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Truck Trend

2007 Benson best in Bristol 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 Bristol

Bristol, TN (Sports Network) - Johnny Benson used an alternative pit strategy to perfection and captured Wednesday night's O'Reilly 200 at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The No.23 Exide Batteries Toyota crossed the finish line seven lengths ahead of Brendan Gaughan.

The victory was Benson's second of the season and seventh of his Craftsman Truck Series career.

Travis Kvapil brought the field to the green flag for 200 laps of pure short track racing. And it wasn't even one lap before the first caution flag flew as Timothy Peters slammed the outside wall.

Kvapil lasted 16 laps before realizing the Gaughan was faster and he let him slide past for the lead. Gaughan, who got married last week, quickly pulled out to a four-length lead. But more caution flags slowed the action to a crawl.

The leaders took the opportunity to pit, possibly for the only time all evening. Mark Martin took fuel only and came out fourth, while Gaughan took two right-side tires and was fifth on the restart.

Johnny Benson didn't stop and inherited the lead as they went back to green on lap 49. Gaughan was still on the move, passing Martin for third and taking off after the leaders. The No.77 Chevrolet got around Jason White for second and had just one truck between himself and the leader, who still had to make a pit stop.

Kvapil was also following Gaughan up the charts and was third at lap 75. In fact, Kvapil was taking a peek to the bottom of the track on Gaughan, but he closed the door. Then Kvapil faked low, went high and took second from Gaughan.

Kvapil got up to Benson's door on lap 97, but a slower car prevented the No.6 Ford from completing the pass.

Tim Sauter broke his rear suspension on lap 103 and Benson took the opportunity to make his pit stop for fuel and four tires. He would restart 17th. That gave the lead to Kvapil with a fast Kyle Busch, Gaughan, points leader Mike Skinner and Martin just behind him.

Laps clicked off slowly as three more caution flag periods kept everyone on hold.

The green flag dropped on lap 129 and off they went. Kvapil was still trying to hold off Busch. Benson restarted in eighth apparently wanting to get back in the battle too.

Sixty laps to go and Kvapil held 0.494 seconds on Busch. Benson was up to sixth, three seconds back. Before the field hit the 150-lap mark, Benson was fourth and challenging Gaughan.

Forty laps remained and Busch was right on Kvapil's rear bumper. Then a debris caution slowed the field. Seeing the flag, Benson was likely smiling as it brought him within striking distance of the leaders.

The race restarted with 34 laps to go. Kvapil got off quickly and built his lead to three lengths. Meanwhile, Benson took third from Gaughan. Derrike Cope slammed the inside wall and the eighth caution flag would last a little while with body pieces and fluid all over the track.

The race finally restarted with just 22 laps remaining. This time Busch was all over Kvapil at the start. They were locked side-by-side in turn four when they both spun. They kept off the walls, but Benson cruised underneath the two spinning trucks and the lead was his once again.

The race restarted with 16 laps to go. Benson, who had gotten four tires at lap 103 was better than Gaughan, who had taken just two right-sides much earlier in the race. But another caution (Todd Bodine spin) gave Gaughan one last chance to figure a way past Benson. Gaughan couldn't find one and Benson took the checkered flag and the victory, his second of the season.

Martin, Skinner and Rick Crawford completed the top-five. For the first time in 20 races, Skinner failed to lead a lap.

The next race on the truck series schedule is set for Saturday, September 1st at the Gateway International Raceway.

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