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Darnell Runaway Winner at Kansas

Darnell Runaway Winner at Kansas

Darnell Runaway Winner at Kansas

Erik Darnell picked up his first career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory in grand fashion on Saturday, winning the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway by a margin of 10.44 seconds.

Starting from the rear of the field because of an unapproved adjustment during the impound period, Darnell worked his way to the front en route to leading the most laps on the day, 92 of 167 circuits, and becoming the third driver to win their first career race in Kansas as well as recording the 44th victory Roush Fenway Racing team, extending team owner Jack Roush’s lead as the winningest owner in series history.

"It feels awesome," said Darnell, who prior to today had led just five laps this season. "We've been trying so hard and we've been so close so many times and I haven't been able to pull it off. Today we were finally able to put all of the pieces together and then finish this thing.

"From the start, I was able to drive through the field."

The victory also breaks up Toyota’s four race win streak this season in the Craftsman Truck Series.

Earlier in the day, it appeared another driver would be dominating the race as Mike Skinner started from pole and led the first 58 laps of the event as he attempted to make history and win his fourth consecutive race. However, during the first round of pit stops, his team had problems with loose lugnuts, which cost him a lot of time as the stop came under green flag conditions.

Because of that pit road miscue, Darnell was able to capitalize and go on to record not only the largest margin of victory at Kansas, but also the fifth largest in Craftsman Truck Series history.

If not for a late charge by Scott Lagasse in yesterday’s ARCA RE/MAX Series race, today’s victory by Darnell could have been his second in as many days. That said, Darnell will happily take another runner-up finish in ARCA if he can translate it to a Craftsman Truck Series victory.

"I think that all of the laps that I got yesterday in the ARCA race helped me out today just because I was able to get a feel for what the car was going to do in the afternoon and get a feel for what the track was going to do as far as the second groove coming in," said Darnell. "I think all that last night helped us. It was disappointing not to win it last night. We were just not quite where we needed to be, but with the truck tonight, we were spot on and I think it showed. We were just able to kinda drive away from everybody today."

Rick Crawford finished second with Jack Sprague, Johnny Benson and Skinner rebounding to round out the top five.

Ron Hornaday, Todd Bodine, Aaron Fike, defending race winner Terry Cook and Matt Crafton completed the top 10.

Although he failed in his bid to win his fourth consecutive Craftsman Truck Series race, Skinner retains his championship lead by 108 points over Bodine with Crawford, Hornaday and Sprague comprising the top five in the standings.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to action in three weeks time with the running of the Quaker Steak and Lube 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 18.

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Re: Darnell Runaway Winner at Kansas

mvbski wrote:

Darnell Runaway Winner at Kansas

I have bet him a few times this year and came close with him and it figures I forget all about this race.


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