Polesitter JACK SPRAGUE/#60 Con-way Freight Toyota won the Chevy Silverado HD 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Friday night at Daytona International Speedway by 0.031 seconds in a photo finish - the eighth closest finish in Truck history. In a last lap, last turn spurt, Sprague, who was running third at the time, took the high line on leader TRAVIS KVAPIL/#6 Roush Racing Ford and JOHNNY BENSON/#23 Toyota Used Vehicles Toyota and edged past them for the finish. Benson took the low line and finished a close second ahead of Kvapil who fell to third, all running three-wide across the stripe.

Sprague led five times for 16 laps.

Sprague's new fiancee got a double treat at her first ever race - seeing Sprague earn his thirtieth pole position and win his twenty-eighth Truck race. Sprague, a three-time Truck Series champion, is going for 32 poles so he could equal or surpass the record set by MIKE SKINNER/#5 Toyota Tundra, who finished fourth. Sprague's victory brought him a record $93,375 purse.

Sprague said "To win Daytona is an absolute shock. I never would pick that I would win on a super-speedway. That just totally blows my mind because I'm not the greatest drafter in the world. Tonight I took my time. Seemed to me like maybe I'm realizing that patience is huge because the last few times I've done this restrictor plate stuff or Speedway stuff, I've been patient, it's worked out well. Just never dreamed I would win at Daytona. "This is still the most awesome win that I've ever been able to accomplish." When asked if he thought he would take the chequered flag, Sprague said "Dude, I didn't know if I was going to wreck before the chequered flag. I've done that enough, too."

Finishing fifth was TODD BODINE/#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota. Sixth place finisher, JOEY CLANTON/#09 Zaxby's Ford was the top Rookie. The top Chevy in the Chevrolet-sponsored race was newbie CALE GALE/#2 Camping World, racing for KEVIN HARVICK. This was Gale's first-ever Truck race, his first race at Daytona or on a superspeedway. Finishing right behind him was his team-mate, RON HORNADAY, 1996 & 1998 Truck Champion.

In the top five all but Benson are past Truck Series champions. Seven of the nine Truck champions in the twelve-year series were in the Daytona race. The others were the 2005 Champion TED MUSGRAVE/#9 Team ASE Toyota in ninth place, and the 2002 Champion MIKE BLISS/#40 Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet who was hit and DNF for twenty-third place.

The champions in the top five and their years were:
Sprague - 2001 & 1999 & 1997
Kvapil - 2003
Skinner - 1995
Bodine - 2006

When asked about the Veterans in the Truck Series, Sprague said "You know, this is a feeder series. Your late models at your local tracks are a feeder series, your Busch Grand National is a feeder series. I mean there is nobody questioning the fact that Nextel Cup is the top tier racing in the world. Okay, but the Truck Series has a lot of champions and a lot of veterans that enjoy doing this and don't want the rigorous schedule of 38, 40 weekends a year."

MARK MARTIN is one veteran NASCAR driver who wholeheartedly agrees. He said Friday that he's really enjoying racing in the Truck Series and scaling back on the gruelling Nextel Cup schedule. "Racing in the Truck Series is fun." Martin couldn't stop smiling this week at Daytona. This weekend isn't one of his scheduled Truck races, but they will come.

Hornaday is another driver in agreement. He said "I just watched that race with JAMES HYLTON (the 72-year old driver who attempted to qualify for the Daytona 500) and I have another 24 years of racing. So Kevin, you have to keep a truck underneath me for another 24 years, although he might go broke doing that by then."

The only missing Champion in the Truck race was GREG BIFFLE from 2000.

Another past Truck champion was remembered with a moment of silence before the race - the late BOBBY HAMILTON, the 2004 Champion who died last month from cancer. In the Pre-Race ceremonies, both Hamilton and the late BENNY PARSONS, who also died last month from cancer.

Kvapil led the most laps - six times for 49 of the 100-lap race. There were 21 lead changes among nine drivers. There were six cautions for 34 laps, six for accidents and one for a spin. Twenty-two of the 36 Trucks finished the race, with 18 on the lead lap. All but one of the retired drivers were in accidents, but no one was hurt.

The field of 36 included 16 Chevrolets, nine Fords and nine Toyota's, and two Dodge's. TERRY COOK/#59 Chevrolet holds the record for consecutive Truck Series starts at 223 at Daytona. However, Daytona wasn't one of the more memorable races for Cook. He was caught out in an accident and retired with a twenty-seventh place finish.

Despite the 40+ degree weather the attendance was estimated at 90,000. The weather had been windy and very cold for the past two days, with misty sprinkles for Qualifying Thursday night; but that didn't stop the qualifying Thursday night. Rain held off although it accelerated for the last six qualifiers. Had qualifying not been completed, it would have been thrown out and the field based on 2006 Owner points. One driver failed to qualify - WAYNE EDWARDS/#95.Ford.

The Truck race was an impound race, as are all the Truck races. This means after qualifying the trucks are impounded by NASCAR until the race. The Truck Series has followed this format for the past two years. In Nextel Cup only a few selected races are impound races.

This year there are no female drivers in the Truck Series. Last year's regular, ERIN CROCKER, was there for the race but not competing. She said that she hoped to run a few Truck races this season, depending on sponsorship.


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