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NASCAR Truck: Kyle Busch wins again at Texas

during the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Vankor 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on March 29, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas.

By AMANDA VINCENT

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Kyle Busch ran his fourth NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race of 2019, five races into the Truck Series season, Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway. The result was a fourth series win of the year in the Vankor 350, even though the race was his first Truck Series race at TMS since 2014.

“It was a pretty good night for us,” Busch said. “Obviously, the Cessna Beechcraft Tundra was fast. I wish it was faster. I thought we were pretty good. Not as good as we wanted to be once we stacked up next to the field.”

Stewart Friesen battled Busch for the lead and eventual win late in the race before Busch began to gradually pull away in the closing laps. Unable to get by the series’ all-time winningest driver, Friesen, still in search of his first Truck Series win, finished second for the fifth time in the series.

Johnny Sauter finished third, and Grant Enfinger and Matt Crafton rounded out the top-five.

Busch led 97 of the 147 laps that made up the race, but his dominance didn’t start until after the first 35-lap stage, which was won by Enfinger.

Enfinger started on the pole and was up front at lap 35, but he didn’t lead the entire stage. Instead, Brett Moffitt was up front for most of the opening stage, running up front for 25 of the 35 laps. Enfinger took the lead from Moffitt on a restart that followed a lap-27 caution for Gus Dean. He and Sheldon Creed battled for the stage win in the final three laps of the stage before Ben Rhodes took second and waged a side-by-side battle with Enfinger as the first stage ended.

The lap-27 caution was the fourth of the race. The 350 km race was attrition-filled, with the yellow flag waving nine times. The sixth caution on the race on lap 49 led to a nearly 16-minute red flag for track clean-up after Anthony Alfredo’s truck hit the wall and caught fire.

“I just got a little bit aero tight there on the bottom, there,” Alfredo said. “I tried my best to keep it on the bottom, but Stewart Friesen was on my door tight, there, so I didn’t have any space to chase it. I got loose when he sucked the air off the right side. That happens in these trucks. They’re very sensitive. I tried my best to hold onto it, just didn’t have the space. Just ran out of room, there. It’s pretty early to be aggressive, but that’s kind of a racing incident, I guess. That’s what happens in these things. I’m here to learn. Third race in a truck, third race on a mile-and-a-half. I wish we could’ve finished it, because we had an awesome Toyota Racing Tundra. My DGR-Crosley crew did an awesome job all weekend. I made a mistake in qualifying and started 14th. I think we should’ve started in the top-five, but we pulled some strategy, there, and found ourselves up towards the front again, but unfortunately, our day ended early.”

Busch dominance began with the beginning of the second stage. After pitting during the fourth caution, the eventual race winner stayed out during the caution between the first two stages to inherit the lead. Crafton utilized the same strategy, and the two drivers ran first and second throughout the second stage, with Busch claiming the second-stage win.

Sauter took fuel only after the second stage to get off pit road first and start the final stage as the leader. Busch, though, got back to the front when he passed Sauter on lap 82.

Moffit took one last lead with a pass on Busch with just under 50 to go, but a two-tire stop for Busch and a four-tire stop for Moffit during the eighth yellow flag with about 45 laps remaining resulted in Busch retaking the lead and Moffitt restarting 10th.

Moffitt and Friesen, also on four new tires, moved back toward the front quickly to challenge Busch for the lead. They were second and third and challenging Busch for the top spot after the final restart, but Moffitt sustained damage that resulted in an unscheduled pit stop late in the race. He wound up 19th at the finish.

“The 24 (Moffitt) was really fast and the 52 (Friesen) was really fast. They made me work for it,” Busch said. “They certainly got my money’s worth tonight. I want to say thanks to TRD [Toyota Racing Development], Rowdy Manufacturing and all of the fans; the Truck Series fans are the thoroughbreds of our sport. It’s coming out here on a Friday night; supporting the truck guys is what makes all this go round, so appreciate them. And, of course, Gander Outdoors, Black Clover, DVX Sunglasses, Adidas and Incredible Bank. It takes a lot of us to get all of this to go, so it’s fun.”

Other top-10 finishers included Tyler Ankrum in sixth, Ross Chastain in seventh, Tyler Dippel in eighth, Brennan Poole ninth and Ben Rhodes in 10th.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Vankor 350:

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Posted by on March 30, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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