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Keeping Pace

Wed., April 29, 2009, 1:10 a.m.

Randy Moss Motorsports Gets First Win Of The Season

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

Randy Moss is known for his competitive nature on the football field as a wide receiver for the New England Patroits but he has added another title-winning NASCAR team owner.

Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 28, 2009) – After a rain-delayed weekend at Kansas Speedway, the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 concluded on Monday, April 27 crowning Mike Skinner (No. 5 Bad Boy Mowers Toyota) the winner and giving team co-owner Randy Moss his first NASCAR national series victory.

Kyle Busch (No. 51 Miccosukee Toyota), the standings leader heading into Kansas, did not participate this past weekend and Skinner capitalized on his competitor by taking the series standings lead with the win. Busch dropped to sixth in the points.

Skinner had the dominant truck, leading the most laps (67) including the final 13.

This is the first time Skinner has held the top spot in the standings this season. He has a 25-point lead over Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Chevrolet) who moved to second.

The win also propelled the No. 5 team into second in the truck owner standings, 32 points behind Billy Ballew, owner of the No. 51. 

David Dollar, co-owner of the No. 5, was more than happy about getting Moss his first win. “Well, it is definitely huge,” said Dollar. “The last couple of years have been a struggle for us and Randy came aboard so it is always exciting to bring my co-owner his first win. It feels so dang good to be in Victory Lane and have success this early in the season.”

So far this season, the 1995 series champion has posted one win, three top fives and four top 10s with no DNFs.

The whole Randy Moss Motorsports organization is making strides in the right direction. Rookie Tayler Malsam (No. 81 One Eighty Toyota) finished 11th at Kansas, moving up three spots in the standings to 12th. His solid performance also gave him the points lead in the battle for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors.

Building Momentum From The Puddles Of Kansas Speedway

Ron Hornaday Jr., Johnny Benson (No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota) and Brian Scott (No. 16 Albertsons Toyota) all used this past weekend at Kansas to build some early-season momentum in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Hornaday finished in the top five at Kansas, moving him into second in the standings after posting his third top five and fifth top 10 of the season.

Benson’s second top five and third top 10 of the season boosted him into fifth in the series standings. 

Scott finished third in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250, which moved him up five spots in the standings to seventh. This season Scott has posted one top-five and three consecutive top-10 finishes.

“I am really trying to put an exclamation point on my career, and make a statement in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series that we are not going to be a dark horse,” said Scott. “I want people to be thinking we are a contender every week.” 

“I feel like we have had a strong truck ever since the last seven or eight races of last year,” he added. “We have been up front clicking them away and hopefully we are going to keep doing it.”

Matt Crafton Holding His Own Among Series Champions

Amidst the bevy of past champions sitting atop the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points standings sits a series veteran who could make things very interesting as the season winds down.

That driver is Matt Crafton (No. 88 Menard’s Chevrolet), who moved up to fourth place in the standings after his fourth top-10 finish in the five races this season.

Crafton is dueling with past series champions Mike Skinner (first), Ron Hornaday Jr. (second), Todd Bodine (No. 30 Ventrilo Toyota) (third) and Johnny Benson (fifth). After Monday’s finish to the Kansas race, the California native is just 94 points out of first.

His statistics, too, rank among the best in the series. Crafton has an Average Running Position of 9.8 (fourth), a Driver Rating of 96.0 (fourth), 27 Fastest Laps Run (fifth) and a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 83.5% (fourth).

Crafton’s strong start to the season leads perfectly into the next series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway – the site of Crafton’s first, and thus far only, victory. At Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Crafton has a Driver Rating of 101.7 and an Average Running Position 9.4.

Raybestos Rookie Of The Year Update

Following five races in the 2009 season, the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings are red hot with the top five competitors within six points of each other.

Randy Moss Motorsports’ driver, Tayler Malsam, leads the rookie standings by one point over James Buescher (No. 10 International MAXXFORCE Diesel Ford). 

The NASCAR Season-To-Date Loop Data shows Malsam and Buescher’s performances so far are nearly identical.  Malsam slightly edges Buescher in Driver Rating with ratings of 77.6 and 77.0, respectively.  While Buescher slightly edges Malsam in Average Running Position, with Buescher posting 14.493 and Malsam posting 15.058. This all adds up to these two battling not only in the rookie standings, but also on the track.

Two points behind Buescher, in second, are Johnny Sauter (No. 13 Fun Sand Chevrolet), the rookie of the race at Kansas, and Ricky Carmichael (No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet), both with 45 points. Sauter finished ninth at Kansas, his second top 10 of the season. 

This will be Sauter’s first series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 15

Six points behind rookie standings leader Malsam is J. R. Fitzpatrick (No. 7 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet) in fifth. Fitzpatrick did not participate at Kansas.

Raybestos Rookie Of The Year Standings

Rk  Driver    Points
1.   Tayler Malsam       48
2.   James Buescher    47
3.   Johnny Sauter       45
4.   Ricky Carmichael  45
5.   J.R. Fitzpatrick      42
6.   Brent Raymer        18
7.   Chase Austin        16
8.   Chris Jones           12

2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Manufacturers’ Standings Following Race 5 of 25 at Kansas Speedway:
Toyota     42
Chevrolet 33
Ford        20
Dodge     15

Up Next

The next stop for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be under the lights at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 on Friday, May 15.

Kyle Busch, the defending pole winner, will return to the series after sitting out the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas. Busch leads the series in wins at Lowe’s with two. 

Fast Facts

Next Race: North Carolina Education Lottery 200
The Place: Lowe’s Motor Speedway
The Date: Fri., May 15, 2009
The Time: 8 p.m. ET
Race Distance: 201 miles / 134 laps
TV: SPEED, 7:30 p.m. ET
Track Layout: 1.5-mile paved
2008 Winner: Matt Crafton
2008 Polesitter: Kyle Busch
Schedule: Friday–Practice, 9-10 a.m. and  10:20-11:50 a.m.; Qualifying, 3:35 p.m.

2009 Driver Standings
Rk Driver                  Points
1   Mike Skinner        801
2   Ron Hornaday Jr.  776
3   Todd Bodine         744
4   Matt Crafton         707
5   Johnny Benson     685
6   Kyle Busch          682
7   Brian Scott           659
8   Chad McCumbee  647
9   Terry Cook           631
10 Stacy Compton     624

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.