Todd Bodine Wins a Four-Wide Finish at Talladega
Todd Bodine went from bump drafting Kyle Busch to victory, to winning the Mountain Dew 250 Talladega Super Speedway, on Saturday afternoon and a amazing four-wide finish.
Bodine would record his second win of 2008, sweeping both restrictor plate races this year and repeating as a winner at Talladega.
Erik Darnell, in the No. 99 Northern Tools Ford F-150 truck, was the pole sitter, with teammates John Wesley Townley in the No. 09 Zaxby Ford F-150 truck started on the outside pole position and Colin Braun in the No. 6 Con-Way Freight Ford F-150 truck started third.
Roush-Fenway Racing truck teams held the top three starting positions, and it's nice to see Ford have four trucks in the top five.
Jon Wood in the No. 21 Air Force Ford F-150 truck was to start fourth. But due to having to change the truck starter, he had to start from the back.
You had three wide racing already on the opening lap, and not surprisingly, the first caution came out on Lap 2 for debris on the track.
On the Lap 4 restart, Erik Darnell took the green leading, with Colin Braun in second, followed by Todd Bodine in the No. 3 Lumber Liquidator Toyota Tundra truck in third and Ron Hornaday in the No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet Silverado truck in fourth on a single file restart with the trucks driving along the yellow line.
On Lap 5, Darnell led by 0.122 seconds over Braun in second with the outside line still about 20 trucks back.
On Lap 6, Joey Logano in the No. 59 Team ASE/Harris Trucking Toyota Tundra truck goes from the bottom line to the outside line in front of Johnny Benson in the No. 23 Toyota Certified Toyota Tundra truck, which was the first truck leading the outside line.
Coming off of turn three, Benson would have none of Logano's move, repassing him and bring the outside line with him, making "Sliced Bread" the meat in the middle.
On Lap 8, it's still Erik Darnell leading, Colin Braun in second, Todd Bodine in third, followed by Ron Hornaday in fourth and Scott Speed in the No. 22 Red Bull Toyota Tundra truck rounding out the top five.
On Lap 9, the outside line starts to lose momentum and is falling apart with some drivers going back down to the bottom. Mike Skinner in the No. 5 Tundra sponsored Toyota Tundra along with his teammate Johnny Benson stick with the outside line and a few drivers catch up to regroup the outside line.
On Lap 10, in a team deal, Mike Skinner would get out of the outside line, let his teammate Johnny Benson by, along with the rest of the outside line. Skinner was unable to duck back behind Benson and would drop back to the back of the field.
It's still early, having great three wide racing all over the track, some bump drafting by both teammates and fellow drivers and a lot of give and take.
On Lap 15, Jack Sprague in the No. 2 American Commercial Lines Chevrolet Silverado would slow on the track, getting shuffled out of the draft and pit to check the engine.
Sprague slowed due to his engine stopping. He would switch ignition boxes and lost a cylinder in his engine.
Ron Hornaday's team was concerned, sending a crew member to the No. 2's pit stall to see what the problem was and could be prepared should Hornaday have similar problems.
On Lap 17, Erik Darnell's still leading, Colin Braun's running in second, Todd Bodine's running in third, Ron Hornaday's running in fourth and Scott Speed in fifth.
Todd Bodine would let his crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. know, he had nothing for either Erik Darnell leading or Colin Braun in second. They would need to adjust the truck on their pit stop, so he could challenge them for the lead.
On Lap 19, according to Speed TV commentators, NASCAR was trying to find out which truck lost a passenger side window, reports that one did.
On Lap 20, the second caution flag flew for debris on the track, as a piece of sheet metal came off of one of the trucks and also for the window.
All the drivers would pit, Joey Logano was the truck that lost the window. They would pit and then go behind the wall to replace the window. They couldn't just slide a new one in and lost laps while pop riveting it into place.
Joey Lagano would end the night in 26th, five laps down and would also be involved in a last lap multi-truck wreck.
The top five coming off of pit road was Erik Darnell leading, with Colin Braun in second, Todd Bodine in third, Ron Hornaday in fourth and John Wesley Townley in fifth.
But Hornaday would get caught speeding off of pit road, coming back for his drive-through penalty would stop for left-side tires and restart in 26th place.
On the Lap 23 restart, Erik Darnell took the green flag, followed by Colin Braun, Todd Bodine, John Wesley Townley and Johnny Benson rounding out the top five.
Speed would let everyone know that Ron Hornaday has led 30 percent of the laps this year.
On Lap 24, Joey Logano is back on track, four laps down to the leaders.
On Lap 26, Kyle Busch is running in ninth, Johnny Benson dropped back to 11th, Ron Hornaday is running in 20th and Scott Speed is running in 26th place.
On Lap 28, Colin Braun is in second, his truck starts to overheat and worries his crew. But it would amount to nothing; he probably had paper on his grill.
On Lap 29, Johnny Benson gets help from his teammate Mike Wallace in the No. 9 Geico Toyota Tundra in the outside line and catching up to Rick Crawford in the No. 14 Circle Bar/Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 in fifth.
On Lap 32, Bodine will move to the outside line from third, right in front of Johnny Benson. He would pass Colin Braun for second and start battling Darnell for the lead.
On Lap 34, Bodine would receive a push from Johnny Benson getting past Darnell and get credit for leading one lap.
But Bodine on the very next lap was repassed by Darnell for the lead, running three wide with Kyle Busch in the No. 51 Miccosukee Resort Toyota Tundra up top, Bodine the first truck in the center line and Darnell the first truck on the bottom.
On Lap 38, Hornaday would tell his spotter Rick Carelli, you need to get me away from Mike Wallace. He's changed his line six times in two laps and he'll cause a wreck doing that.
On Lap 40, there is great three wide action with big packs of trucks battling for position.
Erik Darnell is still leading; he's led 60 percent of the laps on Super Speedways this year.
At the halfway point on Lap 47, it's still the three Roush-Fenway trucks up front, with Erik Darnell leading, Colin Braun in second, John Wesley Townley in third, followed by Todd Bodine in fourth and Rick Crawford in fifth, rounding out the top five.
Ron Hornaday would be running in 26th, having problems passing trucks after his speeding penalty.
On Lap 48, Scott Speed's running in 15th, Ron Hornaday's starting to work his way to the front running in 19th now and switch to the outside line to do it.
On Lap 49, Johnny Benson would be running in 18th, with Ron Hornaday running in 20th and it's 11 points separating the two.
Green flag pit stops started on Lap 50, with all three Roush-Fenway Racing trucks pitting together with Rick Crawford, Todd Bodine, and a few other drivers.
Coming into the pits, Todd Bodine had contact with John Wesley Townley. Spinning Townley out, he would recover and not hit anything.
However, Rick Crawford got pass-through penalties for speeding on pit road.
On Lap 52, Brandan Gaughan in the No. 10 Maxx Force International Diesel Ford F-150 would be leading, as other trucks made their green flag pit stops.
David Starr in the No. 11 Zachery Toyota Tundra and Terry Cook in the No. 60 Toyota Tundra, would get caught speeding off pit road and would have to make a pass-through penalty.
On Lap 53, green flag pit stops continue, with Johnny Benson getting only fuel, while others got two/four tires, adjustments and fuel.
On Lap 54, Ron Hornaday and Kyle Busch are in a large third group of trucks making green flag pit stops.
On Lap 55, only leader Dennis Setzer in the No. 18 Bessemer City Dodge Dodge Ram and John Andretti in the No. 15 Hyprone Ergon Toyota Tundra in second, haven't made their pit stops yet.
On Lap 56, Terry Cook would make his pass-through penalties and get caught entering and exiting for speeding on pit road and would have to make another pass through.
On Lap 57, both Setzer and Andretti would make their pit stops under green. Todd Bodine would be back up front leading, with Erik Darnell in second, Matt Crafton in the No. 99 Menard's Chevrolet Silverado truck is in third, followed by Mike Wallace in fourth and Johnny Benson in fifth, rounding out the top five.
Joey Logano would have to make a pass-through penalty for getting caught speeding leaving pit road.
Erik Darnell has led 48 of the 57 laps run so far and is currently running in second.
On Lap 64, Ron Hornaday's running in seventh, Scott Speed's running in 11th and Kyle Busch's running in 14th.
On Lap 65, Todd Bodine leads, with Erik Darnell running in second, Matt Crafton running in third, Mike Wallace running in fourth and Johnny Benson in fifth rounding out the top five.
On Lap 67, Colin Braun would move to the outside line, would pass Todd Bodine for the lead and drop back to the bottom line. Hanging the outside line out to dry.
Moments after Colin Braun took the lead, the third caution flag flew for Jack Sprague who would get loose make contact with Kyle Busch and bounce his truck off of the wall.
Everybody pits, majority of the trucks got just two tires and fuel. The top five off of pit road was as follows: Dennis Setzer in first, John Andretti in second, Colin Braun in third, Brian Scott in fourth and Scott Speed in fifth.
Mike Skinner would have contact with Landon Cassill in the No. 81 National Guard Chevrolet Silverado leaving pit road. Skinner would come back to pit road, get the sheet metal pull off the right front tire, change right side tires and add a couple of 200mph tape on that right front fender.
Ron Hornaday on the last pit stop got left side tires and fuel, currently running in 11th and Johnny Benson would be 10th. The points right now between the two are just five points in Benson's favor.
On the Lap 76 restart, the green flag flew for Dennis Setzer leading, with John Andretti in second, Colin Braun running in third, who would switch to the outside line. Brian Scott in the No. 16 Albertson's Toyota Tundra in fourth and Scott Speed running in fifth.
For a couple of laps, you had Dennis Setzer on the bottom line, with Colin Braun in the outside line battling for the lead and further back trucks are racing four wide.
On Lap 78, Colin Braun would finally get the lead passing Dennis Setzer and dropping back down to the bottom line. Twice, he's hung the outside line to dry.
Then it just goes crazy on the track at Talladega, with some great three-wide and four-wide racing all over the track.
On Lap 79, Brian Scott would lead the lap getting it off a four-wide battle to the line.
On Lap 80, it's still a four-wide battle for the lead, at the line Kyle Busch would be leading at the line, getting help from Todd Bodine in second and Ron Hornaday in third.
On Lap 83, Scott Speed's dropped back to 11th, Johnny Benson's running back in 13th. Right now, Ron Hornaday is leading the points by 49 points over Johnny Benson.
On the same lap coming off of turn four, the fourth caution flag flew. When Colin Braun blew a left rear tire, miraculously he spun out onto the pit road entrance and the "big one" was avoided.
John Andretti would spin resulting from Braun's problem and several trucks dodge it by going onto pit road.
With ten laps left on Lap 84, it's going to be a great single file restart, everybody will be caught up with everybody and it will make for a awesome finish.
Kyle Busch is leading, Todd Bodine is in second, Hornaday running in third, Brian Scott running in fourth and Chad McCumbee in the No. 8 Malcolmson Construction Chevrolet Silverado truck running in fifth, rounds out the top five under caution.
On the Lap 86 restart, Kyle Busch takes the green, has a great restart keeping everyone together and leaves no gaps.
The top five would stay the same running on the bottom. The outside line starts to assemble, with Erik Darnell running as the first truck. When his teammate John Wesley Townley would leave the bottom line moving to the outside line right in front of Erik Darnell.
On Lap 89, Kyle Busch is still leading, with Todd Bodine right on his bumper pushing him. While the outside line still isn't going anywhere with John Wesley Townley leading the line and Erik Darnell would pass him.
On Lap 90, Colin Braun would jump to the outside line, in front of his teammate Erik Darnell and results with the outside line catching up to the leader Kyle Busch down on the bottom.
Amazing when you consider Colin Braun on lap 84, he blew a tire and here he's back up front battling for the lead.
On Lap 91, Kyle Busch on the bottom, with Colin Braun on the outside, both are the first trucks in either line, battle around Talladega for the lead and win.
As the field comes to line for Lap 92, the racing goes to three wide with four wide further back. Both Colin Braun and Kyle Busch are still the front two trucks battling for the lead and Busch lead the lap by .002 seconds at the line over Colin Braun in second.
Colin Braun with help from T. J. Bell in the No. 7 Home For The Holidays/Heathhcliff's Chevrolet Silverado pushing him would take the lead on the white flag lap.
On the final lap, Todd Bodine would try to push Kyle Busch to victory, but contact gets Busch loose. Meanwhile the big one happens well behind the leaders involving multiple trucks and no caution flag came out.
Todd Bodine moves outside of Kyle Busch, with Ron Hornaday right behind him pushing him, Colin Braun besides Hornaday on the high side, while Mike Wallace is on his other side and Kyle Busch recovers leads the bottom line.
This resulted in a amazing four-wide finish, with Todd Bodine getting the win, by a margin of .075 seconds over Ron Hornaday who finished in second.
Todd Bodine would get his second win of the season, would sweep both restrictor plate races in trucks and would repeat as the Talladega race winner.
Todd Bodine would do the victory burnouts, take the checkers flag and make his way to victory lane. Thanking his team, gave his crew chief Mike Hillman, Jr. a big hug, thanked his sponsors and got congratulated in victory lane by Ron Hornaday. Giving him a hug and thanking him for pushing him to the win.
Ron Hornaday would finish second, over come the speeding penalty, he ran a beautiful race and was their in the end getting a great finish. He also would re-take the points lead from Johnny Benson.
Speed TV, interviewed Hornaday post race, here's the quote of the race from him. "We'll take second, it's like winning at Talladega."
Kyle Busch would finish third, he ran really well and just didn't have the truck to finish as the winner.
Colin Braun would finish in fourth and was happy after the tire issue to get a top five finish.
Mike Wallace would finish in fifth, he was all over the place making multiple lane switches each lap, some that took your breath away, thinking he's going to wreck and cause a very big wreck. But he didn't, which was good and had a great finish.
Was happy to see the truck race, other than Colin Braun's blown tire didn't have the same tire problem's that the ARCA Re/Max race had with tires and that the big one didn't happen till the final lap.
The wreck resulted in no getting hurt, just a bunch of torn up trucks.
Other notable drivers had the following finishes:
Johnny Benson would end up finishing in 11th, he ran pretty well, but didn't have the drafting help some of the other top ten drivers had and would lose the points lead to Hornaday.
Erik Darnell who led 48 laps dominated the first half of the race , had no drafting help and would finish in 12th.
Scott Speed would finish in 15th, he looked good for his first truck race at Talladega, got as high as fifth and just didn't have the tires to get a higher finish.
Matt Crafton would finish in 16th, he ran well early, was affected by no drafting help and old tires.
Joey Logano the overhyped 18-year-old making his NCTS debut would finish in twenty-sixth place, five laps down and was one of the trucks involved in the last lap wreck. He had problems with his passenger side window, never recovered from the problem.
I wasn't impressed with how he drove the first 20 laps, and HT Motorsports No. 59 truck's has been one of the top teams in the series. Just seems like if the kid's not in a JGR equipment he can't do anything and doesn't make all those exciting moves neither.
Now I'm more impressed with John Wesley Townley who finished in 18th place, he's also 18, he looks really good throughtout the race and being under the guidance of Jack Roush. Give the kid a year or two to develop, he's going to be a really great driver.
The top ten drivers at the Mountain Dew 250 are as follows:
1. Todd Bodine
2. Ron Hornaday
3. Kyle Busch
4. Colin Braun
5. Mike Wallace
6. Landon Cassill
7. Brian Scott
8. T. J. Bell
9. Mike Skinner
10. Chad McCumbee
The points battle now has Ron Hornaday leading by a 39-point margin over Johnny Benson and 218 points over Matt Crafton in third.
The next truck race is at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 18.
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