CRAFTSMAN TRUCK Chevy Silverado 250

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Bodine holds on, wins Chevy Silverado 250

Feb 16, 2008 - 6:43 AM DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) -- Todd Bodine began 2008 in fine fashion.

Bodine held steady on the final lap to win Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Chevy Silverado 250.

The 43-year-old Bodine, in a Toyota Tundra, fought off charges from Kyle Busch and Johnny Benson for his 13th career series victory - and first at Daytona International Speedway.

"I tell you, this is my 20th year coming to this speedway - three as a crew member and 17 as a driver," said Bodine, who finished first with an average speed of 127.551 miles per hour. "Seventeen years, and we finally got there."

Busch finished second, just eight-hundredths of a second behind Bodine for his 15th career top-five finish.

Benson started the race 35th but brought home a third-place finish, while David Starr placed fourth. The top four drivers all were behind the wheel of Toyotas.

In an event filled with crashes, pole-sitter Erik Darnell was in the hunt for the win with 15 laps to go before he and Justin Marks collided, knocking Darnell out of the race.

"I was trying to wave Marks' truck off, just wave him off the backstretch," Darnell said. "I came off high in the middle of turns three and four, and he just got into the back of me and turned us around. It was pretty unfortunate."

Darnell led for 45 laps, second only to Bodine's 49.

It was the last of the major wrecks that saw six trucks end their night in a firey heap on lap 20.

The trucks of Busch and last year's series runner-up, Mike Skinner, ignited the pile-up near the exit to Turn 2 that eliminated Skinner and left the Ford of P.J. Jones sliding along the backstretch, engulfed in flames.

"There was a lot of flames. It was pretty incredible," Jones said. "I don't know if we broke a fuel line or oil line, but the truck upon impact instantly went up in flames."

Jones escaped unharmed from his burning truck.

That crash forced a red flag and a race stoppage so officials could clean up the track.

Three turns later, five more drivers collided, forcing a 10-lap caution.

"It was way too early in the race for people to be jumping all over the track like that," said Skinner, referring to the wild racing in the first 25 laps.

Defending Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday saw his night end early. On Lap 44, his Chevrolet Silverado started smoking, sending the all-time truck series winner into the garage for the night.

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