Rick Crawford won the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis after squeezing past Mike Bliss with just over 30 laps to go. "This is a great little race track," Crawford said. "You can race all over it. You can even race...
Rick Crawford won the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis after squeezing past Mike Bliss with just over 30 laps to go. "This is a great little race track," Crawford said. "You can race all over it. You can even race on the apron in Turn two coming out of the pit lane.
"To come here and set up a short track truck was a lot of fun. This is a one groove race track, but to win a race here you have to able to run anywhere on the track."
Bliss gambled and took the lead when the field reported to the pits on lap 128 during one of the eleven caution periods on the night. Bliss, whose truck was handling extremely well, was able to hold off Crawford, Dennis Setzer and Ron Hornaday until another caution period bunched the field. The race was restarted with 40 laps to go and five laps later, the four front runners were running under a blanket coming off Turn four.
Racing three wide down the front straight, with Hornaday tucked behind, Bliss made a small mistake and was shown the outside line allowing Crawford to take the lead. Setzer and Hornaday followed, relegating Bliss to fourth.
"If you had some other guys in there, you had a recipe for a wreck," said Crawford. "But what you had there was four veterans that know each other and have raced each other many, many laps together. I'm just glad my spotter said 'clear.'
"I don't think any of us touched, but it was tight, I guarantee that. I smelled black, yellow and green paint and I think they smelled some of mine but we didn't hit each other and that was the winning move."
Setzer, who managed to finish second, said "My spotter called and said Hornaday was coming. Crawford and I got by Bliss but I knew Hornaday was coming. Crawford was just a little bit better than us."
Setzer called the race a chess match with drivers changing their speeds as they entered and exited the corners, trying to find an advantage. "As soon as I found something, the other guy would change what he was doing" making it difficult to pass.
On lap 176 of 200, David Starr moved around Bliss to finish fourth. Bliss ran the last 119 laps without making a pit stop and finished fifth.
Terry Cook finished sixth after passing Todd Bodine with less than 20 laps to go. Bodine was seventh, followed by Ted Musgrave and pole sitter David Ragan in ninth. Rookie driver Erik Darnell rounded out the top ten, earning the Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the eighth time this season. It was his fourth consecutive top ten finish.