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Kyle Busch Dominates Truck Race At Phoenix

Fastest to 25th win
Saturday, February 26, 2011

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Kyle Busch celebrates his 25th truck win
Getty Images by NASCAR

Win the race off pit road. Win the race.

After taking the lead under caution on Lap 44 of Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway, Kyle Busch led the final 107 to post his second win at the 1-mile track and his 25th in the Camping World Truck Series.

Busch beat polesitter Clint Bowyer to the checkered flag by 0.291 seconds, as Bowyer tightened the margin on the final lap.

Ron Hornaday Jr. was third, followed by Johnny Sauter and Austin Dillon.

As full-time Sprint Cup drivers, Busch and Bowyer aren’t collecting points in the truck series. Consequently, seventh-place finisher Matt Crafton left Phoenix with a one-point lead over Clay Rogers (16th Friday) in the series standings.

“We had a really good truck, but I was scared there at the beginning,” said Busch, who ran second to a dominant Bowyer at Phoenix in November. “I was like, ‘Man, it’s going to come down like last fall — Clint’s going to walk the dog on this one.’

“But (crew chief) Eric (Phillips) made some changes to this thing that really brought it to life.”

Bowyer faulted himself for not being able to overtake Busch on six restarts in the final 50 laps of the race.

“Whichever one of us had clean air, we were about a 10th (of a second) to a 10th and a half better,” Bowyer said. “For me — and I’m not making any excuses; I was screwing up big-time on the restarts — I’m just not used to a) not having any power and b) I was hitting the rev what sounded like about 5,000 less rpm than it should have been.

“I was just messing up. It’s the difference between a Corvette and an Impala—maybe a Volt. … That’s that electric car.”

Bowyer dominated the opening green-flag run, leading the first 41 laps before Chase Mattioli blew his right front tire and scattered debris in Turn 3. After pit stops, Busch was first off pit road and held the top spot through four more cautions, the last of which (and fifth of the race) was caused by a wreck off Turn 4 involving defending series champion Todd Bodine, David Starr and Dusty Davis.

Busch led the field to a restart on Lap 120, having held the point for 76 consecutive laps. Timothy Peters’ spin in Turn 2 on Lap 123 slowed the race for the sixth time.

In the late going, the trucks had difficulty running more than three laps without a caution. Brendan Gaughan spun and backed into the wall in Turn 2 on Lap 128 to bring out the seventh yellow flag.

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position:  1st

Can you savor this moment?
“It’s pretty amazing and it’s been that way for a long time.  I’ve got a lot of great people that have stood behind me from the beginning.  Those that are with us here tonight -- everybody from Dollar General -- these guys are phenomenal to work with, fun to work with and I love getting them to victory lane.  This Toyota Tundra was awesome and the results showed.  We had a good truck.  I was scared there in the beginning.  I was like, ‘Man, it’s going to come down to like last fall and Clint (Bowyer) is going to walk the dog on this one.’  But, Rick (Ren, general manager) and Eric (Phillips, crew chief) made some changes to this thing and really brought it to life.  It was just phenomenal.  It’s great fun to come out here and race with these guys.  Congratulations to these guys, (Ron) Hornaday bringing home a good third-place, I know he’s downing for a good points.  It’s cool to come out here and win in Phoenix.  It’s kind of the west coast -- I'm a west coast boy so this is neat for me.”

What are Kyle Busch Motorsports’ goals for 2011?
“The goals – I don’t know that we’ve set any goals, we just know that if we can go out and reach our potential every week that the results will come.  The guys did a great job tonight on pit road.  They were phenomenal there.  They had some great pit stops.  We had some different guys because we sent a couple guys to the Nationwide team at Joe Gibbs Racing.  We’re a feeder team even though J.D. (Gibbs, president, Joe Gibbs Racing) doesn’t think we are, we’re still a feeder team for those guys.  Its fun for us, we love coming out here with Kyle Busch Motorsports and winning like this.  I want to say hey to my kids who are here from the Sunshine Acres Home (Mesa, Arizona) through the Kyle Busch Foundation.  We had about 50 of them here tonight.  It was cool to get those guys tickets, thanks to the raceway for that.”

What role did your pit crew play in tonight’s win?
“They’re phenomenal.  They’ve done a great job.  No matter how much J.D. (Gibbs, president, Joe Gibbs Racing) doesn’t like to say this is a feeder team for his stuff, it is.  A couple of our guys left and went over there.  They didn’t leave -- we sent them over there as kind of a build up.  It’s really cool to have the guys we brought in here, we taught them a little bit and we’re getting the same results.  To have new kids come in here and learn, that’s what the Truck Series is all about.  We’re helping everybody – we’ve had a blast and of course I can’t say enough about these guys.  They did a great job for me and hopefully we can keep these results coming.”

ERIC PHILLIPS, Crew Chief, No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Did you spend time during the offseason preparing for short track racing like tonight’s race?
“After we were here last fall, I think we beat Kevin (Harvick) one short track race last year, or Kevin’s group – the 2 and 33 (Ron Hornaday) trucks.  We felt like we needed to work hard on the short track program over the winter.  So, we went to work after we got back from Homestead and built this new truck.  We focused hard on all the details, making it light, low – all the things you do on short track trucks.  The guys did an awesome job building.  I was really excited there a few weeks ago when we got it finished.  From the day we put it on the plate to set it up, it’s just one of those trucks where everything fits and goes together the way you want so it makes you happy that they did their job.  When we unloaded today it was really fast right out of the truck.  It’s just a compliment to them and their hard work.”

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 3 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Dollar General 0 150 Running
2 1 2 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Tide / Kroger 0 150 Running
3 4 33 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes 41/0 150 Running
4 8 13 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet SafeAuto Insurance Co. / Curb Records 40/0 150 Running
5 2 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Remington Arms / Tracker 39/0 150 Running
6 9 60 Cole Whitt* Chevrolet Red Bull 38/0 150 Running
7 6 88 Matt Crafton Chevrolet Ideal Door / Menards 37/0 150 Running
8 14 51 Justin Johnson* Toyota Vision Airlines / Wounded Warrior Project 36/0 150 Running
9 10 22 Joey Coulter* Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing / Rip-It Energy 35/0 150 Running
10 17 23 Jason White Chevrolet GunBroker.com 34/0 150 Running
11 21 32 Brad Sweet Chevrolet Great Clips 33/0 150 Running
12 11 17 Timothy Peters Toyota GearWrench 32/0 150 Running
13 22 8 Nelson Piquet Jr.* Chevrolet Qualcomm / Nelson Piquet 31/0 150 Running
14 7 30 Todd Bodine Toyota Germain.com 30/0 150 Running
15 18 9 Max Papis Toyota GEICO 29/0 150 Running
16 13 92 Clay Rogers Chevrolet fleetHQ.com / BTS Tire & Wheel Distributors 28/0 150 Running
17 12 62 Brendan Gaughan Toyota South Point Hotel & Casino 27/0 149 Running
18 27 66 Justin Marks Chevrolet GoPro 26/0 148 Running
19 29 1 Jeffrey Earnhardt * Chevrolet Fuel Doctor USA 25/0 148 Running
20 25 20 Johanna Long * Toyota Panhandle Grading and Paving 24/0 148 Running
21 23 39 Ryan Sieg Chevrolet S&W Services 23/0 148 Running
22 30 93 Shane Sieg Chevrolet S&W 22/0 148 Running
23 31 46 Craig Goess * Toyota Greenville Toyota of N.C. 21/0 148 Running
24 36 45 Mike Skinner Toyota PaytasHomes.com 20/0 148 Running
25 28 7 Miguel Paludo * Toyota K&N 19/0 147 Running
26 19 15 Dusty Davis* Toyota Vision Airlines / Emerald Coast 18/0 145 Running
27 35 57 Norm Benning Chevrolet Desert Autoplex 17/0 145 Running
28 16 244 Greg Pursley Chevrolet Gene Price Motorsports 16/0 144 Running
29 5 119 David Mayhew Chevrolet MMI Services / Ron's Rear End 15/0 143 Fuel Pump
30 24 77 Justin Lofton Toyota Lofton Cattle 14/0 139 Running
31 26 4 Ricky Carmichael Chevrolet Monster Energy 13/0 132 Accident
32 20 29 Parker Kligerman* Dodge Brad Keselowski Racing 12/0 132 Accident
33 34 10 Chase Mattioli* Ford College Complete 11/0 128 Running
34 15 81 David Starr Toyota Zachry 10/0 112 Accident
35 32 07 B.J. McLeod Chevrolet Boggy Creek Airboat Rides 9/0 104 Accident
36 33 5 Travis Kvapil Toyota International Trucks / Monaco RV 8/0 99 Accident

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