Bodine Wins In Tundra At Talladega, Blaney Third In Camry

October 07, 2007

October 7, 2007 - Talladega, Ala. - In Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, Todd Bodine started from the pole and led twice for a race-high 46 laps in the No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Tundra en route to his second victory of the season – and 10th for Toyota – in the 88-lap Mountain Dew 250.

A late-race caution yielded a two-lap shootout in which Bodine made his No. 30 Tundra as wide as he could, holding off Rick Crawford and Johnny Benson to the checkered flag to win by a slim 0.014-second margin.

"I can't believe it," said Bodine, following the race. "I have run so many races here and have been in the same situation in the end and never got it done. I always got shuffled out or something happened. We just had a great truck. To win the pole and to win the race shows how great these guys on the team are. I'm the lucky guy that drives it."

Bodine's first victory of the season – also from the pole – came at Texas Motor Speedway in June.

The win (35th) and pole (46th) for Toyota came in just its 95th race since joining NCTS competition at the beginning of the 2004 season.

Benson wound up third in the No. 23 TCUV Tundra for Bill Davis Racing, followed by Jason Leffler in the No. 1 Red Horse Racing Tundra. It was Leffler's first NCTS start since 2004.

Benson narrowly escaped trouble on Lap 75, when he made contact with then-leader Jack Sprague's No. 60 Con-way Freight Tundra, which had slowed on the front stretch. Sprague, who led four times for 30 laps, went spinning into the oncoming traffic, collecting a handful of fast trucks, setting up the late-race drama.

In addition to Sprague – who wound up 27th – Tundra drivers Ted Musgrave (25th) and Terry Cook (28th) were caught up in the incident.

Mike Skinner (nine laps led) finished 13th in the No. 5 Toyota Tundra, in what could have been a feast or famine race for the Bill Davis Racing team. Running third late in the race, a loose hood pin caused the hood to flap violently on the No. 5 Tundra, forcing NASCAR to ‘black flag' Skinner, which would have caused him to lose the lead pack and struggle to finish on the lead lap. A separate incident on the track, however, allowed Skinner to come to pit road for repairs under caution, enabling him to salvage a top-15 finish.

Ron Hornaday finished seventh, retaking the points lead from Skinner by a 14-point margin with five races remaining on the NCTS schedule. Tundra drivers Bodine (fourth), Benson (fifth), Musgrave (seventh) and Sprague (10th) are also in the top-10 in the point standings after Talladega.

Tundra drivers Mike Wallace (17th), Josh Wise (23rd) and Jacques Villeneuve (30th) were also in the field.

The next race on the NCTS schedule is October 20 at Martinsville Speedway.

In Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race, Dave Blaney matched a career-best result and scored Toyota's best finish in NNCS competition Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, crossing the finish line third in the No. 22 Caterpillar Camry for Bill Davis Racing.

Blaney started second and led one lap on the 2.66-mile Alabama circuit, running among the leaders throughout the 188-lap, 500-mile race, picking the right drafting partners late in the race to move to the front.

"We had a good race," said Blaney. "Our first goal was to get back in the top-35 in points, so I had to take care of the car all day. I didn't want to do anything to put it in harm's way. I just got with the right group of cars there at the end. I could've easily run 23rd with that car, but here, it's all about the group you're with."

The third-place finish for Blaney is the best result for a Camry in Cup Series racing, topping a fifth-place run by Brian Vickers at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. Blaney also finished third at Darlington in 2003.

Blaney's finish – coupled with a 31st-place finish by Ken Schrader's No. 21 machine – moves the No. 22 Camry into 35th place in NNCS owner standings, guaranteeing the team a spot in the field next weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte.

Jacques Villeneuve finished 21st in the No. 27 Unicef Camry for Bill Davis Racing, in his first-career NNCS start. An early brush with the wall forced Villeneuve to the pits for repairs, but the 1997 Formula One champion rebounded and finished on the lead lap.

David Reutimann finished 22nd in the No. 00 Burger King Camry, but had a faster car than his finish indicates. Reutimann was collected in an 11-car incident on lap 144 while running with the lead group, when Bobby Labonte went spinning across the track's front stretch. Vickers – who led eight laps – was also caught up in the incident, finishing 39th.

Michael Waltrip (six laps led) also had a strong car Sunday before a late-race flat tire sent him into the wall, relegating the No. 55 NAPA Camry to a 25th-place finish. Dale Jarrett finished 41st in the No. 44 UPS Camry.

Camry drivers led a total of 17 laps Sunday, with Blaney, Vickers, Waltrip and Reutimann (two laps led) all spending time at the front of the field.

Waltrip started on the pole in the No. 55 Camry, the fourth pole of his NNCS career and second for Toyota since joining NNCS competition at the beginning of the 2007 season. Blaney started on the pole at New Hampshire in July.

Five Camrys started among the first six cars with Waltrip and Blaney sharing the front row; Vickers (third) and Reutimann (fifth) posting their best qualifying efforts of the season; and Villeneuve qualifying sixth.

The next race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule is October 13 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte.

NOTE: In Friday's ARCA Series race, Bill Davis Racing driver Michael Annett drove to Victory Lane in the No. 28 Camry, giving Toyota its first-ever victory in the series.

Toyota NCTS Finishing Positions @ Talladega Superspeedway 
23rd, JOSH WISE 

Toyota Drivers in NCTS Point Standings – following Talladega Superspeedway** 
2nd, MIKE SKINNER               3,193 points 
4th, TODD BODINE                2,945 points 
5th, JOHNNY BENSON              2,831 points 
7th, TED MUSGRAVE               2,474 points 
10th, JACK SPRAGUE              2,339 points 
14th, TERRY COOK                1,121 points 
**unofficial point standings 

Toyota NNCS Finishing Positions @ Talladega Superspeedway 

Toyota Drivers in NNCS Point Standings – following Talladega Superspeedway** 
32nd, DAVE BLANEY            2,220 points 
38th, BRIAN VICKERS          1,700 points 
40th, DAVID REUTIMANN        1,568 points 
41st, DALE JARRETT           1,244 points 
46th, AJ ALLMENDINGER        823 points 
47th, JEREMY MAYFIELD        809 points 
48th, MICHAEL WALTRIP        776 points 
**unofficial point standings 

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