Todd Bodine won his fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing 1.321secs 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, and all have 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," the veteran said, "It's hard to win anywhere."
Having been running third behind Ron Hornaday Jr's Kevin Harvick Inc Chevrolet and Crafton when a sequence of green flag pit-stops began on lap 98, 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 2.1secs with five remaining. Making sure he had enough fuel to reach the chequered flag, Bodine backed off the throttle on the final lap.
Hornaday was later penalised for a right-side tyre violation and given a drive-through penalty, which put him a lap down. He never regained it, and had more trouble four laps from the end when he lost oil pressure, eventually finishing 19th.
With the series rule that limits trucks to taking only fuel or tyres 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. It allowed Crawford to lead for 17 laps before the race's second caution came out, when he pitted, along with all but two trucks: Bodine and Colin Braun's Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Bodine had made his last stop for fuel on lap 103, and crew chief Mike Hillman Jr believed he could go the distance.
"We needed clean air," Bodine revealed, after averaging 152.282mph in one of the fastest truck races in history, "To get out front was key. Junior made a great call - but I had to stretch the fuel at the end."
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 tyres because of concerns of wear from a previous run that showed cords. He 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," Crafton said.
Braun finished a season-best third, while Johnny Benson's Red Horse Racing Toyota was fourth and Crawford finished fifth.
by Tim Tuttle
Special for the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service