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Skinner, truck nearly perfect in Iowa

The Associated Press
Sunday, Sep. 06, 2009

NEWTON, Iowa - Mike Skinner pulled away after a late restart to win the first Camping World Trucks Series race at the Iowa Speedway on Saturday night.

Skinner, a two-time winner this year, was running away from the field when the yellow flag came out because of debris with seven laps to go. They restarted with four laps remaining and Skinner pulled away in his Toyota to win by 1.370 seconds.

Aric Almirola was second in a Toyota and Colin Braun finished third in a Ford. Series leader Ron Hornaday Jr. was fourth after starting 15th.

Skinner, who started on the pole, led for all but 20 of the 200 laps in winning for the 27th time in the series.

Kyle Busch, who won the two previous trucks races, is racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Brian Ickler took over the No. 51 truck that Busch used in those victories, but was never in contention and finished 18th on the 0.875-mile oval.

Skinner, who drives for Randy Moss Motorsports, went inside to slip past early leader Matt Crafton on the 18th lap and easily fended off any challenges after that.

Almirola moved to the lead when Skinner made his final pit stop on Lap 113. But Skinner was back in front three laps later and steadily pulled away. He was leading by more than seven seconds when the seventh and final caution was displayed.

Then, on the restart, he quickly dashed any hope Almirola had of catching him.

The second-place finish was a career-best for Almirola. Braun passed Hornaday, who has a series-best six wins this year, to get third.

Hornaday usually excels on short tracks like this one and, as he began weaving his way through traffic, it looked as though he'd have a chance to win again. He stood second midway through the race, but never could make a serious run at Skinner and eventually dropped back.

Skinner's other victory came on April 27 at Kansas Speedway. His No. 5 truck was the fastest in the final two practice runs and then again in Saturday's qualifying.

And when it counted, it was the fastest then, too.

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