Martinsville II: Brian Scott race report

SCOTT FINISHES 14th AT MARTINSVILLE; IDAHO NATIVE CLAIMS 5th STRAIGHT TOP 15 FINISH Martinsville, VA (October 18, 2008) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie of the year candidate Brian Scott continued his strong late season push with a solid...

SCOTT FINISHES 14th AT MARTINSVILLE; IDAHO NATIVE CLAIMS 5th STRAIGHT TOP 15 FINISH

Martinsville, VA (October 18, 2008) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie of the year candidate Brian Scott continued his strong late season push with a solid 14th place finish in the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday afternoon. The top 15 finish was Scott's fifth straight consecutive top 15 finish in NCTS competition and his fourth 14th place finish in his last 7 starts. Scott has had two top 10's during this streak, an 8th place finish at New Hampshire and a 7th place finish at Talladega.

Scott survived a wild and wooly Martinsville affair, dodging several wrecks that happened in close proximity to his No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra and playing the push and shove game that typifies a Saturday afternoon on Martinsville's tight .526 mile oval.

"I guess if you look in Webster's this would be the definition of Martinsville,D Scott said on pit road after the event. "Just a lot of beating and banging, and you certainly never come out of here with any friends. I don't know of any person who's ever come out of here with more friends than he started with. It's just how it goes. We took some shots, we gave some shots, we rubbed, and we raced. We took advantage of some restarts. We were on the receiving end of some bad ones. That's how it goes. It's hard with how the green flag runs were intertwined and with the number of lap down cars on the inside. You kind of had to run a line and protect the bottom, but when you got close, you had to jump to the high side to get around the lap cars. It made the race challenging. It was fun too."

Scott qualified his Toyota Tundra in the 23rd position and took a cautious approach at the beginning of the event. When the yellow flag fell on lap 35 for Sean Caisse's crash in turn four, Scott was called to pit road for a quick splash of gas in a gambit to gain much needed track position. With numerous other competitors following the same strategy the maneuver failed to gain Scott much ground. After a spate of green flag laps, Scott's crew chief Jeff Hensley made a smart move to bring Scott down pit road for four fresh tires, a track bar adjustment and enough Sunoco fuel to ensure Scott could make it to the end. He restarted in the 23rd spot. Scott dodged two spins in quick succession on laps 124 and 139 as David Starr and Jack Sprague lost control in front of Scott's Toyota. Then on lap 173 Scott and Starr tangled as the two entered turn one. The last 25 laps were vintage Martinsville with every man for himself as trucks battled to gain positions. On the last lap several competitors tangled and Scott cleared the smoke to finish 14th. Crew chief Hensley knows it wa s a solid finish but knows there was more to be had.

"Track position, that's all this race was about," Hensley said after the race. "We had a decent truck, probably not as good as it could have been, but man when we were in the open, we could run within a tenth of what the leaders were. Track position just meant everything and we never could get it. We ran enough green flag laps at the beginning of the race so that everyone was running the same strategy. We were going to t ry to snooker them in the pits, but we didn't qualify that well. But you know we came out of here with a top-15 on the lead lap. Brian did a really good job considering he was in a hornet's nest all day long, and he just got a little bump here and a little tire mark there. So he did an excellent job. We'll go to Atlanta, and I'm looking forward to that."

"At the beginning of the year I would have been happy with a top-15 every weekend," Scott said. "I don't know if it's greed or what, but I'm to the point now that I want to be cranking out top-10s. Top-15, we'll take it. At the beginning of the year we would definitely take it but now we're looking for more."

Johnny Benson passed Ron Hornaday Jr. on lap 155 to win Saturday's Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. Dennis Setzer, Rick Crawford, Kyle Busch and Todd Bodine rounded out the top five. Hornaday Jr. ran out of fuel on a Lap 196 restart while running second, and now Benson leads the NCTS points race by 65 points with four races to go.

-credit: xm

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , David Starr , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer , Rick Crawford , Sean Caisse , Brian Scott , Kyle Busch