In a Nutshell: Ron Hornaday scored his 29th career Craftsman Truck Series victory, the most of any driver in the series, Saturday night in Kentucky. Hornaday started the Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers 22nd and by halfway was the leader. Hornaday escaped a lap 129 crash to take the lead for the final time. He beat Rick Crawford by .586 seconds. Brendan Gaughan, Johnny Benson and David Ragan rounded out the top five.
Who Should Have Won: Skinner. Skinner had a very strong truck for a lot of the day and restarted as the leader on lap 126. Green flag pit stops and a caution that followed put several cars on the tail end of the lead lap, leaving Skinner to restart in the middle of a large pack. Skinner made contact with Dennis Setzer and crashed hard into the outside wall on lap 129, ending Skinner's night prematurely and giving Ron Hornaday the lead.
Two Questions to Ponder After this Weekend's Race:
1. Could Brendan Gaughan or Rick Crawford have won the race?
On the final restart with 8 laps to go, Brendan Gaughan and Rick Crawford set out to fight for the lead. The two of them raced side by side, almost losing the 2nd position to Johnny Benson and allowing Ron Hornaday to check out and leave them behind. Had the two of them hooked up, they could have been a factor in fighting Hornaday for the win. Instead Crawford finished 2nd and Gaughan finished 3rd, his best finish since Memphis 2005.
2. Will a rookie win a race this season?
Rookie Marcos Ambrose had his career best finish (3rd) last week at Kansas. This week in Kentucky, the Australian started on the pole and led 49 of the first 51 laps. A slow pit stop cost him the lead, and he never was able to pull himself out of it. Michel Jourdain, in only his 2nd Craftsman Truck Series start, qualified fourth. On lap 18, Jourdain found himself in 2nd place, breaking yet another record for the Craftsman Truck Series. It was the first time two foreign born drivers occupied the top two spots. Marcos Ambrose and Michel Jourdain made contact, sending Jourdain spinning into the infield and bringing out the 6th caution of the night. Jourdain ended up finishing 26th.
Worth Noting/Points Shuffle: Terry Cook started his 210th consecutive Craftsman Truck Series race Saturday night, breaking the record for most consecutive starts. Unfortunately, Cook had to start at the back of the pack due to an engine change and finished 16th. Kevin Grubb has taken over the number 15 truck for Kyle Krisiloff, who was released from his ride earlier this week due to lack of payment and breach of contract. He started 15th and finished 21st.
Brad Keselowski was in Kelly Sutton's 02 truck Saturday evening and remained in the top 10 most of the night. A late race green flag pit stop followed by a caution put Keselowski a lap down. Not too long after going a lap down, a broken sway bar took the 02 truck out of the race with only 7 laps remaining. Kelly Sutton will be re-evaluated Monday morning and looks forward to Memphis.
The only change in the top 5 in points this weekend was Johnny Benson moving up into 2nd place. He currently sits 144 points behind Todd Bodine. David Reutimann slipped to third, and Ted Musgrave and Rick Crawford round out the top five. The biggest winner this week was Ron Hornaday, moving up four spots into the sixth position, while Terry Cook and Dennis Setzer both lost two positions.
Quotable: “I’ve always stunk at qualifying, but have been good on restarts. If I tell you what I do on the restarts, then everyone will know and I won’t be good anymore. So, I’m not going to tell you.” Ron Hornaday on his win
“I felt like we had the truck to win. The Scotts Ford F-150 was really awesome on long runs, just like it has been the last few weeks. Those late cautions got us. If we would have had 15 more laps to go at the end, I think we could have dealt with some of those guys at the front. It seemed like I passed them two or three times already tonight. The truck races hereâ€¦we’ve got so many cautions that everybody gets off pit sequence, so it was kind of a lucky deal at the end of the race. I know we were stronger than a lot of the guys in front of us, but we’ll take what we got, we’re happy to get a top five finish out of this.” David Ragan on his career best finish of 5th
"We just worked out a really good way to lose that race, I guess. We’re learning all the time and I’m learning behind the wheel, and we’re learning as a team. We showed a lot of promise this weekend. We can’t be ashamed of ourselves. We showed a lot of car speed out there, we led a lot of laps, and we’ve come such a long way in a couple of races. You know, we’ll forget about this result in a couple of days and we’ll look forward to the next race.” Marcos Ambrose on his performance
Next Up: The Craftsman Truck Series rolls into the Memphis Motorsports Park for the O'Reilly 200 Saturday evening. Race coverage will be on Speed at 9:00 pm EST or on your local MRN affiliate.
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