The Frontstretch: Tracking the Trucks : AAA Insurance 200 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Saturday June 2, 2007

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Tracking the Trucks : AAA Insurance 200

Beth Lunkenheimer · Saturday June 2, 2007


In a Nutshell: Ron Hornaday, Jr. scored his second win of the season Friday afternoon, finishing 7.009 seconds ahead of Stacy Compton in the AAA Insurance 200 at Dover International Speedway. Travis Kvapil, Johnny Benson and Mike Bliss rounded out the Top 5. Mark Martin finished ahead of pole sitter Mike Skinner, who came home 7th. Terry Cook, A.J. Allmendinger and Aaron Fike rounded out the Top 10.

Who Should Have Won: Kyle Busch. Busch took the lead from Mike Skinner following a restart after T.J. Bell crashed hard into the inside wall and went on to lead 78 of 200 laps. Busch seemed to be the only truck with a chance to catch and pass Hornaday, but his tires had something else in mind. A late race decision to not take fresh tires forced Busch to pit with just 20 laps remaining because of a cut tire. He went on to finish 12th.

Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race:

1. Why race so hard on lap 1?

Before completing lap one, a side by side battle between Mike Skinner and Clint Bowyer cause a multi truck crash. Bowyer had a run on Skinner’s outside, and Skinner got loose sending Bowyer into the outside wall, causing a chain reaction accident. Erik Darnell, Ken Schrader, Clint Bowyer, Jack Sprague, David Starr, Brendan Gaughan, Bill Lester and Kraig Kinser were all involved. Bowyer, Lester and Gaughan were unable to return to the track. But why race so hard so early in the race? Mike Skinner is running for a championship and every point counts, but he should have just let Clint Bowyer go on the outside.

2. How did T.J. Bell walk away from his crash?

Moments after the field restarted following a wreck on lap one, T.J. Bell got loose coming out of Turn 4 and spun hard into the inside wall on the frontstretch. The wall, not a safer barrier, was left bowed from the hit. A disappointed Bell came out of the infield care center with no injuries. “I just got loose racing the 59 truck,” Bell said. “He didn’t do anything wrong. I just feel bad for the guys. That was a pretty hard hit. These trucks have come a long way. Years ago that would have been a big deal.” He’ll probably be sore this week, but he’ll be back to race at Texas Motor Speedway thanks to the safety advances in NASCAR.

3. Can Ron Hornaday hang onto this momentum?

Just three weeks ago, Camping World signed on to sponsor Ron Hornaday for the remainder of the truck series schedule. Since they joined the Kevin Harvick owned team, Hornaday has won two races and had a 6th place finish. Obviously, Camping World and the yellow and blue truck have been good luck charms for Hornaday and the No. 33 team. Hornaday is probably the only driver that can become a threat to Mike Skinner for the points lead.

Truck Rookie Report
2007 Rookie of the Year Candidates:
Willie Allen
Blake Bjorklund
Aaron Fike
Matt McCall
Tim Sauter
Tyler Walker ( suspended indefinitely )
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: 5
No. of Rookies to Finish in the Top 10: 1
No. of Rookies to Finish the Race: 5
No. of Rookies to Finish on the Lead Lap: 0

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

Worth Noting/Points Shuffle

Tyler Walker, rookie driver for Bill Davis Racing, has been suspended from NASCAR indefinitely for violating the substance abuse policy. Walker ran the first six races of the season and missed last weekend’s race at Mansfield Motorsports Park; his best finish was 8th at Martinsville.

The Craftsman Truck Series celebrated its 300th start Friday afternoon at Dover. Only one person in the history of the truck series has been present for each of those races. Crew chief Chris Showalter has worked with six teams and nine drivers.

The Top 5 in points remain unchanged, but Ron Hornaday shaved 44 points off of Mike Skinner’s lead and now sits just 77 points back. Todd Bodine, Ted Musgrave and Rick Crawford round out the Top 5.

Travis Kvapil and Aaron Fike each moved up one spot to 6th and 9th respectively. Johnny Benson is up two positions to 7th, while Jack Sprague dropped two spots to 8th. Matt Crafton, down two positions from last week, sits in 10th.


“I just want to thank Camping World, Chevrolet, everyone at Kevin Harvick, Inc., especially Kevin and DeLana for giving me this opportunity. I said I would give up Mansfield last week to win at Dover, I wanted that rock guy right there (the Dover trophy) and now I have him! I am going to keep driving as long as my wife lets me, I will keep driving. I owe all of this to my wife, the Lord and my whole family to let me drive. I want to dedicate this race to little Tanner, a friend of the family who has been sick.” Ron Hornaday, Jr.

“I tell you what, I’m so proud of these guys on the Zaxby’s Ford. They work so hard all year long. I’m a part-timer and they gave me a truck that can go out and win races and it’s a lot of fun. These guys at Wood Brothers/JTG, they never stop digging and every week that I’ve been in this truck, we’ve had awesome race trucks. It’s a shame we can’t win them all. It was a great run for us. It’s going to be a big weekend; we’ll have a baby come Sunday, if hasn’t already happened. I’m awfully proud of these guys. You don’t know how hard these guys work; week in and week out and every time I get it in, it’s really good.” Stacy Compton

“My team can’t buy a break. We had Georgetown on the side of our truck this weekend, trying to donate some money back to the school and have NASCAR do it for me. Those guys on the front row decided to be knuckleheads right off the start and beat and bang on each other on the first lap. I mean, I believe I was told for years, in order to finish first, at first you have to finish. I would just like a chance to get a run at it past turn one.” Brendan Gaughan following a lap one crash caused his 3rd DNF of the season

“He (Mike Skinner) got loose and didn’t lift, drove it in to me and took us out. I guess the old man didn’t want the kid to get him.” Clint Bowyer after a crash on lap one

Up Next:
The Craftsman Truck Series heads to the great state of Texas for the Sam’s Town 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. The qualifying record is held by Clint Bowyer with a speed of 184.464, set in 2006. The defending race winner is Todd Bodine. Coverage begins Friday night at 8:30 pm EST on Speed. The race can also be heard on your local MRN affiliate.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


©2000 - 2008 Beth Lunkenheimer and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

06/03/2007 02:38 PM

You forgot to mention…or missed the fact that Johnny Benson drove from a lap down to fourth place in the last 50 laps. He could have had a chance to win if there had been a caution.
I’m a truck fan not a driver fan, but it seems everyone missed JB’s accomplishment. Just wanted to put in my 2 cents.

Mark Meyer
06/03/2007 03:54 PM

Did you watch the same race I did? Your “who should of won” is rediculous! Johnny Benson
RACED his way back to the lead lap and a 4th place finish. When has that happened last? Do you even remember? To many give Benson “NO” credit, including you. Too many people give Kyle “WAY” too much credit. If you notice, Kyle has left a lot of bent cars around the shop!

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