SPARTA, Ky. (AP) - Todd Bodine tried to outrace Kyle Busch. When
that didn't work, the NASCAR Trucks Series veteran decided to
outsmart the Cup star.
Bodine recovered from a midrace spin - one started when Busch
edged a little too close to Bodine's rear quarterpanel - to end
Busch's three-series winning streak at four with a brilliant
fuel-saving run Friday night.
The series points leader managed to squeeze out 58 laps on one
tank of fuel to beat Johnny Sauter and Aric Almirola while ending
Busch's two-week stranglehold on Victory Lane.
"Our misfortune turned out to be our fortune," Bodine said his
fourth win of the season.
Sauter was second, followed by Almirola, Jason White and Ricky
Bodine exacted a little revenge on Busch.
The two got together briefly last week at Chicagoland, where
Busch eventually rolled to his fourth straight win across NASCAR's
three national series.
They were at it again at the bumpy 1.5-mile oval in northern
Kentucky. They were battling for the lead just past the race's
halfway point when Bodine got loose trying to take the lead from
Busch on lap 82. He lost control coming out of Turn 4 and slid onto
the infield grass. His truck was largely unscathed and he pitted on
Bodine wasn't supposed to make it 58 laps on one tank, yet he
managed to sip enough gas to make it hold up and extend his lead
over Almirola to 261 points with seven races to go.
"I'd like to thank Kyle for driving dirty and pushing us
down," Bodine said in Victory Lane. "That made us get the gas."
The remark angered Busch and the two exchanged pleasantries.
Bodine didn't back down from his comment, saying he's getting tired
of Busch's seeming lack of respect for his fellow drivers.
"Unfortunately, I've always had a lot of respect for Kyle,"
Bodine said. "Slowly but surely I'm losing it."
Busch, who will look for a record-breaking 11th win in the
Nationwide Series on Saturday in Atlanta, was not approached for
He began the day hoping to match Fred Lorenzen, Richard Petty,
Bobby Allison and David Pearson as the only drivers to win five
consecutive NASCAR events.
No biggie. He wasted little time making his way through the
field. Busch was in front by lap 55 and appeared ready to continue
the dominance that began two weeks ago at Bristol, when he swept
the Trucks, Nationwide and Cup race. He backed it up last week in
Chicago and clearly had the fastest truck Friday.
It just wasn't so great on fuel mileage. He pitted under green
with 23 laps remaining, ceding the lead to Bodine who kept his
right foot gingerly on the throttle as the laps wound down.
Bodine crossed the finish line with a couple of ounces to spare.
Not bad for a truck that needed a serious facelift after getting
banged up in Chicago. The truck was in the shop Sunday and had a
new engine by Monday.
Five days later, it was good enough to help Bodine pick up his
21st career Trucks victory.
Bodine hopes there's more checkered flags in his future. He
knows he'll have to beat Busch to get there. He's hoping the
supremely talented Busch, however, will learn some manners.
"It's not just the Trucks Series, it's every division he
races," Bodine said. "He's so good. He's without a doubt one of
the best drivers NASCAR has ever seen ... he doesn't have to drive
like that to win races but he does and he's getting away with it
because NASCAR won't do anything about it. He was mad because I
called him out on it."
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)