Busch roars to front in Unoh 225
July 13, 2011Kyle Busch put in several hours of testing in his Sprint Cup car at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday before the Craftsman Truck Series UNOH 225 and gave himself a cool-down period, missing both the drivers' meeting and drivers' introductions before the race. That put him in the back of the field when the green flag dropped at 8:10 that night.
That was just an inconvenience for Busch, who roared from the back to the front to get his 49th truck win.
"I decided to say in my hauler and get some fluids and get some lunch," Busch said. "I was in the car from 11 to 3 and then from 4 to 6, all day. So, I was trying to cool off and everything. I knew I was going to the back."
|Kyle Busch's crew serviced his truck for the last time as the team went on to win the UNOH 225 Craftsman Series truck race at Kentucky Speedway Thursday night. Photo by Wade Bell|
"It wasn't that big of deal," Busch said. "We ended up having a really good truck and raced halfway through the field there and then just kind of kept working on it."
Johnny Sauter started on the pole but, within five laps, developed handling problems. At one point, he almost lost his truck coming out of turn four and brushed the wall, nearly taking out Austin Dillon and Nelson Piquet Jr. in the process. The first caution, however, belonged to Justin Marks and Johanna Long, who made contact on lap seven.
Sauter went backward as his problems continued until he could get into the pits for adjustments, while Busch pushed toward the front. By lap 25, Busch had moved to sixth shortly after a second restart following a blown engine by Matt Crafton.
The next green flag session lasted 36 laps before John King did a quick spin in turn four. On the restart, Busch was in front, followed by Sauter, who had remedied his troubles, Cole Whitt in third, Ron Hornaday Jr. in fourth and rookie Parker Kligerman in fifth.
Busch continued to lead through a fourth caution. Then, on lap 76, came the biggest mishap of the night when Hornaday, Whitt, Jack Smith, King and Josh Richards all got collected coming out of the fourth turn. That clean-up lasted seven laps, and Busch continued to stay in front of the field.
With 50 laps to go, Busch had opened up a .356-second lead over Sauter. Piquet had moved back up to third with Dillon fourth and Kligerman fifth. On lap 103, Sauter went outside to get by Busch for the front position. Busch later dropped to third behind Piquet. Sauter, however, suffered a blow later when an axle broke coming off the jack in the pits. As green-flag pit stops continued, Busch again found himself in front with the help of his crew.
"Late in the going at the end of the race, we tightened it up a little more for the short run at the end," Busch said.
One late caution came, forcing the race into a green-white-checkered situation. Busch got the jump on both Kligerman and Gaughn for a three-length lead. From there, Busch held to get the win, beating Kligerman by .302 of a second.
"We had two really good restarts there against a couple of guys that were anxious maybe and spun their tires," Busch said. "We wanted to make sure we didn't spin ours. We were good with the acceleration there on the straightaways. We had two good solid laps (at the end)."
"Kyle took us over on the restarts," Gaughn said.
"Kyle is just a very smart driver," Kligerman said.
Seven cautions for 31 laps brought the average speed down to 119.860 miles per hour for the 150 laps. There were 12 lead changes among nine drivers. Twenty-two trucks were running at the end.
It was the first win of what could be a trifecta with the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races remaining at the renovated track.
"We just have to come in here and keep focusing on what's next," Busch said. "Nothing's going to change on how hard you drive or what you look for. You've got to settle in, and the only thing that's going to make this weekend successful is if we win."
1. Kyle Busch Toyota 152 Running
2. Parker Kligerman* Dodge 152 Running
3. Brendan Gaughn Toyota 152 Running
4. Todd Bodine Chevrolet 152 Running
5. Jason White Chevrolet 152 Running
6. Elliott Sadler Chevrolet 152 Running
7. Joey Coulter* Chevrolet 152 Running
8. David Starr Toyota 152 Running
9. James Buescher Chevrolet 152 Running
10. Travis Kvapil Toyota 152 Running
11. Max Papis Toyota 152 Running
12. Steve Arpin Chevrolet 152 Running
13. Ricky Carmichael Chevrolet 151 Running
14. Austin Dillon Chevrolet 151 Running
15. Justin Lofton Toyota 150 Running
16. Timothy Peters Toyota 150 Running
17. Clay Rogers Chevrolet 149 Running
18. Jack Smith Ford 147 Running
19. Ryan Sieg Chevrolet 147 Running
20. Charles Vest Ford 147 Running
21. Miguel Paludo* Chevrolet 147 Accident
22. Nelson Piquet Jr. Chevrolet 146 Accident
23. Johnny Chapman Chevrolet 146 Running
24. Johnny Sauter Chevrolet 125 Transmission
25. Shane Sieg Chevrolet 125 Ignition
26. Cole Whitt* Chevrolet 98 Running
27. Ron Hornaday Jr. Chevrolet 75 Accident
28. John King Toyota 74 Accident
29. Josh Richards Toyota 74 Rear End
30. Jennifer Jo Cobb Ford 66 Accident
31. Norm Benning Chevrolet 41 Fuel Pump
32. Matt Crafton Chevrolet 18 Engine
33. Chris Fontaine Chevrolet 10 Electrical
34. Mike Garvey Chevrolet 9 Transmission
35. Justin Marks Chevrolet 6 Accident
36. Johanna Long Toyota 5 Accident