With just enough fuel in his Toyota, Kyle Busch made it to the finish line to take the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory
Kyle Busch had just enough fuel in the tank of his No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota at the end of the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Friday night to hold off a hard-charging No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford of Brad Keselowski in the closing laps, take the race win and do a celebratory burnout before being pushed to victory lane by some of his team members.
"That was tough," Busch said of his 34th-career series win. “Brad, man, and Ryan (Blaney), man, had some good trucks.
Busch, Keselowski and the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford of Ryan Blaney ran in the top-three for much of the night, switching those positions several times. In the end, Keselowski finish second for the fifth time while still looking for his first truck win. Blaney wound up third.
Despite falling short of the win, both Keselowski and Blaney expressed having fun racing each other and Busch for the victory.
"It was great," Keselowski said. "I hope that was a thrill to watch."
Keselowski's teammate and BKR employee expressed the boss' sentiment.
"That was fun where I was sitting," Blaney said. "Not bad, just needed a little bit more. Those two guys up front were pretty good."
The No. 4 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Jeb Burton started on the pole and led several laps early before Keselowski took the position just before the second caution came out on lap 45. Keselowski and Busch got off pit road first and second during the caution to restart on the front row. Busch then took the lead on the restart.
After several laps of battling side-by-side with Busch for the lead, Keselowski's truck got loose, and Blaney moved into the second spot. On lap 61, Blaney got by Busch to take the lead for the first time in the race.
A few laps later, Busch retook the lead and Keselowski joined him in second by the time the yellow flag waved again on lap 69. Soon after a restart that followed a lap 79 caution, Keselowski took the lead from Busch, and then Blaney got by Busch for second. The three drivers battled within the top-three for the remainder of the race, except when a slow stop for Blaney resulted in a loss of a few positions during a lap 100 caution. But soon after the restart, Blaney was back up to third as Keselowski held the lead and Busch ran second.
Busch took the lead for good with just under 20 laps to go. Keselowski battled him the rest of the way, but could never retake the top spot. For most of the final laps, the No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Brendan Gaughan ran fourth to the trio of Busch, Keselowski and Blaney, but an overheating issue forced Gaughan to the pits near the end, and then a pit road speeding penalty meant another trip down pit road.
Instead, the No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota of Matt Crafton finished fourth to continue his streak of finishing in the top-10 of all 16 races, so far, this season. He also increased his championship points lead to 41 points over the No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of James Buescher. Buescher finished eighth.
The No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Ty Dillon rounded out the top-five. Other top-10 finishers included the No. 7 Red Horse Racing Toyota of John Wes Townley in sixth, the No. 24 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet of Austin Dillon in seventh, the No. 4 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Jeb Burton in ninth and the No. 98 ThorSport Racing Chevrolet of Johnny Sauter in 10th.