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Scott Speed wins truck race in just 6th start

Former F1 backmarker buries NASCAR regulars
Friday, May 30, 2008

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Scott Speed (No. 22) races Ron Hornaday (No. 33) late in the AAA Insurance 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway
Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR
Making the most of his sixth start in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series -- and capitalizing on transmission troubles that temporarily sidelined Kyle Busch's dominant Toyota -- former Formula 1 driver Scott Speed ran away from the field after a late restart to win the AAA Insurance 200 on Friday at Dover International Speedway.

Speed, whose previous best finish was eighth at Kansas Speedway, is the third straight first-time winner in the series, following Matt Crafton (Lowe's Motor Speedway) and Donny Lia (Mansfield, Ohio) to victory lane.

Jack Sprague held off Chevrolet teammate Ron Hornaday for second position, as Sprague crossed the finish line 3.379 seconds behind Speed. Travis Kvapil finished fourth and Crafton fifth. David Starr, Mike Skinner, Colin Braun, Rick Crawford and Johnny Benson completed the top 10.

"Today we had a good strategy and an awesome truck, and we got everything we could out of it," Speed said of his No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota. "The learning curve I've had has been amazing. Every time I go out on the track, I feel I come away with a lot of knowledge.

"I'm just having an awesome time trying to learn this sport."

Speed was so far ahead at the finish, the NASCAR regulars were nowhere in sight
Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR
With a two-tire stop on Lap 133, Speed improved his track position dramatically, restarting third behind Todd Bodine and Shane Sieg on Lap 136. After picking off Sieg, Speed passed Bodine for the lead on Lap 150 and opened a lead of more than 3.5 seconds over Hornaday (who gained three positions to second).

Speed's lead disappeared, however, when Bodine's No. 30 Toyota blew a right front tire and slapped the Turn 3 wall on Lap 170.

But Speed said his truck was quicker on two tires, and after taking the green flag for a restart on Lap 179, he stretched his advantage to nearly four seconds over Sprague before backing off on the final circuit.

"It was time to get a little aggressive," Speed said of the restart.

Busch led the first 96 laps of the race, until heavy smoke from his No. 51 Toyota forced him to the garage. Busch lost 19 laps as his crew changed a transmission, a turn of events that opened a window of opportunity for the truck series regulars. He finished 17 laps down in 27th place after making up two laps during the remainder of competition.

But veterans Hornaday and Sprague had nothing for the series rookie at the end of the race.

Sprague thought he had a chance to win, but the performance of his No. 2 Chevy fell off after the restart with 22 laps to go.

Scott Speed holds his Miles the Monster trophy
Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR
"I could barely outrun (Hornaday) with a sour motor," Sprague said. "After the green (on Lap 179), I got tight again. Dammit! I want to win."

Hornaday also felt he could catch Speed until his engine lost power late in the race.

"I don't know if we broke a header, but we lost a little bit of power," Hornaday said. "I had to pull down and let Jack go."

A flashy dresser and a bit of an eccentric (he just had the tips of his toenails painted blue), Speed found a quick way to gain acceptance among the series veterans.

"He's a winner in the Craftsman Truck Series now, so he'll fit right in," Hornaday said.

One victory, however, won't be enough to satisfy Speed, who was informed in victory lane that there has never been a repeat winner in the truck series at Dover.

"I haven't been back," Speed said.

Note: Crawford took over the series points lead, with Crafton 20 points down in second.

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 4 22 Scott Speed * Toyota Red Bull 190/5 200 Running
2 6 2 Jack Sprague Chevrolet American Commercial Lines 170/0 200 Running
3 5 33 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet Camping World/ RVs.com 170/5 200 Running
4 20 09 Travis Kvapil Ford Zaxby's 160/0 200 Running
5 16 88 Matt Crafton Chevrolet Pittsburgh Paints / Menards 155/0 200 Running
6 15 11 David Starr Toyota Red Horse Racing 150/0 200 Running
7 1 5 Mike Skinner Toyota Toyota Tundra 146/0 200 Running
8 10 6 Colin Braun * Ford Con-way Freight 142/0 200 Running
9 12 14 Rick Crawford Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International 138/0 200 Running
10 2 23 Johnny Benson Toyota Toyota Certified Used Vehicles 134/0 200 Running
11 9 59 Ted Musgrave Toyota Team ASE / Harris Trucking 130/0 200 Running
12 11 8 Chad McCumbee Chevrolet Malcolmson Construction 127/0 200 Running
13 23 60 Terry Cook Toyota wyler.com 129/5 200 Running
14 19 15 Shane Sieg Toyota Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 121/0 200 Running
15 26 21 Jon Wood Ford U.S. Air Force 118/0 200 Running
16 7 9 Justin Marks * Toyota Germain Motor Company 115/0 200 Running
17 8 71 Donny Lia * Chevrolet NationRides.com 112/0 199 Running
18 30 18 Dennis Setzer Dodge Tahoe Smokeless 109/0 199 Running
19 13 13 Shelby Howard Chevrolet Bobcat 106/0 199 Running
20 27 10 Brendan Gaughan Ford International Maxx Force Diesel 103/0 197 Running
21 17 40 Chad Chaffin Chevrolet Key Motorsports 100/0 197 Running
22 31 7 Andy Lally * Chevrolet TRG Motorsports 97/0 197 Running
23 29 4 Stacy Compton Dodge LenStoler.com 94/0 197 Running
24 24 46 Landon Cassill Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 91/0 197 Running
25 18 99 Erik Darnell Ford Northern Tool + Equipment 88/0 195 Running
26 28 20 Scott Lagasse Jr. Ford Nicholson Group 85/0 188 Running
27 3 51 Kyle Busch Toyota Miccosukee Resort & Gaming / NOS Energy Drink 92/10 183 Running
28 22 07 Ryan Lawler Chevrolet Manheim's Dealers Auto Auction of Dallas 79/0 179 Engine
29 21 30 Todd Bodine Toyota Lumber Liquidators 81/5 170 Accident
30 25 08 Jason White Dodge Gunbroker.com 73/0 129 Engine
31 32 191 J C Stout Chevrolet Stars & Stripes Tool Company 70/0 121 Accident
32 14 16 Brian Scott * Chevrolet Albertson's 67/0 47 Accident
33 35 189 Ryan Seaman Chevrolet Lafferty Performance 64/0 13 Accident
34 33 74 Larry Gunselman Dodge Derrike Cope Inc. PE 7 Handling
35 34 73 Nick Tucker Dodge Derrike Cope Inc. PE 7 Vibration
36 36 0 Butch Miller Chevrolet ASI Limited 55/0 6 Axle
*Rookie

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