St. Louis: Brian Scott race report

SCOTT SURVIVES GATEWAY MELEE; "ONE ARMED BANDIT" POSTS 7TH TOP-FIVE FINISH OF 2009 MADISON, IL (Sept. 12, 2009) -- The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is known for tough, hard-nosed, rough and tumble racing, and it certainly lived up to that...


MADISON, IL (Sept. 12, 2009) -- The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is known for tough, hard-nosed, rough and tumble racing, and it certainly lived up to that reputation in Saturday afternoon's wild and woolly Copart 200 at Gateway International Raceway. Brian Scott was one of the survivors of a race marred by numerous late race cautions, red flags, black flags, short tempers and a green-white-checkered flag finish. Scott's No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra was able to record a strong third place finish on a day when chaos reigned.

"Wow! That was a crazy race," Scott said after the event. "We had a wild race. We seemed to be in the middle of a lot of things and we were in a great position to witness a lot crazy things on the racetrack. To get a third place finish out of what was kind of a tough weekend for us is a great accomplishment for this Xpress Motorsports team. We just had an eventful day and an eventful weekend. We didn't unload well. We tried everything we could to get the left-front coil binding to work, but we just didn't pick up speed. With 30 minutes left in final practice, we just threw a conventional setup under it but we never got a chance to fine-tune it. We were lucky enough to have a good qualifying effort. During the race we were really tight off the corners. We made adjustments and got it better slowly but surely. With good pit strategy and others' misfortune and a series of on-track incidents we were able to get near the front. It wasn't the prettiest third place finish but we will take it. It's about as good as we could've hoped for."

Scott started the event near the front of the pack after a solid fourth place qualifying effort. He was in the middle of some hard fought three wide action in the first 20 laps of the event and was running 10th by the time he made his first series of pit stops under caution on laps 40 for tires and 41 for fuel. He restarted in the 14th position and struggled with the handling of his No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra over the next 30 laps, unable to make up any significant ground. He once again made a series of pits stops for tires and fuel on laps 76, 77 and 78. On the lap 79 restart there was a massive pile-up just as the green flag came out involving the trucks of James Buescher, T.J. Bell and Todd Kleever. Scott did a good job in dodging the carnage and then once again ducked into the pits for an additional splash of gas. He restarted the race in the 19th spot. On lap 96 Scott got loose in turns three and four and was unable to gain control before he made contact with Stacy Compton bringing out another caution. Wh en all the competitors' pit cycles had completed Scott found himself in the second position. He maintained second place in the running order until a restart on lap 112 when he quickly passed Rick Crawford for lead on the backstretch only to see it become a three wide battle for the lead coming to the start finish line. Scott had faded to the sixth position by the time the caution came out for debris on lap 149. On the ensuing lap 152 restart Matt Crafton punted Todd Bodine, causing a major multi-truck wreck and bringing out a red flag. When the race restarted on lap 156, Crafton clearly had not finished initiating major accidents and red flags as he sent points leader Ron Hornaday Jr. into the spin cycle heading into turn one, causing a long clean. Crafton was black flagged for hison track behavior and that put Scott in the third spot. On the green-white-checker restart Scott held off Aric Almirola and scored his sixth top-three finish of the 2009 NCWTS campaign.

"I knew it was going to happen," Scott added in the media center following the 10 action packed laps. "The 88 (Matt Crafton) had been running into Hornaday on every restart before that. He was getting the sense of urgency to catch him in the championship. I knew it was going to happen. I didn't see the contact between Todd Bodine and Matt Crafton. I didn't see that coming. I knew that restart with six or eight to go, that the 33 was probably going around. The 88 had been kind of driving him dirty the whole time. It's easy when you expect it. You can try to avoid it better. I hate to say it but I was hoping for a little more carnage at the end. Maybe we could have really sneaked up on a win but you can't complain about a top three finish. Unfortunately I did bring out that one caution. I hate it for Stacy Compton. I just got loose. I was trying to do everything I could to save our truck and unfortunately he was on the receiving end. That happened to us a couple of times too but I hate it. It was nothing intentional and I hope he knows that. "

"I think this shows the type of resiliency the guys on this Xpress Motorsports team have," Crew Chief Jeff Hensley said after the race. "We didn't have the best truck at times today but we hung in there and made some improvements. Brian did one heck of a job there at the end of this race. It was a wild race and we able to hang in there and get a top three. I think that shows that there is no quit in any of these guys. It is the sign of a championship caliber team to make the most of any given situation and we did that today. We will go on to New Hampshire and see what we have for them there. "

Mike Skinner won the Copart 200 at Gateway International Raceway. He was joined in the top-five by Johnny Sauter, Scott, Almirola and Tayler Malsam. The next race for the NCWTS is the Helluva Good 20 0 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The event is slated for Saturday September 19th and will be telecast live on SPEED at 3:00pm ET. It will also be broadcast live via radio worldwide on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and on SIRIUS Satellite Radio NASCAR channel 128.

Scott maintained his fourth place position in the NCWTS points battle. He is 205 points behind Skinner for third and 68 points ahead of Bodine in fifth. Scott now has one win (Dover), seven top-five finishes and 11 top-10 finishes in 2009. Most impressively he has five top-fives and seven top-10's in nine races since breaking his right wrist in a hard crash at Michigan. Hence his relatively new nickname, "The One Armed Bandit," hung on him by Hornaday Jr. at Milwaukee.

-credit: xm

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Stacy Compton , Ron Hornaday Jr. , T.J. Bell , Matt Crafton , Johnny Sauter , Brian Scott , James Buescher