NEWTON, Iowa - Mike Skinner was headed for certain victory in the Lucas Oil 200 when he glanced at his truck's fuel pressure gauge and gasped.
It read zero.
"I yelled, 'I'm out of gas! We're out of gas,'" Skinner said of the frantic call to his pit crew. "They said, 'Well, just keep going. There's nothing we can do about it.'"
As it turned out, Skinner had enough in his Toyota's tank late Saturday to not only win the NASCAR truck series race at Iowa Speedway, but to celebrate with a burnout.
"Obviously, it wasn't out of gas," he said, smiling. "Maybe it vapor locked. Maybe my nerves let some air in."
Things got a little tense for Skinner when a yellow flag came out because of debris with seven laps to go; before that he led Aric Almirola by 7 seconds. They restarted with four laps to go and Almirola, of Tampa, on Skinner's tail. But Skinner hung on to win by 1.370 seconds.
Almirola, also in a Toyota, held on for second, his best series result and sixth consecutive top-10 finish. Colin Braun was third and points leader Ron Hornaday fourth.
NHRA: Antron Brown earned the No.1 qualifying position in Top Fuel for today's eliminations at the U.S. Nationals in Clermont, Ind., with a run of 3.835 seconds at 319.22 mph. Other class leaders were Robert Hight (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).