Leading late, Cook cuts tire

Originally Published: July 9, 2005
Associated Press

SPARTA, Ky. -- Dennis Setzer raced to his third NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory in four races, holding off Todd Bodine in a two-lap shootout Saturday night after leader Terry Cook crashed with four laps left.

Setzer's Chevrolet finished 0.249 seconds ahead of Bodine's Toyota in the green-white-checker finish in the Built Ford Tough 225 on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. Cook brought out the seventh caution period when he hit the wall after blowing a tire.

David Reutimann was third in a Toyota, followed by Mike Skinner, Ted Musgrave, Brandon Whitt, Matt Crafton, Steve Park, Johnny Benson and David Starr.

Cook, winless since 2002, finished 25th.

Setzer, who won consecutive races last month at Michigan International Speedway and the Milwaukee Mile, has an 83-point lead over Musgrave in the season standings. Third-place Bobby Hamilton, 31st Saturday night, is 153 points back.

Setzer, who started 18th, took the lead after Cook's accident and held on for his third victory of the year and 15th overall on the series.

Setzer averaged 109.294 mph.

Bill Lester, who won the pole for the second straight race, led the first lap but quickly fell out of contention and was lapped by lap 28. He finished 22nd.

By starting the race, Lester became the first black NASCAR driver to record more than $1 million in career earnings.

Rick Crawford had his series-record streak of 210 starts -- dating to January 1997 -- end after he crashed during qualifying. He was taken to a hospital and released, but wasn't medically cleared to race.

The 46-year-old Crawford spun his Ford coming out of the second turn and hit the wall along the backstretch. Boris Said, a commentator for the Speed Channel who took Crawford's place in a backup truck, said Crawford had concussion.

Said, who last drove in a Truck Series race in April 2000, was knocked out of the race during a five-truck accident on lap 52. He later resumed his TV duties.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE