Bristol: Off-week news 2008-08-25

*Busch Makes Comeback With Win At Bristol *Return To The Windy City: Series To Run At Chicagoland Speedway In 2009 *In The Loop: Todd Bodine Still A Contender In Battle For Title Rowdy Busch Back In Victory Lane DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 25,...

*Busch Makes Comeback With Win At Bristol
*Return To The Windy City: Series To Run At Chicagoland Speedway In 2009
*In The Loop: Todd Bodine Still A Contender In Battle For Title

Rowdy Busch Back In Victory Lane

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 25, 2008) -- Kyle Busch hadn't been in the No. 51 Miccosukee/NOS Energy Drink Toyota since O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis back in July but that didn't seem to matter Aug. 20 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Busch started strong rolling off third behind first- time Keystone Light polesitter Scott Speed (No. 22 Red Bull Toyota) and Johnny Benson (No. 23 EXIDE Batteries Toyota). He went on to lead 145 laps, capping the night off with a trip to Victory Lane.

The win marks the driver's third in the series for the season as well as his first short-track win. No one driver has dominated the five short tracks on the circuit this year. Busch is the fifth different driver to win joining Dennis Setzer (No. 18 TAHOE Dodge), Donny Lia (No. 71 Nationrides.com Chevrolet), Ron Hornaday, Jr. (No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet) and Benson.

Busch also becomes the third driver with a Bristol win in all three national series (Mark Martin and Carl Edwards are the other two).

"Its fun to be able to win at any race track in anything," Busch said. "But to be able to do the sweep here at Bristol, it's pretty awesome."

To say the least, Busch scored an immaculate performance. He was the second driver to post a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 this season. Hornaday has accomplished the feat twice, in his wins at Kansas and Texas.

Return To The Windy City

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will be making a stop in the Windy City next season. The 2009 schedule released recently revealed that the series would be hitting Chicagoland Speedway for a night race Friday, Aug. 28. The addition was part of the schedule realignment, replacing the fall race in Atlanta with a night race at Chicagoland.

The series isn't completely new to the area. The now defunct Chicago Motor Speedway hosted the trucks in 2000 and 2001. Joe Ruttman captured the checkered flag the first year and the following season Scott Riggs made the trip to Victory Lane.

In an area where the number of NASCAR fans continues to grow each season, it's an addition to the schedule everyone positively welcomes.

"Getting back to Chicago is a great plus for the series," said series director Wayne Auton. "It's just one more avenue for fans to become NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series fans."

"The layout of the mile-and-a-half track is like no other that we currently race at," Auton said. "And under the lights, it will all make for an exciting race."

Matt Alexander, president of Chicagoland Speedway, agrees adding the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to the lineup, which includes the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and the IRL, is a win-win situation for everyone, particularly the fans.

"We're excited about the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series coming to Chicagoland Speedway," he said. "To meet the growing excitement of the motorsports fan base in the Chicago market ... It bodes very well with our efforts to really continue to try to provide the best possible experience when our fans and guests come to Chicagoland Speedway."

Etc. & Quotable

Points Battle ... With only nine races to go, points leader Benson has put a cushion between himself and defending champion Hornaday. While Benson failed to make it an unprecedented four wins in a row at Bristol, his fourth-place finish extended his lead to 119 points over Hornaday, the largest gap so far in the 2008 season.

Matt Crafton in the No. 88 Menard's Chevrolet is probably glad to have Bristol's concrete bullring behind him. The driver maintained his third place spot in the championship points battle, but finishing 21st didn't help distance himself from former series champion Todd Bodine (No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota), who is now only 83 points behind him in fourth.

Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) and Rick Crawford in the No. 14 Circle Bar Truck Corral/Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford posted solid runs. While Skinner came in seventh, Crawford finished the night fifth which helped him close in on the Bill Davis Racing driver in the points. A mere seven separate Crawford from Skinner who is fifth.

Don't Forget To Vote ... Every vote counts for Most Popular Driver. Be sure to visit nascar.com to cast your vote. Polls close Oct. 31.

In The Loop: Still A Contender, Bodine's Closer Than You Think

Todd Bodine's 239-point deficit may look daunting, but there's no need to fret just yet.

Bodine has two truths on his side: success at the upcoming tracks and momentum.

With nine races -- and nine tracks -- left on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, Bodine sits fourth in the points standings. Of the remaining nine tracks, Bodine has wins at seven of them.

Plus, Bodine has put together a couple of strong finishes in a row. At Nashville, Bodine finished third, posting a Driver Rating of 139.1 -- his best Driver Rating of the season. Then last week, Bodine finished second and had a Driver Rating of 119.7.

Overall this season, Bodine has a Driver Rating of 100.7 (third-best), an Average Running Position of 8.7 (second), 124 Fastest Laps Run (tied for fourth), a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 78.2 (fourth) and 358 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), which is second only to Matt Crafton's 383.

Only three drivers have a rating over 100: Bodine, Hornaday and Benson. Not surprisingly, Benson and Hornaday are one-two in the series points standings.

Hornaday leads the series in Driver Rating with a 113.3, while Benson is second with a 110.3.

Manufacturers' Battle

Toyota's still on top, slightly extending its lead over Chevrolet to 12 points. Dodge is the top manufacturer for Gateway International Raceway.

Up Next:

After a Labor Day weekend break the racing action will resume at Gateway International Raceway with the Camping World 200 presented by Honda Power Equipment on September 6.

Defending race winner and current points leader Johnny Benson will look to visit Victory Lane for the fifth time this season.

Fast Facts

The Race: Camping World 200 presented by Honda Power Equipment
The Place: Gateway International Raceway

The Date: Sept. 6, 2008
The Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

Race Distance: 200 miles / 160 laps
Track Layout: 1.25-Mile Oval

TV: SPEED, 2 p.m. ET

2007 Winner: Johnny Benson
2007 Pole: Mike Skinner

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Dennis Setzer , Rick Crawford , Scott Riggs , Matt Crafton , Joe Ruttman , Scott Speed , Carl Edwards , Donny Lia , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin
Teams Bill Davis Racing