Toyota continues complete domination in Trucks
SPARTA, Ky. – With the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series half complete, former champion Mike Skinner appears unstoppable.
Skinner and his Toyota truck completely dominated Saturday night’s Built Ford Tough 225 leading 135 of 150 laps around the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway as Skinner scored his series-leading fourth victory of the season before an announced crowd of 49,161.
In the process, Skinner became just the second driver 50 years or older to win a series race and set a record by leading his 13th consecutive race – every one – of the year.
Skinner, whose championship lead grew to 164 points over 10th-finishing Ron Hornaday Jr., took the lead for the final time on the 105th lap when he passed defending series champion Todd Bodine. He held a 5.57 second margin of victory – half a straightaway – over Travis Kvapil’s Ford. Kvapil in turn edged Ted Musgrave as the pair battled for the runner-up spot over the race’s final 10 laps.
“It picks an old man up a lot,” said Skinner, who celebrated his 50th birthday two weeks ago.
Skinner averaged 127.175 mph for the 225 miles race in the series’ second fastest race. He won $86,425 in recording his 23rd victory in a 142-race career.
Six different drivers exchanged the lead 10 times.
Skinner has completed every one of the season’s 2,193 laps and has finished out of the top 10 just once.
Pole winner Ryan Mathews, one of the winner’s two teammates at Bill Davis Racing, finished fourth ahead of 1994 NASCAR Busch Series champion David Green, who was making his first appearance in the series since 1997.
Jon Wood, top rookie finisher Joey Clanton, Bill Lester, Mike Bliss and Hornaday completed the top 10.
The first 14 finishers completed all 150 laps with 27 of the 35 starters taking the checkered flag.
Accidents claimed three drivers including Roush Fenway Ford teammates Erik Darnell and Peter Shepherd. Neither was injured nor was veteran Terry Cook, whose Toyota also was wrecked in the Turn 2, lap 59 incident with Shepherd.