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Nascar Nation 5.3.2006

By Rick Racela

While the Nextel Cup Series race was postponed until Tuesday and results were not available at the time of printing, Martin Truex Jr. was still lighting it up on the NASCAR circuit.
Truex won the Aaron’s 312 Busch Series race in his first Busch start since hoisting the championship trophy last November.
The win was a special one for Truex and his owners, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Teresa Earnhardt, since Saturday would have been Dale Earnhardt’s 55th birthday. All of the Dale Earnhardt Incorporated cars (Nextel Cup cars of Earnhardt Jr. and Truex Jr., Busch cars of Truex Jr. and Paul Menard) had the black paint scheme that the Intimidation’s car was known for.
Truex’s win was his third straight at Talladega in a Busch car, leading for high hope going into the Nextel Cup race. Kevin Harvick, the Busch Series points leader, finished second after starting 19th.
Harvick, who had won two straight before finishing second to Truex, jokingly blamed his runner-up finish on his owner, Richard Childress. Childress had just returned from a safari in Africa and had not witnessed either of Harvick’s two wins.
“The first thing Richard said was, ‘I guess I should have stayed in Africa,'” Harvick said. “But its okay because this is the first time we ever finished this race higher than 16th.”
Kyle Busch finished third, Brian Vickers in fourth, and Clint Bowyer fifth. Mark McFarland was the highest finishing Busch regular in seventh. Tony Stewart finished 39th after a wild ride during the race. Stewart’s car became airborne and flipped numerous times after making contact with the Ford of Kenny Wallace.
  Truck Series: The points leader going into the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway, Mark Martin, was in Talladega and not on hand to watch new points leader Todd Bodine cruise to victory.
Bodine won his second race of the year and moved 132 points in front of Martin, who fell to fourth in the standings.
 Bodine’s teammate, Ted Musgrave, finished second. Bodine had this to say: “One-two, I’m so proud of this group of guys. They work hard, they work as one team with two trucks on the track. It showed up tonight. These guys are the greatest right here.”
 David Reutimann finished third, Jack Sprague fourth and Johnny Benson fifth, completing the Toyota top five sweep.
Coming Up: The Nextel Cup and Busch Series head to Richmond International Speedway for a series of racing under the lights. Don’t miss a moment of the action.
 
Bruce Knoll, 14, of Eldora,  can be contacted by email at bknoll jr4cmcherald@yahoo.com

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