With a pass on Brad Keselowski with 23 laps to go, Kyle Busch would take the lead and hold Keselowski off to win the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday night. It marks Busch’s fourth win of the season and seventh top 10 in eight starts this year.
“That was tough,” Busch said of racing against Keselowski and Keselowski’s young teammate Ryan Blaney. “Brad and Ryan had some really good trucks today. Can’t say enough about this Dollar General Toyota tundra. We didn’t have the speed on the short run, but on the long run, we had as strong truck. Great win for this team. They really deserved it. Rudy and these guys worked hard in practice, tried some things that worked, other things that didn’t work.”
Jeb Burton led early though for most of the race, it was Busch, Keselowski and Blaney trading the lead back and forth. Their battle for the lead at the front allowed NASCAR to set a new record for the most passes for the lead made under green flag conditions at 50.
Keselowski finished second for his third top 10 finish of the year. As the truck owner looks for his truck win, he has now finished second on five different occasions. Keselowski had been closing on Busch in the final laps, though wasn’t able to find a way by.
“It was great,” Keselowski said of the racing with Busch and Blaney. “I hope it was a thrill to watch. That was the most fun you can have finishing second. The guys did an awesome job – just came up a little short there. Finally came in there at the end and just needed a couple more laps there.”
Keselowski’s teammate Ryan Blaney finished third after running in the top five for most of the race.
“It was a lot of fun,” Blaney commented. “I hope everyone watching had a good time watching it. it was fun from where I was sitting. It was cool to work with Brad there. I thought we’d be able to keep the 51 behind us. I could push Brad out front but just never was able to pass Kyle there. Pretty cool having both BKR trucks in the top three not bad, just needed a little bit more.”
Points leader Matt Crafton continued his string of solid finishes with a fourth. It marks his 16th top 10 finish in the 16 races run so far this year.
“Just can’t thank these guys enough,” he said. “They worked so hard on things tonight. We were junk at the beginning. We’d go for about two or three laps and then it would go to like an anchor. We came in and made a ton of adjustments – tire pressure, wedge. It says a lot about this team and how strong they are.”
Crafton now leads Buescher by 41 points with six races remaining in the schedule.
“It was a blast,” Crafton said of the racing. “That is why the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is the best racing. If the fans can’t see that, then they’re crazy.”
Ty Dillon rounded out the top five.
“It was a long night for us,” he commented afterwards. “Our truck was definitely fast. The bottom was harsh on those restarts and we’d never get on the top for a restart so we lost some spots there. Once we got single file there, it was hard to pass. Wish we could’ve got on the top side for one of those restarts.”
John Wes Townley finished sixth followed by Austin Dillon. Austin was filling in for Brennan Newberry as Newberry was sidelined due to food poisoning. James Buescher finished eighth followed by Jeb Burton and Johnny Sauter.
Front runner Timothy Peters made hard contact with the wall with about 50 laps ago after trying to cut across Ryan Sieg’s bumper.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be back in action later this month on September 28th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.