Date: March 25, 2023
Event: XPEL 225 (Race 4 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Location: Circuit of the Americas (1.5-mile tri-oval)
Format: Three Stages; 12/14/16
Start/Finish: 2nd/2nd (Running, completed 42 of 42 laps)
Winner: Zane Smith of Front Row Motorsports (Ford)
Kyle Busch was leading Saturday’s XPEL 225 at Circuit of the Americas as teams had made it into their fuel window to make it to the end of the race. Still posting quality lap times the No. 51 Zariz Transport Silverado was trying to make a few more laps before pitting to have fresher tires for the end of the race when a truck came to a standstill on the frontstretch bringing out the caution with 14 laps remaining.
With several teams having already made their final pit stop, Busch would line up on the inside of row eight after making his final stop of the day under caution. The talented wheelman began to methodically maneuver his way back to the front, making into up to the third spot with 10 laps remaining. He made his way into the runner-up position with six laps remaining, but found himself nearly six second behind the leader, Zane Smith. Smith, the defending Truck Series champion, would cross the stripe 5.451 seconds ahead of Busch to collect his second victory of 2023.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 51 Zariz Transport Chevrolet:
In hindsight would you have pitted earlier?
“Yeah, of course. Truck racing for me whenever I’m the first one on pit road, then you get a yellow and it traps you a lap down but it’s a road course so it’s different here where it really doesn’t do that, but you want to have the freshest tires at the end that you can get. So, you kind of want to see the rest of those guys pit first, especially with the big lead that you have – you have time, you have track position to give up with them having new tires and then you can put on your new tires and drive back out. We were playing the long game and unfortunately the long game didn’t work. They got lucky today and beat us.”
XPEL 225 Recap:
- Zane Smith won Saturday’s XPEL 225. It was his second victory of 2023 and the ninth victory of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career. Busch finished second, while Ty Majeski, Tyler Ankrum and Ross Chastain rounded out the top five.
- There were three cautions for five laps and nine lead changes among five drivers, including Busch who three five times for 10 laps.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Owner Point Standings:
The No. 51 team leaves the fourth race of the season fifth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series owner point standings, 36 tallies behind the No. 38 team.