Bodine wins 2nd straight truck race
Todd Bodine drew on everything he’d learned in 38 career starts at Darlington Raceway and rolled home to his second straight victory in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series “Too Tough To Tame” 200.
Bodine inherited the lead after rookie Austin Dillon gave up the lead to pit on lap 101 and ran the final 71 laps on a single tank of fuel, passing up two more chances to pit over the last 47 laps to beat out Timothy Peters by 0.531 seconds for his 20th career victory.
Ron Hornaday finished third, followed by Johnny Sauter and Dillon.
The victory was Bodine’s third of the season second in two weeks, padding his points lead over Aric Almirola.
“The history behind Darlington and the great drivers that have raced here and walked the garage area and got their Darlington stripes - the list of those driver is incredible and to be part of that, to be in victory lane at Darlington is incredible,” said Bodine. “It’s a great feeling to be able to win at Darlington.
“It’s nice to be to get in the truck and drive this way. I wasn’t on no Sunday drive – I knew I had to go with Timmy (Peters) behind me. I knew he was going to be tough, but we enough for him.
“We had a lot of fun at Darlington, I always have. Like I was saying earlier, I have a lot of laps around here, and it pays off. Experience pays off.”
Indeed it did.
The only driver in the field with a previous victory – in a Nationwide Series race in 2003 – Bodine started eighth in the field and managed to avoid the pit falls that claimed several of the veteran contenders.
It took only five laps for the Lady In Black to reach out and grab her first victim, as Dennis Setzer spun in turn one, collecting mike Skinner in the mix.
Just five laps later, Jason White found the wall with Austin Dillon getting a piece as well.
In all nine caution flags waved for 37 laps, with 16 trucks going to the garage including Skinner, Ricky Carmichael, Brian Ickler and Mario Gosselin.
At the front of the field, Peters led the first 47 laps from the pole and ran close to the front all night. After Dillon surrendered the lead he had held for 23 laps, Peters snuck back into the second position, hoping to either catch Bodine or be in a position to pounce if Bodine’s fuel didn’t hold out.
After the final caution flag flew on lap 124 for Ickler’s crash, Peters chased Bodine for the next 20 laps but could never close the gap as the 2006 series champion easily dodged the final lapped trucks.
“We finally made our last adjustment on the final stop and took sticker (tires) but we were back in traffic and used up our tires really early to get back to the front,” said Peters. “After the wreck between the 12 (Gosselin) and the 4 (Carmichael), I was conserving all (the fuel) I could because we were committed to running all the way to the end. We did everything we could, but all in all it was a great night.”
Matt Crafton, James Buescher, Stacy Compton, Almirola and Ken Schrader rounded out the top ten.
Almirola dropped 57 points to Bodine and now trails the points leader by 231 points.
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