Kentucky: Kyle Busch race report

Busch Finishes Disappointing Seventh at Kentucky Dollar General Driver Leads Race-High 73 Laps But Comes Up Short in Bluegrass State Kyle Busch's "drive for five" came to a disappointing end at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta as the driver of the No.

Busch Finishes Disappointing Seventh at Kentucky
Dollar General Driver Leads Race-High 73 Laps But Comes Up Short in Bluegrass State

Kyle Busch's "drive for five" came to a disappointing end at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta as the driver of the No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) finished seventh in Friday night's Built Ford Tough 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event.

Coming off of an historic run two weeks ago at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in which Busch became the first driver to sweep all three NASCAR touring series races in one weekend -- the Camping World Truck Series race on Wednesday night, the Nationwide Series race on Friday night and the Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night at the .533-mile oval -- the Las Vegas native backed it up with a fourth consecutive victory in last Friday's Truck Series event at Chicagoland Speedway.

Unfortunately, his attempt at a fifth consecutive NASCAR victory and his fifth Truck Series win of 2010 fell short despite Busch leading once for a race-high 73 laps.

Busch qualified fourth in the Dollar General Toyota during the afternoon qualifying session, but suffered minor damage to his truck when he drove on the apron of the racetrack when he took the checkered flag to end his second qualifying lap. The rough pavement on the apron caused Busch's truck to bounce drastically and the Toyota Tundra suffered minor damage to the splitter and crush panel on the right-front section of his truck.

While it was possible to fix the truck during the first pit stop of the race, Busch, crew chief Eric Phillips and director of competition Rick Ren opted to make repairs before the start of the race in order to assure a complete fix. However, because NASCAR impounds the trucks after qualifying, Busch would have to start the race at the back of the field as major changes are not allowed to the racing machines after qualifying, per NASCAR rules.

The decision proved to be a wise one by the KBM crew as it didn't take long for Busch to move up from his 36th starting spot. He was 22nd by the third lap and 12th by lap 19 when the first caution came out during which he pitted for fuel only and restarted the race seventh.

Busch had moved to second by lap 51 and three laps later, he drove past Ron Hornaday Jr., in turn three to take the lead for the first time.

He held the point until lap 127 of the 150 lap race, when he pitted four two tires and fuel and appeared to be in good shape to claim his fifth straight victory. Unfortunately, the six trucks that finished ahead of Busch decided to gamble that they could make it to the end of the race without making a stop and all were successful. Race winner Todd Bodine completed the final 58 laps of the race without a pit stop.

"I knew the 30 (Bodine) and the 13 (Johnny Sauter) were going to be really close," Phillips said. "We were real close when that last caution came out (on lap 92) to making it, but every race we've won this year, there has been a green-white-checkered and I didn't want to cut it that close on a big racetrack. We've have a different fuel system on these motors the last two weeks and if you run out of gas you lose 10-15 seconds trying to get it restarted. We lost a race earlier this year trying to do that when we had the best truck and I felt like we had the best truck again tonight. Our Dollar General Toyota was awesome again, the guys did a great job preparing it and if we keep doing those things, we'll win more races. We probably just made the wrong call tonight."

Busch was attempting to join Fred Lorenzen (1964), Richard Petty (1971), Bobby Allison (1971) and David Pearson (1973) as drivers who have won five consecutive NASCAR events, regardless of series.

Bodine beat Sauter to the line by 5.630 seconds to score his 21st career victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Kentucky. Aric Almirola, Jason White and Ricky Carmichael rounded out the top-five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Timothy Peters, Busch, Ryan Sieg, rookie Austin Dillon and Matt Crafton.

The race featured five caution periods for 23 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 225-mile event.

While Busch is not running the full Camping World Truck Series schedule, the No. 18 Toyota is competing for the owner's title and maintained the second position in the standings, but fell to 82 points behind the first-place No. 30 truck of Germain Racing.

After nine consecutive events, the Camping World Truck Series takes the next two weeks off before the Sept. 18 TheRaceDayRaffleSeries.com 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

-source: jgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Matt Crafton , Richard Petty , Jason White , Johnny Sauter , Ricky Carmichael , Bobby Allison , Timothy Peters , Austin Dillon , Ryan Sieg , Kyle Busch , David Pearson , Fred Lorenzen
Teams Germain Racing , Kyle Busch Motorsports