Phoenix Camping World Truck Race

February 25, 2011
by Lee

After one of the greatest races in the Camping World Truck series at Daytona last Friday, the truck series makes it way Phoenix International Raceway for the Lucas Oil 150. Phoenix cannot be more opposite a track coming out of Daytona. Phoenix is a flat one mile track that is “D” shaped. Most tracks have the curve on the front stretch, but not Phoenix. The front stretch is straight, where the backstretch is almost an all arching turn.

As a driver, you cannot hold the gas pedal to floor as you did last week. The truck has to be setup to roll through both ends of the track. Normally, you are going to look for your truck to roll through one end of the track better than the other. The turns do not have the same banking on each end, and are not the same length.

The green flag is out and pole sitter Clint Bowyer jumps into the lead. Kyle Busch is right there and is following along with hopes of leading the race. All the drivers make it safely through the first couple of laps, and the filed begins to run the bottom of the racetrack.

Twenty laps into the race and the race has been clean. The leaders have begun to lap the back part of the field. Bowyer continues to the lead the race. He is able to lap trucks a little easier than Kyle Busch at this point.

First caution of the night comes out on lap 42 when Chase Mattioli cuts a tire and hits the wall. Commentators on Speed said this is the second tire that Mattioli has lost on his truck. He earlier cut a tire in practice but did not hit anything. All trucks will pit under this caution, as Bowyer sees a three to four second lead disappear with the yellow flag being displayed.

Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road with a four tire change and fuel stop. Bowyer comes out second. It was almost a huge wreck as the drivers were coming into pit road. From third on back, the drivers had to slam on the breaks as they brought their trucks down to pit road speed. This was a case of the third place truck trying to get all you can get coming into the pits. Brad Sweet driving the #32 Great Clips truck is the lucky dog on this caution.

Clean restart to the race after the caution flag. Busch is out front in clean air and running away from the field. Caution now flies on lap 58 for the second time. A name we all remember from last week, Travis Kvapil is in the wall. Ricky Carmichael driving the Monster Energy drink truck was on the low side and got loose. When he got loose he got into Kvapil’s truck and caused a tire to go down. David Mayhew gets the lucky dog this go around.

Wow, the green flag is back out and Busch just rockets off of turn two. Busch put about five or six truck lengths between him and the second place truck off that turn. If Busch can run that turn like that every lap, he is going to run away with this race.

We have reached lap 100 leaving 50 laps to go with Busch leading the race with a two second advantage. This is vintage Kyle Busch in this race. If Bush would have gotten the lead on the initial start of the race, I have a feeling he could have led every lap tonight.

Caution now comes out and we now know why he drivers a yellow truck. Kvapil brings out the caution again with another tire going down. Kvapil pounds the wall and everyone will now make their last pit stop. Four tires and fuel is the way to go this stop, and Busch leads them off pit road again.

Lap 107 and we have another caution on the speedway. This will be the fourth caution of the race. The 7 truck got squeezed down by the 66 truck and spun, and then was hit by the 07 truck. Seemed like a racing incident as the laps start to wind down.

Cautions breed cautions. A lap and a half after the green flies, and the yellow comes right back out. Austin Dillon catches the backend of Todd Bodine. Bodine spins and collects David Star and Dusty Davis along the wall. Three trucks are pretty much done for the night. Dillon pushed up the track coming out of four and caught Bodine’s backend.

Caution six is out. Timothy Peters went low against Justin Johnson and they got together. Peters lost the back end of the truck and spun. Peters avoided hitting anything, but left smoke that blocked the view coming out of turn two.

Brendan Gaughan now brings out the seventh caution. After a really fast first two thirds of the race, the last 50 laps are taking forever. Gaughan lost control of the truck on the low side, spun, and put the driver’s side of the truck into the wall. Busch got out front on the restart again. Not sure that Bowyer is going to be able to get past him tonight. This is Busch’s race to lose.

Once again a lap and almost a half goes by before the yellow comes out. Ricky Carmichael is in the wall in the Monster Energy truck. Parker Kligerman drives low on Carmichael and takes them both out. Kligerman was driving over his head and forced the issue on this wreck. Speed finally shows a luck dog and it is Max Papis.

They just said on Speed that Kyle Busch ran 152 laps in practice in all three NASCAR series today before the truck race. Assuming the truck race does not go green white checker, Busch would have run more laps in practice in total than the entire length of the truck race. Busch shows great stamina to practice all those laps, and then race an entire race.

Eight laps to go and David Mayhew driving the #19 loses and engine. No caution and Busch continues to lead.

The checkered flag falls, and Kyle Busch wins it. Clint Bowyer finishes second. I cannot remember a time in the race that those two drivers did not hold the top two spots. Busch’s win tonight is his 25th victory in the truck series.

I have to say that it was a good race for the truck series tonight. The racing from fourth on back was good. There were position changes and hard racing. The leaders just had trucks that could not be touched by the rest of the field.

The Nationwide Series gets their season back underway tomorrow. Look for the review to that race sometime tomorrow night. I am taking my son to the University of Tennessee vs. Mississippi State basketball game tomorrow evening. With some other responsibilities, I will not be able to watch the race until tomorrow night. Until then, have a good one.

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