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Busch clinches Truck win at Kansas

Winning Friday's Truck Series race was a handy warm-up for Kyle Busch at Kansas Speedway, with Matt Crafton coming in second to take the Truck Series lead.
When you see Kyle Busch's name on the entry list for a NASCAR support race, you know that someone is going to have to really excel if they're going to stop him from making it to victory lane at the end of the forthcoming race. And in this week's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway, no one stepped up to the plate and instead it was a relatively easy affair for the 29-year-old - although at least one person seemed genuinely surprised by the outcome.

"Kansas? I'm a winner at Kansas?" said Busch taking his 37th victory in 117 Truck Series race starts, but his first time at Kansas. In fact it's only the second time in his NASCAR career that he's ever found victory lane here in any of the three national-level championships - the only previous occasion was in a 2007 Nationwide Series race.

"Certainly a better night for us and having a fast truck and being up front helped," said Busch, who was taken out in an accident in this event last year. "It was really good once we unloaded and we just made some slight changes to it, playing around with some things trying to make it better in practice."

The Sprint Cup regular went on to start at the front (his 13th Truck Series pole) after pipping Ryan Blaney to the top spot by eight thousandths of a second in qualifying. He then led for 104 of the 167 laps of the SFP 250 under the floodlights at Kansas on Friday evening.

The race immediately hit problems with two early cautions, the first coming on lap one when Ron Hornaday Jr. spun out in turn 4and collected Timothy Peters, German Quiroga and Spencer Gallagher, and the second on lap eight shortly after the restart when Todd Shafer and Brian Ickler spun out, the latter hitting the wall in turn 2. Shafer was able to resume but was then the cause of the third caution on lap 34 when he spun out for a second time at the same spot.

Busch had certainly not gone unchallenged at the front during this stop-start period and Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano had both successfully taken the lead albeit briefly. Similarly, two quick consecutive cautions on laps 50 (for Jimmy Weller III hitting the wall on the backstretch) and 56 (for John Wes Tonwley doing much the same, and then collecting Ben Kennedy and Ron Hornaday on the rebound) briefly allowed Blaney to take the lead at the restart before Busch reasserted control.

Two rapid accidents for Brennan Newberry on laps 69 and 77 allowed Joey Logano to get his nose in front of Busch and take the lead for 37 laps, the longest spell Busch spent away from the front all night. The other major contender for the race win up to this point, Ryan Blaney, exited the proceedings during this spell when he spun out on lap 85 and took Johnny Sauter and Tyler Young with him.

Busch finally returned to the front on lap 112, but his efforts to build up a comfortable margin at the front were thwarted by the ninth and final caution on lap 126 when Brian Silas spun out in turn 2. Busch lost the race off pit lane to Austin Dillon with Tayler Malsam, Matt Crafton, German Quiroga Jr and Joey Coulter massing behind him for what proved to be the final restart on lap 133, allowing an uninterrupted 35-lap run to the finish; Logano had been caught out by having pitted under green just before the caution came out which left him playing catch-up for the rest of the race. Busch didn't get his lead back from Dillon until lap 146, but once he did - and with no more interruptions - he was able to build up a 3.020s lead over Crafton by the chequered flag, with Logano and Dillon finishing ahead of Maslam and Jeb Burton to round out the top six.

In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, Crafton's second place this week is enough to push him up two places to lead championship by eight points from Timothy Peters and Ron Hornaday after three of the 22 races of the 2014 season. "I feel very confident in what we have for the rest of the season," Crafton said later, sounding confident of his chances of defending his Truck Series title.

Full race results, plus qualifying and practice speeds and full Camping World Truck Series championship standings are available.



Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway on May 9, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, German Quiroga, driver of the #77 OtterBox Toyota, Spencer Gallagher, driver of the #23 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet, and Ron Hornaday Jr., driver of the #30 Rheem Chevrolet, spin out after an incident during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway on May 9, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo Credit: Ed Zurga/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway on May 9, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell wreck at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, and Joey Logano, driver of the #12 Snap-On Ford, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Yuengling Light Lager Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
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Kyle Larson, driver of the #32 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet, leads the field to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Yuengling Light Lager Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Yuengling Light Lager Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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