West Allis, WI (Sports Network) - Johnny Benson won Friday night's Toyota
Tundra Milwaukee 200 at the Milwaukee Mile, his second in a row at the
historic track. The No.23 crossed the finish line five lengths ahead of Ron
The victory was Benson's first of the season and sixth of his truck career.
Mike Skinner, on the pole for the seventh time in 11 starts, brought the field
to the green flag for 200 laps for flat-track racing. Skinner, the fastest car
on the track all-season long, led the parade early on in the race.
Through 30 laps and the only driver who could stay close was Todd Bodine.
Meanwhile, Benson, who won last year's race, got around Jack Sprague for third
But even Bodine began to fade as the field approached the 50-lap mark. Skinner
built his margin over Bodine to 2.849 seconds. He was starting to lap many of
the slower trucks because there was just one early caution flag (Hornaday Jr.
Benson also got around Bodine for second, but he was still a long way behind
Skinner, who was setting a torrid pace. Then on lap 66 the caution flag came
out (debris) and Skinner's big lead was quickly erased.
Skinner beat Benson off pit road with just 20 trucks remaining on the lead
lap. Hornaday Jr. returned to the top-10 for the first time since his early
Skinner was off like a shot as the green flag dropped on lap 71, but Kelly
Bires and Ted Musgrave collided on lap 75 to bring out another caution flag.
As they were trying to limp back to pit road, Musgrave took his frustration
out on Bires, hitting him a second time. Musgrave was told by NASCAR officials
to "park the truck behind the wall."
Through 100 laps, the halfway point, and Skinner had still led every one of
the laps. However, Benson was right on his rear bumper and taking a look to
On lap 103, Benson got underneath Skinner and as they got to turn three,
Skinner had to give way. Benson crossed the start/finish line to start lap 104
with the lead. Within a couple of laps Benson built the lead to one second.
The lead ballooned to over three seconds as Bodine also got around the
suddenly fading Skinner.
Benson began to catch the tail end of the leaders and Bodine started to cut
into Benson's lead with 80 laps to go. Hornaday Jr. was still moving up,
battling his way into the top-five. Hornaday Jr. fought his way around Sprague
with 75 laps to go to grab fourth place.
Despite lapping slower traffic, Benson actually increased his lead to four
seconds with 60 laps to go. Hornaday Jr. was still flying, passing Skinner for
third place, but he was about five seconds behind the leader. Fifty-eight
laps to go and Hornaday Jr. got around Bodine - just one truck between himself
and a brilliant win.
Willie Allen and Chad McCumbee brought out the caution flag and in that second
Benson lost his five-second lead. All the leaders came to pit lane for their
final scheduled stop of the evening.
Benson took four tires as did Hornaday Jr. and the No.23 Toyota team beat the
No.33 Chevrolet out of the pits. That would set up a great shootout with the
"King of Restarts" in second place.
They restarted with 36 laps to go and Hornaday Jr. couldn't get the jump on
Benson. They cleared the lapped traffic and Benson held three length on
Hornaday Jr. But Hornaday Jr. also had a rearview mirror filled with Bodine
and the No.30 Toyota.
Benson was holding 0.402 seconds as they reached the 180-lap mark with just 11
trucks on the lead lap. Benson was better through the lapped traffic and built
the lead to one and-a-half seconds with 14 laps to go.
Sprague spun with seven laps to go and Hornaday Jr. would get one last shot at
On the final restart with four laps to go, they were still nose-to-tail, but
Hornaday Jr. couldn't find a way around Benson. He peeked to the inside, but
nothing was there. Benson managed to edge out to a five-length lead as they
saw the white flag and he held it all the way to the checkered flag for his
first victory of 2007.
"We thought we would be pretty good by the end of the race and that's all we
really care about," said Benson. "I don't care about leading every lap, I care
about leading the last one."
Bodine, Skinner and Rick Crawford completed the top-five.
Skinner's fourth-place finish leaves him with a 108-point lead over Hornaday
Jr. as the the series heads to Memphis Motorsports Park on Saturday, June