Chevy Silverado 250: Bodine wins "Rowdy" race

DAYTONA BEACH -- In 20 years of coming to Daytona International Speedway, both as a crew member and a driver, Todd Bodine's seen a little bit of everything at the famed beachside track.

"I've finished second, finished third third, crashed hard, burned a couple times," Bodine said.

Those sentiments could have summed up the entire Chevy Silverado 250 for the Craftsman Truck Series on Friday night, a race Bodine won by holding off the charge of Kyle Busch and Johnny Benson. It was Bodine's first win of any kind at Daytona.

The victory came on a night where Busch touched off a fiery 10-car wreck in turn 2, one that set up a 17-minute delay under the red flag less than 20 laps in. Four more trucks were sidelined a few laps later, and the machines of Erik Darnell and Justin Marks tangled while running 2nd and 3rd with 13 laps remaining.

That final wreck set up a restart with 9 laps left, and Bodine led Busch and Benson into the 3rd turn on the race's final circuit. Busch tried to hang back and get a run at the lead, but Bodine was too strong.

"I was fighting pretty hard those last few laps," Bodine said. "Kyle's pretty notorious for driving hard, and you always worry about him driving hard. But we've become pretty good friends, and I knew he wasn't going to turn me or anything like that.

"This is finally, after 17 years (as a driver) -- I've been waiting for this."

Busch took center stage in the race on lap 19, when he pulled down into Mike Skinner in turn 2. That sent Skinner spinning across the track, collecting Brendan Gaughan, Chad Chaffin, Ted Musgrave and others -- including P.J. Jones, who drove down 2/3 of the backstretch in a blazing fire before escaping the cockpit unharmed.

"Kyle will still race tomorrow," a disgusted Gaughan said. "To him, this is 'fun' time. ... He had the whole outside (lane) and he just stayed in the center."

"I was running the top side and bouncing all over the place on these springs here, and I tried turning down the race track just a little bit to try and get under (Chad McCumbee)," said Busch, who is pairing with David Stremme to run the entire CTS slate in the No. 15 this year. "When I did my front end really bit and turned down the track.
"Last I heard I was kind of clear, but I wasn't exactly sure. Unfortunately, Mike was there and it caused a big pileup. I apologize to those guys and everybody else who was involved."

No comments: