Sparta, KY (Sports Network) - Mike Skinner led 135 of 150 laps en route to a
victory in Saturday night's Built Ford Tough 225 at the Kentucky Speedway. The
No.5 Toyota driver crossed the finish line more than five seconds ahead of
The victory was Skinner's fourth of the season and 23rd of his Craftsman Truck
Rookie Ryan Mathews brought the field to the green flag for 150 laps of
racing. But he didn't last very long up there as first Bill Lester, then
Skinner and Brendan Gaughan took turns with the lead. Skinner made a second
pass of Gaughan for the fourth lead change in the first six laps.
Following a Rick Crawford spin and crash, Skinner began to build a lead over
Gaughan. By lap 20 the margin was two seconds and by lap 25 it had ballooned
to 3.677 seconds. Then Gaughan slipped back and Ted Musgrave assumed the
Skinner's lead steadied at around four seconds and it stayed that way through
50 laps. Then Terry Cook and Peter Shepherd got together on the next lap and
it brought out the caution flag.
A round of pit stops and Skinner was still the leader with David Green and
Kvapil in third. Mathews, the pole sitter, had worked his way back to fourth
place after dropping outside the top-10.
The event was slowed by multiple caution flags through the middle portion of
When they finally put a couple of green-flag laps together, Skinner quickly
rebuilt his lead just as he had done earlier.
Then on lap 95 Erik Darnell slammed the wall after a tire let go. Once again
the caution flag flew. The race would restart with 50 laps remaining.
Todd Bodine stayed on the track while most of the leaders pitted. Mathews
started second with Skinner restarting fourth. But Skinner is not one to be
patient. Within four laps Skinner was fighting Bodine for the lead and going
into turn four he slid below the defending series champion for the lead.
With 40 to go he had the gap up to two seconds and Kvapil was battling Bodine
for second. Kvapil made it around Bodine who was beginning to fade on his old
tires. Thirty laps remaining and Skinner's lead was over three seconds.
Skinner continued on and cruised to the checkered flag unchallenged.
The next race is set for July 27th at O'Rielly Raceway Park.