Rookie William Byron quickly found the answer to a subpar performance last week – another victory in the Camping World Truck Series.
Byron, 18, deftly held off furious challenges from John Hunter Nemechek and Daniel Hemric to win Thursday night’s Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway – his fourth win of the season and third in the last four races.
Byron was coming off a 17th place finish at Gateway Motorsports Park, his second-worst finish in what has been a stellar rookie season with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
“This is incredible,” said Byron from Victory Lane. “To be a part of this organization, it’s so awesome to Kyle and Samantha (Busch’s) support and Toyota’s support. It’s a dream come true. I just want it to keep going.”
The win is a series record 51st for KBM. The previous record for an organization was 50 victories by Roush Fenway Racing.
Nemechek finished second, Hemric was third, Christopher Bell was fourth and Johnny Sauter ended up fifth.
“We thought (Byron) might slow down at the end, he apparently had a vibration so I was pushing him as hard as I could,” Nemechek said. “Daniel kind of messed with us a little bit on the race track and got us loose a couple times, but I finally got by him.
“It’s racing. It sucks to be disappointed with second but I guess that’s a good thing to have.”
Byron, Hemric and Nemechek were able to put on a superb duel for the win over the final laps, surprising many who thought the newly repaved surface would lead to a one-groove track with single-file racing.
Kyle Busch, one of only two drivers in the field who has won previously at Kentucky, wrecked out of the race on Lap 56 after contact with Spencer Gallagher sent him hard into the retaining wall.
“I had enough room on the inside, but I know who I crashed with. That doesn’t surprise me, now I know how John Wes Townley feels,” Busch said. “It’s just a shame. Brand new truck and really good piece – destroyed.”
Gallagher and Townley were fined for fighting on the track following a wreck in the series’ most recent race at Gateway.