“Rowdy” is looking for the triple this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
And when we say triple, we mean “triple dominance” in all three NASCAR events with a win at the World’s Fastest Half Mile. Wednesday night, Kyle Busch took his first step in that quest for the “triple dominance” by taking the pole for the UNOH 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
Despite Mother Nature putting the skids to Busch’s fast start out of the gate in qualifying, in the form of a two hour weather delay, once the track was dried, Busch took off at the waving of the green flag and dominated for 55 laps from the outset.
The Las Vegas native would take Stage One and Stage Two segments of the NCWTS race but then the news came across the scanner from NASCAR; Busch had been speeding on pit row and would have to serve a penalty and would have to start from the rear of the pack.
Even with the penalty on lap 119 and at the start of Stage Three, Busch would find his way back to the front albeit in about 40 plus laps, carefully finding his groove on the high banks of the Last Great Colosseum and staying out of trouble to get back into the top-10 by lap 136 and retake the lead at lap 167.
A late race tangle between drivers Austin Wayne Self and Justin Haley with five laps and a final restart from the field going into overtime could not wrestle away the lead from Busch and his stranglehold dominance on Bristol for the win, his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win of the year and 49th truck win of his career.
“I knew once I got that penalty that I had to go somewhere, other than where everyone else was,” replied Busch in victory lane following the race. “I just started grooming the top and it took about 15 laps for it to come in and then it started going, it was pretty fast.”
Busch, who is not expected to compete in any more Camping World Truck Series races this season, indicated he learned enough from his penalty and that learning experience helped give him some pointers towards earning a second triple-weekend sweep at Bristol.
“Rowdy” took his first triple header sweep in August 2010.
“It was a lot of fun to come through the field like that, it kinda gave me some ideas about the rest of the week,” added Busch. “Probably showed a bunch of stuff too. That’s what it’s all about. This is the start of the triple, hopefully we can get it.”
“I can’t say enough about all these guys on this Banfield Pet Hospital Tundra, it was awesome. It was awesome when we unloaded. We made some fine-tune adjustments to it. She was really good all-day long.”
The rest of finishing order for the UNOH 200 included Matt Crafton who finished second and led late in stage three before seeing Busch surge back to the top of the pack. Crafton told the media after the race the late caution flag on the wreck between Self and Haley was something he didn’t want to see.
“I searched the top, searched the bottom, and went back to the old faithful bottom,” said Crafton. “One thing I’ve done, I’ve finished second to Kyle way too many times here. All in all, we had a very good truck and we have nothing to hang our heads about.
John Hunter Nemechek finished third followed by Grant Enfinger, who was penalized earlier in the day by NASCAR for infractions at Michigan, saw his playoff chances improve with the Bristol finish in fourth, and Ben Rhodes rounding out the top five. The second five included Johnny Sauter in sixth, Christopher Bell in seventh, Parker Kligerman in eighth, Austin Cindric in ninth and Brandon Jones rounding out the top-10.
There were just six lead changes on the night with five caution flag displayed over the course of the event.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes one week off before returning to action at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Toronto, Ontario for the running of the Silverado 250 on Sun., Sept. 3.
Story by Rod Mullins/Augusta Free Press