Kyle Busch rallies KBM to 100th Truck Series win at Pocono

Kyle Busch rallies KBM to 100th Truck Series win at Pocono

A last-lap pass by Kyle Busch gave his Kyle Busch Motorsports team its historic 100th series victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on Saturday in what was a dramatic and historic afternoon at Pocono Raceway.

Busch made a risky move short on series title leader Corey Heim in Turn 2, the infamous “Tunnel Turn” of the 2.5-mile track, got around cleanly, and then powered off to a 0.604s win in the No. 51 KBM Chevrolet to finally claim that historic 100th victory for his popular team.

The 38-year-old, two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Busch has already won twice in as many truck appearances this year.

Busch has now won 64 times in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He tested Heim for five laps on the tunnel turn, just an amazing masterclass. Then he took action. Following this, Corey Heim will be just fine. Holding the top position in points, he is guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.

“It’s pretty cool, we’ve been around for a long time but it’s been fun,” said Busch. “A great ride. Obviously, this [Chevrolet] Silvarado today was really really fast, just mired in traffic.

“Couldn’t find a way to make a clean move so had to make a little bit of a racey one, a little bit of a dicey one there at the end getting into two. Heim ran a great race. We just needed this 100th win to get it over with.

With all due respect to Heim, Busch demonstrated the difference between a young driver and one who has competed in the NASCAR national series more than 160 times in addition to 64 times in the Truck Series.

On Saturday, Heim finished second to his former employer after leading a race-high 27 of the 60 laps before Kyle Busch Motorsports claimed the lead.

Taylor Gray, another NASCAR Cup Series full-timer, finished in third place for the greatest result of his career followed by Christopher Bell in fourth place in the Hattori Racing Enterprises No. 61 Toyota and Grant Enfinger finishing fifth in the No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet.

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The Top-10 on Saturday was rounded out by Matt DiBenedetto after Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, Dean Thompson and 2021 series winner Ben Rhodes.

The early leader at Pocono was Heim’s closest rival for the championship. Zane Smith won both stages (his third and fourth of the season), gaining him extra points and appearing to close the championship deficit. Smith’s 19 laps led were second only to Heim’s.

He was vulnerable at the back of the pack throughout that last stage due to his pit strategy and with eight laps to go, he was one of ten cars involved in an accident that resulted in a 13-minute red flag.

Both Smith’s truck and Stewart Friesen, another title contender were too damaged to finish the race. The defending series champion now enters the regular season finale at Richmond as a long shot, but he is one of four drivers with two victories on the year, second only to Heim’s three.

Prior to the major incident, pole winner Nick Sanchez suffered an accident that claimed rookie Jake Garcia and his fellow front row starter Jake Sanchez.

For the final playoff transfer berth, Matt Crafton, a three-time past series champion, leads Friesen by eight points going into the Richmond regular-season finale.

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