Originally created 09/17/06

Benson trucks to fourth win



LOUDON, N.H. - Johnny Benson got past Kyle Busch an instant before a caution flag froze the field Saturday and never relinquished the top spot, racing away to a win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway.

It was the fourth victory of the season for Benson, who had not won a truck race before this year.

Nextel Cup star Busch, making only his fourth truck start of the season, took the lead on lap 121 on a pit stop during one of the 12 caution flags in the 200-lap race and was battling to hold off Benson on lap 167 when Mike Bliss hit the wall. That brought out another yellow flag and NASCAR's scoring showed Benson had the nose of his Bill Davis Racing Toyota just ahead of Busch's Chevrolet.

Benson, who led four times for 145 laps, pulled away on the ensuing restart and stayed in front as pole-winner Mike Skinner got past Busch to take second place, finishing 0.691 seconds - about six truck-lengths - behind the winner.

Series points leader Todd Bodine finished fourth, followed by David Starr, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Rick Crawford.

"The only way to catch Todd is to do what we did today," said Benson, the series runner-up. Benson gained 30 points on Bodine and now trails by 124 with seven races remaining. "Todd and those guys have been consistent all year, but we're doing everything we can to get 'em."

Skinner was disappointed that he wasn't able to take a shot at Benson after getting past Busch, who bounced off the wall on lap 185.

A caution flag on lap 90 was brought out when Ted Musgrave bounced off the wall after being hit by Crawford. The angry Musgrave stayed on the track, pulled up alongside Crawford under caution and pushed Crawford's truck up to the wall before pitting.

Musgrave was parked for the rest of the race by NASCAR and finished 31st.