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Truck Trend

2007 Contenders put on great show, but Musgrave wins at TMS 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.

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Contenders put on great show, but Musgrave wins at TMS

Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Chad McCumbee and Jack Sprague battled for the lead on the final restart, but when they took each other out just a few laps from the checkered flag Ted Musgrave took advantage to win Friday night's Silverado 350K at the Texas Motor Speedway. The No.9 Toyota crossed the finish line ahead of Brendan Gaughan

The victory was Musgrave's first of the season and 17th of his Craftsman Truck Series career.

In the series championship, Mike Skinner survived a wreck with Ron Hornaday Jr. to finish third and build a 57-point margin with two races remaining on the schedule.

Skinner brought the field to the green flag for 147 scheduled laps of tight high-speed racing. He led the first lap, collected a five-point bonus and was now the "in-race" championship leader.

The early man on the move was Kyle Busch. He started fifth, but by the time they completed lap number one, he was second to Skinner. But Musgrave fought back, passed Busch and then on lap 15 fought past Skinner into the lead.

Busch also got around the outside of Skinner on lap 36 and went after Musgrave. Two laps later he slid underneath Musgrave who obviously saw him coming and let the faster truck through without a fight.

Travis Kvapil's pit crew did a great job on the first round of pit stops (lap 41), gaining the No.6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford four positions and the lead as Busch came out second best. But it took less than two laps for Busch to retake the lead with a "power move" around the outside.

In the race-within-the-race, after 50 laps, Skinner was fourth and Hornaday Jr. fifth. By lap 53, Hornaday Jr. passed Skinner on his charge towards the leader, while Skinner was backing up.

On lap 67, Kvapil began to complain that his truck was losing power, although he was still maintaining his position - second. Then just as suddenly, Busch turned down pit road with an engine problem of his own. He took off his gloves and turned directly behind the wall, indicating his day was over.

Most of the leaders pitted, but Musgrave led a small group that stayed out and he was the new race leader. It didn't last long as Skinner pulled alongside and finally past the No.9 Toyota. When Hornaday Jr. saw Skinner take the lead, he knew he couldn't wait any longer and ducked under two trucks at once, taking second place from Musgrave. Hornaday Jr., however, had pitted at the last caution giving him a fuel advantage.

Fifty laps remaining and Skinner still led Hornaday Jr., but now he needed a caution flag or he would have to stop under green and lose a lap to the field.

Hornaday Jr. took the lead on lap 101, giving him the all-important five-point bonus. But he didn't stop there. He quickly put some room between himself and Skinner.

The racing stayed green, a disaster for Skinner, and he pitted for the last time. A 16.98-second stop was pretty good, but he still lost a lap to Hornaday Jr. Now, Skinner had to hope that the race stayed green until Hornaday Jr. had to stop, otherwise he would be in trouble.

No yellow appeared and Hornaday Jr. had to pit on lap 129 balancing out his battle with Skinner.

A two-tire stop and Hornaday Jr. got back on the track ahead of Skinner. Erik Darnell inherited the lead, with Mike Bliss in second and Hornaday Jr. in third. Finally Darnell and Bliss had to get their final fuel stop and the No.33 Chevy was again the lead.

Kvapil crashed with eight laps to go when a rear tire blew to bring out a caution flag. Just 10 trucks remained on the lead lap. The green flag would drop with four laps left and Skinner right on Hornaday Jr.'s rear bumper.

On the restart, Skinner went to the outside of Hornaday Jr. He got even with him as Hornaday Jr. slid up the track to try and protect his position. That left room for McCumbee to drop to the bottom of the track. He did just that entering turn three and charged past both Skinner and Hornaday Jr.

"I knew we could win the race if we went on the outside," said Skinner. "We went up there and Chad made a really good move and got under Ron. We went into (turn) three and I don't know what happened, I don't know if Ronnie got loose."

As they were coming out of the corner, both championship contenders began to spin, almost in choreographed unison. When they spun, they were hit from behind and NASCAR had to bring out the red flag to clean up the multi-car mess.

Word also filtered down from NASCAR that Hornaday Jr. would be penalized one lap for moving up the track to block.

The race restarted with three laps to go as both pit championship pit crews tried to get their trucks back on the track. Skinner didn't have much damage and got right back out there in seventh, but Hornaday Jr.'s pit had engine oil everywhere.

McCumbee got a bad restart, spinning his wheels, but tried to hold off Jack Sprague. They both spun causing another huge accident. Musgrave, in third, was declared the race winner. Skinner swerved, avoided the McCumbee/Sprague incident and finished third. Hornaday Jr. was credited with an 18th-place finish that leaves him 57 points behind Skinner.

The 24th of 25 races in the series is scheduled for Friday night, November 9th at the Phoenix International Raceway.

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