February 23, 2007 - Fontana, CA - California native Mike Skinner returned home and guided his No. 5 Bill Davis Racing Toyota Tundra to victory lane in Friday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at California Speedway.
It was Skinner's first victory at California Speedway and the 20th Craftsman Truck Series win of his career, as well as his fourth win in a Toyota Tundra. Born in Ontario, Calif., Skinner becomes the first Californian to win a NCTS race at California Speedway.
Skinner started on the outside of row one and ran among the race leaders throughout the 100-lap event. He led the field four times for 43 laps, including the final five circuits. Skinner took the lead on lap 96, when race leader Mark Martin and second-place Ron Hornaday made contact. He then held off a charging Hornaday en route to the checkered flag.
"I had to do the slowest restart ever, not spin the tires on my Tundra, and stay on the bottom of the track," said Skinner, following the race. "I was born just down the street (Ontario, Calif.), so that's pretty cool to win at home. We always qualify pretty good here, but we never have run good here before tonight. My Tundra wasn't perfect tonight, but it drove all night with a good old conventional set-up."
Late in the race, Skinner came into the pits for tires and fuel, a move that helped him reach the winner's circle.
"Jeff Hensley (crew chief) made the call to put tires on there at the end and it was a great call," said Skinner, after the race. "Ron (Hornaday) passed us clean and it looked like we were going to finish third. I've lost so many races the way Mark (Martin) did tonight, it's about time we won one. My strategy was to hope Ron and Mark started racing each other and got into one another, and that happened."
Tundra drivers Jack Sprague (third), Ted Musgrave (fifth), Johnny Benson (sixth) and Todd Bodine (seventh) also recorded top-10 finishes at California Speedway. Aaron Fike, who finished 18th in the No. 1 Red Horse Racing Tundra, was the first rookie to cross the finish line.
Other Tundra racers in the field were Tyler Walker (24th), AJ Allmendinger (25th) and Terry Cook (30th).
Toyota has now accumulated 27 wins since joining the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the beginning of the 2004 season. In addition, Toyota drivers have captured the checkered flag in the first two races -- Daytona (Jack Sprague) and California (Mike Skinner) -- of the 2007 campaign.
Toyota Finishing Positions at California Speedway
1st, MIKE SKINNER
3rd, JACK SPRAGUE
5th, TED MUSGRAVE
6th, JOHNNY BENSON
7th, TODD BODINE
18th, AARON FIKE
24th, TYLER WALKER
25th, AJ ALLMENDINGER
30th, TERRY COOK
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