The Frontstretch: Tracking the Trucks : Ohio 250 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Monday May 28, 2007

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Tracking the Trucks : Ohio 250

Beth Lunkenheimer · Monday May 28, 2007

 

In a Nutshell: After a lengthy rain delay, Dennis Setzer took the checkered flag 0.522 seconds ahead of Jack Sprague in the Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Park Saturday. Ken Schrader, driving for Bobby Hamilton Racing, finished 3rd. Mike Skinner and Johnny Benson rounded out the Top 5.

Who Should Have Won: Rick Crawford. Crawford started on the front row and led 117 laps before having a tire go down that cost him the win. With just 10 laps remaining, Crawford ran over something, cutting the tire. He went on to finish 23rd.

Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race:

1. How long is too long to wait for a rain delay to end?

The fans in Ohio sat through three red flags for a total rain delay of 5 hours and 33 minutes. How long is too long to make the fans wait? Having been to a couple of races that were rain delayed, I know how exhausting it can be to just sit and wait. As long as there is daylight to race in, NASCAR should continue to wait.

2. Can anyone stop Mike Skinner?

Mike Skinner and the No. 5 team have scored five poles in seven races so far this season, leaving them just six shy of the series record set by Mike Skinner during his 1995 championship season. Skinner has gone on to capture six Top 5 finishes, and he has not finished outside the Top 10 yet. Skinner and crew are easily on track to break the series record for poles, and the rest of the field is going to have to work on beating them if they wish to have a chance the rest of the season.

Worth Noting/Points Shuffle

Setzer scored his first win in 22 months after 5 hours and 33 minutes of rain delays. This win moved him up one position in the points standings to 11th, just two points out of 10th.

Lance Hooper, crew chief for Bill Lester’s No. 13 Chevrolet, has been suspended from NASCAR until June 6th and fined $1000. Following his return, he’ll be on probation until December 31st. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-C (Any member who signs the NASCAR release sheet for anyone else) during opening day inspection at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Pole sitter Mike Skinner scored his 6th Top 5 finish this season to extend his points lead over Ron Hornaday to 121 points. Todd Bodine and Rick Crawford each dropped one spot to 3rd and 5th respectively. Ted Musgrave moved up to 4th.

Jack Sprague and Travis Kvapil each gained a position to move up to 6th and 7th place. Matt Crafton dropped two positions to 8th. Johnny Benson and Aaron Fike round out the Top 10.

Truck Rookie Report
2007 Rookie of the Year Candidates:
Willie Allen
Blake Bjorklund
Aaron Fike
Matt McCall
Tim Sauter
Tyler Walker
Kelly Bires ( 19 races in the No. 21 and 1 race in the No. 16 )
Joey Clanton ( 16 races )
Casey Kingsland ( 24 races )
Peter Shepherd ( 22 races )

No. of Rookies in the Race: 8
No. of Rookies to Finish in the Top 10: 1
No. of Rookies to Finish the Race: 8
No. of Rookies to Finish on the Lead Lap: 3

Rookie Of The Race: Kevin Hamlin
Current Rookie Point Leader: Aaron Fike

Quotable:

“We were careful to conserve fuel from the start. I didn’t crank the engine until they rolled off the grid. Every time we went back from the red flag after the rain, I wouldn’t crank it until the guy in front of me was halfway down pit road. We knew we had that option and when we started getting the rain and all the cautions that’s what made that decision for us. Those fans sat through thick and thin today. All they wanted from today was to see a good show, and I think we gave them one.” Dennis Setzer

“Congratulations to those guys – if they are legal. I know our Toyotas have the best mileage and there’s no way I could go all the way. The 1 (Fike) pitted on lap 35 and he ran out a few laps to the end. I just don’t see how anyone could do that here. I am amazed. If they did it and they are legal that is impressive.” Jack Sprague

“It’s tough to go to war when you only have two soldiers. Kevin Hamlin went and tested these trucks last week and he told me they were good. We just stayed out of trouble. It’s good for the team. This is the last place that Bobby won, and it’s big for us to come out of here with a top five. We gave one away last week, so it’s nice to close the deal.” Ken Schrader

“I feel like I just missed the biggest deer, a 14- or 16- point buck in Texas. If you are an avid hunter, that means you are sick to your stomach. We cut down the right front tire. This truck was built Ford tough today, the Ford Power Stroke Diesel got excellent fuel mileage and it was really fun to drive and you [saw] how high performance it was today. We had a great pit strategy by Kevin ‘Cowboy’ Starland; the guys prepared me a great truck. We got behind in that first pit sequence then had a chance at the front and stayed up there for most of the race. Goodyear said we ran over something.” Rick Crawford

Up Next:
The Craftsman Truck Series heads northeast next for the AAA Insurance 200 at Dover International Speedway. The qualifying record is held by David Starr with a speed of 157.577 mph, set in 2005. The defending race winner is Mark Martin. Coverage begins Friday night at 8:00 pm EST on Speed. Race coverage can also be found on your local MRN affiliate.

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