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Second Fiddle : Around The Busch and Craftsman Truck Series · Beth Lunkenheimer · Thursday November 16, 2006
Get ready for an exciting weekend of racing in the Craftsman Truck Series. That’s right…it’s that time again. Championship weekend. Sure, most eyes will be on the Nextel Cup Series Chase for the Cup, but my eyes sit on the Craftsman Truck Series race. And although he has a 112 point cushion over 2nd place Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine doesn’t have it officially in the bag quite yet.
Of course, if history has anything to say, Todd Bodine has more than a reasonable shot to be crowned the 12th champion in the history of the Craftsman Truck Series. In 9 of the past 11 seasons, the driver leading the points going into the final race has won the championship.
But it doesn’t always happen that way. Prior to the final race of the season in 1999, Greg Biffle had a 21 point lead over second place Jack Sprague. Sprague ended up winning that race; Biffle finished 7th. Jack Sprague was crowned champion by a mere 8 points. In 2003, only 39 points separated 1st and 4th in the points standings. Brendan Gaughan led Ted Musgrave by 26 points, Travis Kvapil by 34 points and Dennis Setzer by 39 points. Brendan Gaughan’s hopes for winning the championship were dashed when he was involved in a crash. Travis Kvapil finished 6th, the highest of the four drivers, and beat out Dennis Setzer, who finished 7th, by just 9 points.
Todd Bodine has raced just once at Homestead, but he won that race after starting in 9th. Bodine has to finish just 28th or better to clinch the championship, but in a field of 36 cars, it’ll take just one flat tire, one accident, one mechanical failure to boost Benson right back into the picture. Johnny Benson has a solid history of running well at Homestead; in two career starts here, he finished 11th in 2004 and 3rd in 2005.
Sure, the odds are definitely stacked against Benson winning the title, but Todd Bodine can’t rest easy just yet. That’s why they run the final race! Hopefully, the Truck Series title will come down to the final laps…as it always should.
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Bodine must have a strong consistant night, much like he’s had for a majority of the season. I have no doubt that Benson will make it an interesting race, but I think his chances are slim. Todd wins two-in-a-row @ HMS and finally brings that NASCAR title home … and to the Bodine race family!