Hornaday nabs series-best fifth win of season; Starr, Bodine, crews fight

LOUDON, N.H. -- Ron Hornaday Jr. took the lead on a restart with 42 laps to go and was out front most of the way en route to a victory Saturday in the Craftsman Truck Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Hornaday raced to his series-high fifth victory of the season, holding off a late charge by points leader Johnny Benson to win his second straight race. Hornaday had the truck to beat all day in the 200-lap race, never faltered on his restarts and cruised to victory even as the race was marred late by cautions.

Hornaday, who has a record 38 career Truck victories, told ESPN The Magazine earlier this week that he used a testosterone cream during 2004 and 2005 to treat a medical issue. NASCAR met with the reigning series champion on Friday and found no reason to punish Hornaday for the admission.

Hornaday also revealed he has Grave's disease, a condition he is treating with Synthroid, which replaces a hormone normally produced by the thyroid gland to regulate the body's energy and metabolism.

Benson was tight on Hornaday's bumper over the final few laps, but couldn't get his No. 23 Toyota past the winner's Chevrolet. Benson's points lead dropped to 74 over Hornaday.

Once the race ended, the real fun started, thanks to David Starr spinning out Todd Bodine late in the race. Bodine tapped Starr from behind after the race, then pulled next to him and tempers flared on pit road.

The drivers and members of both crews started tussling and had to be separated by NASCAR officials. The situation seemed to simmer down, only to quickly restart and a throng of officials tried to restrain the furious crews.

Bodine stepped away and watched while the crews battled. He finished 19th.

"He just doesn't know when to choke down the reins and slow down a bit," Bodine said.

Starr was 11th and might have walked away with a black eye.

Donny Lia, who made his first start for Randy Moss Motorsports, brought out a caution with 49 laps left when his No. 81 Chevrolet spun and crashed into the wall. That all but erased Travis Kvapil's 4.8-second lead over Hornaday.

Timothy Peters tried to pass Kvapil off the restart, but his No. 17 spun in front of the leader and immediately brought the fifth caution flag. Hornaday grabbed the lead on the restart and pulled away for the win.

The start of the race was briefly delayed because of an accident earlier in the modified race that severely damaged a guard rail. After a lengthy delay, the modified cars were sent back to the garage with 60 of 100 laps completed. The last 40 laps were scheduled to be run after the truck race.

The rail was still being repaired when NASCAR started driver introductions.