Bodine edges out Skinner in dramatic finish at Texas

Updated: June 9, 2007, 1:36 AM ET
Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Todd Bodine beat Mike Skinner to the checkered flag again at Texas, holding on to win after another green-white-checker finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series on Friday night.

Bodine edged Skinner by 0.188 seconds for his 11th victory in the series, the first since Bodine made a last-lap pass and beat Skinner by 0.116 seconds last June at Texas in the closet finish at the 1 1/4-mile track. They also finished 1-2 at Texas in November 2005.

The defending series champion has won four times in six starts at Texas.

Bodine, the polesitter who overcame a fuel problem that dropped his Toyota to 17th midway through the race, took the lead on the 163rd of the scheduled 167-lap race after making contact with Travis Kvapil going into the first turn.

"I hate that. That's not how I wanted to win. Travis is a great kid," Bodine said. "You can only block one direction. ... That's the nature of the beast. I had fresh tires. I was going to go high, he blocked me. We went to the bottom, he was still down there. It's a shame."

Kvapil had stayed out when the rest of the lead-lap trucks went in for tires on a late caution. He was trying desperately to stay out in front and was bumped while trying to block Bodine on the second lap after the restart.

"That's just truck racing. I saw him moving around," Kvapil said. "I'm disappointed our shot at winning got wiped away at the end."

It was the third straight green-white-checker finish at Texas.

Bodine led three times for 27 laps. He matched Brendan Gaughan, who won four straight races at Texas in 2002 and 2003, for the most victories by any driver at a track.

Only six trucks finished on the lead lap, with Rick Crawford third, followed by Ron Hornaday Jr., hometown favorite David Starr and Kvapil.

Skinner maintained the series points lead, with an 82-point margin over Hornaday.

Hornaday led 117 laps, and had nearly a 6-second lead when he pitted with 20 laps to go. But he was running low on fuel, and after having to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting another truck going onto pit row, coasted to his stall at the far end of pit row.

That is when Bodine regained the lead, which he held until Kvapil decided not to pit during the caution caused when T.J. Bell and Gaughan made contact on the front stretch on lap 156.

Hornaday had won two of the last three races, including at Dover last week. His fourth-place finish was his best at Texas.

Bodine started from the pole for only the second time in his career. But he started falling back in the pack because of a carburetor problem or a clogged fuel line.

"We still don't know what the problem was," Bodine said. "I revved up coming out of the pit, and it started to clear up. These guys [pit crew] never give up. I'm not going to give up."

Bodine was running 17th at the midpoint of the race, which came after the fourth caution. There then wasn't another yellow flag until Bell and Gaughan collided.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press