WDW Truck Race Goes to Horndday LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL, January 18, 1998 - The outcome of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Chevy Truck Challenge at Walt Disney World Speedway today found the same driver in the headlines as last year.
WDW Truck Race Goes to Horndday
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL, January 18, 1998 - The outcome of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Chevy Truck Challenge at Walt Disney World Speedway today found the same driver in the headlines as last year. Only difference was that this year he didn't win but managed second. With only four laps to go Joe Ruttman dove under leader Mike Wallace in turn three, lost traction with his rear end and tapped Wallace into the wall. Ruttman was able to recover and, since he crossed the start finish line during his spin, was able to close up and hold second place. Wallace's severely damaged truck made it back to the pits but he was out of the contest. The race had been Wallace's to win but owner Kenny Schrader had a worried look on his face up in the spotter's booth where he keeps watch on things. The leaders at 200 laps, the race distance, were Hornaday, Ruttman, Sprague, Carelli, and Biffle. But, since the race must end under the green flag, it became a green-white-checker situation. On the white flag lap Rick Carelli passed Jack Sprague for third in turn two. At the checker it was Hornaday, Ruttman, Carelli, Sprague, and rookie Greg Biffle fifth.
Rounding out the top ten were Joe Nemechek 6th, Jay Sauter 7th, Bob Keselowski 8th, Butch Miller 9th, and Rich Bickle 10th. Time of the race was 2:10.10 a new track record. The margin of victory was a scant .211 seconds. There were eight lead changes among five drivers, Chuck Bown, Hornaday, Wallace, Ruttman, and Mike Bliss who had the race won after the Wallace/Ruttman caper but had to pit for a heartbreaking sip of fuel during the last caution and dropped all the way to 12th.
Bliss told the press "We've got two months to get over this and work on our fuel mileage. It's kind of ironic that I drove both races this weekend and ran out of fuel both times." Hornaday earned $48,625 for his victory, the largest single-race purse of his truck series career. The winner's payoff was the 7th largest in the history of the series. Jack Sprague, who finished 4th, said "I just couldn't hold the car down in turn 2, a problem we had all week." Dodge had three top ten finishes to show its Dodge Ram teams in today's race. Keselowski, Butch Miller, and Bickle finished in a row, 8, 9, & 10th. After the feature race the Chitwood stuntmen put on a classic county fair show with their '98 Chevys. The show will be repeated next Saturday after the IRL event. Chuck Bown finished 25th after leading the entire first half of the event. "After the break at 116 laps the second set of tires made us tight. I got bumped by Sprague and caught the wall with the right rear." After repairs, Bown "went back out and made all the laps we could." Ron Hornaday, Jr. is the first driver to win races in all four seasons of the NASCAR Chevy Truck Challenge. The only other driver eligible to accomplish the same would be Mike Bliss. Said Bliss, "I just pedaled my butt off all day, and took advantage of other's misfortune. I thought we were going to win it, then boom, it just wasn't ours." by Len in Indy from Walt Disney World Speedway
PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service - Date: 01/18 Time: 4:18 PM