Rowdy night: Kyle Busch dusts truck field in Kansas
MAY 09, 2014 11:22p ET
Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway was a chaotic affair, with vehicles smashing and crashing in rapid succession.
Kyle Busch avoided the mass carnage -- a fairly easy feat, considering it all happened well behind him.
Busch, who started from the pole, withstood challenges from fellow Sprint Cup Series regular Joey Logano, promising youngster Ryan Blaney and 2011 Truck Series champion Austin Dillon en route to his first win in three truck starts at the 1.5-mile Kansas track.
Busch, who is running his traditional part-time Truck Series schedule for his Kyle Busch Motorsports organization, picked up his second win in as many truck appearances this season, having captured the season opener at Daytona and skipped the truck race at Martinsville.
The victory was Busch's 37th in the series and second of any kind at Kansas, where he has never won a Sprint Cup Series race but claimed a lone Nationwide Series triumph in 2007.
"Kansas?" Busch, mimicking disbelief, said after emerging from his race-winning Toyota. "I'm a winner at Kansas. Anyways."
Busch led eight times for a race-high 104 of 167 laps, taking the lead for the final time with a pass on Dillon with 22 laps remaining.
Dillon moved from fifth to first by taking two tires under the race's ninth and final caution, and held the point for 18 laps before surrendering the top spot to Busch, who took on four fresh tires on the last pit stop.
"My truck was really good on the long runs," said Busch, who lined up second to Dillon on the final restart with 35 laps left. "I was good on the short runs, too -- if I could just get away and go. But, everybody was all over me all the time side-drafting and everything, making it real difficult for me to get away.
"There at the end on the long run, it really came in here with this truck and took off."
Crafton, last year's Kansas winner, moved into the points lead with his runner-up finish.
"We took the points lead here last year," said Crafton, who holds an eight-point buffer on Timothy Peters and Ron Hornaday. "Hopefully, we can keep doing the same thing we did last year."
While Busch, Crafton and the other top finishers enjoyed a relatively tranquil night, it was not a fun ride for many drivers -- including the two drivers tied for second in the standings.
Trouble erupted on the race's very first lap when Hornaday, a four-time series champion, was nudged from behind by Brennan Newberry, and slid across the front of Peters' truck -- contact that sent Hornaday spinning and collected the trucks of Peters, German Quiroga and Spencer Gallagher.
The next major incident occurred on Lap 56 when Hornaday and Turner Scott Motorsports teammate Ben Kennedy tangled, bringing out a caution also triggered by the spinning truck of John Wes Townley.
The biggest crash of the night occurred on Lap 85 when Blaney, battling for the lead with Logano -- his Brad Keselowski Racing teammate -- ran down on the apron and spun before being T-boned by the truck of Tyler Young, who first crashed with Johnny Sauter.
A total of 46 laps were spent under caution, with the final yellow flag coming with 42 laps remaining for a Bryan Silas spin that set up the final pit stops and, ultimately, Busch's commanding victory which made crew chief Eric Phillips the series' all-time wins leader among his peers, with 29 victories.
"Congratulations to Eric," Busch said. "Most wins all-time as a crew chief in the Camping World Truck Series -- that's pretty cool."