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Tracking the Trucks: 2007 Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville

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In a Nutshell: Travis Kvapil led 47 of the last 48 laps on his way to the checkered flag in the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Kvapil finished 2.403 seconds ahead of the only Chevrolet to break into the top 10, Ron Hornaday Jr. Points leader Mike Skinner finished third with David Starr and Todd Bodine rounding out the top five.

Who Should Have Won: Skinner. Skinner led both practice sessions in Nashville on Friday. Saturday afternoon, he didn’t disappoint, scoring his ninth pole of the season with a speed of 159.635 mph. Skinner kept the No. 5 Toyota Tundra at the front of the field for a total of 102 laps.

Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race

1. How did Danny O’Quinn Jr. fare in his Craftsman Truck Series debut?

O’Quinn made his CTS debut Saturday afternoon at Nashville Superspeedway. Danny ran 33 races in 2006 and has run seven races so far this year in the Busch Series. Though he was guaranteed to make the field with only 36 drivers entering the race, O’Quinn would have clearly made the field anyway. He took his truck to a 12th-place start. On lap 112, O’Quinn restarted in the 10th position but dropped back to his eventual finishing position of 17th. O’Quinn can go home happy with how he ran, and this probably will lead to future races in the No. 50 Jack Roush Ford.

2. How did Bobby Hamilton‘s old truck run in the 2004 champion’s hometown?

Ken Schrader made his first Craftsman Truck Series start at Nashville Superspeedway Saturday evening in the No. 18 Fastenal Dodge fielded by Bobby Hamilton Racing. Schrader has a victory in the first-ever ARCA race at the 1.33-mile track, but he had some pretty big shoes to fill. In just three races run at Nashville, Hamilton had one win and an average finish of seventh. Schrader brought the truck home in 22nd, one lap down.

Truck Rookie Report
2007 Rookie of the Year Candidates:
Willie Allen
Blake Bjorklund
Aaron Fike (suspended indefinitely)
Matt McCall
Tim Sauter
Tyler Walker (suspended indefinitely)
Kelly Bires (19 races in the No. 21 and one race in the No. 16)
Joey Clanton (16 races)
Casey Kingsland (24 races)
Peter Shepherd (22 races)

No. of Rookies in the Race: 5
No. of Rookies to Finish in the Top 10: 1

Rookie of the Race: Clanton, 10th
Current Rookie Point Leader: Tim Sauter

Worth Noting/Points Shuffle

During pre-race activities, SpeedTV’s Ray Dunlap reported that Bodine may not be back full time in the No. 30 Lumber Liquidators truck next season. Germain Racing has tested several young drivers in preparation for this change. There has been no official word from Bodine or Germain Racing so far.

JC Stout‘s mom, Patricia, normally the “Mom and Refreshment Coordinator,” filled in for rear-tire carrier Joe Szwaczkowski, who is recovering from emergency surgery at Nashville Saturday evening. This is the first time a driver’s mother has been an active member of the over-the-wall crew in any of NASCAR’s top series. Stout only ran 84 laps and ended up 31st.

The top two remain the same; Hornaday actually lost a little ground on Skinner and is now only 82 points out of the lead. Kvapil’s win propelled him into the third position while Bodine dropped to fourth. Rick Crawford moved back into the top five and sits fifth, 480 points back from Skinner.

Johnny Benson dropped to the sixth position, but the remainder of the top 10 remain the same. Jack Sprague sits just 10 points ahead of Ted Musgrave. Matt Crafton and Erik Darnell round out the top 10.

Quotable

“I wasn’t sure we could catch [Mike] Skinner. The track was pretty tough. People were sliding around and there was not a lot of grip and you had to be really disciplined. Once I found my rhythm and got the truck adjusted, we nailed some really good lap times. I could tell the truck was where we needed to be. I was thinking the last 10-15 laps about Bobby Hamilton and to come here to his home turf and win is pretty special.” – Travis Kvapil

“Travis [Kvapil] had us anyway. The balance was not consistent on our second set of tires and Travis’s truck was extremely strong. We have to learn to fix our truck on pit road. That has been our problem all year.” – Mike Skinner

“Travis runs me clean, and I wasn’t going to play rough with him with 30 to go. Maybe if it was three laps to go it would have been a different story. We were a little better through the corners but he was a little better off the corners.” – Ron Hornaday Jr.

Up Next: The Craftsman Truck Series stays in Tennessee and heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the O’Reilly 200. The qualifying record dates back to 2003 when Musgrave ran a blistering fast 123.562 mph lap. Mark Martin in the defending race winner. Coverage begins Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on Speed. You can also hear the race on your local MRN affiliate.

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