Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Following a two-hour rain delay, Ron
Hornaday Jr. captured Friday night's Power Stroke Diesel 200 Craftsman Truck
Series race at the O'Reilly Raceway Park. The No.33 Kevin Harvick Inc.
Chevrolet crossed the finish line one length ahead of Johnny Benson.
The win was Hornaday Jr.'s third of the season.
Mike Skinner finally brought the field to the green flag for 200 laps of short
track racing. Interestingly, he chose the outside line to start from and it
worked as he fought off Hornaday Jr. on the first laps and took early control
of the race.
But Hornaday Jr. didn't go away and he kept the pressure on Skinner, finally
making the pass on lap 23. Todd Bodine also got underneath Skinner who seemed
to be tight and couldn't turn his truck quickly enough.
Hornaday Jr. built the lead to more than two seconds when Pierre Bourque spun
to bring out the first caution flag of the evening.
The race restarted on lap 42 and off went Hornaday Jr. Bodine hung with him,
but Travis Kvapil had trouble keeping up with the torrid pace. But again the
race was interrupted by a caution flag.
Two trucks back in the field who were moving up were Erik Darnell and Ken
Schrader. Both drivers cracked the top-10 by lap 70.
However, it was Hornaday Jr. dominating from the front that was the story of
the race. He built the lead to more than three seconds when the third caution
flag on lap 77 erased his lead once again.
The leaders took the opportunity to pit while Willie Allen and Jason White
stayed out and inherited the lead. Kvapil was the first off pit lane and sat
third with Rick Crawford and Hornaday Jr. just behind.
Kvapil, Crawford and Hornaday Jr. quickly got around White and went after
Allen. Meanwhile, Matt Crafton didn't go around White, but through him for the
pass and it brought out the fifth caution flag of the evening.
On the restart Kvapil made quick work of Allen and so did Hornaday Jr. to take
the top-two spots. Kvapil was holding about one second on Hornaday Jr. with 90
laps to go.
A couple of more caution flags slowed the race and left 60 laps to go when
they went back to green. Benson caught Hornaday Jr. and the two battled side-
by-side for second place with 50 laps to go. It was an exciting show, but it
allowed Kvapil to check out and build his lead to over one second.
Hornaday Jr. fought him off, but Benson wouldn't give up. Then Kvapil began to
lap slower traffic and the bottleneck allowed both Hornaday Jr. and Benson to
close on the leader.
With 30 laps to go, Hornaday made the move under Kvapil and slid past Kvapil
for the lead. Benson also got by Kvapil about five laps later, but was more
than 1.1 seconds behind Hornaday Jr.
It should have been and easy drive to the checkered flag, but a spin by a
backmarker inside of 18 laps left him with some more work to do. Good thing
Hornaday Jr. is known as the "King of Restarts" and we saw the reason why.
On the restart, Hornaday Jr. quickly pulled away from Benson. It was eight
lengths by the time they reached the first corner, but again a spin brought
out the caution flag and set up a green-white-checker finish.
Hornaday Jr. had to make one last great start to win the race, he did and won
for the third time in 2007 and the 32nd time in his Craftsman Truck Series
Kvapil, Crawford and Schrader completed the top-five.
Skinner finished outside the top-10 for the first time this season (20th) and
combined with Hornaday Jr.'s win cut his lead to just 77 points.
The next race in the series is set for Saturday, August 11th at the Nashville