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Archive for Sunday, July 28, 2002

Craftsman Truck Series: Pressley edges Leffler in Michigan 200

July 28, 2002

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— Robert Pressley edged Jason Leffler by 0.102 seconds in the eighth-closest finish in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history to win the Michigan 200 on Saturday.

Pressley, driving a Dodge Ram pickup, led 74 of 100 laps and won for the second time this season. He averaged a series track-record 142.208 mph in the third-fastest race in series history.

Just two brief cautions, both for debris on the track, slowed the race.

Pressley, who started eighth in a field set by owner points when time trials were rained out, came to the front for the first time at lap 15, passing Rick Crawford's Ford F-150.

He led twice more, taking over for the final time again from Crawford on lap 170.

Leffler, also driving a Dodge, began his charge with 20 laps remaining. He trailed Pressley by half a second at lap 198 and 0.3 seconds at lap 189 but was blocked by the leader as he tried to pass between the two-mile superspeedway's third and fourth turns.

Pressley, who won the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, won $48,250.

"I knew when we needed to go, we could step it up a little bit," he said. "I was trying to hold him at bay there, but the guy is hungry, wanting to win the race, and he's been so close this year."

Leffler finished second for the fourth time without a victory.

"It's easy to say, 'Yeah, maybe one more lap and we could have taken the lead,' but it's a 100-lap race and Robert did what he had to do to stay out front for that long," Leffler said. "He might have been pacing himself a little bit."

Travis Kvapil finished third, followed by Mike Bliss, David Starr, Terry Cook, Coy Gibbs, Lance Norick, Crawford and Jon Wood.

Bliss took over the Series points lead from Ted Musgrave, whose Dodge suffered engine failure while he was in second place on the 36th lap. Bliss leads Starr by 29 points, with Musgrave another 53 behind.

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