Kyle Busch Barrels to NCWTS UNOH 225 Victory in the Bourbon State
SPARTA, Ky. - Kyle Busch continued his domination of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Thursday.
The Sprint Cup Series regular started from the pole in the No. 51 Toyota and withstood a late challenge from within his own team to win the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway and keep alive the possibility of a three-race sweep this weekend.
The victory is his fifth in as many Camping World Truck starts this season, second in a truck race at Kentucky and 40th career in the series.
"Tonight was great. It's just a great opportunity to drive good stuff. I'm really proud that my name's on the door," Busch said. "Mostly proud of (crew chief) Eric Phillips and all the guys, everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports, for all the hard work and dedication they've done to build really good trucks."
Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Darrell Wallace Jr. challenged his boss on a restart with eight laps remaining, diving to the inside, but couldn't pull off the pass.
He finished 1.844 seconds back in second place in the No. 54 Toyota.
"It's so tough to beat him. No one has this year," said Wallace, who started second. "We led some laps in the beginning but we couldn't get a true feel for (the truck). We adjusted on it and it was hit or miss….My crew chief reminded me that on cool tires in practice that's when we ran our fastest laps. We had to really get after him on the restart. Tried to make the most of it but you're racing against a Cup star and he knew what to do there. He got me a little loose there on the bottom, so I fell back to second and tried to hold off the rest of the guys."
Busch’s truck failed post-race inspection for measuring too low in the front end, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. Any penalties would likely be handed down next week.
Ryan Blaney finished third in the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford followed by Timothy Peters in the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota and Brad Keselowski in the No. 19 Ford.
"It was a very productive night for us," said Blaney, who started 10th. "We didn’t start great. We fell back a few spots in the beginning and had to work our way back up to the front."
Keselowski was running second behind Busch when both drivers made pit stops under caution on Lap 100.
Keselowski’s crew changed right-side tires and added fuel, but he accelerated out of his pit box with an adjustment wrench sticking up from the rear deck lid. Forced to return to pit road to remove the wrench, Keselowski’s crew changed right-side tires and sent him on his way.
Busch was in the lead and Keselowski was 13th on the restart.
A caution on Lap 139 - the sixth of the race - only delayed Busch’s latest trip to victory lane. He led the final 55 laps (91 total) and has won six consecutive Camping World Truck races counting last season’s season finale.
Toyota is on a streak of its own in the series, winning the past 10 races. It’s the longest win streak in the truck series by any manufacturer.
Points leader Johnny Sauter finished ninth in the No. 98 ThorSport Racing Toyota and leaves Kentucky Speedway with an eight-point lead over teammate Matt Crafton, who finished sixth in the No. 88 Toyota.
Busch is one of three drivers running all three races that make up the Quaker State 400 race weekend. The others entered in the Camping World, Nationwide and Sprint Cup races are Keselowski and Joe Nemechek.
Busch is the only driver in NASCAR history to sweep three NASCAR national series races on the same weekend and his track record suggests he is more than capable of doing it at Kentucky Speedway.
Thursday’s victory gives him five for his career at the 1.5-mile track. He’s won in four different divisions - ARCA Racing Series, Camping World Truck, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup - and has led 36.5 percent of the 2,823 laps he’s completed in 15 races.
Busch thinks he can pull off the three-race sweep this weekend.
"My Nationwide car wasn’t great (Wednesday), but then we made wholesale changes to it and got it a lot better for practice tonight before the truck race," Busch said. "The chances are there. I hope it comes through."
- Kentucky Speedway -