Kyle Busch scores dominating Truck series win at Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 16: Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Hiring Our Heroes/Toyota Care Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 16:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Hiring Our Heroes/Toyota Care Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC – MAY 16: Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Hiring Our Heroes/Toyota Care Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

CONCORD, N.C.— After Friday night’s dominating performance at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch is a full-fledged, bona fide member of the “Untouchables,” at least where the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is concerned.

Leading 130 of 134 laps after starting his Toyota on the pole for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, Busch claimed his third truck series triumph in as many starts this season and his fourth consecutive dating to last year’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The victory was Busch’s 38th in the series and his sixth at Charlotte.

“It was a fun race for us,” Busch said. “We certainly had a dominant piece. We were just really, really strong, especially on the long runs. I beat ‘em a little bit here or there, but it seemed like in traffic, I didn’t lose as much as most of the other guys.”

Matt Crafton ran second, giving Busch and the defending series champion their second straight 1-2 finish after last week’s run at Kansas Speedway.

Brad Keselowski came home third, followed by John Wes Townley, who posted his career-best result. Timothy Peters ran fifth after pitting for tires under the final caution.

After the race, Keselowski summed up Busch’s dominance succinctly.

“I think Kyle is probably in a class of his own,” Keselowski said. “It would have been a great race if Kyle wasn’t here.”

Keselowski got a quick second from Crafton.

“It’s damned frustrating to finish second to him two weeks in a row,” said Crafton, who extended his series lead to 11 points over Peters.

Busch had led 100 of the first 104 laps – the only exceptions coming when Joe Nemechek stayed out under the fifth caution – when Townley knocked Ryan Blaney’s Ford into the infield grass from a three-wide logjam in the tri-oval.

Townley careened into the outside wall, collecting the Toyota of Brian Ickler, to cause the seventh caution, a yellow-flag period that gave contending trucks behind Busch the chance to pit for new tires.

Keselowski, on new tires, advanced from 10th to seventh after a restart on Lap 114, but on that same lap, Ron Hornaday Jr. spun on the backstretch across the nose of Turner Scott Motorsports teammate Ben Kennedy, collecting the trucks of Mason Mingus and Jake Crum in the process.

“I had a good run, and I thought I cleared Ben, and I didn’t,” Hornaday explained, apologizing for the contact.

Keselowski climbed to third after the final restart with 13 laps left but couldn’t catch Crafton for second. The race ended under caution when Jeb Burton spun through the tri-oval grass after Busch had taken the white flag.

Notes: The victory was the sixth straight in the series for Toyota, dating to November 2013 and matching the manufacturer’s longest NCWTS streak. … Busch has won 38 times in 118 truck series starts, a remarkable winning percentage of 32.2. … Busch scored his 29th perfect driver rating in NASCAR’s top three national series combined.

 

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.