Stevens Beil 200 Post-race Notebook Shawn A. Akers FLEMINGTON, N.J. (Aug. 8, 1998) Post-race notes and quotes from Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Stevens Beil/Genuine Car Parts 200 at Flemington Speedway: It was a...
Stevens Beil 200 Post-race Notebook Shawn A. Akers
FLEMINGTON, N.J. (Aug. 8, 1998) Post-race notes and quotes from Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Stevens Beil/Genuine Car Parts 200 at Flemington Speedway:
It was a tough, tough pill to swallow for Stacy Compton. The driver of the No. 86 Royal Crown Cola Ford won the Bud Pole and led the first 167 laps of the 200-lap event before he and eventual race winner Terry Cook made slight contact in Turn 1. Compton wound up in the wall, and finished a disappointing 28th after he was unable to continue. "I hate it for the Royal Crown Ford team," Compton said. "We had as good a truck as we had at Portland (when he won). I really wasn't racing that hard yet. We had 50 laps to go. I felt like we had this one here, but we'll get 'em next time. "I guess it was just good, hard racing on a short track. We had an awesome truck today. I really think we had something to beat. We got into lapped traffic, and they caught me in the lapped traffic. Terry (Cook) just got up inside of me and it was good, hard racing."
Cook, driver of the No. 88 Pro Bowlers Association Tour Chevrolet, became the fourth first-time winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season and the second in a row. Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Circle Bar Motel and RV Ford started the trend back in April at Homestead.
Compton earned his first series win in late April at Portland Speedway, and Andy Houston, a CINTAS Rookie of the Year candidate, took the checkered flag for the first time last weekend at Loudon, N.H.
Jack Sprague's day was almost over before it started. The driver of the No. 24 GMAC Chevrolet, who led the point standings by 40 over Ron Hornaday coming into the race, slammed into the wall on lap nine following an accident that also involved Wayne Anderson and Barry Bodine. It wasn't until lap 93 that Sprague returned, and by that time, all he could do was try to finish as high as he could. Sprague placed 29th, second-to-last, and lost a huge chunk of points in the championship race. The defending series champion fell to third in the standings, 54 behind Hornaday and 27 behind Joe Ruttman.
With his second-place finish, Hornaday is now 27 points ahead of Ruttman, who finished fourth. Hornaday lingered in the top-five throughout the afternoon and actually made a charge in the late going to pass Cook, but the No. 88 proved too strong . "The points lead changed, but as I've said before it's too early to 'points race.' We've got a lot of races left on the schedule and a lot of good close racing left," Hornaday said. "It's great to come here to Flemington again and go home with a truck in one piece and a second-place finish. When is this good luck going to end here for me? I hope never!" Hornaday just missed winning for the third time in his career at Flemington Speedway.
Bryan Reffner had quite a solid day. The driver of the No. 66 Carlin Burners and Conrols Ford, who qualified third, stayed in the top-five throughout the afternoon and finished in third place. Reffner moved up to 11th in the points race. "The key to this race was to start up front, stay there and stay out of all trouble, and that's what we did," Reffner said. "We didn't have quite the truck to win, but we were close. For this team, this third is good. It's a momentum builder, especially after the last couple of races."
Ron Barfield overcame a bit of adversity to earn a top-10 finish. The driver of the No. 35 Ortho Lawn and Garden Chevrolet was running in the top-10 when he was penalized by NASCAR for "rough driving" when he and Andy Houston made contact on lap 91, sending Houston into the wall. Barfield was forced to go back to the tail end of the lead lap, 21st, but made his way back up to ninth by the end of the race. He's now ninth in the point standings after 16 races.
Source: NASCAR Online