Kyle Busch outlasts Ryan Blaney, others to win Truck Series race
Kyle Busch outlasted Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon and the rest of the field in an exciting finish to win the Careers for Veterans 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday.
It was Busch’s 44th career victory in the series, but it was his first in the series at Michigan — another track now where Busch can say he has won in all three of NASCAR’s top three national touring series.
"It’s cool to finally get that monkey off my back here in the Truck Series, and notch another racetrack where I’ve won in all three divisions," Busch said in Victory Lane.
Ryan Blaney finished second, as Busch outdueled Blaney and Austin Dillon over the closing laps. Dillon faded to fifth by the finish, with Erik Jones finishing fourth and Johnny Sauter fifth.
Busch made the winning pass on Blaney with four laps remaining, capping an eventful day for the veteran driver who also is the all-time leader in the XFINITY Series and a full-time driver for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Earlier in the day during Cup practice, Busch lost control of his No. 18 JGR Toyota and wrecked, forcing him to start near the rear of the 43-car field for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup race.
Driving the No. 51 truck for his own company, Kyle Busch Motorsports, on Saturday, Busch led the first 26 laps before a pit-road speeding penalty sent him to the back of the pack of lead-lap trucks on Lap 27.
After being sent to the rear, Busch methodically made his way all the way back to the front and battled with Blaney, Dillon and others through the final few laps.
Blaney took the lead with six laps remaining after a restart, but two laps later Busch regained the lead for good. He has now won each of his two Truck starts this year after missing the first 12 weeks of the season recovering from injuries suffered during a crash in the season-opening XFINITY Series race at Daytona.
"I couldn’t slow down Kyle enough when he got a good run on me, and I couldn’t get anyone behind me to help me (in the draft) so I could do the same thing to him that he did to me," Blaney said. "Anyway, it was a great showing … To be in Ford’s backyard and have a shot to win, that’s pretty cool."
Tyler Reddick now leads Matt Crafton in the CWTS points standings by eight points, with Jones in third, only nine points back. Sauter sits in fourth, 53 points behind Reddick.
"First win for me, first win for KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) here," Busch said. "I can’t thank Dollar General enough, M&M’s and everybody on that (sponsorship) program. (Crew chief) Jerry Baxter and these guys at KBM, they do an awesome job. It’s really fun to race my trucks, I really enjoy it. This Camping World Truck Series is pretty fun. I love racing with those guys up there, Jones and Blaney and (Austin) Dillon, it was pretty hectic on how all that was going to shape up and play out. This Joe Gibbs Racing engine was strong there with those last restarts and our KBM chassis was awesome all day. It just drove really, really good."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.