Coca-Cola Family 200 Saturday notebook By Marty Smith BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 5, 1999) Notes and quotes following Saturday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Coca-Cola Family 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway: The majority of Saturday night's...
Coca-Cola Family 200 Saturday notebook By Marty Smith
BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 5, 1999) Notes and quotes following Saturday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Coca-Cola Family 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway:
The majority of Saturday night's race was run in courteous, squeaky-clean fashion. The final two laps however, were war. Tempers flared in the waning stages of the race, as a trio of skirmishes broke out: Mike Wallace vs. Jay Sauter, Greg Biffle vs. Ron Hornaday, and Jimmy Hensley vs. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series officials.
The first occurred on the final lap when Sauter tapped the left rear of Wallace's Ford, sending Wallace smashing into the wall, demolishing the truck and dropping Wallace to a 14th-place finish.
"What happened at the end was pretty simple really," said Wallace, who led a good portion of the race. "The No. 3 truck was frustrated because he got spun out and I was the victim. We had a good run, but unfortunately some guys wanted to race like you can't race here. It was kind of a cheap shot if you ask me."
The Hornaday-Biffle scuffle began early in the race. Biffle spun on the 2nd lap and while marching back to the front of the field, he got into Hornaday's rear, forcing the left-rear tire on the No. 16 Chevrolet to go flat. Hornaday was forced into an unscheduled pit stop, putting him two laps down. On his exit from pit road, Hornaday was penalized for exceeding the 35 miles per hour speed limit, and thus lost another lap.
Following the race, Hornaday slammed his brakes, and Biffle ran into his rear.
"We were going there at the end, we were 7th and may have been 4th maybe," Biffle said. "We were coming off the corner over there and we were going by Hornaday there and he slowed up and I got into him.
"It was definitely an up and down weekend for us. I thought I was through making rookie mistakes."
The final skirmish indirectly involved Sauter as well. Sauter was just ahead of Hensley, and when Hensley attempted to pass, he spun Sauter and was subsequently sent to the back of the field by NASCAR officials for "over-aggressive driving."
"This is supposed to be the tough truck series," said a disgusted Hensley. "But I guess NASCAR didn't want us to be tough tonight."
Stacy Compton continued his assault on Victory Lane, but he still has yet to get there. Compton finished in the top-4 yet again -- for the 8th time in nine races - but has yet to get a win. "It was a good run, it was exciting, it was Bristol," said Compton, driver of the No. 86 Royal Crown Dodge. "Jack (Sprague) was quick tonight. He was really good at the end. We needed the long green flag runs to really get going. The guys made great calls in the pits. We changed a bunch of stuff after qualifying and it really worked for us today.
"We had a good truck. We bumped up the air pressure at the end, but we needed the long green flag runs. It was another top-5 for us and we know it's coming. We still want to win really bad, but we're not going to make any changes. It was a good weekend for the team. Jack just flat beat us."
If the No. 90 Ford driven by Lance Norick looked a bit bare Saturday evening, it's because it was. The team's former sponsor, Big Daddy's Barbecue Sauces, failed to fulfill their financial obligations. Thus, it was time for the team to let them go.
With the MTV "Road Rules-Latin America" cast on hand, Biffle was the chief road-ruler Saturday at Bristol in the Citra Road Trip RV Challenge. Biffle's victory over fellow drivers Hornaday, Wallace, Mike Bliss and Andy Houston earned college student Hannah Bennett the keys a brand-new Fleetwood Recreational Vehicle.
The Citra Challenge featured five college student finalists: Bennett, a sophomore biology major at William & Mary College, Adam Manatt of Iowa State University, Jaclyn Predmore of Dayton University, Dan Small of SUNY Albany in New York and Misty Zwick of Rutgers University. The students each rode in a RV piloted by one of the aforementioned drivers. The RV's were filled with varying amounts of gas, and the last RV running -- that of Biffle, Bennett and Road Rules star Joshua Florence -- was declared the winner.
"It was so exciting to win," Bennett said following the race. "I'm going to Graceland in the new RV! Josh loves Graceland and Greg Biffle won the Memphis 200 this year, so I think our winning combination was fate."
Hornaday gave Biffle all he could handle in the late stages of the event, bobbing and weaving in an attempt to "pass." However, Hornaday came up just short, and Bennett went home with the keys.
"All the finalists ran a good race with their teams of NASCAR drivers and MTV 'Road Rules' cast members," said Andrew Springate, Citra brand manager. "There was so much excitement involved, I'm sure the memories of this race will last a lifetime."
Source: NASCAR Online