Hamilton edges Skinner for Atlanta victory

Bobby Hamilton and Mike Skinner, two wily veterans went side by side in the closing laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Advantage Hamilton! The final battle in the second round to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series had fans on their feet as the two...

Bobby Hamilton and Mike Skinner, two wily veterans went side by side in the closing laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Advantage Hamilton!

The final battle in the second round to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series had fans on their feet as the two traded the lead during the 133 lap race on the 1.54 mile oval.

On the final lap, Hamilton moved to the outside coming out of Turn 4 for a side-by-side finish with Skinner, the two had contact sending Skinner's Bang Racing Toyota into the infield grass.

"Nobody else was there (up high today). We went up there yesterday. Goodyear told us what to do," Hamilton explained on his passing maneuver. "Skinner sort of ran out of room. He ran up and it was close, but we were at the end of the race and I wasn't going to let up.

"I knew it wasn't going to wreck him. He's a heck of a racecar driver. You'd have to do something a lot worse than that to take him out. He's pretty sharp behind the wheel. I knew coming down it was going to be between me and him. I thought I had a shot at him, but I thought he'd be tough to get around."

Hamilton won the inaugural Atlanta NCTS race in his Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge. Skinner ended up second sliding sideways past the start/finish line on the grass.

"It was just a great day," exclaimed Hamilton in Victory Circle. "We've worked our tails off and it was a great finish. I just hope the Cup guys can have one like this tomorrow. Dodge has given us a lot of time in the wind tunnel."

Polesitter David Reutimann came home in third, the rookie pilot of the Waltrip Racing Toyota proved his mettle in today's race.

Outside of the one major accident, sending Tina Gordon, Rick Crawford and Hank Parker Jr. to the hospital, the race was a train following the top two leaders for the most part.

Some switching of position in the train did occur, along with other minor spins and headaches. A late caution packed the field up for the final sprint.

Steve Park and Robert Huffman got together on the front straight with two laps left in the race. The final caution was under the ten-laps remaining rule; thus the field went to green, white, checker adding the additional three laps to the scheduled 130-lap race.

Rounding out the top five were Travil Kvapil (Toyota) and Matt Crafton (Chevy). Ford's best finish was seventh by the Daytona winner, Carl Edwards.

Drivers sent to hospital in Atlanta race

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Steve Park , Mike Skinner , Hank Parker Jr. , Rick Crawford , Matt Crafton , Tina Gordon , David Reutimann , Robert Huffman