Musgrave wins first Trucks race since '05
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Ted Musgrave broke a 66-race NASCAR winless streak, taking the checkered flag under caution at Texas after the two trucks in front of him crashed going into the first turn of what was supposed to be a green-white finish Friday night.
Chad McCumbee spun the tires on his Chevrolet on the final restart and when he tried to keep Jack Sprague from passing him, the two made contact and slammed into the wall. Instead of his first victory, McCumbee finished 13 with a mangled mess of a truck.
McCumbee took the lead with an nifty three-wide pass to get by Craftsman Truck Series championship contenders Ron Hornaday and Mike Skinner before they made contact and brought out a yellow flag that set up the final series of events.
In the end, Skinner finished third and regained the series point lead by 57 over Hornaday with two races left. It was the sixth time in seven races Skinner and Hornaday traded the points lead, but it's the largest gap between the drivers in that stretch.
"We would have liked to have won the race, but if we won the race, [Hornaday] would have finished second or third," said Skinner, who led a race-high 40 laps in his Toyota. "Big picture-wise, this worked out better."
Hornaday wound up 18th after leading twice in his Chevrolet for 35 laps, and was surprised the points gap wasn't larger.
"Is that all? That's good," Hornaday said. "We'll take our wounds and go on. We have two more to go."
Musgrave, whose last win was at Gateway in 2005, drove his Toyota through the restart wreck without incident and was the winner since there can be only one attempted green-white finish. He finished under the yellow flag in front of Brendan Gaughan, a four-time winner at Texas.
Skinner squeezed through the final melee after two more trucks in front of him got taken out in that crash.
Skinner and Hornaday were side-by-side coming off the backstretch on lap 143, of what was supposed to be a 147-lap race, when McCumbee drove under them and into the lead going into the third turn.
McCumbee cleared them but Hornaday got loose and made contact with Skinner -- and both got sideways in the turn. Four other trucks got caught up in the accident, with Hornaday's truck getting heavily damaged on the front, and Skinner taking a hit on the back.
"Whatever happened, happened," Skinner said. "I don't want to win or lose the championship because we crashed each other. I'd hate that. It was three wide and stuff happened."
The race was red-flagged for nearly 16 minutes, during which Hornaday went to the pit for repairs and was penalized a lap.
When Hornaday pitted with 18 laps to go, he took only two right tires and a splash of fuel, and Skinner was eighth at the time. Within nine laps after that, after a series of green flag stops, Hornaday and Skinner were running 1-2 with a 4.7-second gap between them.
That margin disappeared when Travis Kvapil blew a tire and spun out coming out of the fourth turn on lap 140 and set up another restart.
Skinner got a strong run and quickly went to the outside of Hornaday going into the first turn. They were still running side-by-side when McCumbee passed them on the same lap.
Nextel Cup regular Kyle Busch started fifth in his Chevrolet and was leading on lap 69 when he had electrical problem. After his truck started smoking on the backstretch, he drove through pit row to the garage and parked it.
Formula One and Indy 500 champion Jacques Villeneuve of Canada started 16th, but finished his fifth Truck Series start 25th, eight laps off the lead. He will run in the Trucks and try to qualify for his second Cup race next weekend in Phoenix.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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