After a couple late race cautions, Kyle Busch holds off Daniel Hemric and Cameron Hayley in overtime to win the American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. This is Busch’s 46th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win; his fifth at Chicago.
“This has been a really good place for us at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) over the years. We’ve been really fast here. It was nice to be able to come out here and keep that speed going with this SiriusXM Tundra. I really appreciate Erik Jones being here yesterday, working it in for me a bit, all the work the guys at the shop do a great job. I can’t say enough about Toyota, TRD and JGR Engines – this engine ran really well today. Thank Camping World and of course the fans, too. It seems as though it was perfect timing as it just started spitting a little bit here. All in all good day but really important to see the 9 (William Byron) and 4 (Christopher Bell) make the Chase this year for KBM. Two opportunities there to go after a championship. Also the 13 (Cameron Hayley) right there at the end, that’s a brand new KBM truck out of our stables, so that thing was fast – it was hard to hold him off at the end, he was really quick. Good job to those guys and finding speed in our stuff,” said Kyle Busch in a post-race victory lane interview.
Hemric, who finished second to Busch, was able to lock himself into the chase on points, stated post race, “You’re trying to be smart knowing the situation you’re in, but Kyle and I were able to work good together. I just couldn’t get the air enough like I needed to get the run on him, but when I got there, I stalled out. We just have to work on that aero area on our trucks, and figure out what we need to do on that next step.”
Hayley, who needed a win to get into the chase, was unable to point his way into the chase finished third. “We did not have a winning truck at the beginning of that race. They gave me a great Tundra there at the end. That’s why he (Busch) is a Cup driver, I’m the Truck driver. I have a lot to learn from that guy. We’re not in the chase, but you couldn’t say we didn’t try.”
With a full moon on hand the American Ethanol E15 225 began shortly after 8:45PM EST. On the initial start, John Wes Townley, who qualified second, did not get up to speed and quickly fell towards the back of the field. After only four laps of competition, William Byron shot into the wall bringing out the first caution. The high lane was the preferred lane on restarts and during the race. Matt Tifft made an unscheduled pit stop under green for a loose left rear wheel. The caution clock expired on lap 46 as Suarez was leading over Ky. Busch and Townley. Cameron Hayley and Timothy Peters endured penalties on the first round of pit stops. Hayley for removing equipment from the box, and Peters for an uncontrolled tire. After hitting the wall, Peters made a couple unscheduled pit stops to try to fix the issues. At the halfway point, Busch led Sauter, Reddick, Custer, and Townley.
In the second half of the race, Tyler Reddick was on the charge to the front in order to get a win to put him in the chase in the beginning. Just before the caution clock expired for the second time of the night, the caution flag flew for Byron who hit the wall for the second time after repairing damage. Cole Custer, who needed a win to get in, was caught on pit road for being too fast on pit exit. On restarts, the high line continued to get the better start compared to the inside line. When the caution flew out for a spin by Josh Berry, teams were debating on making two and four tire stops for the remaining 40 laps of the race. The red flag was displayed after a wreck involving Ben Kennedy, Matt Crafton, Sauter, and Ben Rhodes to repair the SAFER barrier. The red flag was lifted after 14 minutes. Crafton went to the garage in an effort to save the truck from tonight for a race later on in the chase. Grant Enfinger brought out the caution shortly after the restart after contact with Gallagher and Custer. Late race spins by Ben Rhodes and Tommy Joe Martins shortened the chance for other drivers to get the much needed win to get into the chase. However, Busch prevailed to win over Hemric, Hayley, Christopher Bell, and Sauter, who rounded out the top-five.
The Chase Grid is officially set for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Byron holds the top seed going into New Hampshire with his five wins in the regular season. Crafton and John Hunter Nemechek will be seeded after Byron for scoring two wins. Sauter, Bell, and Kennedy are seeded fourth, fifth, and sixth. Hemric and Peters will fill the final two positions in the chase due to their points position. Hayley and Custer barely missed the chance to compete in the Chase, but are tied for the ninth position going into New Hampshire.
The American Ethanol E15 225 saw 10 lead changes among five different drivers. Busch led the most laps at 95 with Suarez leading 43, Gallagher leading eight, Kennedy leading four, and Tommy Joe Martins leading one lap. The caution flew 10 times for a total of 41 laps. The average speed of the race was 108.648 mph. The time of the race was 2 hours, 5 minutes, and 5 seconds. The margin of victory was 0.139 seconds.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway to kick off the Round of Eight for the UNOH 175. The race will be on September 24th at 1:00PM EST on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.