NASCAR Truck Series

Kyle Busch wins first Sonoma Truck race since 1998

3 Mins read
Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Only thirty-nine drivers have won a race in each of NASCAR’s three national series (Cup, Xfinity, Camping World Trucks). Only Kyle Busch can say he did it on road courses too.

Busch has four road course victories apiece in the Cup and Xfinity Series, but the scarcity of such tracks in the Trucks for much of his career meant the trifecta eluded him until Saturday. Sonoma Raceway, hosting a Truck race for the first time since 1998, welcomed Busch to Truck Victory Lane as he led forty-five of seventy-five laps including the final eleven and through a late red flag to win.

“You look back at the history of the sport and the Truck Series growing up in California, these were their parts,” Busch recalled as he discussed the value of the Trucks returning to Sonoma. “It basically started in Bakersfield and Sonoma on a yearly basis there, so now that its back, it was good to come out and knock the rust off a little bit with the road racing and stuff. I didn’t want to run sim this week, so I thought the road course would knock that off. […] Being a part of Kyle Busch Motorsports, and us being in the sport this long, it means a lot to get more diverse tracks on the schedule and get some wins at those places.”

Busch and Ross Chastain, Cup drivers using the race to prepare for their main series’ event on Sunday, dominated by combining to lead all but eleven laps. The exceptions came when Ty Majeski inherited the lead late in Stage #1 as the leaders pitted, leading to his first career stage win, Grant Enfinger during the ensuing caution, and Ben Rhodes following the same strategy as his ThorSport Racing team-mate Majeski.

Rhodes also led three laps under caution following Matt DiBenedetto and Stewart Friesen‘s accident. The largest incident of the day came when Friesen clipped Josh Bilicki as they entered the left-hand turn one, causing Bilicki to slam into the barrier and collect Alex Bowman. The accident resulted in a thirteen-minute red flag for cleanup before the race resumed with a two-lap sprint. Busch held off Zane Smith, who won the first road race of the season at COTA after capitalising on last-lap contact that eliminated Busch from the win, over those two circuits.

The victory also came in Busch’s fifth and final permitted Truck start as a Cup driver, enabling him to continue his streak of winning at least one Truck race annually since 2013. He continued, “I look back on the missed year of 2011 or 2012, where I didn’t get a win. I think we finished second like six times that year or something stupid. That was frustrating. That’s more bitter than this one not winning, but it’s good to be able to score a win. We were in position a few times this year. We had a couple really, really fast race trucks. Vegas comes to mind, COTA comes to mind, so we didn’t miss by very much, just circumstances, but proud to get one today. Everything kind of went our way, and we had a fast truck.”

While Busch and Chastain dominated the event, they were not the only Cup drivers using the race for extra track time. Harrison Burton placed twelfth for David Gilliland Racing ahead of Austin Dillon finished seventeenth in the #20 for Young’s Motorsports. Bowman and Bilicki’s wreck respectively relegated them to twenty-ninth and thirtieth. Daniel Suárez scored a sixth-place finish in relief of pole winner Carson Hocevar, who started at the rear (for wrecking his truck moments after setting the fastest qualifying time) before stepping aside as he is nursing a broken right tibia.

Race results

1351Kyle Busch*Kyle Busch MotorsportsToyota75Running
21338Zane SmithFront Row MotorsportsFord75Running
3466Ty MajeskiThorSport RacingToyota75Running
4241Ross Chastain*Niece MotorsportsChevrolet75Running
51418Chandler SmithKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota75Running
6142Carson Hocevar/Daniel SuárezNiece MotorsportsChevrolet75Running
71175Parker KligermanHenderson MotorsportsChevrolet75Running
874John Hunter NemechekKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota75Running
9516Tyler AnkrumHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota75Running
101225Matt DiBenedettoRackley WARChevrolet75Running
11823Grant EnfingerGMS RacingChevrolet75Running
122317Harrison Burton*David Gilliland RacingFord75Running
132715Tanner GrayDavid Gilliland RacingFord75Running
142002Kaz GralaYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet75Running
152561Chase PurdyHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota75Running
162824Jack WoodGMS RacingChevrolet75Running
171620Austin Dillon*Young’s MotorsportsChevrolet75Running
181799Ben RhodesThorSport RacingToyota75Running
192291Colby HowardMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet75Running
203162Todd BodineHalmar Friesen RacingToyota75Running
21299Blaine PerkinsCR7 MotorsportsChevrolet75Running
223243Brad PérezReaume Brothers RacingToyota75Running
233612Spencer BoydYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet75Running
243340Dean ThompsonNiece MotorsportsChevrolet75Running
251945Lawless AlanNiece MotorsportsChevrolet75Running
263044Kris WrightNiece MotorsportsChevrolet75Running
271519Derek KrausMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet74Running
282156Timmy HillHill MotorsportsToyota73Running
2967Alex Bowman*Spire MotorsportsChevrolet71Accident
302630Josh Bilicki*On Point MotorsportsToyota70Accident
311052Stewart FriesenHalmar Friesen RacingToyota70Accident
3291Hailie DeeganDavid Gilliland RacingFord66Accident
333433Jade Buford*Reaume Brothers RacingToyota61Transmission
342488Matt CraftonThorSport RacingToyota54Transmission
351898Christian EckesThorSport RacingToyota26Accident
363546Stefan Parsons*G2G RacingToyota9Oil Cooler
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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About author
Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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