CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Busch rolled to an easy victory in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, dominating the competition en route to his fourth consecutive win as many series starts dating back to last year’s season finale.
Reigning series champion Matt Crafton finished second ahead of third-place Brad Keselowski as John Wes Townley and Timothy Peters completed the top five in a crash-marred N.C. Education Lottery 200 slowed by nine cautions, including one that froze the field as Busch took the white flag.
Starting from the pole, Busch led 130 of 134 laps in his No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota — losing the lead only briefly during a pit sequence — to capture his third truck win in as many series starts this season.
Busch, who skipped the season’s second truck race at Martinsville, has won the series’ last two events with reigning series champion Crafton coming home second on both occasions.
"It was a fun race for us," Busch said. "We had a dominant piece and we were just really, really strong especially on the long run. It seems like other guys would fall off and I’d beat them a little bit here or there, but it seemed like in traffic I didn’t lose as much in traffic as much as other guys."
Crafton admitted some frustration with finishing second to Busch a second consecutive week after doing the same last weekend at Kansas Speedway.
"I’m getting tired of it," said the ThorSport Racing driver, who leaves Charlotte with an 11-point lead over Peters in the standings. "You’re getting beat by one of the best in business, but it still doesn’t make it any sweeter, because I want to win these races."
Also less than thrilled was Busch’s fellow full-time Sprint Cup Series driver Keselowski, who had fresher tires than Busch in the final laps but was unable to mount a challenge.
"It would have been a great race if Kyle wasn’t here," Keselowski said.
Among the contenders to fall by the wayside because of wrecks were four-time series champion Ron Hornaday, who entered the night second in points and spent much of the race in Busch’s tire tracks, along with Brad Keselowski Racing’s Ryan Blaney, who finished with his second consecutive DNF.
Hornaday was involved in two separate incidents — the first a solo spin in Turn 4 on Lap 74, and the second a multi-vehicle wreck on Lap 115 that ended his night.
Blaney was eliminated on Lap 105 after being crowded down into the fronstretch grass by the Toyota of Townley, whose move ultimately sent Blaney sliding up the track on a hard collision course with Brian Ickler.
After walking away uninjured, Blaney minced no words about his frustration with Townley.
"I’m not really sure what he was thinking there," said the son of veteran Sprint Cup Series driver Dave Blaney. "(Stuff) happens."
Townley later made no apologies after posting a career-best fourth-place finish.
"I think he’s a little upset," Townley said of Blaney. "The thing about it is it’s racing. Unfortunately, I would have gave him the line if I knew he was there. I heard inside and unfortunately it was just too late for me to do anything about it. So I hate that."