Busch Earns 80th NASCAR Victory in NCWTS New Hampshire Event
Kyle Busch nailed down his 80th career NASCAR-sanctioned race victory while Todd Bodine maintained his Camping World Truck Series championship lead with a ninth-place finish in a 185-mile race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Busch held point eight times for a race-high 156 of 175 laps, but had to seize control on a restart with two laps remaining to take his fifth NCWTS victory, eighth top-five and ninth top-10 finish of the season. Busch guided his truck in front of Buescher's No. 31 at the entrance to the backstretch and held on for a wild ride after the No. 18's right side bounced off the backstretch wall.
The bent-but-not-broken No. 18 soldiered on following the contact and crossed the finish line 0.280 of a second in front of the No. 31. "On that last restart, I knew I needed to have a good run through (Turns) 1 and 2. If I didn't clear him (Buescher) off of (Turn) 2, then he was going to side draft me all the way down the back straightaway, get back alongside me and get me loose in (Turn) 3. "Regardless of what was going to happen, I had to clear him. I tried rubbing off of him and he was still there, just a little bit, and it turned me into the wall. It was a hard hit. It knocked my helmet crooked. I wasn't sure what I had getting into Turn 3, but the truck felt fine through 3 and 4. I was surprised it felt the way it did and we were just kind of able to mosey around for the next couple laps and bring it home," Busch said.
Buescher was denied a chance at his first career victory and a chance to move up from the 13th spot in the standings, but did come away with a series career-best finish that also represented his fifth top-five and seventh top-10 finish of the season with Turner Motorsports. "He just went to the fence," Buescher said of Busch's aggressive late-race move. "He wasn't clear at all. He drove like he had no truck on his outside. He hit my left front and ended up in the wall. He just drove us dirty and got the win and we hung in for a second-place finish."
Kevin Harvick, ThorSport Racing's Matt Crafton and Richard Childress Racing's Austin Dillon respectively completed the race top-five. Crafton moved from seventh to fifth in the championship standings with his sixth top-five and 14th top-10 finish of the season while Dillon held on to the sixth-place championship spot by registering his sixth top-five and 13th top-10 finish of the campaign.
Germain Racing driver Bodine continues to lead the championship with six races remaining on the schedule. He drove to his sixth consecutive top-10 finish as well as his 13th top-five and 16th top-10 showing of the season.
He will head to the series next race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 25 with a 257-point advantage over Aric Almirola, who took his 15th top-10 finish of the season by crossing the New Hampshire finish line eighth..
Las Vegas race coverage will begin at 9:00 p.m., on SPEED Channel, Motor Racing Network Radio and Sirius XM Channel 128.
Story by Mike Schmaltz