Busch Scores Second Consecutive Truck Win at Chicagoland Traxxas Driver Leads 121 Laps En Route to 20th Career Truck Series Victory Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports, continued his winning ways on...
Busch Scores Second Consecutive Truck Win at Chicagoland
Traxxas Driver Leads 121 Laps En Route to 20th Career Truck Series Victory
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports, continued his winning ways on Friday night by claiming victory in the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
Coming off of an historic run last week 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 driver of the No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports didn't disappoint by driving into Chicagoland's victory lane for the second consecutive year in the Truck race.
It was Busch's fourth straight NASCAR win, his fourth Truck Series victory this season, and his second Truck Series win at Chicago. Busch is undefeated at Chicago in the Truck Series.
"I can't thank Traxxas enough," said Busch, who now has 79 victories in NASCAR's top three divisions (Sprint Cup --19, Nationwide -- 40, Camping World Truck -- 20). "The fastest name in radio control to get with the fastest driver, I guess, tonight, is pretty cool to come to victory lane with these guys the first time out. I can't wait for the next two that we've got at Talladega and Homestead. It's going to be fun, man. This Toyota Tundra was awesome. It was fun to drive and it was challenging. Todd (Bodine) ran me down and was probably going to pass me there, but I got a run on the outside and I think he slipped a little bit. It's always fun to race these trucks. Marquis Jets, Gillette, all of the guys on this team, Flexco, they do an awesome job for us. NOS Energy Drink and M&M's, as well. We're really proud of everybody here."
Although Busch dominated the race and led all but 33 of the 154 laps at Chicagoland, the victory wasn't as easy as it might have seemed for him and his No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports team. The Las Vegas native had to battle through traffic on two consecutive restarts and he had to withstand a late-race challenge by point leader Todd Bodine in the closing laps. But in the end, Busch's No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra was too strong.
"It was really fun out there tonight," Busch said. "This Traxxas Toyota Tundra was awesome. It was so fun racing Todd (Bodine) like that. He had enough to hang with us, he just didn't have enough to get by us. It was awesome to race with those guys. Eric (Phillips, crew chief) and Rick Ren (director of competition) did a great job for us tonight, as well. It's just really fun to drive these trucks. I love coming to Chicago. It's kind of like a second home for me. I look forward to coming back here next year."
After starting fourth on Friday night, Busch wasted no time making his way to the front of the field as he was at the point by lap 13.
The first hiccup of the night for Busch came at lap 81 when he brought his No. 18 Traxxas Toyota to the attention of his crew under caution for four tires, an air pressure adjustment and fuel. Unfortunately, Busch lost five spots on pit road due to a problem with the gas can connecting with the fuel tank.
But restarting sixth didn't concern Busch as he survived one more caution period before retaking the lead on lap 98.
Busch maintained the top spot until the caution flag came out once again at lap 126. The leaders all decided to pit under caution and while Busch and his No. 18 Traxxas Toyota team opted to take four fresh tires and fuel, five trucks that left pit road before Busch opted for either no tires or only two tires to gain track position. Busch restarted sixth on lap 127, but didn't stay there for long as he gained three spots in just one lap. And, by the time he crossed the start-finish line on the one lap later, the Traxxas Toyota had retaken the lead.
The Las Vegas native would have one more challenge when a late-race caution forced the race into overtime and a green-white-checker finish. On lap 152, Busch restarted on the outside and held off a challenge by point leader and runner-up finisher Bodine, beating him to the checkered flag by .186 of a second.
"We had issues with the fuel hookup trying to get in there on that second stop, but the guys did a nice job there on pit road. They had good stops tonight," Busch said. "I was concerned (when the last caution came out). I remember last year. It was really tough to get away from side-by-side. This year, I got clear on him (Bodine) just going down the front straightaway, getting into turn one, there. From there on out, I was worried that he would get a draft on me. These trucks, man, they draft so easily. That's how I ran him down and got to him the first time. He just didn't quite have enough to pass us. He had enough to hang with us all night and it was fun, man. Really cool to be out here. I've got to thank the fans, thank Camping World and, of course, I don't have my Electric sunglasses on but I'd like to thank those guys, too. We're going for five in Kentucky next week, so watch out."
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, just 48 points behind the first-place No. 30 truck of Germain Racing.
Johnny Sauter finished third behind Busch and Bodine, while Ron Hornaday Jr., and Justin Lofton took spots four and five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Aric Almirola, Matt Crafton, Rick Crawford, rookie Austin Dillon and David Starr.
The race featured five caution periods for 21 laps, with 10 drivers failing to finish the 154-lap race which was extended four laps past its scheduled distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
The next event on the Camping World Truck Series schedule is the Sept. 3 Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.