Camping World Truck Series Countdown: My Top Moments Of The Decade
It's been quite the decade in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, years of memorable moments are drawing to a close and oh what a ride it's been as a fan.
Eight different champions.
We saw Kevin Harvick Inc. win three races in a row in 2008, with three different drivers (Ryan Newman, Ron Hornaday, and Kevin Harvick), a first for the series.
Ron Hornaday Jr. achieves several historic records not only in the series, but NASCAR as a whole.
Being named the driver of the decade, he won two titles, won 20 races (three times in 2009), and forever secured his legacy putting his name in NASCAR's history books.
Xpress Motorsports as a team repeats as champions with Mike Bliss in 2002, then Travis Kvapil in 2003 and it's a first in the series.
The emerging Busch-Harvick-Hornaday rivalry, which will only get better with the addition of Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Then we also saw the re-emergence of the Hornaday-Skinner rivalry in 2009 and it's one that has defined the series from it's beginning.
While 2009 was a tough year for the series with the economy, the series still lived up to its competitive nature and more importantly had a ratings gain.
The last 10 years brought some key tracks to the series, saw several leave the series, but the changes have only strengthened the series.
We've seen the series not only launch careers in the Sprint Cup Series, but also has become the home for some veteran drivers just looking to continue their racing careers.
So let's take a look at what I've picked as the top-10 moments for the Truck Series this decade.
10. Jack Roush wins his first championship in NASCAR with Greg Biffle.
Owner Jack Roush first got into NASCAR back in 1988 with Mark Martin, then built his empire that fields teams in all three of NASCAR's top three series till 2009.
He achieved much success, but it wasn't till 2000 that Roush finally won his first championship with Greg Biffle in the Truck Series.
9. Superspeedways added to the Truck Series
NASCAR brings the Truck Series to Daytona International Speedway in 2000 and Talladega Superspeedway in 2006.
Both are fan favorites, have led to many exciting finishes in the series and, yes, you can draft in a pick-up truck.
8. Green-White-Checker finishes
In 2004, NASCAR instituted the "over-time" rule that mandated all races would end with a minimum of two consectutive laps of green flag conditions.
It's more commonly refered to as the green-white-checker finish.
The rule came to be due to the fans complaining about the growing number of races that ended under caution.
If the caution comes out on the green-flag lap, it resets, but once the leader takes the white flag the race is over should the caution come out.
Since the rule came into play, there have been 82 green-white-checker finishes and have led to many exciting finishes in the series.
7. Kyle Busch
In 2001, Busch was just 16 years old, the Truck Series was a companion race paired with CART at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.
That particular weekend Marlboro was the sponsor for the 500-mile CART race.
Because of a tobacco sponsorship, regulations prohibited competitors under the age of 18 in any race during the meet.
This meant that Busch was asked to leave the Speedway, and wasn't allowed to compete in the truck race. This led NASCAR to, in 2002, require a minimum age requrement of 18.
6. Sprint Cup Experience
In 2007, all of the top-10 drivers were over 30 years of age, seven of the 10 had Cup experience, as did every race winner with the exception of Erik Darnell.
I just found this to be too interesting of a fact to leave it off of the list and doubt we'll see anything this similar happen again throughout a season in trucks.
5. Craftsman Toolboxes
After 13 years, as title-sponsor Craftsman Tools leaves the series in 2008, and brings an end to what's become an iconic symbol in the series, those red toolboxes awarded to the race winner.
With the Camping World stepping up to take over the title-sponsor role, they will have big shoes to fill to replace those red toolboxes that became the centerpiece of Craftsman's role with the series.
For the drivers winning one of those red three-drawer toolboxes, it had a special meaning to them and one that won't gander a second glance from the average Joe's workshop.
From the early years of the series, Craftsman grew with the series, and were a great title-sponsor for those tough and rugged trucks.
4. Todd Bodine & Superspeedways
Bodine won four straight Superspeedway races starting with Talladega in the fall of 2007 and ending with the season opener at Daytona in 2009.
It's just an amazing feat to have accomplished on these tracks where the field battles till the wave of the checkers on the final lap for the win.
3. The Wallace's Father vs. Daughter battle
Throughout NASCAR rich history there have been plenty of father-son, brother-brother battles, racing against each other as competitors, but never a father-daughter.
Well that all changed in 2009, on Oct. 31 at Talladega Superspeedway when Mike and Chrissy Wallace raced against each other.
It was a historic day not only for the Truck Series, but also NASCAR, as it marked the first time in history that a father and daughter competed against each other in a national touring series.
It paired Mike, the seasoned veteran, against Chrissy, a promising young talent chasing her dream of racing in NASCAR.
When the checkers flew, Chrissy had won the battle with a 13th place finish, and earned the bragging rights with dad.
While Mike finished a disapppointing 28th, after having his right-front bumper come loose and then had the right side of his hood get loose and crinkle up.
2. The Race of the Decade
Drum roll, please.
The 2008 Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway claims the honor, for the best race with the role that it played with Ron Hornaday and Johnny Benson as they battled for the 2008 title.
Coming into Phoenix, the points had Benson leading by six, and after the race, heading into Homestead, just three points separated the two.
For decades to come, Hornaday will never escape his lap one wreck, racing Busch for the lead and just over-driving it into the corner wrecking.
With it's badly damaged No. 33, KHI had Hornaday back out racing 29 laps later. You had multiple Chevrolet teams helping them make the repairs, but also Jack Roush sent over some crew members to help and showed the comradery in the series.
The race as it went on got weirder with Benson having several near misses, and he would get caught up in multiple wrecks that eventually knocked him out of the race.
In the end, Hornaday finished 25th and Benson finished 26th, but it also made that race a wild and weird affair to see the two top point leaders have such an epic classic as they battled each other for the title.
1. Ron Hornaday winning five races in a row
Hornaday would win five consecutive races in 2009, at Milwaukee, Memphis, Kentucky, O'Reilly Raceway Park, and Nashville for something that hasn't been done in 38 years.
It's quite the feat he achieved since in the modern era it seemed impossible that a driver could do this.
What makes it even more impressive, in two races he broke in two brand new chassis during the streak that, prior to winning, had never logged a lap on a track.
He joined Hall of Famer Richard Petty and Bobby Allison who won five in a row in 1971 and Petty holds the rcord with 10 wins in a row in 1967.
As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series moves onto a new exciting decade that will only lead to more impressive feats that will stand out like my 10 choices have.
Will Kyle Busch Motorsports find the success that Stewart-Haas Racing had in it's first year, and will the rivalry with Kevin Harvick Inc. continue to epic portions?
Can Ron Hornaday continue his dominance in the series without crew chief Rick Ren?
Will Hornaday become the first driver to repeat as champion?
More exciting is that double file restarts come to the Truck Series in 2010 and it will just add to the craziness and competitive nature the series is known for.
This article was inspired by another article here on B/R, written by Joe Gill, and I merely took his idea and tweaked it to fit the Truck Series.
Hope you enjoyed my selections of the most memorable from the past decade in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and it will only get better heading into a new decade.
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