NASCAR

Bodine wins rain-shortened Trucks race at Dover

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DOVER, Del. (AP)

Todd Bodine thinks he would have beat Kevin Harvick to the finish line.

He was glad he didn't have to find out.

Bodine took advantage of being in the lead when the rain came, winning the shortened Trucks Series race at Dover International Speedway on Friday.

He celebrated in a makeshift Victory Lane after the race was called with 147 of 200 laps completed on the 1-mile track.

Harvick had the dominant truck and led most of the race until the first rain delay. Bodine took the lead shortly after racing resumed and posted his third straight top-five finish.

Parker Kligerman was second and Harvick was third.

Rain prevented what might have been a fun showdown down the stretch between two of the best drivers in the circuit.

''From what I saw in the mirror, I don't know if he could have done it,'' Bodine said. ''Parker and myself both would have had to make mistakes and get out of the groove. It would have been interesting to see.''

Kligerman was thankful for the rain because a damaged front end meant his truck might not have lasted much longer.

''We were really bottoming the truck out and the splitter was taking a beating,'' he said. ''That's why we couldn't get by Todd. I'd get a good restart and I just couldn't hold it up on the high side of the track without feeling like I was going to stuff it into the wall.''

Bodine survived a spin because of a tire issue midway through the race that briefly threatened his first win since 2010.

He rallied and was all smiles once the skies opened up.

''Heck yeah, I'm going to claim it,'' he said. ''You don't like to win them this way, but we lost them this way, so I'll take one.''

Nelson Piquet Jr. and Cale Gale rounded out the top five. Points leader Justin Lofton, who led 22 laps, was 10th.

Harvick was aiming for his first win at Dover in any series when rain forced a red flag with 80 laps left in the race.

He refused to consider himself the winner as he sat in his truck waiting to return to racing.

''I don't think the track ever got wet,'' Harvick said. ''It was dry the whole first time.''

Out they went and, soon after, Harvick lost the lead and the race.

''It's just one of those deals,'' he said.

The race was affected by more than rain, with nine cautions called that made for a very spotty and slow day of racing.

Waiting out the rain was easy for Bodine. He waited 19 years to win again at Dover. Bodine won races in the Nationwide Series in 1991 and twice in 1993. He had never finished better than third in a Trucks race at the Monster Mile.

''We didn't have the best truck. We had a very good truck,'' he said. ''Track position is everything.''

Tagged: Kevin Harvick, Todd Bodine, Parker Kligerman

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