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Crawford survives Craftsman Truck Series shootout

CLERMONT, Ind. -- Rick Crawford took the lead in a tight
four-truck battle with 32 laps remaining, then held on to beat
Dennis Setzer by 10 truck-lengths Friday night in the Craftsman
Truck Series' Power Stroke Diesel 200.

Crawford, Setzer, Mike Bliss and Ron Hornaday Jr. fought for the
lead going into the third turn at O'Reilly Raceway Park, with Bliss
getting squeezed into the wall in the first turn to bring out a
caution flag.

"I saw him [Bliss] go into the turn and stumble just a little
bit," Crawford said. "It wasn't much, but I had to make my pass
as quickly as I could.

"If you had some other guys involved, it would be a recipe for
a wreck. But this was four veteran guys. But I'm glad my spotter
said 'clear.' It was close. I don't think we touched at all, but I
could smell yellow, red, black and green paint."

Setzer was just pleased to survive the brief battle.

"It was pretty exciting, I guess," he said. "Crawford and I
had the 16 [Bliss], and my spotter called and said Hornaday was
coming up fast, and he was. I thought he was going to get all of
us."

Hornaday said he could see the mad scramble coming.

"They had a half straightaway on me, and I could see what was
going to happen," he said. "I knew they were going to squeeze him
(Bliss). I had a little bit of a run, and I knew things were going
to get interesting."

Crawford stayed out front through four more caution periods, the
last with four laps remaining in the 200-lap race around the
0.686-mile oval.

"To win, you have to have a perfect race, and tonight was a
perfect race for me," said Crawford, who won for the first time
since last September at New Hampshire.

Hornaday finished third, followed by David Starr, Bliss and
Terry Cook.

Bliss' team gambled just past the halfway point, staying out
while the leaders pitted after Chad Chaffin hit the wall. Bliss,
who pitted on the 81st lap, inherited the lead and maintained it
until the late four-truck flurry.

The race featured a track-record 11 caution periods for 51 laps.

Points leader Todd Bodine worked his way up to seventh place
after starting 29th.