Truex Takes Victory and Point Lead at Thompson
Second Career Victory Comes With Four Races Left in Rookie Year
by Penny Aicardi
Ryan Truex posted his second NASCAR Camping World East win of the season Saturday night when he took the lead from Steve Park for the second and final time at lap 96 in the Pepsi Full Fender Frenzy 100 at Thompson International Speedway (CT). Truex took the point lead with this victory with only four races remaining in the season. He is only the second driver to repeat a victory this year.

“With about 50 to go I just started driving through the pack. I knew I had a better racecar than those guys I was just waiting for them to screw up,” said Truex after the race. “I got under him (Park) one time and got the lead, but then he got me on a few restarts. I just waited for him to screw up and just drove underneath him.”

Truex took the lead for the first time on lap 76 after Park, the polesitter, got loose in turn four on lap 75. Park was able to save it, but lost the lead to Truex. Park wasn't going to let that happen again and beat him on the last restart. Truex, rallied, however, and got a run in three and four to reclaim the top spot and eventual checkers.

“I used to run here a lot and I have a lot of fans out there. Man, I was trying hard to win. I thought I'd be able to hold off (Ryan) for a few laps, but he just drove right past me. I've won a lot of races here and I love coming back to Thompson. We were trying like heck. Ryan is an extremely talented racecar driver and he's got a great future ahead of him.”

Park led the most laps at 75, but it was Truex, who quietly came up from the top-five to be a factor in the second half of the race, who really shined in the end. Once out front, Truex was able to win by a 1.728 second margin of victory.

“I don't know why I wasn't good on restarts, but after a few laps our car would get really, really fast. Hopefully, we'll have more of these. We want to have good point days, be there at the end, and try to win a championship,” said Truex.

Joe Gibbs Racing's Matt DiBenedetto finished third.

“I can't complain too much,” said DiBenedetto. “In that race, man, we were really tight. I tried everything I could, but I'd like to thank my crew and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing.”

Jody Lavender, who entered the event as the point leader, spun on lap 91 to bring out the final caution. He finished the event in 11th and dropped back to third in the point standings. Eddie MacDonald, who led one lap of the Pepsi Full Fender Frenzy 100, moved up to second in the points with his fourth place finish in the event.

Alan Tardiff posted his second career top-five finish after a race long battle with 2008 defending series champion Matt Kobyluck. The two battled from lap 50 to 100 with Tardiff getting the fifth place spot at the checkers. Kobyluck finished sixth after a wild last lap battle that included Jarit Johnson.

“The 38 (Tardiff) got free coming off of turn four and I was going under him at the same time. We both went up the track and the 74 was on the outside of me. We ended up just rubbing a little bit, but he (Johnson) ended up getting a flat out of it. It was hard racing with one lap left to go.”

The NASCAR Camping World Series East returns to action on Saturday, August 1st at Adirondack International Speedway (NY).

NASCAR Camping World Series East-Pepsi Full Fender Frenzy 100 Unofficial Results
At Thompson International Speedway
Thompson, Conn.
Lap length: 0.625 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (6) Ryan Truex, Mayetta, N.J., Toyota, 100 laps, 72.628 mph, $7,325.
2. (1) Steve Park, East Northport, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100, $6,165.
3. (2) Matt DiBenedetto, Grass Valley, Calif., Toyota, 100, $3,200.
4. (5) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 100, $3,000.
5. (8) Alan Tardiff, Lyman, Maine, Chevrolet, 100, $2,000.
6. (3) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, $2,550.
7. (17) Jesus Hernandez, Fresno, Calif., Dodge, 100, $3,100.
8. (4) Ryan Duff, Hazard, KY., Chevrolet, 100, $1,550.
9. (12) Jonathan Smith, Beacon Falls, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, $1,520.
10. (10) Brett Moffitt, Grimes, Iowa, Chevrolet, 100, $2,050.
11. (14) Jody Lavender, Hartsville, S.C., Chevrolet, 100, $1,500.
12. (20) Jason Patison, Corona, Calif., Chevrolet, 100, $1,500.
13. (18) John Salemi, Nashua, N.H., Chevrolet, 100, $1,500.
14. (15) Todd Peck, Glenville, Pa., Chevrolet, 100, $1,000.
15. (16) Jarit Johnson, El Cajon, Calif., Chevrolet, 99, $975.
16. (22) Sean Corr, Goshen, N.Y., Chevrolet, 99, $975.
17. (11) Mike Johnson, Salisbury, Mass., Ford, 66, accident, $950.
18. (9) Derek Ramstrom, West Boylston, Mass., Chevrolet, 66, accident, $950.
19. (7) Corey LaJoie, Concord, N.C., Ford, 53, engine, $925.
20. (19) Dustin Delaney, Mayfield, N.Y., Chevrolet, 32, engine, $1,425.
21. (21) Eric Curran, Springfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 30, accident, $900.
22. (13) Alex Kennedy, Aztec, N.M., Chevrolet, 13, engine, $1,400.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 51 minutes 38 seconds
Margin of Victory: 1.728 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: S.Park (110.707 mph, 20.324 seconds)
Caution Flags: 5 for 20 laps.
Lead Changes: 5 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: S. Park 1-36; E. MacDonald 37; S. Park 38-75; R. Truex 76-93; S. Park 94-95; R. Truex 96-100.

Standings: 1. R. Truex, 1057; 2. E. MacDonald, 1048; 3. J. Lavender, 1031; 4. M. Kobyluck, 1007; 5. B. Moffitt, 980; 6. S. Park, 964; 7. D. Delaney, 875; 8. A. Tardiff, 859; 9. A. Kennedy, 843; 10. R. Duff, 841.

Steve Park's #35 finished second.  (Rick Ibsen Photo)
Ryan Truex in victory lane.  (Rick Ibsen Photo)
Steve Park (#35) and Ryan Truex (#00) race at Thompson.  (Ken Spring Photo)
Truex crosses under the checkers flag at Thompson.  (Rick Ibsen Photo)