Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Jack Sprague captured the first Craftsman
Truck Series event of 2007. The No.60 Toyota crossed the finish line just
a few feet ahead of Johnny Benson.
The victory was Sprague's first of the season and 28th of his truck career. He
is now just one win behind Ron Hornaday Jr. for the series all-time record.
Three-time Craftsman Truck Series champion Sprague brought the 36 trucks to
the green flag to open the 2007 racing season. And they got one lap completed
before the first caution flag when Mike Wallace was sent spinning.
After eight laps, Todd Bodine went to the lead. The defending series champion
lasted just one lap before yielding to Mike Skinner. Following a caution flag,
Travis Kvapil made his way to the lead in the No.6 Roush Racing Ford machine
that won last year's race at Daytona with Mark Martin behind the wheel.
A five-truck accident on lap 23 took out Ken Schrader, Tyler Walker, Kraig
Kinser, Joey Clanton and Jason White. It appeared to start when Clanton was
heading down pit lane and Jason White didn't see it and hit his rear bumper
starting a chain reaction melee.
On varying pit strategies, Benson and Bodine worked their way to the top-two
spots. But no one could hold the lead for long and Kvapil retook the lead
(with help from Aaron Fike) on lap 35.
Finally the drivers got down to racing and not crashing and as the field
neared the mid-point of the race there were still 26 trucks in the lead pack
trading positions on each lap.
A well-timed caution flag while Benson was coming off pit road helped the 2006
series runner-up gain the lead on lap 52.
They got to lap 60 before the next incident. Terry Cook had come from the back
of the field to 10th when he got clipped and slammed the outside wall bursting
into flames. Cook got out unharmed, but his night was obviously over.
After everyone had pitted, Sprague held the lead, while Kvapil, who
probably had the strongest truck all night, would restart in 11th place.
Within five laps of the restart, Kvapil had worked his way to fifth place, not
far behind new leader Erik Darnell. Two laps later Kvapil was once again the
Bodine and Sprague were close behind Kvapil when a caution flag on lap 80
slowed the field once again. Most of the leaders came in for new tires and to
top off fuel, but Bodine stayed out primarily because he didn't have any new
Bodine took the green flag with 15 laps to go with Sprague behind him in
second place and Kvapil in fourth. Sprague got around Bodine but both Toyotas
were challenged on the outside by Kvapil and fellow Roush Ford driver Carl
Then Chase Miller spun on lap 87 and slammed the outside wall slowing the
great battle that was taking place out front. Dennis Setzer, Brendan Gaughan
and Cale Gale were also involved in the incident.
The race restarted with just six laps to go. Kvapil, Sprague and Bodine stayed
1-2-3 as they saw the white flag. On the final lap Sprague went to the outside
Johnny Benson to the bottom of the track and it was a photo finish with
Sprague edging Benson by one foot and Kvapil by about four feet.
Skinner and Bodine completed the top-five.