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
- Kasey Kahne
- James Buescher
- Matt Crafton
- Johnny Sauter
- Timothy Peters
- Joey Coulter
- Nelson Piquet Jr.
- Ty Dillon
- Parker Kligerman
- Justin Lofton
- Jeb Burton
- Ron Hornaday
- David Starr
- Dakoda Armstrong
- Miguel Paludo
- TIm George Jr.
- Cale Gale
- Max Gresham
- David Reutimann
- John Wes Townley
- Caleb Holman
- Ryan Sieg
- Brennan Newberry
- Jason White
- Ross Chastain
- Paulie Harraka
- Jeff Agnew
- Tyler Young
- Chris Cockrum
- Norm Benning
- Todd Bodine
- Bryan Silas
- John King
- Jason Leffler
- Johnny Chapman
- Grant Enfinger