Kyle Busch took the checkered flag ahead of Ron Hornaday Jr. at Phoenix International Raceway Friday night. Busch held onto the lead following a late-race red flag — the second of the night — to win the Casino Arizona 150. Mike Bliss, Jason Leffler and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.
The Lone Star State proved a lonely place for drivers out of the playoffs Sunday, as nine Chase drivers finished the race in the top 11. One by one, some of the best hopes to sneak an upset win at Texas crashed themselves out of contention, showing instead why this wasn’t the year they proved capable of challenging for that championship trophy. But amidst the smoke of an ugly day for this large group of underdogs, some longtime veterans kept up steady streaks that left them leaving with a Texas-sized smile.
Ted Musgrave took the checkered flag under caution ahead of Brendan Gaughan to win his first race since 2005 in St. Louis. Musgrave survived a green-white-checkered finish in the Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night that saw the two frontrunners, Chad McCumbee and Jack Sprague, wreck each other shortly after taking the green flag. Mike Skinner, Mike Bliss and Rick Crawford rounded out the top five.
Statistically, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have combined to win 41 races over the last four seasons – making them the two best drivers on the circuit in that category. Just 53 points separate them with four races left, setting up what should be a dramatic finish to the title – but fan reaction has ranged from plain disinterest to downright detesting this battle. Why?
As the field wrecked behind him, Mike Skinner took the checkered flag ahead of Jack Sprague to win the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway Saturday afternoon. A late-race red flag set the field up for a three-lap shootout, and Skinner prevailed, winning his third race at the 0.526-mile short track. Ron Hornaday, Jr, David Starr and Rick Crawford rounded out the top five.
Just when you thought the Truck Series points race couldn’t get more exciting, the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 did just that. The combination of a dominating win by Travis Kvapil and a blown tire for Ron Hornaday Jr. has tightened up the points race just a little more… opening the door to make it a three-man affair.
Travis Kvapil took the checkered flag ahead of Johnny Benson to win the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night. Kvapil outran Benson and Jon Wood, who finished third, in a couple of great side-by-side battles during the final six laps to score his fourth win of the season and ninth of his career. Terry Cook and Erik Darnell rounded out the top five.
Ron Hornaday Jr. became the first repeat winner Saturday when he took the checkered flag over Erik Darnell, who charged past Mike Skinner and Todd Bodine in the final 30 laps. The New Hampshire 200 had just four cautions, allowing Hornaday, Jr. to open up a lead that, at times, was more than six seconds. He finished 4.211 seconds ahead of Darnell. Mike Bliss rounded out the top five.
As the Craftsman Truck Series rolls into New Hampshire International Speedway for the 18th race of the season, Ron Hornaday Jr. finds himself leading the points for the first time since 1999. Mike Skinner had led the championship standings since he won the second race of the year at the California Speedway and found himself tied with Jack Sprague for the top spot. The combination of a 28th-place finish for Skinner after a cut tire and a second-place finish for Hornaday in the last race at St. Louis, put the driver of the No. 33 Camping World Chevy ahead by just four points, the second-closest points margin in series history at this point in the season.
If Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t make the Chase – and right now, it certainly isn’t looking good – how will the No. 8 team perform the rest of the season?