Kyle Busch wins Camping World Truck series race at MIS
Brooklyn — It’s obvious Kyle Busch enjoys racing at Michigan International Speedway.
After winning the Xfinity race this past June at MIS, Busch won a six-lap shootout after four late cautions to win the 16th Annual Careers for Veterans 200 Camping World Truck series race Saturday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway.
Ryan Blaney took the lead off the final restart with six laps left, but was overtaken by Busch, who slipped by him on the inside the following lap.
Busch led the rest of the way in his Toyota Tundra with Blaney finishing second in his Ford and 19-year-old Erik Jones — a Swartz Creek grad and Busch’s teammate — who was making his debut at the track, third.
Busch, who finished second four times in the truck series at MIS, is in fine form after missing the first 11 Sprint Cup races this season after suffering a broken right leg and left foot in a crash at Daytona during the Xfinity season opener in February. He has won four of the last seven Sprint Cup races.
“It’s cool to finally get the monkey off my back to win in the Truck series here so it gives me a win in all three series at this track,” said Busch, who won the Sprint Cup race on the two-mile superspeedway, now known as NASCAR’s fastest track, in 2011. “It was really fun to race my truck. I really enjoyed it.
“Racing against Jones, Blaney and (Austin) Dillon, it was hectic how it would play out. I felt it was a good show. I just wish there wasn’t so many cautions, but it was still nail-biting. At the end I was telling my guys (on radio) to tell the 4 (Jones) to either pass him (Blaney) or not push him past me.”
Blaney wanted to return the favor and pass Busch in the final laps, but couldn’t get it done.
“We put ourselves in position to give us a chance to win, but it just didn’t work out for us,” Blaney said. “With the 4 (Jones) pushing the 51 (Busch) by us, that was a good move by them and that’s what they needed to do, and then I could never get the run that he could to get by him.
“When we got the lead I knew it was going to be hard to keep him behind us just because he could lay back to the 4, and just get a big run and get by you and there’s nothing as a leader you can do about it. You’re wide open and you can break the draft all you want but when he’s got a partner it’s just like speedway racing and he can go by you.
“When we got to second I knew it was a slim-to-none chance for us to win just because he’s (Jones) not going to push it past his boss. He’s not going to do that.”
Jones was pleased with his run, competing on his home track for the first time in front of his family and friends, especially since his Toyota Tundra was tight for much of the day.
“We just missed it, just too tight all day and ended up having to really fight with the truck most of the day on the right adjustment,” Jones said. “We pitted there late, 25 to go or so to get us back in contention, good enough to run with the 51 and 29, not good enough to quite run with those two really for the win.
“It was exciting and I felt like we learned a lot throughout the day, not only my team, but myself, about how to get around this place. I feel like it will be better for next time about knowing what I really need out of the truck a little bit better, and a little bit better what to ask for next time as well during practice. Just a learning day overall and enjoyed the race. It’s definitely a little chaotic at times on re-starts and just makes it exciting when you’re on the offense trying to come back through the field.”
Tyler Reddick, who finished ninth, now holds an eight-point lead over defending series champion Matt Crafton with Jones sitting third in points, nine off the pace.
Busch is proud of Jones, saying: “He’s done a great job and he’s not too far off from reaching Sprint Cup level. Jones has come through the ranks really fast and we’re hoping he can bring home a championship.”