The Frontstretch: Tracking the Trucks : Sam's Town 400 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Saturday June 9, 2007

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Tracking the Trucks : Sam's Town 400

Beth Lunkenheimer · Saturday June 9, 2007

 

In a Nutshell: Todd Bodine held onto the lead during a green-white-checkered finish at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night in the Sam’s Town 400. Bodine beat runner-up Mike Skinner by 0.188 seconds. Rick Crawford, Ron Hornaday and David Starr rounded out the Top 5. Travis Kvapil finished 6th and was the last truck to finish on the lead lap.

Who Should Have Won: Ron Hornaday. Hornaday had the truck to beat Friday night. He dominated much of the race, leading 117 laps and at times having a more than five second lead over second. Hornaday lapped all but six trucks, but on lap 149 he was forced to give up a six second lead when he had to pit for fuel. He was relegated to a 4th place finish, his best ever at Texas.

Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race:

1. How did Todd Bodine come back to win?

Todd Bodine started on the pole when suddenly his truck slowed considerably. He dropped back to 17th and was in danger of losing a lap when Joe Ruttman crashed on lap 78. He had a carburetor problem that somehow corrected itself, and slowly but surely Bodine picked off position after position during a long green flag run. With less than 20 laps remaining, Bodine planned to stop when T.J. Bell and Brendan Guaghan brought out a caution.

2. What has gotten into Mike Skinner and the No. 5 team?

This has been the story of the entire season. Mike Skinner and his No. 5 Toyota Tundra team have been unbelievably strong this season. Skinner went a lap down during the middle of the race and was able to rally back to nearly win. Had Skinner not gotten loose on the final lap, he could have easily passed Bodine and been the one in victory lane. Instead, he left with his third runner-up finish in his last four races at Texas.

3. Should Travis Kvapil be upset with how Bodine took the lead?

The field restarted on lap 161 following the Gaughan/Bell accident, and Kvapil, in an attempt to block Todd Bodine’s strong run, ended up getting spun out. Kvapil went high and then low to block the No. 30 truck, but Bodine was committed to the bottom line and made contact with Kvapil. The contact sent Kvapil into the turn one wall and sent him home with a wrecked truck. It was just a racing deal where Bodine had the stronger truck, and Kvapil was lucky to have been able to finish in 6th on the lead lap.

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: 6
No. of Rookies to Finish in the Top 10: 0
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

Stacy Compton became a daddy for the second time this week. Izzabella Reese was born Sunday, June 3. She was 9lb 5oz and 22 inches long; mom Vickie and Izzabella are doing great.

The Top 5 in points remained virtually unchanged. Mike Skinner still leads Ron Hornaday and Todd Bodine. Rick Crawford is up one spot to forth, and Ted Musgrave dropped one spot to fifth.

Travis Kvapil remains in sixth, 290 points out of first. Jack Sprague and Matt Crafton each moved up a spot to 7th and 9th. Both Johnny Benson and Aaron Fike each dropped a position to 8th and 10th respectively.

Quotable:

"It's pretty incredible. The motto of this team is to ‘Never Give Up' and we don't. Even when we were having problems tonight, I was running as hard as I could, running wide open with all I had. The Lumber Liquidators Toyota Tundra was just incredible and I just can't say enough about this team. They work hard every week, every day and every hour. This is what the payoff is." Todd Bodine

“We ran out of gas at the start-finish line. We knew everyone else had pitted and we were coming. It’s just one of those things that happens. It doesn’t matter. This truck was fast again, and we get to take the same one to Michigan next week.” Ron Hornaday

“The thing I’m upset about the most is we have a wrecked truck. Earlier in the race we came from dead last to fourth. I knew we had a good truck and wanted clean air. We were running wide open on two tires, so I knew we were out front and we could run wide open again on the restart. I had it flat on the mat, but he got a good suck on me in the draft. As soon as I saw him go high, I went high. Then he went low and I don’t know what happened but he just barely clipped me. I tried blocking him and it just worked out wrong and he got into the back of me. I really thought I had it saved. That’s what bums me out the most is our K&N Filters Ford is tore up.” Travis Kvapil

Up Next:
The Craftsman Truck Series heads north to Brooklyn, Michigan for the Michigan 200 at Michigan International Speedway. The qualifying record was set in 2005 and is held by Kyle Busch with a speed of 181.612 mph. The defending race winner is Johnny Benson. Coverage begins Saturday afternoon at 2:30 pm EST on Speed. The race can also be heard on your local MRN affiliate.

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