If you were thinking that Kyle Busch was going to slow down, you thought wrong.
Busch started on the outside pole in Saturday’s 21st Annual TruNorth Global 250 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) race at Martinsville Speedway and dominated the race by winning Stage 1 and leading 174 of the 250 laps en route to his 38th win for Kyle Busch Motorsports and his 54th victory in 148 NGOTS races. It was also his 201st national series win.
“It was a case of being patient,” Busch told MRN Radio. “You know, obviously going 150 laps on one set of tires is a long way to go. We just kind of wanted to bide our time and take it easy, and not push too hard. We didn’t need to go up there and get any stage points. The opportunity to ride was kind of given to us and we knew the 52 (Stewart Friesen) was going to pit and I let the 99 (Ben Rhodes) go, and I inherit third on the restart.”
The race got underway with the first stage being 70 laps. And surprisingly enough, it was caution free for the most part, which is unheard of at Martinsville. It wasn’t until seven laps to go when Gus Dean’s truck caught fire and brought out the first caution. With the limited amount of laps left for a restart, the stage ended under caution and Busch won Stage 1. Johnny Sauter also had issues with his truck that possibly saw a cylinder going down.
Stage 2 was green on Lap 79 and was pretty much the same as the first stage. Ross Chastain went to second on Lap 91 and another caution flew on Lap 117 for Daniel Sasnett, who spun around. Busch pitted with a few others under caution, while Stewart Friesen and Ross Chastain stayed out.
Chastain took the lead with 10 to go in the stage and on Lap 140 and won stage two.
With 99 to go, the green flag was back out for the third and final stage. Chastain led until 65 to go when the eventual race winner, Busch retook the lead.
But it wasn’t easy for him for the rest of the way. Sauter had a left-rear tire go down with 63 to go and Sasnett spun again one lap later.
Another incident took place with 40 to go, as Cory Roper spun in Turn 2 setting up another restart. Rhodes moved into second place and spent his time trying to catch the No. 51 of Busch.
It looked liked Rhodes had his chance with eight to go, when Tyler Dippel spun, bringing out the caution and setting up a late race restart with three to go.
Rhodes gave it all he could, but his truck wasn’t enough for Busch as he went on to win his second career Truck Series race at Martinsville under caution.
“Awesome day,” Busch said to MRN Radio. “These guys gave me a great Cessna Beechcraft Tundra it was awesome to drive. Wasn’t so awesome yesterday, we worked really hard to make this thing better and improve this truck, and our program. All the other trucks too with the three teammates that were out here today.”
“It’s cool to be able to put KBM in victory lane, Toyota in victory lane, thank TRD for their support and Rowdy Manufacturing, Incredible Bank, Monster Energy, Adidas, DVX Sunglasses, Black Clover, Gander Outdoors. It’s cool to have Gander folks on this year and being a part of this series and of course the fans. All the fans here at Martinsville, it’s pretty cool to come out here. It’s cool to win at Martinsville and cool to get to take home a clock. Rowdy Nation is out there loud and proud.”
Busch has now won three consecutive Truck Series races this year. He will have two more left at Texas and Charlotte.