Originally created 09/14/03

Spencer wins in second truck race



LOUDON, N.H. - Jimmy Spencer held off Carl Edwards on Saturday, bouncing the rookie off the wall on the way to a victory in just his second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

Edwards, winner of three of the previous seven races, appeared to have a faster truck but found himself stuck behind Spencer, a Winston Cup regular, on a restart with just 16 laps to go at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Jeff Burton, another Winston Cup driver acting as Edwards' spotter on Saturday, told his driver, "You know who that is up there. You'd better wait."

Edwards said, "I didn't listen to him."

As the two came off turn four on lap 185, Edwards moved up to the rear of Spencer's truck and the two came together, sending Edwards banging off the concrete wall.

"I didn't mean to get into Carl," said Spencer, who will also race in today's Sylvania 300. "He had a good run at me and got right into my right rear quarter panel. I sure didn't want it to happen."

Edwards kept his truck under control and held off veteran Bobby Hamilton to finish second.

"I should have waited," Edwards said. "I had a better truck and I got up there and raced too hard with him. It was a lot of fun, but I just messed up.

"I shouldn't have tried so hard so early. I could have run him real hard for five or six laps instead of just half a lap. I guess that's why I have that rookie stripe."

In the wake of recent post-race confrontations in all of NASCAR's top series' - including one in which Spencer punched Winston Cup competitor Kurt Busch and got a one-race suspension - there was some uneasiness when Spencer and Edwards met in Victory Lane.

"I just called him an old dog," Edwards said, smiling. "I said, 'Man, I'd have done the same thing. I should have waited.' He said, 'I wish you would have waited, too."'

Spencer, who started from the pole, led 124 of the 200 laps on the 1.058-mile oval, including the last 85. In his only other truck start, last week in Richmond, Va., Spencer crashed.

Dennis Setzer finished fourth, followed by series leader Brendan Gaughan, Chad Chaffin and series runner-up Travis Kvapil. That increased Gaughan's lead over Kvapil from five points to nine.

Ted Musgrave, Spencer's teammate, came into the race 39 points behind the leader. He finished 12th and fell to 62 back.

Edwards slid into his pit during one stop, hitting catch can man Mike Freeman. The crewman was knocked over the low pit wall. He was taken to a hospital, where he was checked and released without injury.