LATE RACE SHOVE BY CRAFTON PUTS SCOTT IN SPIN CYCLE Mansfield, OH (May 24, 2008) -- It was typical Mansfield mayhem. At the end of 250 grueling laps on this diminutive Ohio short track lie countless crumpled fenders and 35 less than satisfied ...
LATE RACE SHOVE BY CRAFTON PUTS SCOTT IN SPIN CYCLE
Mansfield, OH (May 24, 2008) -- It was typical Mansfield mayhem. At the end of 250 grueling laps on this diminutive Ohio short track lie countless crumpled fenders and 35 less than satisfied drivers. Only winner Donny Lia basked in the glow of victory. The 14 caution flags that littered the Ohio 250 revealed the physical nature of this NASCAR Craftsman Truck race at Mansfield Motorsports Park, but it was the 13th that proved to be the unluckiest of all for first year competitor Brian Scott. The Idaho native was running in the 14th position in his No. 16 Albertsons Chevrolet when he was rudely slammed from behind by a less than patient Matt Crafton on lap 222. The contact sent Scott spinning off turn two and effectively ruined his chances for a good finish.
"Everyone told me how tough these truck races at Mansfield are and now I know firsthand," Scott said after the event. "I felt like a pinball out there. There just wasn't enough time to climb back through the field after we got punted. If you are going to have a problem you would rather it happen early in the race so you have time to recover from it. We weren't that fortunate today."
Scott's weekend started out productively as he had one of the most consistently fastest trucks in the last practice session on Friday afternoon. Good fortune did not follow him through his qualifying session however as he failed to get good grip on Mansfield's tricky 0.44 mile layout, posting a time of 17.019 which converts to105.764 mph and placing him 31st on the starting grid.
After the green flag flew Scott steadily worked his way through the pack climbing up to the 16th position by lap 65. Three laps later former Formula One driver Scott Speed tangled with veteran Brendan Gaughan directly in front of Scott's Chevy. Despite an excellent escape move Scott suffered right front fender damage forcing him to pit under caution on lap 72. His Xpress Motorsports crew worked diligently to pull the fender away from the right side and replace the right side tires. He rejoined the fray in the 27th position. Through the middle portion of the event Scott was able to climb back into contention, racing hard with several trucks including the No. 14 Ford driven by Rick Crawford. Scott made a nifty move to pass Crawford near lap 200 but on lap 210 Crawford used the "chrome horn" to move Scott out of the way. 12 laps later Crafton was nowhere near as kind and ended Scott's chances for a decent outing with a solid shove to Scott's tailgate. After being forced to pit road to replace his flat spotted Goodyear tires which resulted from Crafton's impatience, Scott fell to 29th in the running order. He was able to gain back four spots and finished 25th at the end of the battle.
After the event the veteran Crawford walked down pit road talking with his fellow competitors basically saying "I am sorry if I hit you but it is just Mansfield." When he came to Scott he good-naturedly said, "I hit you but I didn't spin you. I would like to say I didn't do it on purpose but I can't. All I can say is that I just couldn't help myself."