AVONDALE, Ariz. — Clint Bowyer had a truck that couldn’t be beat — not even by Kyle Busch — while Todd Bodine was able to clinch the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
Bowyer won Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Int’l Raceway, defeating Busch by 1.039-seconds in a Chevrolet Silverado. Bodine’s 12th place finish in a Toyota combined with Aric Almirola’s fifth-place finish gave him an insurmountable 202-point lead with one race left for the driver from Germain Racing.
Bodine joins Jack Sprague and Ron Hornaday, Jr. as the only multiple Truck champions after claiming his second Truck Series title. Bodine’s first championship came in 2006.
“We didn’t want to points race tonight but we were in a position to win the championship and did what we needed to do,” said Bodine’s crew chief Mike Hillman. “We’re here; we’re champs.”
The driver known as “The Onion” had tears of joy while Bowyer was able to score his second Truck win in his first race in this series this season.
“When Kyle got up there we had to fight for it,” Bowyer said. “Everybody at KHI (Kevin Harvick, Inc.) was excited about this. I love this series and it’s some of the best racing we have in NASCAR. This Chevrolet was set up to win from the get-go. It makes your job as a race driver pretty easy when you are in a hot rod like that. It was just a blast.”
Despite finishing second, Busch was proud of his effort.
“We had a shot at winning the race but on the last stop we missed it by a little bit,” Busch said. “There are two winners here tonight — Clint and Todd and hopefully next week will be our turn. Second is disappointing but the big picture is to go to Homestead next week and win the owner’s title.
“Clint was better than us tonight. I couldn’t hang on the restart. We go to bed satisfied.”
Busch has a 120-point lead in the race for the owner’s championship and will attempt to clinch that next Friday night.
Johnny Sauter finished third followed by Matt Crafton and Almirola.
But this was Bodine’s night to celebrate
“The first five races we got top-five finishes, but the trucks were driving terrible,” Bodine recalled. “Then along the way we had good luck. Along with good performances you have to have good luck and we had that this year.
“The old adage is you make your own luck and this team was great at doing that this year.”
Bodine won four races during his championship season — the second title of his Camping World Truck Series career. He joins Greg Biffle in 2000 and Hornaday in 2009 as the only drivers to clinch the championship before the season’s final race.