Kyle Busch Motorsports owner/driver Kyle Busch held on for a third-place finish in Thursday night’s UNOH 225 Camping World Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway after a late-race pit stop left Busch’s No. 51 ToyotaCare Toyota Tundra “wrecking loose” in the late stages of the race.
Busch started the race sixth, beaten in qualifying by both Darrell Wallace Jr., who qualified on the outside pole, and Joey Coulter, who qualified fifth.
Busch was leading going into the pit stop, and left the pits in the lead when racing resumed with 38 laps to go. With 25 to go, Busch was forced the surrender the lead to eventual winner Ty Dillon. Brad Keselowski also passed Busch to take second-place, but he was able to hold off James Buescher for the third-place finish.
“The ToyotaCare Tundra was really fast – we didn’t make a good enough adjustment on that last pit stop and we put two tires on it to get it tight enough to hustle the truck through the corners,” said Busch on the KBM website. “I was just fighting for what I had.”
Wallace Jr. had a strong run go wrong when he tangled with the wall while racing Ryan Blaney for position. The driver of the No. 54 Camping World/Good Sam Toyota led a race-high 54 laps before heading to the garage for repairs; he came back 43 laps down and finished in 28th position.
“It was just hard racing going into (turn) three,” said Wallace Jr. “Me and Ryan (Blaney) – just a little tight right there and I got loose. I thought I had it saved and I think if he wasn’t there and already gone that I might have saved it and just lost more positions. Just hard racing. I’m still trying to figure these trucks out – I’m a rookie, that’s what the yellow stripes are for. Thanks again to Toyota, Good Sam, Camping World – we’ll be back. We had another truck to beat and we were out running the boss, so that’s pretty fun.”
Coulter, in the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota, was running ninth in the final laps when the air was taken off his Tundra while battling for position, relegating him to a 16th-place finish.
“The entire Kyle Busch Motorsports organization put a lot of effort into this race tonight and I just hate the way our night ended up,” said Coulter. “My Tundra was really good all day and qualified really well, so I was pretty confident that we would be a solid contender during the race. Unfortunately, the package that we brought had no front grip and wasn’t very good in traffic, so I battled for everything I had all night – the track was really slick and I was just really tight. After we made the two-tire pit stop there at the end, I got better and it looked like we were going to salvage a decent finish until that last lap. I was just making a pass on the inside of the 77 in Turn 4 and he came down on me, took the air off my spoiler and around I went.”
The Nationwide Series Feed The Children 300 takes the green flag at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday night. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com and www.kylebuschmotorsports.com.
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