Busch snaps streak, wins Truck race at Charlotte

Kyle Busch showed he can still be dominant in the NASCAR Truck

Series, even when facing adversity.

Busch overcame a costly penalty to snap a seven-race drought on

the Truck Series by winning Friday night at Charlotte Motor

Speedway.

Busch dominated the race early, but had to overcome a penalty

for leaving the pit stall with a gas can still in his truck, a

mistake that forced him to the back of the pack on lap 84 of 134.

However, he battled back from 19th place in the No. 51 Toyota for

his first Truck victory since Sept. 24, 2011, at Loudon, N.H.

”We sure do like to make it interesting, don’t we?” Busch

said, laughing while celebrating his 113th win in NASCAR’s top

three series.

Busch said the penalty was frustrating but the team stayed

focused and didn’t panic despite their recent string of bad

luck.

”We had to work our way back and I wasn’t sure I was going to

make it all the way back,” Busch said.

The 28-year-old Busch took the lead for good on lap 123 after a

four-car wreck brought out the race’s eighth and final caution flag

and held on for his 31st career Truck Series win and fifth in the

series at Charlotte. He has won more Truck Series races at

Charlotte than at any other race track.

Busch said he’s gone through six engines between the last two

races at Kansas and Charlotte.

”We have been having some engine issues and these guys have

been working too much overtime trying to change these motors out

left and right,” Busch said.

The win was the first for Busch’s crew chief Rudy Fugle.

”We didn’t have the truck we were hoping for yesterday during

the test session but we played with some things and Rudy made some

good calls overnight and this morning it was an entirely different

piece,” Busch said. ”Great job to these guys for giving me a

great truck.”

Brendan Gaughan finished second, and Max Gresham was third.

Series points leader Matt Crafton was fourth, followed by Ty

Dillon, James Buescher, Miguel Paludo, John Wes Townley, Ross

Chastain and 2012 winner Justin Lofton.

It was the first top-10 finish for Gresham who called the finish

”a win for our team.”

Jeb Burton started on the pole for the third time in five Truck

events but failed to win that elusive first race of the season. He

finished 13th. Burton is alone in second place in the points

standings, 22 points behind Crafton.

Three-wide racing off the restarts led to several wrecks.

Brad Keselowski lost his chance for his first Truck Series

victory when he collided with Darrell Wallace Jr. with 14 laps

remaining. He finished 14th.

Johnny Sauter’s tough luck continued after Buescher ran into the

back of his No. 98 Toyota on lap 115 and forced him into the wall

in turn four.

Sauter had been leading the standings before being docked 25

points on April 24 when NASCAR announced it found a modified fuel

cell found during inspection following the Kansas race. That

dropped him into a tie for second place in the standings despite

having two victories and four top-five finishes in four races.

In addition, NASCAR suspended Sauter’s crew chief Joe Shear for

four races.

Sauter finished 28th.

There were five cautions in the first 100 laps, including a

two-car wreck on lap 94 when Ron Hornaday Jr. had a tire go down

and began sliding up the track. Jake Crum couldn’t avoid Hornaday

and slammed hard into his rear bumper taking both drivers out of

the race.

Jennifer Jo Cobb, who had her team trailer taken from her race

shop earlier this week, had more troubles on Friday before the

race.

She was unable to get her truck started prior to qualifying and

didn’t race.

Mike Harmon, the man arrested and charged with felony larceny

for stealing her trailer, finished 24th. Harmon, who normally

drives on the Nationwide Series, has repeatedly said he was not

involved in the theft and maintains his innocence.

Cobb has said she feared racing against Harmon because he might

seek retribution on the track.