There were two winners in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 on Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway. Clint Bowyer, strong on restarts all night, ran away with the victory in his Kroger Chevrolet, while Todd Bodine locked up the Truck Series title by finishing 12th.
Following the race, Bodine’s season points lead stands at 202 points, too many for Aric Almirola to overcome with only one race to go in the 2010 season. It marks Bodine’s second Truck championship after having won in 2006.
“Tonight’s race was pretty bad,” admitted Bodine. “We wanted to come out of here as the champions. It never hit me (as the race ended) that we won the title. We couldn’t go ‘wee-eee’ until later.”
Bowyer, in his only Truck race of the year, stepped into the same Chevrolet that had won three straight at PIR. “I didn’t know that until just before the race, so I felt a bit of pressure. But the truck was so good, it made me feel like Superman out there.”
Driving the Kevin Harvick Inc. machine, Bowyer took the lead for the first time from pole-sitter Austin Dillon on lap 25 shortly after the first restart. Bowyer battled Kyle Busch most of the race, protecting his lead over Busch four times on restarts. Busch, who finished second, led a few laps in the middle of the race when “we made some changes (on pit road) that I thought could win the race.” But subsequent changes “just missed and we went backwards a little bit.”
Twenty-year-old Dillon started on the pole for the sixth time this season. “We ran good out front (for a while),” but he couldn’t stay with Bowyer and Busch and ultimately finished seventh, the 16th top-10 of his rookie year in the Bass Pro Shops/Remington/Tracker Boats Chevrolet.
Caitlin Shaw of Albuquerque, NM made her second career start in the Truck Series. She qualified 33rd, joining Jennifer Jo Cobb in the field, and becoming the sixth different female driver to race in a Truck Series race this season. That set a new record in the history of major NASCAR touring series. Shaw spun and backed into the wall to bring out the race’s fourth caution on lap 88. Cobb finished 23rd, while Shaw finished 30th.
Tickets for Saturday’s doubleheader, featuring the WYPALL 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race are still available, as well as Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.phoenixraceway.com/tickets or call 866-408-RACE (7223) today!