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Truck master Kahne wins at Darlington

NASCAR Truck Series
Saturday, March 12, 2011

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Kasey Kahne
Getty Images for NASCAR

Kasey Kahne did it again.

Making his first and possibly only Camping World Truck Series start of the year, Kahne cruised to a relatively comfortable win in Saturday’s Too Tough To Tame 200 at Darlington Raceway.

The victory made Kahne the first driver in the truck series to win three of his first four starts.

Second alongside Elliott Sadler on a restart with 53 laps to go, Kahne immediately dispatched of Sadler—who had taken two tires under the previous caution—and never trailed again.

Kahne held on through three more restarts, including a final one with three laps to go, to take the checkered flag ahead of four-time series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. and 2010 Darlington winner Todd Bodine. Matt Crafton and James Buescher completed the top five.

Kahne’s stiffest challenge over the final laps came from Bodine, who once moved alongside before getting loose and falling into the clutches of Hornaday.

“I gave it a shot and got sucked around and got loose and all that and finished third,” Bodine said.

Kahne, a full-time driver in the Sprint Cup Series since, scored truck wins at Darlington and Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2004 and finished second last year at Pocono Raceway.

Saturday marked Kahne’s second appearance in the Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota normally driven by team owner Kyle Busch, who was vacationing in Cancun.

“This is one of my favorite racetracks,” said Kahne, who qualified second and led four times for 95 of the 147 laps. “I’m really glad I came. I really enjoy driving this thing.”

Matt Crafton remained the series leader, stretching his advantage to six points on rookie Cole Whitt, who moved into second after three races. Whitt finished an impressive eighth after starting from the pole and leading twice for 30 laps before dropping back with a pit-road mistake and engine issue.

Whitt, 19, was making his fourth career truck series start, his first at Darlington.

“The track just kind of suited my driving style, and from the get-go we just kind of fell into the rhythm,” Whitt said.

The race was slowed by 10 cautions, including one for a three-truck wreck involving Johanna Long, Ricky Carmichael and Nelson Piquet Jr. that brought out the red flag for 7 minutes, 37 seconds.

Notes: Kahne’s margin of victory was 1.116 seconds. … Kahne, who started second, became the fourth winner to start inside the top five. Bodine started eighth last year, and Bobby Hamilton started 14th when he won in 2003. … Kahne’s three wins tie Rich Bickle, Andy Houston and Dave Rezendes for 27th on the all-time win list.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 2 18 Kasey Kahne Toyota Toyota 0 147 Running
2 6 33 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet Tide / Kroger 42/0 147 Running
3 12 30 Todd Bodine Toyota Germain.com 41/0 147 Running
4 4 88 Matt Crafton Chevrolet Tarkett / Menards 40/0 147 Running
5 7 31 James Buescher Chevrolet Wolfpack Rentals 40/1 147 Running
6 11 17 Timothy Peters Toyota GearWrench 38/0 147 Running
7 8 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet Armour Vienna Sausage / Bi-Lo 0 147 Running
8 1 60 Cole Whitt * Chevrolet Red Bull 37/1 147 Running
9 3 13 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet SafeAuto Insurance Co. / Curb Records 35/0 147 Running
10 13 81 David Starr Toyota Zachry 34/0 147 Running
11 26 92 Clay Rogers Chevrolet fleetHQ.com / BTS Tire & Wheel Distributors 33/0 147 Running
12 31 93 Shane Sieg Chevrolet S&W 32/0 147 Running
13 17 77 Justin Lofton Toyota Lofton Cattle 31/0 147 Running
14 18 29 Parker Kligerman * Dodge Penske Truck Rental 30/0 147 Running
15 5 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Remington Arms / Tracker 29/0 147 Running
16 19 39 Ryan Sieg Chevrolet S&W Services 28/0 147 Running
17 24 5 Travis Kvapil Toyota International Trucks / Monaco RV 27/0 147 Running
18 16 9 Max Papis Toyota GEICO 26/0 147 Running
19 27 46 Craig Goess * Toyota Greenville Toyota of N.C. 25/0 147 Running
20 35 1 Jeffrey Earnhardt * Chevrolet Fuel Doctor USA 24/0 147 Running
21 15 15 Dusty Davis * Toyota Vision Airlines / Emerald Coast 23/0 147 Running
22 29 50 T.J. Bell Chevrolet Liberty Tire Recycling / Pinnacle Rubber Mulch 22/0 146 Running
23 33 07 Jamie Dick Chevrolet VivaAutoGroup.com 21/0 146 Running
24 28 66 Justin Marks Chevrolet GoPro 20/0 145 Running
25 23 62 Brendan Gaughan Toyota South Point Hotel & Casino 19/0 144 Running
26 34 57 Norm Benning Chevrolet Norm Benning Racing 18/0 143 Running
27 14 7 Miguel Paludo * Toyota Stemco / Duroline 17/0 135 Running
28 30 22 Joey Coulter * Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing / Darrell Gwynn Foundation 16/0 111 Running
29 36 25 Tayler Malsam Toyota One Eighty 15/0 103 Engine
30 22 4 Ricky Carmichael Chevrolet Monster Energy 14/0 96 Accident
31 32 20 Johanna Long * Toyota Panhandle Grading and Paving 13/0 96 Accident
32 9 8 Nelson Piquet Jr. * Chevrolet Qualcomm / Nelson Piquet 12/0 93 Accident
33 10 23 Jason White Chevrolet GunBroker.com 11/0 72 Accident
34 25 10 Chase Mattioli * Ford College Complete 10/0 55 Accident
35 20 51 Justin Johnson * Toyota Vision Airlines / Wounded Warrior Project 9/0 41 Accident
36 21 32 Brad Sweet Chevrolet Great Clips 8/0 13 Accident

* Denotes Rookie

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