FORT WORTH, Texas -- Ted Musgrave broke a 66-race NASCAR
winless streak, taking the checkered flag under caution at Texas
after the two trucks in front of him crashed going into the first
turn of what was supposed to be a green-white finish Friday night.
Chad McCumbee spun the tires on his Chevrolet on the final
restart and when he tried to keep Jack Sprague from passing him,
the two made contact and slammed into the wall. Instead of his
first victory, McCumbee finished 13 with a mangled mess of a truck.
McCumbee took the lead with an nifty three-wide pass to get by
Craftsman Truck Series championship contenders Ron Hornaday and
Mike Skinner before they made contact and brought out a yellow flag
that set up the final series of events.
In the end, Skinner finished third and regained the series point
lead by 57 over Hornaday with two races left. It was the sixth time
in seven races Skinner and Hornaday traded the points lead, but
it's the largest gap between the drivers in that stretch.
"We would have liked to have won the race, but if we won the
race, [Hornaday] would have finished second or third," said
Skinner, who led a race-high 40 laps in his Toyota. "Big
picture-wise, this worked out better."
Hornaday wound up 18th after leading twice in his Chevrolet for
35 laps, and was surprised the points gap wasn't larger.
"Is that all? That's good," Hornaday said. "We'll take our
wounds and go on. We have two more to go."
Musgrave, whose last win was at Gateway in 2005, drove his
Toyota through the restart wreck without incident and was the
winner since there can be only one attempted green-white finish. He
finished under the yellow flag in front of Brendan Gaughan, a
four-time winner at Texas.
Skinner squeezed through the final melee after two more trucks
in front of him got taken out in that crash.
Skinner and Hornaday were side-by-side coming off the
backstretch on lap 143, of what was supposed to be a 147-lap race,
when McCumbee drove under them and into the lead going into the
McCumbee cleared them but Hornaday got loose and made contact
with Skinner -- and both got sideways in the turn. Four other trucks
got caught up in the accident, with Hornaday's truck getting
heavily damaged on the front, and Skinner taking a hit on the back.
"Whatever happened, happened," Skinner said. "I don't want to
win or lose the championship because we crashed each other. I'd
hate that. It was three wide and stuff happened."
The race was red-flagged for nearly 16 minutes, during which
Hornaday went to the pit for repairs and was penalized a lap.
When Hornaday pitted with 18 laps to go, he took only two right
tires and a splash of fuel, and Skinner was eighth at the time.
Within nine laps after that, after a series of green flag stops,
Hornaday and Skinner were running 1-2 with a 4.7-second gap between
That margin disappeared when Travis Kvapil blew a tire and spun
out coming out of the fourth turn on lap 140 and set up another
Skinner got a strong run and quickly went to the outside of
Hornaday going into the first turn. They were still running
side-by-side when McCumbee passed them on the same lap.
Nextel Cup regular Kyle Busch started fifth in his Chevrolet and
was leading on lap 69 when he had electrical problem. After his
truck started smoking on the backstretch, he drove through pit row
to the garage and parked it.
Formula One and Indy 500 champion Jacques Villeneuve of Canada
started 16th, but finished his fifth Truck Series start 25th, eight
laps off the lead. He will run in the Trucks and try to qualify for
his second Cup race next weekend in Phoenix.