Craven Finally Turns The Corner With Martinsville Victory MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 22, 2005) - Martinsville Speedway was just the medicine Ricky Craven needed. After a strong start to the season, Craven and his Roush Racing team struggled ...
Craven Finally Turns The Corner With Martinsville Victory
MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 22, 2005) - Martinsville Speedway was just the medicine Ricky Craven needed.
After a strong start to the season, Craven and his Roush Racing team struggled through the summer and much of the fall. But Saturday afternoon, the Maine native was back on top, capturing the Kroger 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville.
"I'm really proud of the team. We lost our way midway through the season and they stuck with it, stood behind me and we came here and got back on track," said Craven.
It was Craven's first career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win and it came at the same track where he picked up his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup in October 2001. His previous best finish in the truck series was a second at Martinsville in April of last spring.
"Our expectations were pretty high and we honestly fell short," Craven said of his first year on the Craftsman Truck Series. "But the fact is, when you get to Victory Lane in NASCAR, you've redeemed yourself regardless of how long it takes."
Rookie Todd Kluever, a Roush Racing teammate of Craven's, finished second, followed by Brandon Whitt, Ted Musgrave and Kyle Busch.
Musgrave surged ahead in his points battle with Dennis Setzer. Setzer came into the Kroger 200 leading the championship by five points, but wound up 19th after a day filled with struggles. Musgrave left Martinsville with a 54-point lead over Setzer.
"We had an awful day today when we really need to get out of our funk," said Setzer. "We've been having some tough luck this fall and we can't get out from under it."
Kluever's second place-finish tied his best finish in 21 career starts. It was his sixth top-five and ninth top-10 finish of the season.
Timothy Peters, who won a 200-lap Late Model Stock race at Martinsville two weeks ago, wound up eighth, for his second top-10 finish in just 14 Craftsman Truck Series starts this season. It was the first time this season two rookies have finished in the top 10.
"This was awesome. The guys on this team gave me an awesome truck," said Peters. "It's just an awesome opportunity to be here and to be up there racing with the veterans beating and banging."
Former NEXTEL Cup champion Darrell Waltrip, in his final truck series race, finished 13th.