CRAFTSMAN TRUCK Qwik Liner Las Vegas 350Final
Skinner wins Qwik Liner 350Sep 21, 2008 - 4:34 AM LAS VEGAS (Ticker) -- Mike Skinner edged Erik Darnell by two one-hundredths of a second to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Qwik Liner 350 on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
After a late yellow flag, Darnell restarted with the lead. Skinner was right on the bumper of Darnell's Ford and, when the green flag waved with two laps to go, made a move on the high side and passed him.
Skinner braced for the charge of Darnell, who tried to make a high-side move on the final lap. Darnell put his Ford in front, but both trucks got loose as they approached the finish, and Skinner put the nose of his Toyota in front at the line.
"Erik's truck was awfully good," Skinner said after breaking a 22-race winless drought. "I was not going to wreck Erik to win the race. I got to fake him on the bottom and try him on the top."
There was a moment of uncertainty at the end of the race as a crash took place behind the leaders. NASCAR ruled that Skinner was in the lead at the time of the incident and declared him the winner.
"Mike was a little better than us on the restart," Darnell said. "His truck was good for a couple of laps. Unfortunately, it cost us in the end."
Matt Crafton finished third in a Chevrolet. John Andretti was fourth in a Toyota and pole-sitter Ron Hornaday Jr. finished fifth in a Chevrolet.
The race was marred by 12 caution flags. None of the yellows had a greater impact on the championship standings than the one on Lap 64, where Johnny Benson - the points leader entering the race - had his right front tire cut down, sending his Toyota into the wall and ending his night with a 27th-place finish.
"The thing drove incredible," Benson said. "We had a fast, fast truck. We had some laps on the tires, but not enough for that to happen."
The defending series champion, Hornaday was coming off a pair of victories at Gateway and New Hampshire, giving him a series-best five wins on the season. After entering the race second in the standings, 74 points behind Benson, Hornaday cut the deficit to just one.