Kyle Busch Motorsports Enjoys Solid Outing at Atlanta Busch Finishes Second, Malsam 13th; Both Drivers in Top-10 in Points Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) enjoyed a solid outing with driver/owner Kyle Busch finishing second and his teammate Tayler...
Kyle Busch Motorsports Enjoys Solid Outing at Atlanta
Busch Finishes Second, Malsam 13th; Both Drivers in Top-10 in Points
Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) enjoyed a solid outing with driver/owner Kyle Busch finishing second and his teammate Tayler Malsam coming home 13th in Saturday's E-Z-GO 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The race was the second event ever for KBM, which fields the No. 18 Toyota Tundra for Busch and the No. 56 Toyota Tundra for Malsam.
Busch led three times for 15 laps, but couldn't catch winner Kevin Harvick in the closing laps of the 200-mile race.
"That was about all that we had," said Busch, who has four Camping World Truck Series victories at Atlanta. "We gave it everything there. That's a good run for us. A solid run for Kyle Busch Motorsports and these guys -- they deserve it. They've worked so hard over the wintertime and have done a great job. I really want to thank Toyota, Heluva Good!®, RaceTrac Convenience Stores for being on the truck and M&M's and everybody that's made this so fun so far this year.
"We're looking for some more funding of course, and this proves that we're out here to run good. We definitely want to make sure that we're a testament in this sport and that we do the best we can week in and week out. And of course, I want to say hey to all of the kids up there in the stands that were here on behalf of the Kyle Busch Foundation. It's cool to have them here and sorry we came up a little bit short today. Maybe we'll get another one here before the year is out."
Malsam struggled with a loose handling condition for much of the 130-lap race around the 1.54-mile oval and went a lap down just prior to the halfway mark. Crew chief Dan Stillman and the KBM crew tinkered with the truck's handling with a series of track bar and tire pressure adjustments, and thanks to some timely caution periods, Malsam was able to get his lap back on lap 75 via the lucky dog rule, which is awarded to the first truck one lap down when the caution comes out.
During the caution period when Malsam received the lucky dog, Stillman called Malsam to the pits on lap 80 for four tires and fuel, while several other trucks did not pit.
With fresh tires, Malsam was able to move from 16th to seventh and was in great position for a potential victory -- if the race had gone green for the final 50 laps since all the other trucks would've had to pit.
Unfortunately, on lap 111, the caution did indeed come out due to debris and Malsam headed to pit road with the rest of the field as the No. 56 Toyota was beginning to have handling issues once again.
After the KBM crew changed four tires, added fuel and made a track bar adjustment, Malsam returned to the track in 13th position -- the same position he would take the checkered flag in after 130 laps.
"We were just loose all day," Malsam said. "The first stint we were real bad. We worked on it all day and got it better, but it was just a little too late. We had a good run going right after the 100-lap mark. We had tires and we were able to pick a lot of trucks off. If it had gone green all the way to the end, we would've been in good shape."
With two trucks in the top-15 and more importantly, no damage done to either truck, driver/owner Busch was pleased with the second outing for his newly formed race team.
"It was a really good day for the Kyle Busch Motorsports team," Busch said. "These guys did a great job. They worked real hard all through the winter to get us here. Two brand new trucks with myself and Tayler and we ran real well. Tayler was coming up to speed there toward the end of the race.
"We've got a lot of work ahead of us. We're a young team and we're fortunate to have people like Toyota, Heluva Good! and RaceTrac Convenience Stores here with us, but we'd like to get some more help from others if there's any out there. We've got a long year ahead of us and this is a testament to how well this team is going to run and we're looking forward to it."
Kevin Harvick won the E-Z-Go 200 by 1.308 seconds over Busch. It was Harvick's seventh career Camping World Truck Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Atlanta. With the victory, Harvick has now won in each of NASCAR's three series at Atlanta -- NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck.
Aric Almirola, Steve Wallace and Todd Bodine took spots three through five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Ricky Carmichael, Timothy Peters, Johnny Sauter, Rick Crawford and Austin Dillon.
The race featured six caution periods for 27 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish.
While Busch is not running the full Camping World Truck Series schedule, the No. 18 Toyota is competing for the owner's title, and it is sixth in points after round 2 of 25, 68 markers behind the series-leading No. 30 Toyota of Germain Racing. Brian Ickler is driving the No. 18 Toyota in the events where Busch will not compete.
Malsam is competing in all 25 races and is ninth in the championship standings, 104 points behind leader and 2006 series champion Todd Bodine.