A race at Darlington is normally one of attrition and Saturday night’s Too Tough To Tame 200 was no different.
The Camping World Truck Series was the only show in town and on tap for the weekend. They didn’t disappoint. It started with ROY candidate Cole Whitt capturing from the pole, the first of his career, with a new track record.
[media-credit name=”Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR” align=”alignright” width=”247″][/media-credit]The action started on lap one when the field charged down into turn one and never made it to turn two. Travis Kvapil, Miguel Paludo, Max Papis, Ryan Sieg, Norm Benning, Justin Lofton and David Starr all had trouble to bring the first caution out.
There were two more yellow flags within the first 30 laps.
Once things settled down, Kasey Kahne quickly asserted himself as the man to beat. While others found there way to the front through pit stops and strategy, Kahne was always lurking and once he took the lead he had no problem driving away from the field.
One of the scarier incidents of the night came after Ricky Carmichael spun on the front stretch and was t-boned by Johanna Long. The caution, eighth one of the night, also brought the action to a halt as the red flag.
Both drivers were evaluated and released from the infield care center.
With 29 laps to go Timothy Peters came down pit road to get his final set of tires, while the leaders stayed out. It didn’t help the battle was up front between Kahne and the defending winner of the event, Todd Bodine.
Even with a restart with less than five laps to go, no one could catch the 18 of Kahne and he would go on to capture the win. It was the third straight race that a driver not running for points in the CWTS has won.
The win was Kahne’s third in his last four starts and second at Darlington. He won back in 2004. It was also the second straight win for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Ron Hornaday finished second and Bodine finished third. The polesitter, Whitt, who thought he had lost a cylinder and dropped to 26th, came home in the eighth position. He was the highest finishing rookie and moved to second in the CWTS points.
Matt Crafton hangs onto the point lead as the trucks will have a few weeks off before heading to Martinsville on April 2nd.
Unofficial Race Results
|8||1||60||Cole Whitt *||Chevrolet||37||1||147||Running|
|14||18||29||Parker Kligerman *||Dodge||30||0||147||Running|
|19||27||46||Craig Goess *||Toyota||25||0||147||Running|
|20||35||1||Jeffrey Earnhardt *||Chevrolet||24||0||147||Running|
|21||15||15||Dusty Davis *||Toyota||23||0||147||Running|
|27||14||7||Miguel Paludo *||Toyota||17||0||135||Running|
|28||30||22||Joey Coulter *||Chevrolet||16||0||111||Running|
|31||32||20||Johanna Long *||Toyota||13||0||96||Accident|
|32||9||8||Nelson Piquet Jr. *||Chevrolet||12||0||93||Accident|
|34||25||10||Chase Mattioli *||Ford||10||0||55||Accident|
|35||20||51||Justin Johnson *||Toyota||9||0||41||Accident|