Winners: 2011 NASCAR Champions

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Austin Dillon
NASCAR Nationwide Series: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Tony Stewart

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Year in Review

Ron Hornaday was the story of the year for the Camping World Truck Series in 2009, and it wasn't even close -- even as a series champion lost his ride and the economy turned a very competitive series on its ear.

Why Hornaday, you ask? He won his fourth series championship, becoming the first driver to ever to win four Truck Series titles. At 51 years old, Hornaday became the oldest driver to ever win a NASCAR national touring series title. Hornaday also cruised to his title after a summer stretch that saw him win five straight races.

Hornaday won six races in 2009 -- just as he did in 2008. He also had 15 top-5s and 20 top-10s ... in 25 races. With an average start of 4.0 and an average finish of 6.4, Hornaday had the consistency to go along with his dominance in cruising to the title.

Matt Crafton finished second in the standings, 187 points behind Hornaday, despite not winning a race all season. Crafton recorded 11 top-5s and 21 top-10s, finishing second five times. Crafton's season-worst finish was 16th, which he did twice. Were it not for Hornaday's summer dominance, Crafton might've made the championship battle more of a fight, even if he never saw the checkered flag.

Kyle Busch won a season-high seven races, going back-to-back three times (Fontana-Atlanta, Bristol-Chicagoland and Talladega-Texas); had Busch run the full schedule -- he only made 15 starts -- he would've given Hornaday a run for his money.

Four drivers picked up their first career Camping World Truck Series wins in 2009; Brian Scott stretched his tires to pick up his first checkered flag at Dover, while Colin Braun edged Busch to win his first race at Michigan. Johnny Sauter won at Las Vegas, and Timothy Peters picked up his first checkered flag at Martinsville in October.

Sauter earned Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors, finishing sixth in the points with one win, seven top-5s and 13 top-10s, to go along with two poles.

Johnny Benson, who won the 2008 series title -- when it was still known as the Craftsman Truck Series -- lost his ride in June, a victim of the struggling economy. Benson was then injured in a wreck during a modified race the following week, thus ending his hopes of defending the title he won narrowly over Hornaday in 2008.

While the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series was light on financially-stable teams and competition atop the point standings, there was plenty of history to make up for it. Hornaday solidified himself as one of the series' all-time greats -- if not the all-time great -- and there's no reason to think he won't be a factor in 2010, even without crew chief Rick Ren.

2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Winners
Daytona -- Todd Bodine
Fontana -- Kyle Busch
Atlanta -- Kyle Busch
Martinsville -- Kevin Harvick
Kansas -- Mike Skinner
Charlotte -- Ron Hornaday
Dover -- Brian Scott
Texas -- Todd Bodine
Michigan -- Colin Braun
Milwaukee -- Ron Hornaday
Memphis -- Ron Hornaday
Kentucky -- Ron Hornaday
ORP -- Ron Hornaday
Nashville -- Ron Hornaday
Bristol -- Kyle Busch
Chicagoland -- Kyle Busch
Iowa -- Mike Skinner
Gateway -- Mike Skinner
Loudon -- Kyle Busch
Las Vegas -- Johnny Sauter
Martinsville -- Timothy Peters
Talladega -- Kyle Busch
Texas -- Kyle Busch
Phoenix -- Kevin Harvick
Homestead -- Kevin Harvick

Coming Next Week: 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series Year in Review

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