The Frontstretch: Tearing Apart the Trucks : Too Hot for Texas by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Thursday June 7, 2007

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Tearing Apart the Trucks : Too Hot for Texas

Beth Lunkenheimer · Thursday June 7, 2007

 

The Craftsman Truck Series has run 18 races at Texas Motor Speedway and is set to run the 19th Friday night under the lights. While I was thinking about TMS and all the fun that goes with truck racing there, I found some very interesting information. Did you know that four former champions have won a combined seven of those 18? Could this be the year Mike Skinner joins the ranks of only three champs to win a race at TMS during his championship season?

Mike Skinner has had a dream season so far this year. In eight starts, Skinner has six poles and three wins. Add to that an average finish of 3.9, and Skinner seems like a shoe-in to head to victory lane at Texas. He is winless at this track, but Skinner has three Top 3 finishes in his last three starts. Skinner starts second behind Todd Bodine.

Todd Bodine, the reigning champion, has won at Texas Motor Speedway three times in just five starts, including during his championship season. He has been winless in the truck series since his last win in this race in 2006; the longest winless streak of his career. This weekend could be just the time for Bodine to break that streak. Bodine has only two finishes this season outside the Top 10 and has finished second twice in a row. Starting on the pole, the No. 30 team is definitely in a position to win Friday night. If Bodine were to win Friday, he would join just one other driver that has four wins at the mile and a half track; Brendan Gaughan.

Jack Sprague is the only other driver running this year’s 400 mile race that won during his championship year. Back in 2001, Sprague beat out Brendan Gaughan by nearly five seconds on his way to a championship that year. Sprague was the winner of a three wide battle at Daytona to start the year but only has three other Top 5 finishes this season. Sprague has an average finish of 9.9 at Texas, and that includes three DNF’s. He starts 25th.

Weather permitting, Skinner, Bodine and Sprague, along with a field of 32 others, will race for the checkered flag and a giant cowboy hat on a hot Texas evening.

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