Kyle Busch was forced to start from the back of the field after missing the drivers meeting and introductions at Kentucky Speedway this weekend but that didn’t stop him first taking the lead before the halfway point and being there again when the checkered flag fell after a green-white-checker finish.
The win is Busch’s 29th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from just 93 starts. That is the second highest all time wins in the truck series. It was also Busch’s 98th win across all of NASCAR’s national series, the third highest.
It is at times like this that it is worth reflecting that he is still only twenty-six years of age, has years of racing left in him yet and has probably not fully reached his peak. His sometimes abrasive personality means he is not always the fans’ favourite but there is no denying that he is proving to be a very special talent and will rewrite the history books several times over before his career is finished.
His experience and ability were there to be seen in the post-race interview when he described what the trick was that helped him win.
“On the last restart, when Jason White was on my inside, I figured if I could just get another good restart where I didn’t spin my tires, I’d be all right,” Busch said. “Those guys spun their tires every time, and it kind of worked for us. It’s hard to not be the leader in those positions and not spin your tires. I know how they feel.”
Mind you, luck ran his way as well on the night. Johnny Sauter gave Busch a great fight and led a total of twenty-four laps, most of them at two-thirds distance but his race came to an end when his rear axle broke as he pulled away from his pit stall. And Austin Dillon was catching Busch and just about lining him up for a pass when his hood (bonnet) inexplicably became unpinned and lay across the windscreen. It was ripped off fairly quickly once he got back to the pits but his lack of vision meant he endured a slow lap getting back there and he finished fourteenth, a lap down.
Behind Busch as he passed the checkered flag were Parker Kligerman, Brendan Gaughan and Todd Bodine who had been unusually anonymous all evening but reminded everybody that he was out there racing too by appearing in the top four in the last few laps.
Sauter retains the championship lead despite his mechanical gremlins on the night. His lead actually increased by three points as the man second in the table, Cole Whitt, had his evening ruined when he got ensnared in a wreck triggered by Ron Hornaday Jr. which accounted for five cars. Whitt’s eventual 26th place in the results was two shy of Sauter’s.
Dillon took Hornaday’s third place in the championship, ahead of ninth place finisher James Buescher and Kligerman.