By Tom Giannini
(FORT WORTH, TX) Coming into the fifth race of the Sportsman Truck Series, we have had two winners across four events. The dominance of John Kennedy and Michael Adkins on the season so far was the major storyline going in. Both drivers had won two races in a row and were in contention every week.
This race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway started out with Kris Titus on the pole. Kris Titus has been on a qualifying hot streak after coming off a pole in the previous week’s Sam Maxwell Customs event at Rockingham. Following Titus to the line would be Dominic Lee, an up and coming driver on the ASRS circuit of series. Scott Smith qualified 3rd, Tim Knott 4th and Brett Matthews rounded out the top 5.
Kris Titus would not have the kind of day he had hoped for off the pole. He would find trouble on the backstretch and be relegated to a DNF after leading 14 laps of the event. Overall, 6 out of the 17 drivers that entered the race would lead laps. That’s an astounding number showing just how competitive the field in the Sportsman Truck Series is. The other lap leaders included Scott Smith, Jeremy Banning, Pete Baskins, point leader John Kennedy and Scott Haller. The night would not be littered with many cautions but the ones we did have were for serious incidents. One incident saw the 04 of Thomas Wagner flipping down the backstretch in a spectacular wreck.
The last green flag run saw a thrilling battle between John Kennedy, Scott Smith, Jeremy Banning and Pete Baskins. John Kennedy appeared to be coasting to the win but the field would catch up to him when he used up his tires too quickly. Scott Smith would have to defend the lead from a charging Jeremy Banning and a pesky Pete Baskins who stayed among the leaders even though the driver of the 3 had not pitted on the last sequence of stops. Scott Smith went on to win the event under caution. Jeremy Banning finished 2nd, Pete Baskins held on for 3rd, John Kennedy amazingly held onto 4th after hitting the wall 3 times on the final run and Steve Buhala finished his late race charge with a top 5.
John Kennedy still remains atop the points standings followed by Scott Smith, Kris Titus, Tim Knott and Jeremy Banning. The series gets back underway on June 18 at Phoenix for the Father’s Day 60. Make sure to tune in! These up-and-comers have been putting on thrilling shows!