CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Busch is becoming as close to a sure thing as you can get at Charlotte Motor Speedway when it comes to winning NASCAR Truck Series races.
Busch continued his dominance Friday night, winning at the 1.5-mile track for the fourth time in the last five years.
And it wasn’t even close.
“It would have been a great race if Kyle wasn’t here,” joked Brad Keselowki, who finished third behind Busch and points leader Matt Crafton.
Busch led 130 of 134 laps in the Toyota he owns but needed some patience to take the wreck-filled race that brought out nine cautions — including one as the white flag dropped — and sent 14 trucks behind the wall.
Busch has won all three Truck Series races he has entered this season, taking the opener at Daytona and dominating last weekend at Kansas.
“It was a fun race and we had a dominant truck, especially on the long runs,” Busch said.
Busch said his only real fear he had of not putting the No. 51 in victory lane was the track itself.
“Some of those cautions left us with a lot of debris, and you are never sure if you’re going to get a flat tire,” Busch said.
John Wes Townley was fourth, followed by Timothy Peters.
The 29-year-old Busch has won 132 races across NASCAR’s three national series — 29 in Sprint Cup, 65 in Nationwide and 38 in trucks. Busch has won six Truck Series races at Charlotte, more than at any other track.
Busch had the truck to beat from the start, winning the pole with a track qualifying record of 183.778 mph — more than a second ahead of the rest of the field. It was Busch’s 14th career Truck Series pole and second this year.
Busch mostly ran by himself well out in front of the pack except when lapping other trucks.
During the middle of the race, Ron Hornaday Jr. could be heard saying to his spotter, “I don’t get it. I don’t know he can be that fast out there all by himself.”
Crafton finished second to Busch for the fifth time in his career.
“I’m going to have to whoop him in some way,” Crafton said. “I’m getting tired of it, no doubt.”
Hornaday, who came in tied for second place with Peters in the standings, was knocked out the race with 20 laps to go following the eighth crash of the night.
Earlier, Bubba Wallace was a little wobbly as he emerged from a wreck involving Scott Riggs and Taylor Malsam and fell into the arms of a pit crew member behind the wall.
Wallace was taken to the medical center and released, saying he got the wind knocked out of him when his truck pinned him between Riggs’ truck and the outside wall.
“I’m good now,” Wallace said.
At the end, only Keselowski, who took on new tires late in the race, had a real shot to challenge Busch.
But too many cautions might have hurt the No. 19 Ford.
“I was wishing for a caution, just not all of those we got,” Keselowski said. “Kyle had the faster truck. … We need to find just a little more speed to run with the No. 51.”
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