NCWTS: From last to first, Kahne wins at “The Rock”

April 15, 2012 No Comments

Credit: Rainer Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR

Eight years of absence, and the magic that NASCAR left Rockingham with still remains in the famous sand hills of North Carolina.

After starting the race from the back of the 36-truck field, Kasey Kahne took the win in the inaugural Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 at Rockingham Speedway.

Leading 46 laps on the day, Kahne was able to take home the first victory for Tuner Motorsports in Camping World Truck Series competition. The win also marks Kahne’s fourth career victory in trucks in only five career starts.

“I knew I had a good truck,” said Kahne in victory lane. “All of the guys at Turner Motorsports put in a good couple of days here on the truck.”

Kahne, who was in Texas for the Cup and Nationwide races this weekend, relied on fellow open-wheel driver and Turner Motorsports teammate, Brad Sweet, to setup and qualify his race winning truck.

By having Sweet doing that, Kahne was forced to start in the back of the field for the 200 lap race.

“I was coming up through there, and we were loose and loose,” said Kahne who finished second in NASCAR’s last race at “The Rock” in 2004. “The second time [on pit road], we got it really good, especially for those last couple laps.”

Kahne was able to pass his Turner Motorsports teammate, Nelson Piquet Jr., on lap 155, and then ensued to hold off challenges from his teammates for the win in the closing stages.

While Kahne was able to ultimately take home the win, Piquet  was by far the dominant truck on the afternoon.

Leading 107 laps on the day, Piquet’s day was spoiled after a speeding penalty on the final exchange of pit stops.

“Obviously I’m disappointed,” said Piquet after the race. “I was told about the penalty as soon as it happened. Just proud of everyone on the team for the great truck all day.”

Piquet started out the 200 lap event with a blistering pace. Leading the race by a 12 second margin at one point, Piquet was able to lap all the way up to the eleventh position before the halfway mark.

While the day wound up disappointing for the No.30 crew of Piquet, his fellow Turner Motorsports teammates had a banner day.

After running in the top-10 for the majority of the race, James Buescher was able to finish behind Kahne in the second position.

“I was trying everything I could,” said Buescher. “I guess if I have to lose to anyone here, it would be to my teammate, Kahne.”

Throughout the day, fans were treated to classic Rockingham action with drivers sliding all around the track’s turns and straightaways.

After the race, numerous drivers praised NASCAR and track owner, Andy Hillenburg, for bringing racing back to “The Rock”.

Comments of, “This is how all racing should be,” and, “We need more races like this,” were prominent among drivers after climbing from their trucks.

Timothy Peters now leads the series standings by six points over second place, Justin Lofton heading into next race at the Kansas Speedway.

Results of the Good Sam Road Side Assistance 200 at Rockingham

  1. Kasey Kahne
  2. James Buescher
  3. Matt Crafton
  4. Johnny Sauter
  5. Timothy Peters
  6. Joey Coulter
  7. Nelson Piquet Jr.
  8. Ty Dillon
  9. Parker Kligerman
  10. Justin Lofton
  11. Jeb Burton
  12. Ron Hornaday
  13. David Starr
  14. Dakoda Armstrong
  15. Miguel Paludo
  16. TIm George Jr.
  17. Cale Gale
  18. Max Gresham
  19. David Reutimann
  20. John Wes Townley
  21. Caleb Holman
  22. Ryan Sieg
  23. Brennan Newberry
  24. Jason White
  25. Ross Chastain
  26. Paulie Harraka
  27. Jeff Agnew
  28. Tyler Young
  29. Chris Cockrum
  30. Norm Benning
  31. Todd Bodine
  32. Bryan Silas
  33. John King
  34. Jason Leffler
  35. Johnny Chapman
  36. Grant Enfinger
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