NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Truckin’ Thursdays: 5 Drivers Who Scored 1st Career Win at Dover

Frontstretch’s Truck Series content is presented by American Trucks

After taking just a single weekend off, the Camping World Truck Series returns to action on Friday for the Bar Harbor 200 at Dover International Speedway. In 17 previous races, the track has seen 14 different winners, with Kyle Busch as the only repeat victor. Without Busch on the entry list, the only previous winner in the field will be Matt Crafton, so the likelihood that we’ll see a 15th different Monster Mile winner is quite high.

Friday’s field will feature just five entrants who have Truck Series wins to their names, which means there’s also a decent chance for another driver to score that first career win, much like the five listed below who have since the series began visiting Dover in 2000.

Jason Leffler: 2003 MBNA Armed Forces Family 200

The late Jason Leffler raced in the Truck Series in seven seasons on a mostly part-time basis from 2000 until 2012, including a single full-time campaign in 2002. But it wasn’t until 2003 when he scored his first career win behind the wheel of the No. 2 Dodge. Leffler led 57 laps en route to a three-second victory over the late Bobby Hamlton in a race where just 16 drivers ran to completion.

Chad Chaffin: 2004 MBNA America 200

Chad Chaffin ran just two full-time seasons throughout his nine years in the Truck Series. During his second year racing the entire schedule, the driver of the No. 18 Dodge led 52 laps on the way to a narrow win ahead of Rick Crawford. In this race, there was a seven-truck accident on the frontstretch just eight laps in. The victory was the first of two for Chaffin in that season and his career.

https://youtu.be/IhTDGFOkftM?t=1h41m14s

Scott Speed: 2008 AAA Insurance 200

Scott Speed spent just a single season in the Truck Series, and he snagged his lone victory, thanks in part, to some poor luck for Kyle Busch, who led a race-high 96 laps. Speed took advantage of Busch’s misfortune and sailed to the victory after holding the top spot for 51 circuits.

Brian Scott: 2009 AAA Insurance 200

Brian Scott, who recently hung up his helmet to spend more time with his family, was one of those drivers you expected would find Victory Lane at some point. But when he did, it was in spectacular fashion. In a race plagued by tire problems that emerged less than 30 laps into a run for several drivers, somehow Scott made a set last 50 laps en route to his first career win.

Aric Almirola: 2010 Dover 200

Aric Almirola became yet another driver who capitalized on misfortune for Kyle Busch. After leading 172 laps, a fuel pump issue ultimately sidelined Busch with just two laps remaining. Almirola drove on to a nearly one-second victory over James Buescher.

Truckin’ Tidbits

  • As of press time, there are 32 entries for Friday afternoon’s Truck Series race. Barring any late withdrawals or entries, all drivers will make the full field.
  • Ross Chastain, who pilots the No. 66 Chevrolet for Bolen Motorsports, will run triple duty at Dover this weekend. He’ll also pilot his usual JD Motorsports XFINITY Series ride and will be making his Cup Series debut.
  • Three-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday, Jr. was named as one of five that will make up the 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. He joins Robert Yates, Red Byron, Ray Evernham and Ken Squier. In 360 starts, Hornaday scored 51 wins, 158 top fives and 234 top-10 results. His most recent trip to Victory Lane came during his four-win 2011 campaign that saw him finish fourth in the championship standings.
  • Justin Haley’s GMS Racing team was hit with a Level 1 penalty following post-race inspection at Charlotte when the No. 24 failed the post-race height requirements. The finish has been marked as encumbered, and the violation cost 10 driver and owner points. Additionally, crew chief Kevin Bellicourt was fined $5,000 and suspended for a single race.

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