TODD BODINE won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Chevy Silverado 150 Race with a Margin of Victory of 1.963 seconds ahead of runner-up RON HORNADAY a double Truck Champion.

The race was a nailbiter after the Red Flag Restart, with several fierce battles going on in Bodine's rear-view mirrors. Hornaday earned the Mobil 1 Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race.

Bodine said, "Our Tundra was just incredible. The guys did a great job in the pits getting us out first. It was fun tonight."

Hornaday said, "I wanted this one, but it was fun competing for the win again. This truck racing is so much fun." Musgrave said that is why the Cup drivers are migrating to the Trucks, because it is more fun, better racing, has a better schedule and you're home on the weekends."

Musgrave admitted he could not hold off Setzer, saying Setzer had a better truck. "He tested out here and I didn't. I blocked him as much as I could." In discussing his chances of winning the 2005 Truck Championship, Musgrave calculates the only way Setzer can win is if he wins Homestead and Musgrave finishes tenth or lower.

Bodine is on a roll, finishing back-to-back two races in a row, and winning three of his last five races. This is his fourth victory this season, which ties him with DENNIS SETZER for the most wins this season. This year there have been 14 different winners, a tie for the most in the Truck Series.

JOHNNY BENSON led the most laps, and finished third after holding off a charging RICK CRAWFORD. They fought their way clean but hard around the track, swapping the lead more than once per lap. Crawford finished fourth.

Setzer won a hard-fought fifth, besting TED MUSGRAVE, who was relegated to seventh. Musgrave remains points leader, but Setzer closed the gap to 58 points, and the championship will go down to the finish at Homestead next weekend. This is the tenth time in the 11-year history of the Truck Series that the championship has gone down to the wire.

DAVID REUTIMANN gained the most positions - 20 - to finish seventh overall.

There were five lead changes among four drivers, and six caution flags in addition to the Red Flag, for a total of 28 laps. Twenty-nine of the 36 starters finished the race, with eighteen on the lead lap. The race ran 1 hour, 33 minutes, 15 seconds. The average speed was 86.515 mph.

BOBBY EAST spun out and hit the wall on Lap 131. Although most drivers were able to avoid him, DEBRA RENSHAW T-boned him hard, bringing out the Red Flag for track cleanup. Both drivers were unhurt. This was the first Truck race for East. He had entered two other races, but did not make the field in either, one due to qualifying being rained out.

KYLE BUSCH who took the lead bested Polesitter BRANDON WHITT at the start. Whitt was black flagged for jumping the start. He finished nineteenth, one lap down, and was not credited for leading any laps because NASCAR doesn't allow such credit when under penalty.

Almost simultaneously with Whitt's pit black flag, there was an incident involving Setzer, JOSE LUIS RAMIREZ and WILLY ALLEN. No one was hurt and all restarted. Setzer pitted to have the crew inspect any possible damage to the fuel filler and tank. He restarted in thirty-third place and charged through the pack. Ramirez spun later, and spent time in the pits but he did finish, the last car running.

The start was delayed a few minutes for last minute track work. The weather warmed up a bit after the brisk breeze settled down, and the sunset was pretty. The crowd was estimated at 30,000.

ERIN CROCKER started twenty-second and spun out of the race early on. She was unhurt after being hit unavoidably. Crocker was understandably disappointed with the short end to her Truck debut, after a string of disappointing finishes in the Busch Series. She is scheduled to run the full Truck Series next season with RAY EVERNHAM.

MIKE BLISS is another Double Duty Driver. He finished tenth after starting twentieth. Sunday he races No.0 Net Zero Best Buy Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nextel Cup race. Bliss is a former Truck Champion, and returned to the series three races ago to replace JACK SPRAGUE, who left to race a Toyota with JEFF WYLER.

Sprague started eighth and finished sixteenth.

The unofficial applause meter determined that those drivers getting the loudest applause in Driver Intros were Busch, KEN SCHRADER and JIMMY SPENCER. Busch was the only driver who also generated some boos.

Spencer started seventh but crashed out after cutting a right front tyre. He will get to race again Sunday, being yet another Double Duty Driver. Spencer will have to qualify on time in No.50 US Micro Dodge.

Schrader is this weekend's only Triple Duty Driver - Southwest Tour, Craftsman Trucks and Nextel Cup.

Schrader started last and finished twenty-fourth in the Truck race.

Schrader won Thursday night's NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Southwest Series Race from the pole, leading three times and for the most laps - 84 of the 125-lap race. The other leaders were ERIC HOLMES, who led 36 laps and finished eighth after starting third; and MATT CRAFTON, who started tenth and finished runner-up to Schrader after leading for five laps. Crafton finished eighth in the Truck race-No.88 Menards Chevrolet, being another Double Duty Driver.

It was the season's finale race for the Southwest Series. Points leader was JIM PETTIT, who finished ninth after starting twelfth. Rookie Champion was DON CAMPBELL, who finished forty-first after an accident.

Roush Racing isn't large just in the Nextel Cup Series. JACK ROUSH has seven teams spread out between the Busch and Truck Series. Next season he will run TOO KLUEVER and CARL EDWARDS for the full Busch season, as well as partial seasons with GREG BIFFLE, MATT KENSETH, and MARK MARTIN. Kluever was the top Rookie in the Truck race, finishing twelfth.

In the Truck Series, Roush NBS/NCTS Team Manager MAX JONES can't say who will be the two drivers. Roush Racing has been running a Gong Show with 25 aspirants. It has been the focus of a series of TV shows on the Discovery Channel, with the string being played out right up to Daytona. At least one Truck driver will come from that process. Jones can't say on the second driver. Jones, who has been on and off with Roush Racing for the past 16 years, recently returned to the fold after Roush made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Jones had been Team Manager with EDDIE CHEEVER's Red Bull team in the Indy Racing League. Jones left after the Indy 500 to run the Busch and Truck programmes. He said this will be his last job in racing.

In pit lane one can observe just how far the series has come since its start in 1995. Now there is a satellite dish on all of the War Wagons, which also have set up reminiscent of those seen in the Formula One pit lane. There are flat screen TV's, computers, more than one TV monitor per pit, and comfortable swivelling chairs, designed to make it easy for the Crew Chief to oversee all and make decisions. It's a far cry from the old days of little red wagons taking everything to pit lane for the race.

And today's oval track Media Centres have also come a long way from those found on the short tracks in days of yore. I still remember the equipment closet at an unnamed track, which also doubled as the 'Press Room' for the first couple of years in the Truck Series.

We've come a long way, baby.


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