Nikki Krone · Monday September 26, 2005
In A Nutshell: After two seconds and a third in the last four races, Todd Bodine finally made his way back to victory lane with his win in Saturday’s Las Vegas 350. Bodine had been the strongest truck, but Ted Musgrave was no slouch, fighting Bodine to the end. Musgrave took the lead from Bodine in turn two, on their way to a the white flag, but when Steve Park hit the wall and the caution came out, Musgrave’s momentum was slowed and brought the field together for a green-white-checkered finish. While it looked like Musgrave may pull out the upset, it didn’t take long for Bodine to reclaim the lead and earn his second victory of the season.
Who Should Have Won: Todd Bodine was the class of the field and deserved the victory. While Musgrave fought to the end, Bodine made the right moves and brought the right truck.
Worth Noting/Points Shuffle:
David Starr’s third place finish was his best of the season ninth top-10, moving him up to eighth in the points.
Tim Fedewa, in just his fourth Craftsman Truck Series start, earned his first top-10 finish, by finishing 10th.
ARCA driver Joey Miller stepped into Darrell Waltrip’s No. 12 Toyota Tundra for his first Craftsman Truck Series start and ended up finishing 15th, even after being involved in an early race incident.
Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan came home to Vegas hoping to score big, but an accident in the early laps not only took away his chance at a victory, but left him with a 35th place finish.
Dennis Setzer’s 14th place finish combined with Musgrave’s second place has closed the points gap even more. Setzer now leads Musgrave by a mere five points…definitely an uncomfortable lead.
While Setzer and Musgrave are pulling away from the group, there are still 18 drivers that are mathematically eligible for the championship.
Of those 18, two drivers made the biggest jump this week – Todd Bodine’s victory moved him up two spots to fifth, while David Starr’s third place finish moved him up two to eighth.
The two drivers who took the hardest hit after Vegas was Johnny Benson, whose 33rd place finish dropped him back two to 16th and Jimmy Spencer fell two down to sixth after finishing 31st.
"I was pretty mad at myself for letting Teddy (Musgrave) get past me. I just made a mistake and let him get by. I had a little bit of a lead, went into Turn 3 and then I got sideways -- and Teddy ran right by me. He got right behind me, got me loose, and then passed me. I finished second here last year, and was not going to finish second again." – winner, Todd Bodine.
"I had a heck of a show in front of me watching Ted (Musgrave) and Todd (Bodine). It was a great move Todd made there on the last lap to get the win. I was hoping it would give Jack (Sprague) and I a little opportunity to make a run at them, but they were clearly the class of the field." – David Starr.
Next Up: The Craftsman Truck Series takes three weeks off before returning to the track. The next race will be the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, October 22nd. The race can be seen live on Speed beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST
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