Busch Makes it Perfect Five-for-Five and Six in a Row
Kyle Busch started from the pole in Thursday night's UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and put his Dollar General Tundra out front for a race-high 91 laps en route to his fifth win in as many NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts this season. The victory was Busch's sixth consecutive in the Truck Series, dating back to the 2013 season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. The streak bested his personal mark of five straight, which he had accomplished twice over his career.
"It was a great night -- I can't say enough about everyone here at Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) and everyone at Dollar General, Toyota, TRD, JGR engines, M&M's, Monster Energy, ButlerBuilt Seats and all the other people that make it happen for us," said Busch, who recorded his second Truck Series win in five career starts at Kentucky. "It's pretty cool to win nine of the last 12 races at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) and having Erik (Jones) and Bubba (Darrell Wallace Jr.) running really, really well. Proud to see the first KBM one-two finish -- that's really cool for me too as an owner and for Samantha (Busch, wife)."
Despite having to make a pass on Matt Crafton during the third and final round of knockout qualifying, Busch posted the fastest lap, 30.702 seconds at 175.884 mph, of the 12 drivers who advanced to the round to capture his third pole of the season. The Dollar General Racing driver advanced to the final round by posting the fastest time in round one (30.779 seconds at 175.444 mph) and the third fastest time in round two (30.731 seconds at 175.718 mph).
Once the green flag dropped, Busch led the first lap before surrendering the lead to teammate Darrell Wallace Jr. on lap two. KBM's owner-driver would remain on the heels of his young driver until lap 36, when he regained the lead. The Dollar General Tundra went on to open up a lead of just over three seconds when it came down pit road under green flag conditions for the first pit stop of the night. Once on pit road, the over-the-wall crew administered a four-tire and fuel stop and returned their driver to the track.
After pit stops cycled through, Busch had an eight-second lead on the field. A debris caution on lap 60 slowed the field for the third time of the race. When the field went back green, the No. 51 Tundra quickly opened up a one-and-a-half second lead, until the field was slowed again for a one-truck accident on lap 77.
Crew chief Eric Phillips summoned Busch to pit road for a four-tire and fuel stop. With several teams on varying pit strategies, the Dollar General Tundra was scored in the eighth spot for the lap-82 restart. The talented wheelman advanced four spots in one lap once the field went back green and then methodically worked his way back into the top spot on lap 96. Another one-truck accident slowed the field for the fifth time on lap 99.
This time around, Phillips elected for just a full tank of fuel with a minor chassis adjustment and returned his driver back to the track at the front of the field for the ensuing restart. Busch quickly opened up a three-second lead over Ryan Blaney as the150-lap race moved into the closing laps. The field would be given one more chance to take the win from the No. 51 team when a debris caution occurred with just 10 laps remaining.
On the ensuing restart, Busch held off a strong challenge from his teammate, Darrell Wallace Jr., when as the two raced side-by-side through Turns 1 and 2 and down the backstretch. The Dollar General Tundra was back out front as the field exited Turn 4. As the race proceeded caution free, KBM's owner-driver crossed the stripe first, with his young driver coming across second to earn the team its first one-two finish since entering Truck Series competition in 2010. The one-two start was also the first in company history.
The win was Busch's 40th in his Truck Series career and his 135th career victory across NASCAR's top three divisions. Wallace Jr. crossed the stripe 1.844 seconds behind his boss to pick up his third top-three finish across eight starts this season. Blaney, Timothy Peters and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five finishers.
The win was Toyota's 10th straight dating back to Erik Jones' win at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway last November, the longest win streak by any manufacturer in the history of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. For KBM, it marked the team's ninth win across the last 12 Truck Series races, dating back to Wallace Jr.'s historic win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway last October.
The eighth race of the 2014 season featured six cautions for a total of 23 laps. There were seven lead changes among four drivers. With Wallace Jr.'s 34 laps led, KBM drivers combined to lead 125 of the 150 laps. The No. 51 team maintained the lead in the Owner's point standings with its fifth victory of the season and currently sits 32 points ahead of the No. 88 team.
Erik Jones returns to the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra when the Truck Series resumes action at Iowa Speedway in Newton Friday, July 11. Live coverage of the American Ethanol 200 on Fox Sports 1 begins with the Truck Series Setup Show at 8:30 p.m. ET.
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