HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Two veteran drivers took center stage Friday night.
Mark Martin scored his sixth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win of the year Friday night in the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway while Todd Bodine clinched the 2006 championship.
Martin picked-up his seventh career NCTS victory in his last start for team owner Jack Roush.
While Martin was taking the checkered flag, Bodine was clinching the first career championship in his illustrious family's racing history.
"We've been racing a lot of years - Geoff and Brett - and I have cousins racing and nephews that race, but this is the first time as a family that we've won something this important," Bodine said. "This is so special - you can't imagine what this means to me or my family. It's for everyone that helped me on my race cars ever. It paid off for you. SO thank you."
Bodine's 21st place finish made him the ninth champion in series history in a season that saw him go to victory lane three times.
It was the first series championship for the Germain Racing team and the first Craftsman Truck Series title for Toyota.
Bodine wound up winning the title by 127 points over Johnny Benson, who saw his title hopes end when he got caught up in an accident with the No. 4 truck of Chase Miller.
"I think we definitely had a shot at second place," said Benson, who was credited with a 26th place finish. "The No. 4 spun and instead of staying down on the track - he rolled up teh track. I still don't understand that, and I hit him when he came back."
Martin battled Brendan Gaughan for the lead over the final laps but was able to get his Roush Racing Ford 150 ahead for the victory.
"This is the way we would have wrote it, if we could wrote a storybook ending to it," Martin said. "We still have Sunday night to go. My car today wasn't too bad, my AAA Fusion. Tomorrow we're gonna try and get it wired in this good."
Rookie Erik Darnell finished third with Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and Jack Sprague rounding out the top five.