After a rough stretch of races, Kyle Busch piloted his No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra back to victory lane again at Homestead Miami Speedway, but it wasn’t all that easy for the Las Vegas native.
Prior to the event going green, Busch had prerace inspection issues and had to drop to the rear and serve a pass-through penalty. It wasn’t until Lap 39 when the KBM driver would get back to the front to take the lead which he held for 58 laps, taking the Stage 2 victory. In the end, Busch had to persevere through a red flag and a late-race restart to take home his second victory of the year.
“You’re always concerned about tires being better and having the opportunity to out-show you, but I felt like six laps was just the right amount, any more than that and it probably would have been a different outcome,” said Busch.
“I knew the Cessna Beechcraft Toyota Tundra here was going to be awesome. Thanks to TRD and Rowdy Energy, everybody that helps us here and makes us so fast and want to say thanks to Big Machine Hand Sanitizer as well, they were on the quarter panel the last two weeks and we didn’t win and now they’re not here and we won.”
Stage 1: Lap 1 – Lap 30
When the race went green, not only the drivers were racing to the checkered flag, but NASCAR was as well due to potential impending weather in the area. With weather in the area, there was a lot of thrilling action from the start.
Sheldon Creed would make slight contact with the wall early on, while the leaders battled with each other. Despite Creed hitting the wall, there would be no caution and last week’s runner-up Austin Hill led the field to the mandatory competition caution on Lap 15.
After the caution, five laps later, another one ensued as a major wreck broke loose between Brett Moffitt and Zane Smith. Brennan Poole and Chase Elliott were also involved, albeit with slight damage to their vehicles. Unfortunately for Moffitt and Smith, their night was done early for too much damage and they were relegated to finishing 36th and 37th.
A late-stage restart was seen and Niece Motorsports driver, Ross Chastain, passed Hill just before the stage completed. Chastain would end up winning the stage with Ben Rhodes, Hill, Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton, Todd Gilliland, Christian Eckes, Raphael Lessard, Stewart Friesen, and Creed the top-10 finishers.
Under the stage caution, several trucks stayed out including Eckes, Majeski, Ankrum, Poole, Kraus, Greenfield, Fogleman, Elliott, and Busch. Dawson Cram was too fast on pit road.
Stage 2: Lap 35 – Lap 60
Once Stage 2 began, Busch took the lead on Lap 39, which was the first time in the race for Busch to be out front.
Other than a piece of debris out of the racing groove, Matt Crafton in the wall in Turn 4 with five to go in the stage and losing a tire, Stage 2 was caution free.
With Stage 2 going caution free, Busch would take his first stage win of the night. Chastain, Hill, Eckes, Gilliland, Rhodes, Elliott, Kraus, Enfinger, and Lessard rounded out the top-10
Stage 3: Lap 66 – Lap 134
The third and final stage saw more action than the other previous stages.
Beginning with Lap 69, Poole had a tire go down which brought out the caution. Charlotte winner, Elliott, was in the wall slightly but no caution.
As a green flag run took place, green flag pit stops began with 39 to go. Eckes, Crafton and Poole played pit strategy during the normal cycle of stops. In order for the strategy to work, a caution had to be flown within their pit window. Alas, a caution was flown with 30 to go for Korbin Forrister who had problems with his No. 7 machine. Under the yellow, Eckes, Busch, Crafton and Rhodes among a few others came on to pit road to pit.
During the pit stops, we saw a bizarre incident that occurred when Sheldon Creed in the No. 2 got called to pit road at the last second. However, it was too late for Creed to make a left-hand turn to pit road, which caused him to hit the water/sand barriers. As water and sand went everywhere, a 15-minute red flag was displayed.
Once the red was lifted, a restart came with 24 to go. Busch would eventually take the lead a lap later and set the pace. But, the last caution flew with 12 to go for the No. 3 of Jordan Anderson, which set up a seven-lap dash to the finish.
It only took Busch a couple of laps before he cleared the field and once he did so, he set sail to his 58th career victory in the Truck Series, and his third victory at Homestead, the first time in seven years.
When asked if Busch would retire from the Truck Series as he approaches 100 in that series, he said it wouldn’t be that easy to kick him out.
“If my name is on the door, I’ll run as many as I’ll possibly can,” Busch said. “You can’t get rid of me that easily. Maybe one day, they’ll fix the rules where I will run more or I can be like Mark Martin and run Trucks full time (after I retire from Cup). Perhaps one day, I’ll go Trucks full time and run for a championship. Who knows?”
There were seven caution for 34 laps and six leaders among eight lead changes. Busch led twice for 82 laps.
- Kyle Busch, led 82 laps, won Stage 2
- Tyler Ankrum
- Ross Chastain, won Stage 1
- Chase Elliott
- Johnny Sauter
- Todd Gilliland
- Austin Hill
- Christian Eckes
- Matt Crafton
- Ty Majeski
- Raphael Lessard
- Tanner Gray
- Spencer Davis
- Stewart Friesen
- Derek Kraus
- Austin Wayne Self
- Grant Enfinger
- Ben Rhodes
- Brennan Poole
- Sheldon Creed
- Cory Roper
- Spencer Boyd
- Tate Fogleman
- Angela Ruch
- Tyler Hill, one lap down
- Gray Gaulding, one lap down
- Jennifer Jo Cobb, two laps down
- Codie Rohrbaugh, two laps down
- Ray Ciccareli, three laps down
- Clay Greenfield, 12 laps down
- Jordan Anderson, OUT, Crash
- Dawson Cram, OUT, Transmission
- Korbin Forrister, OUT, Crash
- Norm Benning, OUT, Handling
- T.J. Bell, OUT, Crash
- Brett Moffitt, OUT, Crash
- Zane Smith, OUT, Crash
- Bryant Barnhill, OUT, Transmission
Up Next: The NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series will take a few weeks off before returning to action at Pocono Raceway Saturday, June 27.