''It's fast and tight, and it's no place for people who don't like to beat and bang a little.''

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