Kyle Busch Charges Through Field to Win Careers for Veterans 200by Kyle Pokrefky August 15, 2015 0 comments
BROOKLYN, Mich. — Starting from the 10th position, it didn’t take long for Kyle Busch to charge his way to the front of the field of the Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway as he seized the lead on Lap 7.
At that point, the race appeared as if it’d progress like a usual Camping World Truck Series race with the driver of the No. 51 Dollar General Toyota dominating the race without a threat – and that nearly happened, until Busch was caught speeding entering pit road on Lap 30.
He didn’t make it easy for himself having been sent to the tail end of the longest line for a Lap 31 restart, but he made it look just like that after cruising back to the lead by Lap 70.
When all was said and done, Busch held off a hard-charging Ryan Blaney by 157-thousandths of a second on a restart on Lap 95 to collect his 44th career Camping World Truck Series win.
“We were trying something new with our tach settings and it didn’t quite work. It busted early, but no big deal,” Busch said. “We just lined back up and we were able to restart and try to come back through. That run of the race was really hairy for us, we were super loose getting into the corners and I was barely hanging on there a few times.
“Thankfully, these trucks tend to put on a great show. You can draft back up on guys and you can use the bottom, use the top and kind of work around a little bit.”
Teamwork helped push the owner of Kyle Busch Motorsports into victory lane as he received several bumps from his driver, third-place finisher Erik Jones, to help keep his truck in the lead late in the race.
It’s this assistance between the two Toyota Tundras that kept the No. 29 Cooper Standard Careers for Veterans Ford out of victory lane, says Blaney.
“We had a strong Cooper Standard Careers for Veterans Ford all day I thought,” Blaney said. “We got to the top-three pretty easily and I thought we had pretty good speed to run with the No. 51, No. 33 – they just seemed to be a bit better than us.
“We put ourselves in a position to have a chance to win at the end; it just didn’t work out for us with the No. 4 [Jones] pushing the No. 51 by us. That was a good move by them, that’s what they needed to do. I never could get the run to get by them with the same move that they did to me.”
Rounding out the top-10 of the finishing order were Johnny Sauter, Austin Dillon, Matt Crafton, Daniel Hemric, Timothy Peters, Tyler Reddick and Cameron Hayley.
Crafton, the polesitter for the race, had to battle with an issue with his windshield throughout the race – making several unscheduled pit stops and taking a penalty for pitting when pit road was closed on Lap 30.
The driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota’s mission to gain on points leader Reddick nearly went up in smoke as he ended up way down the order at various stages of the race; however, Crafton utilized his veteran experience to push his way back towards the front and come with a solid finish to gain three points on his championship rival.
Exiting Michigan, the championship battle has tightened up with 10 races left in the season as Crafton and Jones have respectively closed to eight and nine points out of Reddick’s lead.
Six cautions for 26 laps occurred in Saturday afternoon’s race with Ray Black Jr. bringing out a caution for a solo incident on Lap 2 that inflicted light damage on Mason Mingus’s truck. Black Jr. later went for a spin on Lap 26 to bring out the second caution of the day.
Debris brought out the third and fourth cautions of the day respectively on Lap 72 and 79 and also the sixth and final caution of the day on Lap 92.
A multi-car accident involving Mingus, Ben Kennedy and Cody Coughlin was the cause of the race’s fifth caution on Lap 83.
Packing up from Michigan, the Camping World Truck Series has a short turnaround as they head to Bristol Motor Speedway next for Wednesday’s UNOH 200.
Top-10 Finishers of the Careers for Veterans 200
- 51 – Kyle Busch(i) – Toyota – Kyle Busch Motorsports
- 29 – Ryan Blaney(i) – Ford – Brad Keselowski Racing
- 4 – Erik Jones# – Toyota – Kyle Busch Motorsports
- 98 – Johnny Sauter – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
- 33 – Austin Dillon(i) – Chevrolet – GMS Racing
- 88 – Matt Crafton – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
- 14 – Daniel Hemric# – Chevrolet – NTS Motorsports
- 17 – Timothy Peters – Toyota – Red Horse Racing
- 19 – Tyler Reddick – Ford – Brad Keselowski Racing
- 13 – Cameron Hayley# – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
Top-10 in the Drivers Standings after Round 13 of 23
- 19 – Tyler Reddick – Brad Keselowski Racing – 514 | Leader
- 88 – Matt Crafton – ThorSport Racing – 506 | -8
- 4 – Erik Jones# – Kyle Busch Motorsports – 505 | -9
- 98 – Johnny Sauter – ThorSport Racing – 461 | -53
- 13 – Cameron Hayley# – ThorSport Racing – 425 | -89
- 14 – Daniel Hemric# – NTS Motorsports – 420 | -94
- 17 – Timothy Peters – Red Horse Racing – 416 | -98
- 05 – John Wes Townley – Athenian Motorsports – 414 | -100
- 23 – Spencer Gallagher# – GMS Racing – 394 | -120
- 11 – Ben Kennedy – Toyota – Red Horse Racing – 381 | -133
# = Rookie, (i) = Ineligible for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points.
Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images