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In A Nutshell: Clint Bowyer won the Silverado 350 in just his third Craftsman Truck Series start Friday night. Bowyer held the lead at Texas Motor Speedway to beat Kyle Busch by 0.279 seconds. Mike Skinner, Jack Sprague and Ron Hornaday rounded out the top five.
Who Should Have Won: Bowyer. Bowyer started on the pole and had the dominant truck all evening. Bowyer put the No. 46 Jack Daniel’s Chevy Silverado up front for 103 of 148 laps, then managed to hang onto the lead during a green-white-checkered finish after Kerry Earnhardt brought out the final caution by hitting the wall in turn 2.
Question You Should Be Asking After this Weekend’s Race
1. Did Bowyer deserve his win?
Third-place finisher Skinner and Bowyer battled for a lot of the evening, with Skinner feeling like Bowyer blocked him unfairly throughout much of the event. At one point, Bowyer even forced Skinner down into the grass. Bowyer, when asked about it after the race was over, said, “I thought I left plenty of real estate at the top but he just didn’t elect to try it. I am sure he was frustrated but there was six inches on the bottom and 60 feet on the top.” Skinner felt differently, saying, “When he started doing that, I should have wrecked him and I didn’t.” Unfortunately, Skinner is wrong here. Blocking has been a part of racing for years, and what Bowyer did was no different than anything Skinner has done to block in the past.
Worth Noting/Points Shuffle
Despite losing a cylinder and finishing 14th, Todd Bodine didn’t take any kind of a points hit. Benson had his chance to make up the distance… but then encountered a driveshaft problem for the second straight week, finishing 31st. Bodine now has the championship mostly locked up, expanding his lead from 86 to 137 with two races to go. Benson, in fact, now finds himself just 28 points ahead of David Reutimann for second place. Ted Musgrave and Rick Crawford round out the top five in the standings.
On the heels of a top-five run at Texas, Hornaday gained a position and moved into sixth, knocking David Starr back to seventh. Sprague and Terry Cook maintained their spots in eighth and ninth, while Skinner knocked Mike Bliss back out of the 10th position.
“It was fun out there tonight. I just had a lot of fun.” – race winner Clint Bowyer
“All in all it was a good night for us and for Billy [Ballew], Richie (Wauters, the crew chief) and the whole team. They have been struggling the last couple of weeks, so it was decent finish.” – runner-up Kyle Busch
“Probably. Now, we have to fight for second. We had a great race truck. We did a little bit of tuning at the end, and we probably could have made it up to third. Something broke, not really sure what it was yet. We had a chance to capitalize, and we didn’t. He [Bodine] tried to give it to us, but we can’t take it. Everyone at the team has done a tremendous job all year long. This is the first failure we’ve had all year. It’s not meant to be I guess. We had a good truck, I think we really could have got a few more spots there, and we couldn’t do it.” – Johnny Benson when asked if he was out of the championship hunt
Next Up: The Craftsman Truck Series runs its 24th race of the season next weekend in Phoenix. The Casino Arizona 150 will run Friday, November 10th, with television coverage beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET on SPEED. The race can also be caught on your local MRN affiliate around the same timeframe. Bodine is the defending race winner, and Brandon Whitt holds the qualifying record of 131.200 mph, set in 2005.