Saturday, November 13, 2010

Clint Bowyer wins at Phoenix, so does Todd Bodine


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Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR
In his first truck series start in three years, Clint Bowyer was the first to take the checkered flag in Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. He was very dominant all night, taking the lead from polesitter Austin Dillon early on.

His lead of 6.626 seconds was broken only by a caution on lap 52 because of fluid on the track. It was only the second caution of the night.

“Everybody back at the shop did such a great job building this thing,” he said. “They were excited about it before we came down here, and any time these guys get excited about building a truck back at the shop, you know as a racecar driver that you're going to have a good hot rod, and we certainly did.”

Enthusiastic as he was, Bowyer felt the pressure before the race.

“I had no idea Harvick won the last three (races at Phoenix). I was like ‘oh God, a little bit of pressure now.'”
He certainly did not break under the pressure, though. He managed to finish 1.039 seconds ahead of Kyle Busch. Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, and Aric Almirola rounded out the top five.

There was another celebration going on last night, though. Todd Bodine clinched the 2010 series championship.

In spite of clinching the title, Bodine was not pleased with his run or finish.

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Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images
for NASCAR
“Well, tonight’s race was pretty bad. Our performance hasn’t been very good. You know, we fought the whole race and tried to make it better and we didn’t,” he said.

“Fortunately, we had enough cushion that we got it done in the points. That’s what we wanted, to come out of here with it locked up and be able to go to Homestead and enjoy it.”

Although it was enough for him to clinch the title, Bodine’s 12th place finish was unsatisfactory to him.

“In '06, we came out of here like 123 (points) ahead of Johnny (Benson). So we still had to race him at Homestead, and I was a nervous wreck. Now to be able to go to Homestead and enjoy it, that means a lot. But it never hit me to say ‘woo hoo, we won.' That didn’t happen actually ‘cause our performance was so bad, and what we’re about is racing good.”

In spite of the poor performance, he still came out as the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion.

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