Kyle Busch was leading the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta with just under 50 laps to go when the sixth caution of the day set up the final round of pit stops. The No. 51 ToyotaCare team put on right side tires and returned their boss back to the track in the same spot he was before coming down pit road, at the front of the field. As the race proceeded caution free the final 38 laps, Busch described his Tundra as “wrecking loose” and with 25 laps remaining surrendered the lead to eventual- winner Ty Dillon. He lost one more spot in the closing laps, but managed to bring home the team’s fourth top-five finish across eight starts this season.
“The ToyotaCare Tundra was really fast — we didn’t make a good enough adjustment on that last pit stop and we put two tires on it to get it tight enough to hustle the truck through the corners,” said Busch, who picked up his fourth top-three finish across five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts this season. “I was just fighting for what I had.”
Busch started the 150-lap race from the sixth spot, but by the time that the first caution occurred on lap 26 had maneuvered his way into the runner-up position. When pit road opened, he brought his No. 51 Tundra to the attention of his over-the-wall crew, who administered a four-tire and fuel stop and returned him to the track scored fifth for the lap-31 restart.
Over the next 10 laps, two more cautions slowed the field as Busch patiently began working his way back towards the front. He took the lap-46 restart from the third spot and two laps later had made his way back in the catbird seat behind his young Kyle Busch Motorsports’ (KBM) apprentice, Darrell Wallace Jr. The owner settled in behind his young driver, and the two ran first and second, respectively, until a one-car spin brought out the caution on lap 81.
Crew chief Rudy Fugle ordered up a four-tire and fuel stop and the ToyotaCare team’s quick work put the No. 51 at the front of the field for the restart on lap 84. Busch kept his Toyota out front and appeared to be in line for his third consecutive Truck Series victory, until the next caution occurred on lap 108. As the field rolled down the backstretch, Busch posed a question to Fugle, “Do you have something that can keep me out front and tighten me up a little?”
The answer was a right-side only stop and Busch was able to maintain the lead for the lap-112 restart. The Las Vegas native remained out front, but communicated that his Toyota had gone ill-handing. On lap 125, eventual-winner Ty Dillon made his way around him and with 10 laps remaining, so did Brad Keselwoski. Busch held on to muster a third-place showing, the sixth top-10 finish of the season for the No. 51 bunch.
Dillon’s victory was his first of 2013 and the second of his Truck Series career. Keselowski finished 5.735 seconds behind him in the runner-up position. Busch was third, James Buescher was fourth and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five.
Darrell Wallace Jr. led a race-high 54 laps before being involved in an accident on lap 87. After spending several laps in the garage, the No. 54 Camping World/Good Sam Tundra returned to the track and limped home to a 28th-place finish. Joey Coulter was in line for a top-10 finish before getting the air taken of his No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra while battling for position in the final laps and was relegated to a 16th-place finish.
There were six caution periods for 25 laps. Five different drivers led, exchanging the lead four times – with KBM’s Toyota’s pacing the field for a total of 96 of the 150 laps. Eight drivers failed to finish race number eight on the 2013 Truck Series schedule.
The No. 51 ToyotaCare Racing team moved up one position to third in the owner’s championship standings after eight races. The team now sits 33 points behind the series-leading No. 88 team. 17-year-old Erik Jones, who finished ninth in both of his two career Truck Series starts earlier this season, will be behind the wheel of the No. 51 Toyota when the series resumes action on July 13 for the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. Live Television coverage on SPEED beings at 9:30 p.m. ET with the NCWTS Setup Show.
-Kyle Busch Motorsports PR