Kyle Busch Shows His Driver Who’s Boss by Winning at Sonoma

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 11: Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 yahoo! Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series DoorDash 250 at Sonoma Raceway on June 11, 2022 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch dominated the DoorDash 250 at Sonoma Raceway, leading 45 of the 75 laps Saturday, but in the end he still had to defend the lead from his own driver. Chandler Smith looked strong as late-race incidents bunched the field up for several restarts, and showed he wasn’t afraid to race his boss hard. But it was another Smith, of no relation, who got ahead and challenged Kyle late, even if Zane Smith had to settle for second.

Busch scored his only win of the year in his fifth start, the most active Cup drivers are allowed to run in a lower-tier series. He said scoring a win “means a lot.” He explained: “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.”

He said it meant a lot to win at Sonoma especially. “You look back at the history of the sport and the Truck Series growing up in California, these were their parts,” he said. “So now that it’s back, it was good to come out and knock the rust off a little bit with the road racing and stuff. 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.”

Plus, it was good practice for the Cup Series race: “I didn’t want to run sim this week, so I thought the road course would knock that off,” he added.

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 11: Ross Chastain, driver of the #41 Worldwide Express Chevrolet, Ty Majeski, driver of the #66 Cincinnati Toyota, Alex Bowman, driver of the #7 Chevrolet, and Parker Kligerman, driver of the #75 Food Country USA Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series DoorDash 250 at Sonoma Raceway on June 11, 2022 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Runner-up Zane Smith got out of his truck with a smile, acknowledging the fast pace of Busch’s truck. “Man, I hate finishing second, especially to him,” he said. “That last lap was the fastest lap of the race for me. I just wish I was a little closer so I would have had a shot at him.”

Ty Majeski finished third, and spoke about the training that made him more confident: “Toyota gives us a lot of great tools to shorten that learning curve and I’ve always used I’m a huge advocate of their software and I use that a bunch,” he said. “We have a SimCraft simulator at the shop. Just ran hard with the laps on there to shorten that learning curve.”

Cup Series driver Ross Chastain finished fourth, unable to score the result his performance showed all day. He challenged Busch through most of the race. Daniel Suarez ended up subbing in for Carson Hocevar, who is still recovering from a broken leg, and ultimately finished sixth after going two laps down for the driver swap. Alex Bowman, who also ran well, was eliminated in a late wreck.

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 11: Hailie Deegan, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Ford, spins into the grass after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series DoorDash 250 at Sonoma Raceway on June 11, 2022 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

“It was busy man, very busy,” said Suarez. “I was hoping for long runs so I could make up some ground, but I think we did a very good job and very thankful we were able to get some stage points and finish in the top-six. That was a pretty decent day. I wish we could have won, the truck was capable of winning the race.”

The Truck Series returns for dirt track racing at Knoxville Speedway next Saturday night.

Photos: NASCAR at Sonoma Raceway Saturday June 11, 2022

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – Inaugural DoorDash 250
Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma, California
Saturday, June 11, 2022

1. (3) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 75.
2. (13) Zane Smith, Ford, 75.
3. (4) Ty Majeski, Toyota, 75.
4. (2) Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 75.
5. (14) Chandler Smith, Toyota, 75.
6. (1) Carson Hocevar, Chevrolet, 75.
7. (11) Parker Kligerman, Chevrolet, 75.
8. (7) John Hunter Nemechek, Toyota, 75.
9. (5) Tyler Ankrum, Toyota, 75.
10. (12) Matt DiBenedetto, Chevrolet, 75.
11. (8) Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, 75.
12. (23) Harrison Burton(i), Ford, 75.
13. (27) Tanner Gray, Ford, 75.
14. (20) Kaz Grala, Chevrolet, 75.
15. (25) Chase Purdy, Toyota, 75.
16. (28) Jack Wood #, Chevrolet, 75.
17. (16) Austin Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 75.
18. (17) Ben Rhodes, Toyota, 75.
19. (22) Colby Howard, Chevrolet, 75.
20. (31) Todd Bodine, Toyota, 75.
21. (29) Blaine Perkins #, Chevrolet, 75.
22. (32) Brad Perez, Toyota, 75.
23. (36) Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 75.
24. (33) Dean Thompson #, Chevrolet, 75.
25. (19) Lawless Alan #, Chevrolet, 75.
26. (30) Kris Wright, Chevrolet, 75.
27. (15) Derek Kraus, Chevrolet, 74.
28. (21) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 73.
29. (6) Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 71.
30. (26) Josh Bilicki(i), Toyota, Accident, 70.
31. (10) Stewart Friesen, Toyota, Accident, 70.
32. (9) Hailie Deegan, Ford, Accident, 66.
33. (34) Jade Buford(i), Toyota, Transmission, 61.
34. (24) Matt Crafton, Toyota, Transmission, 54.
35. (18) Christian Eckes, Toyota, Accident, 26.
36. (35) Stefan Parsons(i), Toyota, Oil Cooler, 9.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 68.612 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 10 Mins, 31 Secs. Margin of Victory: 1.176 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 6 for 17 laps.
Lead Changes: 10 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: C. Hocevar 0;R. Chastain(i) 1-16;K. Busch(i) 17;T. Majeski 18-21;G. Enfinger 22;R. Chastain(i) 23-25;K. Busch(i) 26-43;B. Rhodes 44-46;K. Busch(i) 47-61;B. Rhodes 62-64;K. Busch(i) 65-75.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Kyle Busch(i) 4 times for 45 laps; Ross Chastain(i) 2 times for 19 laps; Ben Rhodes 2 times for 6 laps; Ty Majeski 1 time for 4 laps; Grant Enfinger 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 66,16,4,23,75,25,19,38,20,1
Stage #2 Top Ten: 99,18,61,02,42,20,56,40,1,62

Owen Johnson