CLICK: Full race results from Texas
| Current Truck Championship standings
After a break from Camping World Truck Series competition over recent weeks while he focussed on his now-defunct Sprint Cup title campaign, owner-driver Kyle Busch was back in action this weekend and went to victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway after winning the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 in a fiercely contested overtime finish on Friday night.
It was Busch's seventh Truck win of the season, his third at Texas and the 42nd of his career in 124 series starts. As a team, it marks Kyle Busch Motorsports' 12th win of the year meaning that KBM now ties the record for the number of wins in a season, which was originally set by Ultra Motorsports in 2001. It also means that Toyota has clinched 2014 manufacturers' championship.
Busch had immediately taken the lead from pole sitter Tyler Reddick at the green flag and went on to lead for 80 of what turned out to be a 152-lap race. Emphasising the KBM domination on the night, Busch's team mate Darrell Wallace Jr. led for a further 51 laps, leaving a grand total of just 21 laps headed by drivers from other teams.
However it was not to be Wallace's day. The winner of last week's race at Martinsville exited this week's event on lap 107 while running in second position behind his boss, when his engine expired in emphatic fashion. That dropped so much fluid on the track that it took a ten minute red flag caution to enable multiple deliveries of speedy-dry to the scene to enable the safety crews to soak it all up and get the race back to green.
The race also saw cautions on lap 21 for Norm Benning hitting the wall in turn 2, for debris on laps 75 and 95, and then for a multi-truck incident on lap 139 sparked by Tayler Malsam making contact with Justin Jennings which ended with Malsam and John Wes Townley sliding through the infield grass on the frontstretch. That had left just nine laps remaining of the scheduled race distance when the field headed back to the green flag on lap 143 - and for once, Busch wasn't in control at the front, having dropped to ninth place as a result of being among those leaders who had decided to pit under the caution.
"I thought when I saw four trucks out there [that had stayed out] - I only counted four, and then all of a sudden the #15 [Mason Mingus] popped up, and that made it five," Busch said later, admitting to a potentially race-defining miscalculation at the critical moment. "But when I counted four, that was going to put us eighth on the outside, but then the #15 was there, and so it was ninth on the inside.
"I thought the #17 was in the catbird seat there," he added, referring to Timothy Peters who was lined up in sixth for the restart after winning the race off pit road among those trucks that had opted to come in. "I figured he had the perfect strategy: two tyres and he was going to be on the outside. Get through those guys and get out front."
Meanwhile German Quiroga had been one of the five trucks that had opted to stay out to take the lead, and he proceeded to battle with Ron Hornaday Jr. to hold on to it. Busch meanwhile quickly bounced back to third place in a single lap with an audacious drive straight through the middle of a packed group of cars, and he later described his strategy as "close your eyes and hold on."
"Driving up through the middle there, the seas sort of parted ways a little bit," he added. "They were already three-wide, and I'm like, 'There's a gap there, I'm taking it.' And that put us four-wide. But in those situations, with that many laps to go, you've just got to do it."
Bush then swiftly took care of Hornaday as well, but just when he was setting his sights on Quiroga the caution flags were out again, this time for a clash of ThorSport Racing team mates after Johnny Sauter spun through the infield grass after contact from Jeb Burton. That resulted in a green-white-chequered finish that added an extra five laps on to the final race distance, and this time Busch was just where he wanted to be - at the front in second place to Quiroga. On fresher tyre, Busch immediately took the lead and scampered off to safety to receive the white flag, after which Quiroga spun out in turn 2 while battling with Peters meaning that the race ended under caution with Burton picking up second place ahead of Peters and polesitter Tyler Reddick.
In the championship standings, fifth place is enough to see Matt Crafton add an extra five points to his lead over Ryan Blaney, who crossed the line in ninth place after successfully managing to recover from the need to change a battery on lap 77. Wallace's mid-race retirement from the event means that he drops well back from the leading pair, leaving the 2014 title essentially a two-horse race with two races left to go, while in the owners standings Kyle Busch's win means that the #51 KBM truck now has a 12 point lead over the #88 ThorSport Racing entry driven by Crafton.
Full race results from Texas
Current Truck Championship standings
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