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Chicagoland: Kyle Busch prevails

NASCAR Track race
Saturday, August 29, 2009

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Kyle Busch celebrates
Getty Images for NASCAR
Kyle Busch won his second straight race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, passing Todd Bodine with 19 laps remaining to take the inaugural EnjoyIllinois.com 225 on Friday at Chicagoland Speedway.

It was Busch's fourth win of the season in 10 starts in the Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota. Busch also made Chicagoland the fifth track in which he has won a race in each of NASCAR's three national series. He won the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races there last season.

"It was a fun night," Busch said. "My parents are from just outside Chicago and my girlfriend is from just over the border in Indiana, and it was cool to come back and win before the home folks in the Midwest."

Busch also has won in all three national series at Phoenix, the Auto Club Speedway in California, Dover and Bristol.

"It's definitely an accomplishment," Busch said. "I'd love to get some more."

Bodine finished second, .580 seconds behind. It was his first top five in the last six races.

"Second is pretty good after the last two months," Bodine said. "We'll take it."

Bodine took the lead on Lap 98 of 150 when Busch made his final pit stops for tires and fuel, on consecutive laps. Busch was fifth for the restart with 50 laps remaining.

Bodine then pulled out to a commanding lead. Busch steadily climbed and passed Timothy Peters for second just before a caution came out on Lap 122.

"Bodine had the race won until that caution came out," Busch said.

Busch wasn't able to overtake Bodine on the next restart, but there was another caution three laps later. The restart was on Lap 132, calling for it to be single-file. It left the bottom of the 1.5-mile track open for Busch.

"I got too good a restart," Bodine said. "This place is so much like Daytona and Talladega and he was able to get a draft on me and drafted past me."

Busch stuck to the bottom through Turns 1 and 2 and passed Bodine going into Turn 3.

"I didn't have that good a restart, but I got through (Turns) 1 and 2 really good," Busch said. "I pulled low on the back straight and alongside to break his momentum a little bit. He gave me room going into Turn 3, raced me clean. If he hadn't, it could have gotten ugly."

Colin Braun was third, followed by Rick Crawford and Johnny Sauter.

Points leader Ron Hornaday Jr. finished 11th, but still gained points on second-place driver Matt Crafton, who finished 14th. Hornaday leads Crafton by 220 points with nine races remaining. Mike Skinner ran 13th and is 316 points back in third.

Hornaday and Crafton were trapped a lap down just past the halfway point. Busch, Bodine, Braun and several others pitted on Lap 22, and a 62-lap green flag run forced Hornaday and Crafton to pit twice under green. A caution on Lap 97 put those two a lap down. Hornaday didn't get back on the lead lap until the final caution that fell on Lap 139.

KYLE BUSCH Q&A

How special is this win tonight?
"It's pretty cool, man.  This is awesome to come out here with a brand new piece.  Thank all these guys from Billy Ballew Motorsports -- the pit crew did a good job tonight.  I really want to thank the fans, Miccosukee, Tundra, Toyota -- all those guys that do such an awesome job for us -- Gillette, Marquis Jets.  Richie (Wauters, crew chief) made a good pit call there in the beginning of the race to take tires when we did.  Luckily, they had that long green flag run.  We made it look like we knew what we were doing and that long run just hurt everybody else -- got them behind (Ron) Hornaday, Jr., -- he was a good truck tonight.  The 88 (Matt Crafton) was a good truck tonight, too.  The right pit strategy kept us up front there.  We had a little trouble coming through traffic sometimes, but once you get up front in clean air -- the thing just takes off."

How did you make the pass on the late restart?
"The pass on the restart I just had to make sure that I got a good restart when I got a good run on him (Todd Bodine) down on the bottom-side -- I just had to stay there.  I just had to keep going.  Even if he pinched me into turn three, I was going to have to keep my nose in there because that was the only position I had on him -- I had to keep my position.  He raced me great.  (Todd) Bodine did a great job -- helped Toyota get a win here.  He was a fast truck, too -- but we kept them Fords back there.  Hopefully, we can do it again."

How was your truck throughout the race?
"It was a really good night for us.  The Miccosukee Tundra was pretty good.  We were real proud of the way that we brought a brand new truck here out of the box.  We were dragging in practice a little bit.  We had to work through a few things to get the truck off the race track.  It still was hitting during the race -- just brushing the race track a little bit.  We're going to take it home, work on it a little bit, polish it up and get it ready for the next one.  Richie (Wauters, crew chief) and Billy (Ballew, team owner) and all these guys work so hard -- they do a great job with not a lot.  Real proud of the effort we had here -- a fun night, overall.  The pit strategy worked to our advantage -- I think with 20 laps into the race, or something like that -- I thought it was early to get tires, but we decided to get them.  Then we went a long run there.  I think we went 80 laps or something green and it really paid to our side -- I didn't think it would, but it did.  We had a strong truck.  We just had to make sure we kept the right tires on it and kept the right adjustments in it and got the thing up towards the front there. So, real proud of the way the thing drove out front.  It was a little loose in traffic, but fortunately we were able to make it through the traffic okay."

What allowed you to make the pass on the late restart?
"I knew I needed a long run.  If I could have had a long run, I felt like I could get by him.  If I could have got it done in the first couple laps of a restart, then I knew it would be easier.  I just figured that if I could get a good restart  -- which I really didn't get that great of a restart -- I got through turns one and two really good, you could hold it wide open for the first few laps after a restart.  I got a good run through (turns) one and two -- sort of drafted up off him a little bit, pulled low down the back straightaway and got just enough alongside of him that it broke his momentum a little bit and I was able to get him to give me room getting into turn three.  If he (Todd Bodine) didn't give me room it might have gotten a little ugly, but we made it work.  So, Todd (Bodine) was very gracious and a great racer there -- and spared the day for Toyota to finish one-two."

How does it feel to have won in all three NASCAR series at Chicagoland?
"It's definitely an accomplishment.  I love being able to win races in anything, anywhere -- and I don't know if this is my fifth venue, or what that I've done it at.  I've got Phoenix done.  I've got California done.  There are five -- I can't name them all.  But, I'm trying for more.  So, hopefully we can get some more in there.  I'd love to be able to get a sweep at every place that I've been to -- time will tell that -- hopefully down the road.  It's cool to win here in Chicago.  My parents are from just outside (Chicago) in the suburbs.  They grew up around this area.  My girlfriend is from around here -- just across the border in Indiana.  So, it's really cool to sort of come to this second home in the Midwest and win in front of all the family and friends here."

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 4 51 Kyle Busch Toyota Miccosukee Resort & Gaming / Red Top Auto Auction 195/10 150 Running
2 3 30 Todd Bodine Toyota Ventrilo 175/5 150 Running
3 10 6 Colin Braun Ford Con-way Freight 165/0 150 Running
4 5 14 Rick Crawford Ford Circle Bar Truck Corral / International 160/0 150 Running
5 11 13 Johnny Sauter * Chevrolet Fun Sand / Rodney Atkins / Curb Records 155/0 150 Running
6 14 8 Dennis Setzer Chevrolet Malcolmson Construction 150/0 150 Running
7 2 07 Chad McCumbee Chevrolet ASI Limited 146/0 150 Running
8 20 15 Aric Almirola Toyota Graceway Pharmaceutica-ls 142/0 150 Running
9 21 117 Timothy Peters Toyota Strutmasters.com / Red Horse Racing 143/5 150 Running
10 22 25 Terry Cook Toyota Cajun Industries / Harris Trucking 134/0 150 Running
11 6 33 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet Turtle Wax 135/5 150 Running
12 8 60 Stacy Compton Toyota SafeAuto Insurance Company 127/0 150 Running
13 18 5 Mike Skinner Toyota PC*Miler Navigator 124/0 150 Running
14 1 88 Matt Crafton Chevrolet Ideal Door / Menards 126/5 149 Running
15 23 11 T.J. Bell Toyota Red Horse Racing 118/0 149 Running
16 7 190 Brent Sherman Toyota Great Clips 115/0 149 Running
17 28 139 Ryan Sieg Chevrolet S&W Services / RWS South, Inc. 112/0 149 Running
18 13 4 Ricky Carmichael * Chevrolet Monster Energy 109/0 148 Running
19 9 23 Jason White Dodge GunBroker.com 106/0 148 Running
20 16 10 James Buescher * Ford International Maxx Force Diesel 103/0 147 Running
21 31 144 Tommy Joe Martins Ford TBA 100/0 146 Running
22 17 24 David Starr Toyota CareerBuilder.com / Zachry / Harris Trkg 97/0 145 Running
23 15 81 Tayler Malsam * Toyota One Eighty 99/5 137 Accident
24 33 157 Norm Benning Chevrolet Norm Benning Racing 91/0 74 Shock
25 27 63 Tim Andrews Ford Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool 88/0 71 Engine
26 34 148 Wayne Edwards Chevrolet Rockingham Speedway 85/0 63 Transmission
27 19 129 Mikey Kile Chevrolet Greased Lightning 82/0 40 Accident
28 12 16 Brian Scott Toyota Albertsons 79/0 37 Accident
29 36 85 Brent Raymer * Ford CTR Fabrication PE 28 Handling
30 35 47 Brandon Knupp Chevrolet FT-11 Multi-Purpose Degreaser 73/0 21 Handling
31 25 293 Shane Sieg Chevrolet S&W Services 70/0 18 Engine
32 24 212 Mario Gosselin Chevrolet James Carter Attorney / SponsorTheTruck.com 67/0 13 Oil Pressure
33 32 08 Johnny Chapman Chevrolet ASI Limited 64/0 6 Ignition
34 26 121 Nick Tucker Dodge GunBroker.com 61/0 5 Vibration
35 29 41 Ryan Mathews Dodge Mike Berg Trucking 58/0 1 Transmission
36 30 102 Andy Ponstein Chevrolet Corrie Stott Racing.com 55/0 0 Transmission

* Denotes Rookie

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