Michigan: Jimmy Spencer race notes

Races to Lead at Michigan; Comes Home 14th in Tough Paramount 200 Jimmy Spencer wheeled the No. 2 Team ASE/Ultra Wheels Dodge to a 14th-place finish in Saturday's Paramount Health Insurance 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Spencer...

Races to Lead at Michigan; Comes Home 14th in Tough Paramount 200

Jimmy Spencer wheeled the No. 2 Team ASE/Ultra Wheels Dodge to a 14th-place finish in Saturday's Paramount Health Insurance 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Spencer started 27th, but used pit strategy and a fast truck to race his way through the pack, and eventually took the lead at the halfway point, a lead he would hold for 13 laps. However, a jack bolt that backed off affected the handling of Spencer's truck, taking him out of the top-5 and relegating him to 14th at the checkered flag.

"We had a really good run going here today," Spencer said. "It feels good to be back on track. We led the race for a while, but we had a jack bolt come loose and it put a lot of wedge into it. That made us way too tight and it just killed us out there. We had a top-5 run going and that took us out of it. But we're turning the corner and running this well gives us a real boost of confidence going into Milwaukee next week." Spencer started deep in the field but a quick pit stop under the first caution flag of the day on lap 18 of the 100-lap race moved the No. 2 Team ASE/Ultra Wheels Dodge from 25th to sixth on the restart. Spencer again pitted, this time for fuel and tires, on lap 35 when the second caution flag of the day came out. A great stop gave him track position, and when those drivers that stayed out during the previous caution came to pit road during the third caution flag, it allowed Spencer to fight for the lead. The Michigan race was one of the most competitive of the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.

Fourteen drivers swapped the lead seventeen times, with Spencer ending up third on the lap leader chart, behind only race winner Dennis Setzer (19 laps led) and runner-up Kyle Busch (17). Spencer remains sixth in the NCTS championship standings, just 119 points out of the lead and 45 points out of fifth. Both of the drivers immediately in front of Spencer in the standings, Ron Hornaday in fifth and Ricky Craven in fourth, had back luck at Michigan and finished well down in the running order, allowing Spencer to make up considerable ground with his top-15 finish.

Defending series champion Bobby Hamilton retakes the point lead following the Paramount Health Insurance 200. Spencer returns to action in the No. 2 Team ASE/Ultra Wheels Dodge this Friday evening at The Milwaukee Mile in the Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200, the 11th race of the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. The race is scheduled for a 9 pm Eastern start, and will be televised live on Speed Channel and broadcast live on selected radio affiliates of the Motor Racing Network.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Jimmy Spencer , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Ricky Craven , Dennis Setzer , Kyle Busch