Kyle Busch returned to the Truck Series after a short hiatus to race in the fifth and final event in which he is allowed to compete and went straight to victory lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It wasn’t easy for Busch, however, as he had to hold off the field in a late race restart with three to go including a hard-charging Brennan Poole for the 56th win of his career.
“Our truck was really, really good,” Busch told MRN Radio. “These guys prepared such a fast Tundra for me and I wanna thank Cessna Beechcraft, Toyota TRD, Rowdy Manufacturing. You know, it takes a whole group effort. Rudy (Fugle) and these guys are awesome at what they do, give me great pieces each and every time we come out here. We have not ever this year not unloaded great, but we really work on our stuff and improved it through practice and even into the race. You know there at the end, I didn’t want to have that last restart at the end. I knew being on older tires were going to be a handful for me. It looked liked it was for a couple of the other guys. Not a very good restart, but I was still able to hold them off thankfully.”
The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 got underway shortly after 8:30 p.m./ET. Matt Crafton qualified on the pole for the second straight week in a row and the 15th of his career.
There were three stages of 30/30/74 laps to equal the 134 lap race. Todd Gilliland took the lead after the start, but Ben Rhodes took the lead from Gilliland on Lap 2.
The first incident of the night happened early with Natalie Decker who had right side damage after making contact with the wall. Matters only got worse for the No. 54 DGR-Crosley team as they would bring out the first caution of the night on Lap 23 when Decker wrecked off Turn 2. During the pit stops, Angela Ruch was penalized a lap for pitting outside the box.
The restart for Stage 1 came with two to go and featured a thrilling finish. Pole sitter, Crafton, was able to rocket back to the front and pass Todd Gilliland off Turn 2 to win Stage 1.
Stage 2 began on lap 36 and went to lap 60. It was a relatively clean stage and saw no cautions. Eventual race winner, Busch took the lead on Lap 40.
There was a minor incident that involved Dover winner Johnny Sauter, as he barely wrecked off Turn 4. However, there were no issues for the all-time wins leader Busch, as he would go on to win Stage 2 which ended on Lap 60.
There was an issue with Chad Finley who slowed and was way off the pace. It was later reported that Finley was out of gas at the end of the stage, which eventually cost him a top-10 stage finish. Grant Enfinger also stalled on pit road as well during pit stops.
Stage 3 was restarted with 67 to go with two Truck Series veterans Kyle Busch and Matt Crafton.
With 62 to go, Codie Rohrbaugh smacked the wall off Turn 2 to bring out the fourth caution. Another caution took place with 57 to go, as rookie Gus Dean hit the wall off Turn 2 as well. Korbin Forrister and Ruch were also involved. During the caution, Ross Chastain, Enfinger and Gilliland, among others, went in to pit while Busch and the front half of the field stayed out.
The sixth caution came out for the No. 49 of Stefan Parsons who hit the wall. Parsons would wind up 24th.
After the restart with 44 to go, there was a wide variety of leaders. Sauter, who had issues earlier with his truck found himself in the lead for a short while before Busch would take the lead once again with 39 to go.
The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 would go on a long green flag run of 37 laps until the final caution broke out with eight to go for last year’s champion Brett Moffitt, who had a right rear tire come apart.
This would eventually set up a late race restart with three to go. Two-time champion, Sauter could not get going on the restart and jacked up the field who was behind him. Busch did not get a great restart either as he found Poole chasing him down for the upset win. However, Busch would continue his winning streak by going five for five this year.
“No, no I don’t think so,” Busch told MRN in regards to having such a dominating streak in 2019. “You know, a couple of years ago, I shot for it and wanted to have it, but only got two or three (races). Overall, I wish I could do more. It’s frustrating that you’re limited because you’re too good at what you do. I would love to be able to come out here some more and be able to win with this team, and all my guys at Kyle Busch Motorsports and for our partners here at Toyota, Cessna Beechcraft and everybody else.”
There were seven cautions for 31 laps with nine leaders among 19 lead changes during the race. Busch led five times for 102 laps and collected his eighth Truck Series win at Charlotte Motor Speedway and his fifth of 2019.
This will be Busch’s last Truck Series race of the 2019 season.
Up Next: The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series will take two-weeks off before returning to on-track action on Friday, June 7.
Gander Outdoors Truck Series Race Number 8
Race Results for the 17th Annual North Carolina Education Lottery 200 – Friday, May 17, 2019
Charlotte Motor Speedway – Concord, NC – 1.5 – Mile Paved
Total Race Length – 134 Laps – 201. Miles
|1||8||51||Kyle Busch(i)||Cessna Toyota||134||7||1||0||Running|
|2||17||30||Brennan Poole||Madvapes Toyota||134||0||0||35||Running|
|3||2||52||Stewart Friesen||Halmar International Chevrolet||134||6||6||44||Running|
|4||5||99||Ben Rhodes||Carolina Nut Ford||134||4||8||43||Running|
|5||1||88||Matt Crafton||Ideal Door/Menards Ford||134||1||4||49||Running|
|6||20||16||Austin Hill||United Rentals Toyota||134||0||0||31||Running|
|7||3||4||Todd Gilliland||Mobil 1 Toyota||134||2||10||40||Running|
|8||15||15||Anthony Alfredo #||STEELSMITH/Friends of Jacelyn Toyota||134||0||0||29||Running|
|9||9||98||Grant Enfinger||Protect the Harvest/Curb Records Ford||134||3||3||44||Running|
|10||13||45||Ross Chastain(i)||TruNorth/Paul Jr. Designs Chevrolet||134||5||2||0||Running|
|11||4||18||Harrison Burton #||Safelite AutoGlass Toyota||134||9||9||30||Running|
|12||10||2||Sheldon Creed #||Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet||134||8||7||32||Running|
|13||25||2||Tyler Dippel #||Jersey Filmmaker Chevrolet||134||0||0||24||Running|
|14||22||97||Jesse Little||JJL Motorsports Ford||134||0||0||23||Running|
|15||28||3||Jordan Anderson||Bommarito Automotive Group Chevrolet||134||0||0||22||Running|
|16||23||56||Timmy Hill(i)||Southern Freight Services Chevrolet||134||0||0||0||Running|
|17||12||13||Johnny Sauter||Tenda Heal Ford||134||10||0||21||Running|
|18||18||42||Chad Finley||Strutmasters.com/Air Lift Chevrolet||134||0||0||19||Running|
|19||6||24||Brett Moffitt||JuniorJohnsonMidnightMoonMoonshine Chev||133||0||5||24||Running|
|20||7||4||Cory Roper||Preferred industrial Contractors Inc Ford||133||0||0||17||Running|
|21||29||22||Austin Wayne Self||GO TEXAN/AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet||133||0||0||16||Running|
|22||30||20||Spencer Boyd||1A Auto Chevrolet||133||0||0||15||Running|
|23||31||44||Angela Ruch||FOX Nation/The Ruch Life Chevrolet||132||0||0||14||Running|
|24||16||49||Stefan Parsons||Charlotte Strong Chevrolet||132||0||0||13||Running|
|25||27||7||Korbin Forrister||All Out Toyota||129||0||0||12||Running|
|26||19||12||Gus Dean #||LG Air Conditioning Technologies Chevrolet||123||0||0||11||Running|
|27||11||17||Tyler Ankrum #||May’s Hawaii Toyota||111||0||0||10||Vibration|
|28||32||33||Josh Reaume||HertzKompressoren/P&BCompressor Chev||98||0||0||9||Running|
|29||14||9||Codie Rohrbaugh||Grant County Mulch Chevrolet||72||0||0||8||Accident|
|31||21||54||Natalie Decker #||N29 Technologies LLC Toyota||32||0||0||6||Accident|
|32||24||87||Joe Nemechek||ROMCO/TMS Titanium Chevrolet||19||0||0||5||Rear Gear|