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Busch wins truck race / March 09, 2009
HAMPTON, Ga. - If the Titanic couldn't take down Molly Brown, then there was no way making the wrong adjustments or losing two of the five gears in the transmission was going to keep Kyle Busch from winning the Craftsman Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon.
It was his fourth win in five truck races at Atlanta and his second win in three races this season.
Kevin Harvick and Todd Bodine, second and third respectively, were helpless to stop Busch once he righted the ship in the final laps.
"I stayed on the gas wide open," Busch said, of his final charge to victory. "I don't think we out-trucked 'em today, but I think we outran 'em at the end."
Harvick clearly was a clearly dissatisfied second place finisher.
"Our pit crew is atrocious," said Harvick when asked to break down his race. "If we would have come out in front of the No. 88 and the No. 30, it would have been no contest because once we got clean air, we were fine. But behind traffic, especially when Kyle got to the bottom there and started taking our line, you just get really tight. I got tight when the white going in to turn two there and just the nose and lost a little too much ground going in to three. Thing was fast, but doesn't matter if you can't do a pit stop.
South Boston native Timothy Peters had a solid, but uneventful weekend. Peters practiced mid-pack, qualified mid-pack and finished mid-pack, 15th, while Stacy Compton finished 19th .
Elliott Sadler, driving the No. 19 Dodge, knew the euphoria of Daytona wouldn't last. He knew California was going to be a struggle and until they hit on some changes at Las Vegas had the same fears for the desert facility. Unfortunately, being an innocent bystander in two early wrecks at Vegas robbed the team of a golden opportunity.
The plan now is to survive Atlanta, Texas while strutting their stuff at Bristol, Martinsville and Phoenix.
"I'm on 20 points out of the Chase," Sadler reminded when asked about the first three races of the season. "California was bad, but we knew we were going to struggle. Las Vegas should have been so much better. I'm really looking forward to the short tracks and getting to Phoenix. I love Phoenix and really have done well at Bristol and Martinsville. If we can survive (Atlanta) and Texas and be in the top 12 leaving Phoenix I think we'll be in good shape going into Talladega.
Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell took to the racetrack Saturday afternoon courtesy of Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark.
Both track executives enjoy shedding their coat and tie for a driver's suit and getting out onto the racetrack. It is, they both admit, a less stressful competition, than say selling tickets.
The plan for this outing was hatched during the Champion's banquet in New York City last December. Campbell ask Clark when he last raced and Clark offered Campbell his backup car, a roadster driven by Bill Elliott, should he want to try the quarter-mile located on the front stretch at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The deal was done.
Campbell ran fourth in his event despite his first laps in the car being in competition.
"I had planned on getting down here Thursday and getting in some practice out on the track but I didn't make it," he said after the race.
"I got here Friday and I went out in the parking lot so I could feel where the brakes were and how the clutch worked."
To Campbell, where he finished was not as important as the fact he raced.
"I had fun. I had a ball and I appreciate Ed letting me drive it and had a good time."
Campbell believes Legends racing would be a good fit on the tracks of Southwest Virginia.
"The good thing about a division like this is it is affordable and with money as tight as it you need to find something affordable to race and this would fit that bill just fine."

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