Saturday's motors: Kyle Busch grabs win No. 201 with another Truck Series victory
Martinsville, Va. — Kyle Busch remained undefeated in the Truck Series this season with yet another victory Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.
Busch has won all three Truck Series races he has entered this year, and his latest victory is the 201st national series win of his career. He is off to an unbelievable start to the season with seven wins – including back-to-back victories in the Cup Series – and his lowest finish in any race is sixth.
Busch now has 54 career victories in the Truck Series, but Saturday was just his second win in 10 career starts at Martinsville in the No. 51 Toyota.
“It’s cool to win at Martinsville and cool to get to take home a clock,” Busch said of Martinsville’s grandfather clock trophy.
But Busch was then told that his crew chief, Rudy Fugle, wanted the clock to commemorate his first Martinsville win. Busch has three previous clocks, two from Cup Series victories.
“This is his first win here at Martinsville; I’ve won here with two other crew chiefs, I think, so it’s pretty cool to get Rudy his first win at Martinsville,” Busch said. “Yes, he can have the clock.”
Busch dominated and led 174 of 250 laps but a caution with eight laps remaining set up one last restart. Busch took off with three laps to go and cruised to the win, under caution, because of an accident on the final lap.
Ben Rhodes finished second and was followed by Brett Moffitt, Ross Chastain and Stewart Friesen.
Rhodes scored his best career finish at Martinsville and was grateful to race against Busch, particularly on the final restarts.
“We got beat by the best in the business,” Rhodes said. “It was fun following him and seeing how he was pacing himself, that’s something I’ve struggled with in the past. Any time you can restart next to that guy, I try to log it in my memory bank so I can get him next time.”
Logano wins Martinsville pole
Joey Logano has won the pole at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in a strong session for the Ford camp.
Logano turned a lap at 97.830 mph in qualifying to earn the top starting spot. His pole-winning run came roughly 90 minutes after Team Penske teammate Will Power won the pole for the IndyCar race in Austin, Texas.
Aric Almirola qualified second for Stewart-Haas Racing, Penske driver Brad Keselowski was third and Kevin Harvick was fourth as Ford drivers took the top four qualifying positions.
Five-time Martinsville winner Denny Hamlin qualified fifth in a Toyota for Sunday’s race on the short track. William Byron was sixth and the highest-qualifying Chevrolet driver.
Logano won at Martinsville last fall when he used his bumper to move Martin Truex Jr. out of his way in the final turn. The aggressive move earned Logano a spot in NASCAR’s championship race. He claimed his first Cup title three weeks later.
Power earns Indy pole
The Team Penske Will Power earned career pole No. 56 at the inaugural IndyCar Classic at the Circuit of the Americas, edging Andretti Autosport teammates Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay in Austin, Texas.
Sixteen of Power’s 35 career victories have come from pole position. Do it again Sunday and he’ll earn a $100,000 bonus. But the Australian said he’s eying an even bigger prize: a season championship to match his 2014 IndyCar crown.
“I want the $1 million at the end of the year,” Power said. “That’s much better.”
Power started on pole position at the season-opening race in St. Petersburg but finished third behind winner and Penske teammate Josef Newgarden.
The top three had to dig deep for the final laps to knock rookies Colton Herta of Harding Steinbrenner Racing and Felix Rosenqvist of Chip Ganassi Racing from the top spots. Herta will start fourth and Rosenqvist fifth.