Nikki Krone · Tuesday November 1, 2005
In A Nutshell: A couple of drivers showed their stuff, but in the end, it was a late race pit for tires that helped Kyle Busch earn his third win of the season in the Craftsman Truck Series. Running second to Sprague when a caution fell with eight laps to go, Busch, along with Bobby Labonte, Dennis Setzer, Joey Miller and Ted Musgrave, opted to pit for tires, while Sprague, Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine and Todd Kluever stayed on track. When the race restarted, Busch, in ninth, and Labonte, in tenth, quickly began moving through the field, passing trucks with easy. With one to go, Busch had moved up to second and was hot on Sprague’s bumper, as Labonte fought Benson for third. As the trucks were coming to the checkered flag, Busch got a run on the outside of Sprague who, trying to protect his victory, moved up to try to block the pass. The trucks made significant contact and Busch slid past the checkered flag ahead of Sprague. Behind them several other trucks got caught up in the melee, including Labonte who spun and was then hit by the No. 50 of Kluever and then hit again by the No. 75 of David Starr. All drivers involved were uninjured.
Who Should Have Won: It’s hard to argue that Kyle Busch was a deserving victor. His truck was strong all race long and it was a strategic pit call that sealed the victory. However, Sprague looked stronger than he has in recent races and drove a great race.
Worth Noting/Points Shuffle:
Although he suffered two blown tires at Atlanta, Ted Musgrave maintains his points lead by 51 over Dennis Setzer.
Eleven drivers remain mathematically eligible for the championship, although it looks like it’s going to be a two man race. Sitting third is Ron Hornaday, 243 points back, followed by Todd Bodine and Bobby Hamilton.
The top seven remain the same, with David Starr moving up one to eighth, Ricky Craven moving up one to ninth, Matt Crafton falling two to tenth, and Jack Sprague moving up to 11th, the last man still eligible for the championship.
“I don’t know how I did it. It was pretty wild there at the end. I am not sure exactly how I squeezed the No. 15 National Land Liquidations/Krud Kutter Chevrolet through it but we did. I saw the hole to make it to the finish line so I kept going for it. The last lap today is one that no one will forget for the rest of the year.” – Kyle Busch
“We simply got beat by tires and a badly timed caution today. We had a dominant truck all day and there in the second half of the race no one could keep up with us and I thought for sure I was going to win in only my second race in a Toyota. We had a pretty good sized lead there with less than ten laps to go and the caution came out – not sure what it was for. A few guys came in and gave up track position to get tires and that proved to be the difference.” – Jack Sprague
"I knew when Kyle and Bobby got up their on new tires that it was going to be interesting but I did not quite think it would be that interesting at the end. I saw both Jack and Johnny both go sideways getting off of turn-four right in front of every body and than they started wrecking. I went for the middle of the track and I got lucky. I saw a whole open up and the smoke cleared and I was in second.”—Todd Bodine
“We pitted on that last yellow on Lap 124 for four tires and a splash of fuel to make a run to the front. We were running hard toward the front. The 60 truck (Jack Sprague) got a little loose, and I tried to go underneath him. He caught me in the right front, and we wrecked. I spun and hit the wall and then the 50 truck (Kluever) hit us. It was a pretty good hit but I am fine.” – Bobby Labonte
Next Up: Although the NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series aren’t used to a second race at the Texas Motor Speedway, the fall race at TMS is nothing new to the Craftsman Truck Series. The Silverado 350 can be seen live on Speed beginning at 9:00 p.m. EST on Friday evening. Todd Bodine is the defending winner of this event, while Jack Sprague picked up the victory at TMS in the spring.
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