Kyle Busch appeared to be in a position to contend for his sixth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in as many starts this season, until he ran out of fuel while leading just past the halfway mark of the Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Busch had opened up over a four-second lead and was within a few laps of making a scheduled stop when he radioed to his crew that he was out of fuel. He coasted the ToyotaCare Tundra down pit road and after the over-the-wall crew completed a four-tire stop and got the truck refired, returned to the track one lap down in the 15th position. With the fastest race in Truck Series history proceeding caution free the rest of the way, Busch was only able to battle his way back to a fifth-place finish.
"We showed during the first half of the race that KBM had the two fastest trucks out there today, unfortunately both us and the 54 ran out of gas and neither Darrell (Wallace Jr.) or myself were able to finish what we started -- can't seem to catch a break at this track," said Busch, who led 14 laps. "Proud of everyone at KBM and ToyotaCare for the streak we had going -- wining my first five starts this year and six dating back to Homestead last year -- it's unfortunate that it had to end, but we'll look to get another streak started next week at Bristol."
Busch, who was making his 500th career NASCAR National Series start in a Toyota, rolled off pit road from the 11th position. After getting run up the track into the rubbish on lap two and gently brushing the wall, the ToyotaCare Tundra fell back to the 16th spot on lap three. From there, he regrouped and began to march forward. By the time the lone caution of the race occurred on lap 10, he was running in the ninth spot. Crew chief Eric Phillips summoned his driver to pit road to replenish the fuel load and make a chassis adjustment, then returned his driver to the track scored in the fifth position.
On lap 25, 'Rowdy' had maneuvered up to the second spot, where he tucked in behind his teammate Darrell Wallace Jr. Wallace Jr., who didn't pit under the first caution, made a scheduled stop on lap 38 and surrendered the lead to his boss. When the third-place truck also pitted, Busch found himself with over a six-second lead and began to conserve fuel. Despite registering slower lap times to save fuel, KBM's owner-driver still had over a four-second lead as the race approached halfway.
A few laps before the team was going to make their final stop, Busch came over the radio alerting them that he had ran out of fuel. The over-the-wall crew administered a four-tire and fuel stop and attempted to get the truck refired. After some extra time in the pit stall, the ToyotaCare Tundra came to life and returned to the track one lap down in the 15th spot.
With many teams on varying pit strategies, Busch was able to get his lap back quickly and worked his way back inside the top 10 with 25 laps remaining. The ToyotaCare Tundra made one more visit to pit road with 13 laps remaining for two right-side tires and fuel and returned to the track scored in the seventh position. 'Rowdy' picked up two more positions in the closing laps and collected the No. 51 team's seventh top-five finish in 12 starts this season.
Johnny Sauter picked up his first win of 2014 and the 10th of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career. Matt Crafton crossed the stripe .433 seconds behind him in the runner-up position. Ron Hornaday Jr., Tayler Malsam, and Busch rounded out the top-five finishers.
Wallace Jr. led three times for a race-high 48 laps, but also ran out of fuel with 25 laps remaining and ended the day with an 11th-place finish.
The 12th race of the 2014 season featured one caution for a total of six laps. There were 10 lead changes among five drivers. The No. 51 remained second in the Owner's point standings and are currently two points behind the No. 98 team.
Kyle Busch will be back behind the wheel of the No. 51 Dollar General Tundra when the Truck Series resumes action at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Wednesday, Aug. 20. Live coverage of the UNOH 200 on Fox Sports 1 begins with the Truck Series Setup Show at 8 p.m. ET.