Bodine wins record-fifth race at Texas in quick order.


By Sporting News Wire Service for

Todd Bodine won his fifth Truck Series race Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing 1.321 seconds in front of runner-up Matt Crafton in the WinStar World Casino 400.

Bodine became the first driver in the history of the series to have five victories at one track. They’ve all been accomplished in a Toyota for Germain Racing. It was Bodine’s 17th career victory in Trucks, also all with Germain.

“It’s incredible to win five races at one track,” Bodine said. “It’s hard to win anywhere.”

Bodine took the lead on the 125th of 167 laps on the 1.5-mile superspeedway and was never threatened. He had a 2.5-second lead over Crafton’s ThorSport Racing Chevrolet with 25 laps to go and 2.1 with five remaining. Making sure he had enough fuel to reach the checkered flag, Bodine backed off the throttle on the final lap.

Bodine had made his last stop for fuel on Lap 103. Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. believed he could go the distance.

“We needed clean air,” Bodine said. “To get out front was key. Junior made a great call. I had to stretch the fuel at the end.”

Bodine went the final 63 laps on his last tank of fuel, and still had enough left to do celebratory burnouts in his Toyota on the frontstretch.

“I wasn’t concerned,” Bodine said, though he admitted he was glad no extra laps were needed for a green-white-checker finish.

Todd Bodine

When Bodine was in the pit for the tires, he also got other adjustments on what had been an ill-handling truck.

“This truck right into that last run, we were just too loose the whole race,” Bodine said. “Junior made some great calls at the end and fixed it up to make it run. This is an awesome night.”

Bodine had been running third behind Ron Hornaday’s Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet and Crafton when a sequence of green-flag pit stops began on Lap 98.

Hornaday was penalized for a right-side tire violation and given a drive-through penalty, which put him a lap down. He never regained it. Hornaday had more trouble four laps from the end when he lost oil pressure and finished 19th.

With the series rule that limits trucks to taking only fuel or tires on a pit stop, Rick Crawford’s Circle Bar Racing Ford took the lead by making one stop for fuel as most of the rest of the trucks made two stops. It allowed Crawford to lead for 17 laps before the race’s second caution came out. Crawford pitted, along with all but two trucks: Bodine and Colin Braun’s Roush Fenway Racing Ford.

Second was Crafton’s best finish of the season and moved him into the points lead for the first time in his nine seasons as a full-time driver in the series. He’s 30 points in front of Hornaday.

Crafton stopped during the final caution with 45 laps to go for four tires because of concerns of wear from a previous run that showed cords. Crafton restarted sixth and moved up to second with 30 laps remaining.

“Without a doubt, that’s the most disappointing second place I’ve ever had,” said Crafton, who has only one win in 205 career starts. “Right now, I’d give up the points lead to be where Todd Bodine is. It was all about track position.”

Braun finished a season-best third. Johnny Benson’s Red Horse Racing Toyota was fourth and Crawford finished fifth.

Pole-sitter Johnny Sauter led the first 42 laps, but lost the lead after some problems in the pit during the first caution, brought out when Brian Scott brushed the wall in the second turn. Sauter was ninth on the restart, and finished sixth.

Bodine averaged 152.282 mph in one of the fastest Truck races in history. There were two cautions for 10 laps. The only other caution came for debris, from Laps 123-127. That is when Bodine won the race, taking tires but no fuel.

The 33 trucks starting matched the smallest field for a race at Texas, which had previously come in the inaugural race when the track opened in 1997. The latest field shrunk quickly with 10 of those trucks starting and then parking within the first few laps.

Fin de Entrada


~ por Mikel en 6 junio 2009.


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