*Points Leader Bodine Defending Champ At Final Three Races *Skinner Has Record Pole Streak At Texas Points Leader Bodine Hopes To Repeat Success Down Stretch DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 30, 2006) -- With only three races remaining in the NASCAR...
*Points Leader Bodine Defending Champ At Final Three Races
*Skinner Has Record Pole Streak At Texas
Points Leader Bodine Hopes To Repeat Success Down Stretch
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 30, 2006) -- With only three races remaining in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, the road to a championship looks custom built for Todd Bodine (No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota). Bodine, who leads second-place Johnny Benson (No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota) by 86 points, is the defending champion at all three tracks the series will visit in November.
Bodine won at Texas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway to wrap up an impressive 2005 season. He finished third in the standings in his first full-time season in the series.
A win at Texas on Friday will do more than propel the team's championship hopes, however. Bodine currently has three victories at the 1.5-mile track, one short of the series record for wins at one track. Ironically, that record is held by Brendan Gaughan (No. 77 South Point Dodge), who captured four consecutive wins at Texas in 2002 and 2003.
While Bodine's three Texas wins were not consecutive, he has won three of the four races he has attempted at the track. He finished 30th in June of 2005 after being knocked out of the race by transmission problems. If Bodine faces any kind of adversity this weekend, Benson will no doubt be ready to capitalize.
Benson, the 1995 NASCAR Busch Series champion, is no slouch at Texas himself. In four career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts there he has three top-five finishes. He finished runner-up in the Silverado 350K in 2004 -- Bodine's first win at the track -- and in June 2005.
With that in mind, don't expect to see the championship resolved until the race at Homestead. The series championship has only been clinched before the last race of the season once.
Skinner Looks To Extend Record Pole Streak
Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) has been collecting Budweiser pole awards since the second race in Craftsman Truck Series history (Tucson Raceway Park in 1995). He's been racking them up at Texas since his second visit there in November of 2004. This weekend he will be attempting to start from the pole position for the fifth consecutive time at Texas, which would extend his series record.
Skinner earned the pole at the June race at Texas to break a tie with Ron Fellows for most consecutive poles at a track. Fellows started from the pole position at Watkins Glen International from 1997 to 1999. In the process, Skinner happened to break the track record for fastest qualifying lap (183.206 mph/29.475 sec).
It should come as no surprise that Skinner is the series' leader in career poles. He has started first 31 times, including seven this season. He has won five races from the pole, including earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. One more victory from pole would tie Skinner with Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 AES Chevrolet) for most career wins from pole.
Skinner has not won from the pole at Texas - he was the runner-up in each of the past two races. He previously finished fourth and 11th.