Bodine and Benson Ride Hot Streaks into Atlanta
Thursday, October 5, 2006
With just six races remaining before the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series crowns its champion, two trucks are battling for supremacy and have a legitimate shot at claiming the series title.
Todd Bodine, who won the John Deere 200 in March at AMS, currently holds a 91-point lead over second-place Johnny Benson. Just four races ago, Benson's deficit was nearly 200 points, but Benson, who is tied with Mark Martin in series wins this year with four, has closed the points gap quickly.
Both Bodine and Benson have solid track records at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but when you consider the wild, unpredictable finishes AMS produces, a solid points day is not easily achievable.
If the upcoming EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 results are consistent with past races at AMS, Bodine and Benson might find themselves battling not just for the championship points lead, but also for the race win.
In three starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Todd Bodine has never finished outside of the top-15 and has an average finish of fourth. With two top- fives and one 12th-place finish, Bodine is always a threat to win at AMS. His 2006 season statistics have been strong lately as well, as he only has one finish outside the top-10 in the past four events.
Benson's record at Atlanta Motor Speedway is equally impressive. In three AMS starts, Benson has never finished outside of the top-15. His average finish of fifth and two top-five finishes at the 1.54-mile quad-oval make Benson a contender every time he visits AMS. Benson also has momentum on side with a string of top-five finishes that includes two wins and two fourth-place finishes in the last four races.
The possible spoiler to a Benson / Bodine shootout to collect the trophy at AMS, could be NEXTEL Cup veteran Mark Martin. The Bass Pro Shops 500 will be Martin's 11th start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and his second series start at AMS. Though he has made only nine starts this season, he has been a dominant force in every race he has entered. Martin's season has included eight top-10 finishes and seven top-five finishes. He has an average finish of 3.8 with four wins to his credit in 2006. In the John Deere 200 earlier this year at AMS, Martin finished second, only .354 seconds behind winner Todd Bodine.
Fans can purchase tickets to the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 and all the other great events during the Bass Pro Shops 500 race weekend by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, or (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or through an authorized Ticketmaster retail outlet.