Sparta: Steve Portenga Racing race report

SPARTA, Ky. - Enjoying the role of the local hero, Steve Portenga finished 10th in the Kroger 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Kentucky Speedway Saturday, July 13. A veteran driver who moved to the Cincinnati area in May, Portenga ...

SPARTA, Ky. - Enjoying the role of the local hero, Steve Portenga finished 10th in the Kroger 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Kentucky Speedway Saturday, July 13. A veteran driver who moved to the Cincinnati area in May, Portenga finished one lap behind winner Mike Bliss.

Racing a short distance from Roto-Rooter's headquarters in downtown Cincinnati, Portenga's No. 39 Roto-Rooter Chevrolet Silverado raced into the top-10 late in the 150-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval. He held off a fast-closing Brendan Gaughan at the checkered flag to post his second top-10 finish in 10 starts this season.

"This is just what we needed, a top-10 run," Portenga said. "At the end, I thought we were as good as the top-five trucks."

Portenga finished 11th in the previous week's truck event, held July 6 in Kansas City, Kansas.

"The last couple of weeks, we've really gained on it," he said. "I'm thankful for all the support Roto-Rooter has given us. Without them, we couldn't do this. I'm also proud of the guys on the team. They've hung in there and really worked hard to make us better."

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series continues with the New England 200 at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H. Saturday, July 20.

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK