Kyle Busch scores first Truck victory with Spire Motorsports at Atlanta

For the first time in nearly 15 years, Kyle Busch motored his way to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in equipment not related to him and used the draft to capture a dramatic victory in the Fr8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 24.

The two-time Cup Series champion from Las Vegas, Nevada, led four times for 33 of 135 scheduled laps in an event where he started seventh and made his presence at the front known in the early stages. After finishing in the top 10 after the first stage’s conclusion, Busch, who would capture the second stage victory, overtook Grant Enfinger for the lead with seven laps remaining. He also had to fend off late charges from Ty Majeski, Corey Heim and Taylor Gray to achieve his first victory as a Spire Motorsports competitor and his 65th Truck Series career victory.

With on-track qualifying that determined the starting lineup occurring on Friday, Feb. 23, Daniel Dye notched his first career pole position after a lap at 174.246 mph in 31.817 seconds. Joining him on the front row was teammate Tyler Ankrum, who posted the second-best qualifying lap at 173.467 mph in 31.960 seconds.

When the green flag waved and the race started, Ankrum gained an early advantage on the inside lane as he muscled into the lead followed by Ty Majeski and teammate Christian Eckes while Dye fell back to fourth in front of teammate Jack Wood, all while Connor Jones scraped the outside wall and fell off the pace while the event remained under green flag conditions. With Kyle Busch joining the battle, Majeski would lead the first lap by a hair over Ankrum before the latter jumped ahead to lead the next lap. Not long after, Busch and Ankrum would take turns swapping the lead amid a side-by-side battle in front of the pack fanned out to two tight-packed lanes.

Just past the Lap 10 mark, Eckes moved into the lead over Busch as Ankrum, Majeski and Dye were in the top five. Behind, rookie Layne Riggs, Jake Garcia, Chase Purdy, Jack Wood and Bayley Currey were in the top 10 ahead of Grant Enfinger, Rajah Caruth, Nick Sanchez, Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton while Tanner Gray, Corey Heim, Dean Thompson, Colby Howard and Taylor Gray occupied the top 20.

On Lap 15, the event’s first caution flag flew after Keith McGee, who was lapped by the field, spun in Turn 3. During the caution period, some including Sanchez, Heim, Thompson, Friesen, Ty Dillon and Connor Jones pitted while the rest led by Eckes remained on the track.

When the event restarted under green on Lap 21, Eckes and Majeski dueled for the lead, with the latter leading the next two laps before Eckes reassumed the top spot.

When the first stage period concluded on Lap 30, Eckes captured his first stage victory of the 2024 Truck Series season. Teammate Ankrum settled in second followed by Riggs, Enfinger and Majeski while Rhodes, Garcia, Busch, Wood and Dye settled in the top 10.

Under the stage break, a majority of the field led by Eckes pitted while the rest led by Ankrum remained on the track. During the pit stops, Eckes, who had radioed issues involving his brakes earlier, zipped by his pit stall while having issues to brake his entry. He would pit again to have the braking issues addressed, which took him out of contention for the race victory.

The second stage period started on Lap 36 as Ankrum led the field back to the green. Ankrum would maintain the top spot for the next six laps before Busch carved his way back to the front.

Nearing the Lap 50 mark, the caution flew after Thad Moffitt tried to move in front of Garcia when he got turned across the outside wall on the backstretch, which Moffitt then veered back to the left and into the side of Garcia as Riggs sustained damage to his entry after he was hit by Garcia while Moffitt spun, all occurring in Turn 3.

With the event restarting with six laps remaining in the second stage period, Busch maintained the lead over Ankrum and the field. He would maintain the lead for the next four laps just as the caution returned when Jack Wood spun across the frontstretch’s grass and damaged his front nose. Wood’s incident was enough for the second stage period scheduled to conclude on Lap 60 to conclude under caution as Busch captured the stage victory followed by Ankrum, Enfinger, Tanner Gray, Heim, Sanchez, Majeski, Caruth, Taylor Gray and Bayley Currey.

During the stage break, a majority of the field led by Busch pitted while the rest led by Mills remained on the track.

With 69 laps remaining, the final stage commenced under green as Thompson and Matt Mills occupied the front row. At the start, Mills and Thompson dueled for the lead exiting the frontstretch until Thompson muscled away from the field on the inside lane through the backstretch, which Mills then reclaimed the lead as the field navigated back to the frontstretch. During the following lap, Rhodes, who made contact with the outside wall, made a pit stop under green flag to address a flat right-front tire as Mills maintained the lead ahead of Thompson while Purdy was trying to gain an advantage from the inside lane followed by Ankrum.

A few laps later and as the field fanned out to three lanes, Ankrum navigated his way back into the lead, where he would then be challenged by Enfinger for the top spot amid the draft. Meanwhile, Mills and Thompson remained in the top five along with Taylor Gray while Heim was trying to fight his way into the top five along with Purdy.

With less than 60 laps remaining, Friesen pitted under green after scraping the outside wall on the backstretch. Caruth, who was running within the top 10, would fall off the pace due to a flat tire on his truck, but the caution would fly with 57 laps remaining due to debris reported on the frontstretch. During the pit stops, the entire field led by Ankrum pitted. Amid the pit services, Sanchez, Caruth and Timmy Hill were penalized for speeding on pit road while Matt Mills was also penalized for running over equipment. In addition, Enfinger had to reverse his truck on pit road to get it full of fuel.

With the event restarting with 50 laps remaining, Ankrum received a push from Heim to muscle ahead with the lead on the outside lane followed by Kyle Busch, Currey and the field. Ankrum would retain the lead amid the draft and in front of two packed lanes during the proceeding laps while Heim settled in second followed by Busch, Currey and Taylor Gray. Shortly after, Mills fell off the pace after cutting a right-front tire from scraping the wall earlier and he pitted under green. The caution, however, returned with 42 laps remaining due to debris being reported in Turn 4. By then, Currey pitted to address his roof hatch being displaced.

During the following restart with 36 laps remaining, Ankrum and Thompson battled dead even for the lead through the first two turns until Majeski shoved Thompson into the lead from the inside lane while Ankrum briefly lost his momentum and drafting boost from Heim on the outside lane. Then just as Majeski attempted to make a move on Thompson, the caution returned due to debris being reported on the frontstretch.

With the event restarting with 31 laps remaining under green, Thompson was shoved out of the draft by Majeski on the outside lane. This resulted in Thompson backsliding as Ankrum moved back into the lead followed by Busch while Majeski was left battling Enfinger, Sanchez and Heim for third place amid two tight-packed lanes.

Not long after, a tight battle for the lead ignited between Ankrum and Enfinger, with Busch settling behind Ankrum while Enfinger had Sanchez drafting him on the inside lane. Following their brief duel, Enfinger moved into the lead with 29 laps remaining. He would retain the lead with 25 laps remaining over Busch, Majeski, Heim, Taylor Gray and Sanchez while Ankrum, who transitioned to the inside lane, was backsliding towards the top-10 mark.

With 20 laps remaining and with the majority of the field running in a long single-file line towards the outside wall, Enfinger was leading followed by Busch, Majeski, Heim and Taylor Gray while Sanchez, Honeycutt, Ankrum, Caruth and Daniel Dye were running in the top 10 ahead of Purdy, Thompson, Holmes, Dillon, Rhodes, Lawless Alan, Garcia, Crafton, Howard and Mason Massey, all of whom occupied the top 20.

Down to the final 10 laps of the event, Enfinger retained the lead followed by Busch, Majeski, Heim and Taylor Gray while Rhodes, who tried to make a move on the inside lane, was shuffled back to 11th place. Shortly after, Rhodes made contact with the outside wall entering Turn 3, which forced him to pit while the event remained under green flag conditions.

Then three laps later and as the leader navigated through lapped traffic, Busch dived to the left and overtook Enfinger for the lead entering Turns 1 and 2. He was followed by Majeski, Heim, Taylor Gray and the rest of the field while Enfinger was falling off the pace due to a flat tire on his truck, an issue that would result in Enfinger pitting under green, while Busch maintained the lead over a hard-charging Majeski.

With five laps remaining, Busch was still leading ahead of a slight four-truck breakaway that included Maejski, Heim and Taylor Gray while Sanchez and Honeycutt led another drafting group of competitors trying to close in.

When the white flag waved and the final lap started, Busch remained as the leader ahead of Majeski, Heim and Gray while Sanchez was trying to close in from fifth place. With Majeski, Heim and Taylor Gray unable to gain any advantage for a final circuit, Busch was able to maintain the lead and cycle his way back to the frontstretch victorious as he claimed the checkered flag by a tenth of a second over Majeski.

With the victory, Busch, who remains as the all-time wins leader in the Truck Series with 65 victories, achieved his seventh series victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway and his first since 2021. The victory was also Busch’s first driving for Spire Motorsports, the team that purchased Kyle Busch Motorsports at the conclusion of the 2023 season, and the 19th season overall where Busch has achieved at least one victory in the Truck Series. In addition, Spire Motorsports achieved its third career victory in the Truck circuit.

Busch is scheduled to return as the driver of the No. 7 entry for Spire Motorsports for the upcoming Truck Series events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway, both in March, followed by Texas Motor Speedway in April and at Darlington Raceway in May.

HAMPTON, GEORGIA – FEBRUARY 24: Kyle Busch, driver of the #7 Group 1001 Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Fr8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 24, 2024 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images).

“You’re relying on help, right?” Busch said on FS1. “You got to have guys behind you that are willing to work with you. Majeski was that guy today for me. There at the end, we had a bunch of Spire [Motorsports] teammates out there that were great to work with, too. Thanks to Chevrolet, appreciate Spire, Group1001, everybody that’s been a part of this organization from the very start to what we have today. It’s a lot of fun.”

Majeski, who led three laps, settled in the runner-up spot followed by Heim, Taylor Gray and Sanchez while Honeycutt, Ankrum, Caruth, Daniel Dye and Thompson settled in the top 10 on the track.

*Following the post-race inspection process, rookie Layne Riggs was disqualified due to his Front Row Motorsports entry not having windshield fasteners tightened for the entire event.

There were 20 lead changes for seven different leaders. The race featured seven cautions for 37 laps. In total, 20 of the 33 starters finished on the lead lap.

Following the second event of the 2024 Truck Series season, Tyler Ankrum continues to lead the regular-season standings by 10 points over Ty Majeski, 12 over Nick Sanchez, 15 over Corey Heim and 24 over Rajah Caruth.


1. Kyle Busch, 33 laps led, Stage 2 winner

2. Ty Majeski, three laps led

3. Corey Heim

4. Taylor Gray

5. Nick Sanchez

6. Kaden Honeycutt

7. Tyler Ankrum, 46 laps led

8. Rajah Caruth

9. Daniel Dye

10. Dean Thompson, four laps led

11. Bret Holmes

12. Lawless Alan

13. Matt Crafton

14. Ty Dillon

15. Chase Purdy

16. Jake Garcia

17. Colby Howard

18. Timmy Hill

19. Tanner Gray

20. Mason Massey

21. Keith McGee, one lap down

22. Spencer Boyd, one lap down

23. Stewart Friesen, two laps down

24. Mason Maggio, two laps down

25. Grant Enfinger, two laps down, 23 laps led

26. Thad Moffitt, three laps down

27. Matt Mills, three laps down, six laps led

28. Ben Rhodes, five laps down

29. Connor Jones, six laps down

30. Bayley Currey – OUT, Damage

31. Jack Wood – OUT, Accident

32. Christian Eckes – OUT, Brakes, 20 laps led, Stage 1 winner

33. Layne Riggs – Disqualified

Next on the 2024 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule is Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200. The event is scheduled to occur next Friday, March 1, at 9 p.m. ET on FS1.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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