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Hornaday Wins AAA Insurance 200
DOVER, Del. -- Ron Hornaday Jr. survived some early chaos, then outlasted his strongest competition to visit victory lane for the second time in three races, winning the AAA Insurance 200 Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway on Friday afternoon.
Hornaday beat out surprising Stacy Compton by 7.009 seconds in a race where just nine trucks finished on the lead lap.
Travis Kvapil, Johnny Benson and Mike Bliss rounded out the top five in the series' 300th race.
"We finally won the Monster Mile!" Hornaday said, slapping a high five with crew chief Rick Ren.
The race was barely half of a lap old when polesitter Mike Skinner made contact with fellow front row starter Clint Bowyer, sending Bowyer into the backstretch wall.
Bowyer, Hornaday's Kevin Harvick Inc. teammate, drifted back down the track and caused a chain-reaction wreck that collected a piece of seven other trucks, including Brendan Gaughan and Jack Sprague, both of whom started in the top seven.
"I guess the old man [Skinner] didn't want the kid to get around him," Bowyer said.
But Gaughan blamed Bowyer, who drives for Richard Childress in the Nextel Cup Series, for the incident.
"This just kills me," Gaughan said. "We've got a great truck, we've got a great day in front, and then you put a Nextel Cup superstar [up there] who thinks he doesn't have to lift or something."
But after the early incidents, the race stayed mostly caution-free as the leaders cycled through green-flag pit stops.
After a final restart with 67 laps remaining, Kyle Busch overtook Hornaday for the lead, but the veteran quickly passed him back.
Busch was within 2.8 seconds of Hornaday with 20 laps to go, but blew a right-front tire to take his truck out of contention.
The only remaining question was whether a caution would allow the rest of the field to catch Hornaday, but the race stayed green and Hornaday cruised to the win.
It was an unlikely victory considering that after 20 laps, Hornaday's truck was so loose that the driver of the No. 33 grew upset with Ren's setup.
But Ren made an adjustment that tightened the truck and allowed Hornaday to stick to the bottom groove of the 1-mile concrete racetrack.
"Rick told me to trust him and I did, and I know now to just put my faith in his hands," Hornaday said.
Hornaday cut Skinner's lead in the point standings to 77.
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