NCWTS: Rowdy Do; Busch Dominates Chicagoland As Truck Chase Is Set

Jacob Seelman Featured, NASCAR, Trucks 0 Comments

Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after winning Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after winning Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.
(Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

JOLIET, Ill. – On a night when so many NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regulars needed to win to make the Chase for the Championship, it was instead one of the series’ all-time greats who smashed the field en route to victory.

Kyle Busch, making his fourth and final Truck start of the season, took the lead for the first time off pit road on lap 48 and then paced 95 of the final 104 circuits around the 1.5-mile oval to win Friday night’s American Ethanol E15 225 – ultimately holding off the field in an overtime finish that pushed the race a lap beyond its scheduled distance.

The win was the 46th of his Truck Series career, fifth in six series starts at Chicagoland Speedway and 168th total across all three NASCAR national series.

“This has just been a really good place for us and for KBM as a team over the years,” said Busch in victory lane. “We’ve been really fast here over the years, so it was nice to be able to come out here again and be able to keep that speed going.”

But while “Rowdy” dominated the proceedings, it was a hefty swath of caution flags over the final third of the event that brought several Chase hopefuls into contention in the final laps.

The road to the checkers began with 46 laps to go, when Josh Berry spun on the frontstretch, sending the leaders down pit road and setting up a split strategy for the ensuing laps.

Green flag conditions returned with 41 laps left and they saw Kyle Busch charge from ninth to first in just two laps, passing Ben Kennedy, who had taken fuel only on his stop and was racing for the lead before being tagged around by his teammate Johnny Sauter in turns one and two.

The contact sent Kennedy around, where he was side-swiped by Ben Rhodes as Rhodes attempted to avoid being collected in the accident by moving to the apron. That tipped Kennedy back up the track and hard into the outside wall at the exit of turn two, where the exposed front suspension of his No. 33 Chevrolet damaged the wall just above the base.

Despite the vicious hit, Kennedy was evaluated and subsequently released from the infield care center.

After a 14-minute red flag, the race resumed with 33 to go and saw Suarez get a huge shove from behind, passing his team owner for the lead in turn one as Busch struggled to battle back. Moments later, another caution came out as Cole Custer and Grant Enfinger made contact off the exit of turn four, sending Enfinger careening through the infield grass.

That set up the next restart with 21 laps left and saw the Chase contenders come to life.

Polesitter Spencer Gallagher – who led the first eight laps early on but rallied back from several issues to contend for the win – took second initially, but was overhauled by Cameron Hayley on lap 181 as Hayley gave chase to both Busch and a potential playoff berth.

Busch started to pull Hayley before a caution flew with 14 to go, a crashed Tommy Joe Martins setting up a restart with single digits on the lap counter and victory in the sights of Hayley and Brad Keselowski Racing teammates Daniel Hemric and Tyler Reddick.

Continued on the next page…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.