1995 Skoal Bandit Copper World Classic

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1995 Skoal Bandit Copper Classic
Race details
Race 1 of 20 in the 1995 NASCAR SuperTruck Series season
Layout of Phoenix International Raceway
Date February 5, 1995 (1995-02-05)
Official name 18th Annual Skoal Bandit Copper World Classic
Location Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Arizona
Course Permanent racing facility
1 mi (1.6 km)
Distance 80 laps, 80 mi (128.74 km)
Average speed 87.565 mph (140.922 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
Most laps led
Driver Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing
Laps 30
Winner
No. 3 Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing
Television in the United States
Network TNN
Announcers Mike Joy, Buddy Baker, Ernie Irvan

The 1995 Skoal Bandit Copper World Classic was a pickup truck race held on February 5, 1995 at the Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. It was the first event of the 1995 NASCAR SuperTruck Series, the first season of what is now the Camping World Truck Series. The race, sponsored in 1995 by Skoal Bandits, was the first edition of what is now the Lucas Oil 150. Ron Hornaday Jr. of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. won the pole position, while Mike Skinner of Richard Childress Racing won the race.

Background[edit]

Phoenix International Raceway (pictured in 2011), the site of the Copper World Classic

Phoenix International Raceway, which opened in 1964, began hosting NASCAR Winston Cup Series races in 1988.[1] The track is 1 mile (1.6 km) long; the banking in turns 1–2 and the backstretch is 10–11 degrees, while the dogleg and turns 3–4 are 8–9° and the frontstretch is 3°.[2]

The Truck Series was planned in 1991 and officially created in 1994.[3] During the year, seven exhibition races[4] were held and broadcast by TNN under the Winter Heat Series banner.[5] TNN returned to cover the Copper World Classic.[6] Regarding Phoenix being the site of the series' inaugural race, Ron Hornaday stated, "Phoenix fits right into a lot of these drivers' hands because they all came from short tracks."[7]

The race was one of five held for the 18th Annual Skoal Bandit Copper World Classic. Various drivers were attracted to the event, including Cup Series drivers Ken Schrader, Geoff Bodine and Terry Labonte,[8] the latter having won the Cup race at Phoenix in 1994. Other drivers included off-road racing champion Roger Mears[9] and former National Football League head coach Jerry Glanville.[10][11] In the field of 33 drivers that competed in the race,[12] Hornaday, Mike Skinner, Joe Ruttman, Butch Miller, Jack Sprague, Rick Carelli, Bill Sedgwick, Scott Lagasse, Tobey Butler and Sammy Swindell would eventually compete in all twenty races in the 1995 season.[13]

Qualifying[edit]

Ron Hornaday won the pole with a lap speed of 123.665 miles per hour (199.020 km/h). Ken Schrader (122.695 mph (197.458 km/h)), Terry Labonte (122.324 mph (196.861 km/h)), Johnny Benson Jr. (122.266 mph (196.768 km/h)) and Joe Bessey (122.220 mph (196.694 km/h)) rounded out the top five.[9]

Race[edit]

A crowd of 38,000 attended the race.[7]

Ron Hornaday led the first 23 laps of the race. During that timespan, two caution flags were flown: on lap 4, Troy Beebe spun out in turn 2, and on lap 17, Gary Collins spun in turn 4. On lap 24, Terry Labonte look the lead, and after a lap, the third caution occurred when seven trucks (Tobey Butler, John Borneman, Bob Keselowski, Steve McEachern, Bill Sedgwick, Jerry Glanville and T. J. Clark) crashed in turn 4. Labonte led until lap 29, and Hornaday led for three laps. On lap 33, Mike Skinner claimed first, leading for 29 laps; Skinner lost the lead on lap 61, when a yellow flag for debris was flown. Labonte reclaimed the lead during the period. On lap 72, Sedgwick, Keselowski and Bob Strait spun in the dogleg, bringing out another caution. Five laps later, the final yellow of the race was flown when Glanville, Kerry Teague, Scott Lagasse and P. J. Jones crashed in turn 4. When the green flag waved with two laps to go, Skinner retook the lead from Labonte,[10] and held off Labonte's attempted charge to win by .09 seconds.[14] Ken Schrader finished third, followed by Joe Bessey, Geoff Bodine, Jack Sprague, Butch Miller, Joe Ruttman, Hornaday and Johnny Benson. Six drivers did not finish the race: Rick Carelli (engine), Walker Evans (valve), Troy Beebe (suspension), Butch Gilliland (engine), Clark and Borneman (crashes).[10]

Results[edit]

Race results[edit]

Pos Grid No. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Led Points
1 16 3 Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 80 30 180
2 3 5 Terry Labonte Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 80 24 170
3 2 52 Ken Schrader Ken Schrader Racing Chevrolet 80 0 165
4 5 30 Joe Bessey Grier Lackey Motorsports Dodge 80 0 160
5 9 7 Geoff Bodine Geoff Bodine Racing Ford 80 0 155
6 15 31 Jack Sprague Griffin Racing Chevrolet 80 0 150
7 17 98 Butch Miller Liberty Racing Ford 80 0 146
8 7 84 Joe Ruttman Irvan-Simo Racing Ford 80 0 142
9 1 16 Ron Hornaday Jr. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet 80 26 138
10 4 18 Johnny Benson Jr. Roehrig Motorsports Chevrolet 80 0 134
11 10 24 Scott Lagasse Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 80 0 130
12 13 75 Bill Sedgwick Spears Motorsports Chevrolet 80 0 127
13 32 89 John Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet 80 0 124
14 11 08 Mike Bliss Ultra Motorsports Ford 80 0 121
15 20 37 Bob Strait Strait Racing Ford 80 0 118
16 14 1 P. J. Jones Vestar Motorsports Chevrolet 80 0 115
17 12 38 Sammy Swindell Akins-Sutton Motorsports Ford 80 0 112
18 21 03 Tommy Archer Archer Racing Ford 80 0 109
19 22 51 Kerry Teague Rosenblum Racing Chevrolet 80 0 106
20 18 74 Gary Collins Collins Motorsports Chevrolet 79 0 103
21 6 25 Roger Mears Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 79 0 100
22 23 29 Bob Keselowski K-Automotive Motorsports Dodge 79 0 97
23 27 88 Jerry Churchill Churchill Motorsports Ford 79 0 94
24 8 6 Rick Carelli Chesrown Racing Chevrolet 78 0 91
25 19 21 Tobey Butler Venable Racing Ford 78 0 88
26 30 11 Mike Hurlbert RPM Racing Ford 76 0 85
27 25 81 Jerry Glanville Glanville Motorsports Ford 76 0 82
28 26 54 Steve McEachern McEachern Motorsports Chevrolet 74 0 79
29 28 20 Walker Evans Walker Evans Racing Dodge 51 0 76
30 24 10 Troy Beebe Decuir Racing Chevrolet 31 0 73
31 31 06 Butch Gilliland Ultra Motorsports Ford 30 0 70
32 29 23 T. J. Clark Clark Racing Ford 22 0 67
33 33 8 John Borneman Borneman Motorsports Chevrolet 22 0 64
Source:[10]

Standings after the race[edit]

With the win, Mike Skinner (pictured in 2011) was the points leader.
Pos Driver Points
1 Mike Skinner 180
2 Terry Labonte 170 (−10)
3 Ken Schrader 165 (−15)
4 Joe Bessey 160 (−20)
5 Geoff Bodine 155 (−25)
6 Jack Sprague 150 (−30)
7 Butch Miller 146 (−34)
8 Joe Ruttman 142 (−38)
9 Ron Hornaday Jr. 138 (−42)
10 Johnny Benson Jr. 134 (−46)
Source:[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History and Timeline". Phoenix International Raceway. Archived from the original on 2015-10-22. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  2. ^ "About PIR". Phoenix International Raceway. Archived from the original on 2015-01-12. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  3. ^ Rockne, Dick (May 8, 1995). "Trucks Pick Up Fans, Sponsors". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  4. ^ Huntting, Lynn (February 25, 2005). "Press Snoop: NASCAR Truck Series facts". Road & Track. Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  5. ^ Stephens, Tim (October 9, 1994). "Strait, NASCAR join truckers". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  6. ^ "The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois · Page 59". The Pantagraph. February 4, 1995. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  7. ^ a b McFadin, Daniel (September 26, 2015). "Real Rivals: Ron Hornaday, Jack Sprague and the Truck series of old". NBC Sports. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  8. ^ Norman, Brad (March 12, 2015). "#TBT: FIRST-EVER TRUCK SERIES RACE". NASCAR. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Hornaday claims top Truck spot". TimesDaily. February 4, 1995. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e "1995 Skoal Bandit Copper World Classic". Racing-Reference. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  11. ^ Zeller, Bob (February 5, 1995). "NASCAR GETS TRUCKIN'". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  12. ^ "Remember When: Mike Skinner and the Truck Series Arrives". Popular Speed. July 30, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  13. ^ "NASCAR SuperTruck Series by Craftsman standings for 1995". Racing-Reference. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  14. ^ Pennell, Jay (September 25, 2015). "History lesson: Camping World Truck Series to hit milestone". Foxsports.com. Retrieved October 26, 2015.