Kyle Busch comfortably won the Lucas Oil 200, the fifth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last night. His nearest competition came from rookie Cole Whitt but what has become Busch’s trademark fast restart when the green flag is waved kept him ahead of the youngster.
Busch has entered four of the five races in the series and now has four top-five finishes including two wins making him the only multiple winner in the trucks.
In the Nationwide Series Busch has won five of the nine races entered and finished in the top ten seven times. If he wins tonight’s 5-Hour ENERGY 200 race he will equal Mark Martin‘s record of 49 all time wins in this particular series. Nobody doubts he will equal and then pass that target, it is just a question of when he does it.
And as if all that achievement isn’t enough, in the Sprint Cup Series he is one of only two drivers who have had multiple wins this year, the other being his nemesis – and fellow probationer following last week’s spat between them – Kevin Harvick.
Under the new for this year point scoring rules Busch is third in the Sprint Cup Series but doesn’t figure in the tables for the trucks or Nationwide cars. If he did he would be leading both those series.
Whether getting married on New Year’s Eve has changed him or whether possibly like fabled Blues man, Robert Johnson, Busch maybe sold his soul to the Devil there is no doubt that his confidence is at an all time high and he has total self-belief at the moment.
And with that confidence comes a maturity, not always in evidence in the past, such as his determination not to get embroiled in Harvick’s confrontation last week because, as Busch said, it wouldn’t sit well with the image of his sponsor.
If there is one facet of Busch’s driving that separates him from his competitors it is his ability to leap ahead from rolling starts and restarts. Time and again he gains precious yards on those alongside him, and that is in all classes with the very best NASCAR drivers lining up against him.
In theory Busch is on schedule for another clean sweep this weekend as all three classes make a rare combined meeting but whilst nobody would bet against him winning Saturday night’s Nationwide race he is far from favourite in the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup race. That honour belongs to Jimmie Johnson who has won three of the last fourth races here at the Monster Mile. But that fourth result – the one that eluded Johnson? Busch won that.