By David Reininger - Motorsport.com Fontana, Calif. (October 28, 2000) - Kurt Busch won the Motorola 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the California Speedway this afternoon, taking the victory by .7 seconds over second place finisher...
By David Reininger - Motorsport.com
Fontana, Calif. (October 28, 2000) - Kurt Busch won the Motorola 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the California Speedway this afternoon, taking the victory by .7 seconds over second place finisher Andy Houston. Busch, a rookie in the truck series, led the last 18 laps after his Roush Racing pit crew put the Exide Batteries truck in the lead after the last round of pit stops.
The third caution period of the day occurred on lap 81, setting up a 16 lap dash to the checkered flag. After ten laps of green flag racing, Busch opened his lead to nearly two seconds while Andy Houston and Joe Ruttman battled for second place.
Just after taking the white flag, Busch bobbled halfway through turns one and two, nearly losing control of his truck.
"I saw him go into the corner on the last lap in the middle of turns one and two, he jumped completely crossways. I thought he had wrecked," said Houston. "I guess he didn't have to lift too much, cause if he had, we would have been there. For a second, I thought maybe he was going to give it to us."
"I was hoping he'd had a flat tire and do the same thing in turn three. But he went to turn three and he looked all right."
"Obviously, there was some slick stuff out there," said Busch. "I came down into turn one with a little cushion and the next thing I knew I brought up the throttle and I was spinning sideways. I don't know what happened out there, maybe somebody laid down some oil." Joe Ruttman, who celebrated his 56th birthday today, finished third in the Dana Corporation Dodge. "The Dodge ran a great race and I have to thank Dana for sticking by us all season. I don't know what happened, the truck turned tight there at the end because I thought that I could give the No. 99 (Busch) truck a run for his money."
Busch's win sealed a one-two finish in the championship for Roush Racing, with Greg Biffle earning Roush Racing's first ever NASCAR championship. Second in the championship, Busch also earned Rookie of the Year honors.
"It's really been a great season," said Biffle, who finished fifth after nearly going a lap down. "I think we were looking for more than a top five finish today, but we'll take it. We have really had a tough time in the pits lately. I think that we have probably lost the last three races due to just bad racing luck in the pits. It hasn't been anyone's fault, just bad racing luck."
Jack Sprague made a late race charge to finish fourth in the GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet. "A top five is not bad. That is what we needed," said Sprague, who recently announced Net Zero as his new sponsor for 2001. "We just did not come out on top. The guys did a great job all year. The first half was really awesome, but it was a tough second half of the season. We should have won the last few races, but just like today, there just was not enough time. We needed a few more laps."