September 15, 2009
By Allen Madding
With 11 laps left in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Copart 200 at Gateway International Raceway at Madison, Illinois, the yellow flag flew with Ron Hornaday leading the event. Todd Bodine’s No. 30 was in second place, and Matt Crafton’s No. 88 Nibco/Menard’s Chevrolet was lined up in third position. When the green flag flew, Crafton had a strong run heading into turn one on the second place No. 30 Ventrilo Toyota of Todd Bodine.
As the two truck’s approached the corner, Bodine moved down to protect the bottom heading for turn one. Crafton moved lower and Bodine moved lower. Crafton then clipped the left rear of Bodine’s No. 30 Ventrilo Toyota barely past the rear bumper and sent Bodine spinning. Bodine’s No. 30 spun across the track collecting pole sitter Collin Braun in the No. 6 Con-Way Freight Ford and Rick Crawford in the No. 14 Circle Bar / International Truck Engine Ford.
The gentleman’s rule in racing has always been that if a car/truck challenging for position is up to the door of the car/truck ahead of them going into the turn, the challenger has the position for the line going into the turn. If the challenger is not up to the door, the challenger is responsible for any contact going into the turn. Anyone can take a cheap shot and hit a competitor in the quarter panel behind the left rear wheel and spin them out.
NASCAR got the track cleaned up from the wreck and the green flag flew with 4 laps to go. Crafton made a hard charge on Hornaday. Hornaday put the left front tire of his Kevin Harvick Racing No. 33 Longhorn Chevrolet practically on the curbing going into turn one. Crafton positioned the nose of his No. 88 inside Hornaday’s left rear bumper and sent the leader spinning across the track.
Hornbaday also was collected in a wreck and sustained heavy damage.
NASCAR black flagged the No. 88 for spinning the leader.
After the race, Crafton told Speed Channel that he clearly had the line into the corner in both situations and that it was Bodine's and Hornaday’s fault for the two crashes. Despite what Crafton may think, wrecking every truck in front of you going into the corner until you are the leader is not racing. Crafton’s truck is equipped with a brake pedal and he is responsible for using it when he can see he is about to run into another truck going into the corner.
Todd Bodine’s response to the situation was, “You can’t fix stupid.” He pointed out that Crafton has had a perchance for spinning competitors for positions and that Crafton should consider the position he is putting himself in when sitting second in the points and taking these kinds of actions.
Mike Skinner went on to win the event while Ron Hornaday, who led 100+ laps in the event and the current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader, wound up finishing 17th. Hornaday still maintains 192 point lead over Matt Crafton in the points.
When the checkered flag flew, Crafton came across the start finish line in sixth position, but after the event, NASCAR was reviewing the final restart and pondering taking a lap away from Crafton for jumping the restart.
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