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Race report

Kyle Busch uses last-lap pass to grab Pocono Truck win

Team owner Kyle Busch provided his Kyle Busch Motorsports team with its 100th victory in the NASCAR Truck Series in dramatic style on Saturday at Pocono Raceway.

Race winner Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Chevrolet Silverado

Win No. 100 took some effort as one of KBM’s former drivers, Corey Heim, had successfully held Busch at bay as he repeatedly challenged for the lead in the final 10 laps.

As both drivers exited off Turn 1 on the last of 60 laps, Busch used a big run to dive under Heim in Turn 2 and come away with the lead.

Busch then held on and cleared Heim by 0.604 seconds at the checkered flag to earn the victory, his second of the 2023 season in five starts.

 

“It’s pretty cool,” Busch said of earning the 100th win for his KBM organization. “We’ve been around a long time, not as long as others obviously. It’s been fun. This (truck) today was really, really fast.

“I was just mired in traffic. I couldn’t find a way to make a clean move so I made a little bit of a dicey one there at the end getting into (Turn) 2. Heim ran a great race, we just needed that 100th win.”

Heim was visibly disappointed with the runner-up finish.

“I thought I did everything right,” he said. “It seemed we had about five laps in the truck before it started tightening up really bad. I was a little upset initially (with Busch’s move) but realized I would have done the exact same thing.”

Taylor Gray finished a career-best third, Christopher Bell was fourth and Grant Enfinger rounded out the top five.

Completing the top-10 were Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, Dean Thompson, Ben Rhodes and Matt DiBenedetto.

Stage 1

Zane Smith got around Nick Sanchez on a restart with seven of 15 laps to go and held on to claim the Stage 1 win. DiBenedetto was third, Busch fourth and Austin Hill fifth.

An early-race wreck involving Tanner Gray and Tyler Ankrum knocked Gray’s No. 15 out of the race.

Stage 2

Several trucks elected to pit before the conclusion of Stage 2, which handed the lead back to Smith and allowed him to complete a sweep of the stage wins.

Stewart Friesen ended up second, Sanchez third, DiBenedetto fourth and Enfinger was fifth.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, those trucks who had not yet pit did so, and Heim remained on the track and inherited the lead. He led Busch and Taylor Gray to begin the final stage.

On Lap 46, Sanchez got loose in Turn 1 and slid up the track and into Jake Garcia, whose No. 35 truck slammed into the wall to place the race under caution.

The race returned to green with nine laps remaining and Heim out front but Busch still in the hunt for the win.

Shortly after the restart, Carson Hocevar got loose in Turn 1 after taking the field three-wide which triggered a multi-truck race that collected Kaz Grala, Smith, Stefan Parsons, Austin Hill and Friesen, among others.

 

“Once you get back there in dirty air it’s near impossible to pass, especially with all the squirrels we have in this series,” Smith said. “It’s just a bummer. Fortunately, I did get those two playoff points, so that’s the positive for today.”

NASCAR red-flagged the race for nearly 14 minutes to clear the track of debris.

When the race resumed with five laps to go, Heim continued to lead Busch followed by Taylor Gray, Bell and Majeski.

Cla Driver # Manufacturer Laps Time Interval Mph Pits Points
1 United StatesKYLE BUSCHKyle Busch Motorsports 51 Chevrolet 60 1:23'01.065     3  
2
COREY HEIMTRICON Garage
11 Toyota 60 +0.604 0.604   4 39
3
TAYLOR GRAYTRICON Garage
17 Toyota 60 +0.969 0.365   5 35
4 United StatesCHRISTOPHER BELLHattori Racing Enterprises 61 Toyota 60 +1.433 0.464   4  
5 United StatesGRANT ENFINGERGMS Racing 23 Chevrolet 60 +1.876 0.443   5 41
6 United StatesTY MAJESKIThorSport Racing 98 Ford 60 +3.485 1.609   4 31
7 United StatesCHRISTIAN ECKESMcAnally Hilgemann Racing 19 Chevrolet 60 +3.617 0.132   4 30
8
DEAN THOMPSONTRICON Garage
5 Toyota 60 +4.744 1.127   4 29
9 United StatesBEN RHODESThorSport Racing 99 Ford 60 +5.455 0.711   5 33
10 United StatesMATT DIBENEDETTORackley W.A.R. 25 Chevrolet 60 +5.800 0.345   5 42
11
CARSON HOCEVARNiece Motorsports
42 Chevrolet 60 +6.384 0.584   6 26
12 United StatesTYLER ANKRUMHattori Racing Enterprises 16 Toyota 60 +7.157 0.773   7 29
13 United StatesHAILIE DEEGANThorSport Racing 13 Ford 60 +8.876 1.719   7 24
14 United StatesMATT CRAFTONThorSport Racing 88 Ford 60 +9.163 0.287   6 24
15
COLBY HOWARDCR7 Motorsports
9 Chevrolet 60 +9.403 0.240   6 24
16
RAJAH CARUTHGMS Racing
24 Chevrolet 60 +9.753 0.350   5 24
17
DANIEL DYEGMS Racing
43 Chevrolet 60 +10.019 0.266   5 20
18 United StatesCHASE PURDYKyle Busch Motorsports 4 Chevrolet 60 +10.284 0.265   4 19
19
NICHOLAS SANCHEZRev Racing
2 Chevrolet 60 +11.146 0.862   5 35
20
KADEN HONEYCUTTNiece Motorsports
44 Chevrolet 60 +11.472 0.326   10 17
21
TYLER HILLHill Motorsports
56 Toyota 60 +11.909 0.437   6 16
22 United StatesPARKER KLIGERMANHenderson Motorsports 75 Chevrolet 60 +12.717 0.808   6  
23
CORY ROPERRoper Racing
04 Ford 60 +16.682 3.965   8 14
24
STEPHEN MALLOZZIAM Racing
22 Ford 60 +17.095 0.413   6 13
25 United StatesSPENCER BOYDYoung's Motorsports 12 Chevrolet 60 +17.463 0.368   6 12
26 United StatesJOSH REAUMEReaume Brothers Racing 33 Ford 60 +17.602 0.139   7 11
27
ALAN LAWLESSNiece Motorsports
45 Chevrolet 60 +17.935 0.333   8 10
28
STEFAN PARSONSYoung's Motorsports
02 Chevrolet 60 +25.656 7.721   7  
29
BRET HOLMESBret Holmes Racing
32 Chevrolet 60 +26.260 0.604   7 8
30 United StatesROSS CHASTAINNiece Motorsports 41 Chevrolet 52 +8 Laps 8 Laps   6  
31 United StatesKAZ GRALATRICON Garage 1 Toyota 51 +9 Laps 1 Lap   10  
32 United StatesSTEWART FRIESENHalmar Friesen Racing 52 Toyota 51 +9 Laps 0.324   3 16
33 United StatesAUSTIN HILLSpire Motorsports 7 Chevrolet 51 +9 Laps 0.365   5  
34
ZANE SMITHFront Row Motorsports
38 Ford 51 +9 Laps 0.092   3 23
35
JAKE GARCIAMcAnally Hilgemann Racing
35 Chevrolet 45 +15 Laps 6 Laps   3 7
36 United StatesTANNER GRAYTRICON Garage 15 Toyota 3 +57 Laps 42 Laps   2 1

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