Owner-driver Kyle Busch made his third start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season in the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Thursday night. Busch started on the front row in second as Thursday’s practice and qualifying sessions were cancelled due to rain.
‘Rowdy’ ran within the top-five for the majority of the night except when the No. 51 team elected to pit early before each stage break, forfeiting stage points in exchange for track position later in the race.
The 36-year-old driver wheeled his JBL Tundra TRD Pro to a third-place finish, picking his third straight top-five of the season. Busch now has 10 straight podium finishes and has finished within the top-three in 23 out of his last 25 NASCAR Truck Series starts.
Stage One Recap:
- Busch lined up in second for his third NASCAR Truck Series start of the season after Thursday’s qualifying session was cancelled due to rain, setting the field based on NASCAR’s performance matrix system.
- ‘Rowdy’ battled within the top-five for much of the opening stanza before the third caution of the race came out on lap 40.
- Crew chief Mardly Lindley then elected to bring the No. 51 JBL Tundra TRD Pro down pit road for four tires and fuel, sending Busch back out for the restart with five to go in 16th.
- The 36-year-old driver was able to gain seven spots before the end of the stage, being scored in 12th as the green-and-white checkered flag came out to end the opening stage.
Stage Two Recap:
- With differing pit strategies throughout the field, Busch gained ten spots during the stage break and restarted in second.
- On lap 80, the sixth caution of the night came out and like stage one, Lindley elected for the No. 51 team to pit early before the stage break.
- Busch would be scored in 17th as the second stage came to an end.
- At the stage break, ‘Rowdy’ reported that his JBL Tundra TRD Pro was “loose in the middle of turns”.
Final Stage Recap:
- Busch once again gained 13 spots during the stage break and would line up in fourth to begin the final stage.
- The Toyota Racing driver remained in fourth as he battled with KBM teammate Chandler Smith for third. Busch eventually passed Smith on lap 146 and had his sights set on chasing down William Byron and Johnny Sauter in first and second.
- Busch was unable to chase down the leaders as he took the checkered flag in third, picking up his third top-five finish of the season.
Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 Recap:
- William Byron picked up his eighth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. Johnny Sauter, Kyle Busch, John Hunter Nemechek, and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were 11 cautions for 71 laps. There were nine lead changes among six drivers, including Busch who led once for one lap.
How Busch’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished fourth.
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished sixth.
Camping World Trucks Owner’s Championship Standings:
The No. 51 team fell back one position to fifth in the Owner’s Championship standings. After five events they are just 28 points behind the No. 99 ThorSport Racing team.
Toyota Racing Development dirt standout Buddy Kofoid will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck series debut behind the wheel of the No. 51 Tundra TRD Pro next weekend at the second annual Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Live coverage will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 8 p.m. ET.