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For Immediate Release Season In Review – Final: A Look At The 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Season DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2008) – Johnny Benson won the 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship, his first series title. He became the 10th different driver to win the series championship. Benson finished the 2008 season seven points ahead of Ron Hornaday Jr., the second-closest championship points margin in series history. Benson finished the 2008 season with five wins, 14 top-five finishes and 18 top-10s. Benson’s first series championship comes in his fourth year of full-time competition in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (2005-08). He has finished in the top-10 in the final points standings in all four of those years. Benson competed in 25 series races prior to 2005. There were 12 different race winners in the 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, led by Ron Hornaday Jr. (six) and Johnny Benson (five). 2008 Season Highlights • • • • • • • • • • • • Todd Bodine’s victory at Daytona continued the streak of a different Daytona race winner for the ninth consecutive year. Todd Bodine, Kyle Busch and Johnny Benson all finished in the top three in the first two races of the season. Kyle Busch won at Auto Club Speedway to become the sixth different race winner in as many races at California. Kyle Busch won at Atlanta, becoming the first repeat winner in eight races at Atlanta. Dennis Setzer won at Martinsville, his third victory at the Virginia short track, making him the all-time win leader there. Ron Hornaday Jr. won at Kansas – his 34th series victory. Hornaday has won in 11 of his 12 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series seasons. Matt Crafton won at Lowe’s Motor Speedway – his career-first victory. Donny Lia won at Mansfield – his career-first victory in just eight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. Scott Speed won at Dover – his career-first victory in just six NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. Ron Hornaday Jr. won at Texas – becoming the second repeat winner of the season and ending a string of three straight first-time race winners. Erik Darnell continued truck owner Jack Roush’s prominence at Michigan, notching the 49th series victory for the organization. Johnny Benson won at Milwaukee, his first victory since the season finale at Homestead in 2007. 2-2-2-2 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES – SEASON IN REVIEW • • • Ron Hornaday Jr. won at Memphis and became the first three-time winner of 2008. The victory, coupled with Johnny Benson’s 33rd-place finish, gave Hornaday the points lead. Johnny Benson won at Kentucky and moved back into the points lead. Johnny Benson won at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, posting back-to-back victories for the second time in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career. Benson also won consecutive races with his first and second career victories (Michigan and Milwaukee 2006). Johnny Benson notched three consecutive wins with his victory at Nashville Superspeedway. It was the fifth time in series history that a driver had won three in a row. Kyle Busch posted a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 in posting his win at Bristol. Ron Hornaday Jr. scored a perfect Driver Rating in his victory at New Hampshire. Mike Skinner posted his first win of the 2008 season with his victory at Las Vegas and became the 10th different race winner of the season. Todd Bodine won at Talladega with the second last-lap pass for the lead this season. It is his third straight restrictor-plate victory. Johnny Benson won at Martinsville, posting his fifth victory of the season and tying his career-high set in 2006. Ryan Newman won at Atlanta, joining Mike Skinner, Robert Pressley and Kasey Kahne as the only drivers to win in his series debut. Ron Hornaday Jr. won at Texas, posting his series-leading sixth win of 2008. Kevin Harvick won at Phoenix, his third series victory. All of Harvick’s series wins have come at Phoenix International Raceway. Todd Bodine won at Homestead-Miami Speedway, giving him victories in both the season opener and the finale. • • • • • • • • • • Career First Wins • Matt Crafton (Lowe’s Motor Speedway), Donny Lia (Mansfield) and Scott Speed (Dover) all scored their career-first victories this season. Speed became the third first-time winner in as many races, the third time in series history that there have been three consecutive first-time winners. Mike Skinner, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Ken Schrader won the first three races of the series. Andy Houston (New Hampshire), Terry Cook (Flemington) and Jimmy Hensley (Nashville) posted their career-first victories in back-to-back races in 1998. • Matt Crafton won at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, his career-first victory in his 178th race. He set the record for the most races before a career-first victory ever in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Bryan Reffner held the previous mark of 111 races before his first win (1996-2000). 3-3-3-3 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES – SEASON IN REVIEW Qualifying • • 121 different drivers attempted to qualify for at least one race this season, including J.R. Norris who qualified for Kyle Busch at Texas. There were 12 different pole winners in 2008. (Qualifying was canceled at Auto Club Speedway, New Hampshire and Atlanta-2): Dennis Setzer (one) Justin Marks (one) Ron Hornaday (five) Rick Crawford (one) Kyle Busch (one) Mike Skinner (four) Bobby East (one) Johnny Benson (three) Todd Bodine (one) Erik Darnell (two) Scott Speed (one) Jack Sprague (one) Three drivers posted their career-first poles this season: Justin Marks (Texas) • Bobby East (ORP) Scott Speed (Bristol-2) Erik Darnell won the pole at Talladega, followed by Roush Fenway Racing teammates Jon Wes Townley and Colin Braun. It was the first 1-2-3 qualifying effort for a truck owner in series history. There had been nine truck-owner 1-2 starts prior to that, including one by Roush Fenway: Mark Martin (first) and David Ragan (second) at Talladega in 2006. 45 different drivers posted top-10 starts this season, led by Ron Hornaday Jr. with 23. • • The Races • • 119 different drivers have qualified for and competed in at least one race this season. J.R. Norris qualified for Kyle Busch at Texas but did not compete in the race. There have been 12 different race winners in 2008: Ron Hornaday Jr. (six) Johnny Benson (five) Kyle Busch (three) Todd Bodine (two) • Dennis Setzer (one) Matt Crafton (one) Donny Lia (one) Scott Speed (one) Erik Darnell (one) Mike Skinner (one) Ryan Newman (one) Kevin Harvick (one) 42 different drivers have posted top-10 finishes this season, led by Johnny Benson, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Mike Skinner, each with 18. 4-4-4-4 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES – SEASON IN REVIEW The Pole Winner/Race Winner • The pole winner (or driver that started first in cases of no qualifying) finishing position: First 2 2nd-5th 7 6th-10th 6 11th-30th 9 31st or beyond 1 The lap-leader performance of the pole winner (or driver that started first in cases of no qualifying): Led First Lap Led at All Led Most Laps Won Race The race winner’s starting positions: Pole 2nd-5th 6th-10th 11th-30th 31st or beyond • 14 19 7 2 4 9 5 7 0 • • The lap-leader performance of the race winner: Led First Lap 5 Led Most Laps 11 Led Mid-Race Lap 8 Led With 10 to Go 18 Led With One to Go 22 Note: Mid-Race lap is as scheduled regardless of shortened or extended race length. Points • • • • • There were 10 changes among five drivers who have led the points standings in 2008: Todd Bodine, Kyle Busch, Ron Hornaday Jr., Rick Crawford and Johnny Benson. Kyle Busch led the points for three races, his first time ever to lead the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings. Rick Crawford took the points lead following Dover – his first time to lead the points since he headed the series for one week following his win in the season-opening Daytona race in 2003. Johnny Benson assumed the points lead at Michigan – his first time to lead the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings. Benson had been second in the points standings 13 times in his career. Ron Hornaday Jr. retook the points lead at Milwaukee but Benson moved back to the top spot the next week at Kentucky and has held the lead since. His margin has varied from 119 points after Bristol to just a point following Las Vegas. Three drivers have ranked in the top 10 in points all season: Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine and Rick Crawford. • Truck Owner Championship Bill and Gail Davis of Bill Davis Racing won the 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Owner Championship – their first championship on any of NASCAR’s national series. Davis became the 10th different team owner to win a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship. This is Davis’ fifth fulltime season as a team owner. 5-5-5-5 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES – SEASON IN REVIEW Laps Led • • • 36 different drivers led at least one lap in 2008. Ron Hornaday Jr. led 1,326 laps, more than any other driver. Seven different drivers have led the most laps in a race in 2008: Ron Hornaday Jr. (nine) Kyle Busch (seven) Todd Bodine (three) Johnny Benson (two) Rookie Performance • Six different rookies have been the highest-finishing rookie this season: Colin Braun (seven) Scott Speed (six) Donny Lia (four) • • • Marc Mitchell (three) Brian Scott (three) Justin Marks (two) Erik Darnell (two) Dennis Setzer (one) David Starr (one) Six different rookies have posted top-10 finishes this season, led by Scott Speed with 10. Donny Lia won at Mansfield and became the first Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender to win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since Carl Edwards at Nashville in August 2003. Donny Lia and Scott Speed recorded the first back-to-back victories by different rookies in the series history. It was the third time that back-to-back rookie victories had occurred but the other times were by the same driver: Kurt Busch in 2000 (Milwaukee and Loudon) and Carl Edwards in 2003 (ORP and Nashville). Colin Braun became the series’ youngest rookie of the year at 20 years, one month and 24 days. He is the sixth driver of a Roush Fenway Racing truck to capture the freshman award. • Penalties • • There have been 314 on-track penalties issued this season. Penalty Recap: Pitting Before Pit Road is Open Too Fast Entering Pit Road Too Fast Exiting Pit Road Others Manufacturer • Toyota won the manufacturers’ championship with 178 points to 166 for Chevrolet, 115 for Ford and 91 for Dodge. It is the third time Toyota has won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Manufacturers’ Championship. All occurred in the past three seasons. Toyota had 13 victories in 2008 while Chevrolet had 10. Dodge and Ford each had one. Dodge posted its first victory since Mansfield in 2005 when Dennis Setzer won at Martinsville. Johnny Benson’s win at Martinsville-2 was the 50th in 121 series races for Toyota. Chevrolet posted its 50th series victory in its 67th race. 160 29 41 84 • • • 6-6-6-6 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES – SEASON IN REVIEW Notebook • • Erik Darnell won the Keystone Light Pole Award at Daytona, posting his first pole at Daytona and just the second of his career. Todd Bodine won at Daytona. Not only was it his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory there, it was his first ever at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Bodine was winless in nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and 11 NASCAR Nationwide Series Daytona races. He also competed in six Gatorade Duels and four Budweiser Shootouts, bringing his total number of Daytona races to 33. Jack Sprague set a new Martinsville qualifying record of 96.327 mph, eclipsing the mark set by Mike Skinner one year earlier. There were eight lead changes and 34 cars running at the finish at Martinsville, both tying the track records. Kyle Busch won the pole at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and posted Toyota’s 50th pole in 106 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. Not only did Donny Lia (Mansfield) and Scott Speed (Dover) post their career-first victory this season – for both it was the first time they had led a lap. Bobby East won the pole and led four laps at ORP. It was his first career pole and the first time he has led a lap in his career. Johnny Benson led the final 46 laps at Martinsville-2 – the first laps he has ever led in 11 series races there. Ron Hornaday Jr. won his sixth race of the 2008 season with his victory at Texas-2. It was his fourth victory since turning 50 eight days before he won at Memphis in June. Hornaday finished the season one win shy of tying Joe Ruttman for the most wins by a driver 50 or older in a single season. Ruttman won five times in 1997 at the age of 52/53. Ryan Newman became the 19th driver to post victories in all three of NASCAR’s top three national series with his win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Atlanta-2. • • • • • • • • 7-7-7-7 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES – SEASON IN REVIEW Behind the Numbers Speed MOV Leaders Daytona 127.551 0.077 6 California 146.341 1.415 8 Atlanta 127.561 1.116 7 Martinsville # 61.311 UC 5 Kansas 105.820 0.149 7 Lowe’s # 111.490 0.184 11 Mansfield 62.517 0.241 7 Dover 100.279 3.379 5 Texas # 109.988 0.283 7 Michigan 140.433 0.005 8 Milwaukee 89.686 2.530 6 Memphis # 86.617 0.269 3 Kentucky 114.592 0.474 4 ORP 74.859 0.484 3 Nashville 115.300 0.889 6 Bristol # 65.388 0.386 3 Gateway 93.860 0.646 5 New Hampshire 98.279 0.960 8 Las Vegas 101.070 0.020 7 Talladega 145.512 0.074 8 Martinsville 68.213 0.785 2 Atlanta 137.437 0.377 3 Texas 126.220 0.957 3 Phoenix 88.178 0.940 2 Homestead 127.179 0.232 7 Average 105.027 0.703 5.64 # - Extended Race * - Shortened Race Changes 8 10 18 8 12 14 6 5 14 15 10 3 7 4 5 4 8 14 15 16 1 7 7 4 13 9.12 Cautions 6 3 5 16 12 7 15 8 8 4 6 9 8 11 7 12 8 9 12 4 9 4 5 7 5 8.00 Laps 25 9 28 83 45 33 80 40 44 14 27 37 36 48 29 69 38 37 46 17 44 15 26 41 18 37.16 Lead Lap 16 17 9 26 19 16 29 16 22 23 14 22 18 22 24 17 21 19 20 22 23 14 17 22 21 19.56 DNFs 10 3 2 2 13 6 2 9 10 4 6 6 9 7 8 10 10 6 9 7 6 4 11 11 4 7.04 For more information contact: Michael Payne, NASCAR Public Relations, (386) 527-1263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.