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Truck Trend

2007 Benson best in Milwaukee Race Review

Our writers break down the race for you at Truck Trend Magazine. Inside you'll find stats, driver quotes, race results, and more.

NASCAR Truck Race Recap

Benson best in Milwaukee

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 Hornaday Jr..

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 place.

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. spin).

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 spin.

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 the inside.

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 Benson

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 30th.

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