It was a repeat performance for the 2009 winner of the Camping World truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway as Kyle Busch led 116 of 206 laps Wednesday night in the Thunder Valley.
Busch qualified on the pole, but when the team had a concern about a possible engine problem, they went under the hood. Because of that, Busch was forced to start at the tail end of the field. He fought hard and within 35 laps he had moved up within the top 25, on a restart on lap 37, he lined up behind the #10 truck of Jennifer Jo Cobb. As they entered turns 3 and 4 it appeared that Cobb was not running as fast as Busch wanted. As they exited turn 4, Busch put the bumper to Cobb, sending the #10 truck spinning on the inside apron. Following that caution, Busch continued his run to the front.
By lap 50, the #18 truck was in fifth place and putting the pressure on Mike Skinner, the leader in the #5 Exide Toyota. By lap 91 Busch took the top spot and stayed there for the duration, fighting off challenges by Timothy Peters, Aric Almirola, Elliott Sadler, Ron Hornaday and Mike Skinner.
The race seemed to last forever as 13 caution flags 71 laps and one late race red flag that lasted 8 mins and 47 seconds on lap 204. The race wound up ending on lap 206 with a yellow/checker after the caution came out after Busch had taken the white flag on a green/white/checker situation.
A lap 198 crash involving six trucks was the eventual cause for the red flag. Involved in the wreck were the #4 of Ricky Carmichael, # 7 of Justin Lofton, #52 of Ken Schrader, #77 of Miguel Paludo, #81 of David Starr and the #92 of Dennis Setzer. The crash ended the night for both Starr and Schrader who both were treated and released at the infield care center.
Finishing second behind Busch was Aric Almirola, followed by Ron Hornaday Jr., Mike Skinner and Justin Lofton, the top finishing rookie. Rounding out the top 10 were series points leader Todd Bodine, Brad Keselowski, Timothy Peters, Miguel Paludo and Matt Crafton.
Ron Hornaday Jr. advanced one position in the points, to fifth as well as Matt Crafton moving up to sixth. Leading rookie of the year candidate Austin Dillon dropped two spots to 7th. Bodine still enjoys a healthy points lead over Almirola, but that lead was cut to 211 points by virtue of Almirola’s second place finish.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads north for Chicagoland Speedway next.