BODINE WINS WILD JOHN DEERE 200 CRAFTSMAN TRUCK RACE
Saturday, March 18, 2006
HAMPTON, Ga. (March 17, 2006) - Todd Bodine made a wild four-wide pass in the closing laps to win the John Deere 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Mark Martin dominated much of the race, so when Bodine saw his opportunity, he seized it, threading the needle between two lapped trucks. Martin moved low, making it four wide, and all four trucks were sliding as the dust cleared.
Bodine, still swerving and trying to regain control, took the lead, while Timothy Peters couldn't straighten out, spinning to bring out the yellow flag.
When the race restarted for another green-white-checkered finish, Bodine and Martin battled door-to-door for the final laps until a multi-car crash brought out the caution to end the race.
"That's Craftsman Truck racing at its best," Bodine said. "I was hoping and praying I wasn't going (to lose it). I never lifted. Even a blind squirrel gets a nut now and again."
After winning the first two races of the Craftsman Truck schedule, Martin had to settle for second.
"Congrats to Todd, he earned it," Martin said. "This is the best racing I've done in years. I love this stuff."
Johnny Benson finished third, but with Bodine and Martin battling so closely in the final laps, he had hopes for an even better result.
"One time I looked up and they were both sliding around," Benson said. "I thought, this might work out pretty good for us."
Unadilla, Ga., native David Ragan finished 22nd, and Atlanta resident Bill Lester finished 29th.