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NASCAR Gander Truck Series Recap: Kyle Bush

Busch Looks For Redemption

With one half of the NASCAR double-header at Texas Motor Speedway complete, the focus turned to the Gander Truck Series. Reeling from his disqualification earlier in the day, Kyle Busch looks for redemption after being disqualified earlier in the day during the Xfinity Series.

Stage 1:

Sheldon Creed and Grant Enfinger paced the field, with Kyle Busch starting in the fourth position. Just after 5:15 pm PST, the green flag flew for the Gander Truck Series race at Texas. Sheldon Creed assumed the lead with Kyle Busch keeping pace in second. Creed got loose coming out of Turn Four with Kyle Busch taking advantage. As Busch pulled away, Creed began to slow with a flat tire. Creed was able to pit without incident as Busch and Zane Smith ran 1-2.

By Lap 20, Zane Smith was able to overtake the lead from Busch on the low-side. Smith, not able to shake Busch, relinquished the lead back to Busch during the final laps of the stage. With a comfortable lead, Busch crossed the finish line and took the Stage One green-and-checkered flag. While under the first caution of the day, for the stage break, all lead lap cars entered pit road. Busch was able to maintain the lead with Smith in second.

Stage 2:

Coming back to green on Lap 47, Kyle Busch and Christian Eckes battled side-by-side for a lap before Busch powered ahead. With less than 25 laps to go in the stage, Johnny Sauter suffered an engine issue that necessitated a caution. Most of the leaders stayed out during this caution, though some in the back pitted, putting those drivers on a different strategy.

Bringing the field back to green, Kyle Busch led with Christian Eckes in second. Utilizing the preferred lane, Busch was initially able to hold the lead, though Eckes was able to power by shortly after. Busch fell in line as the two KBM trucks began to gap the rest of the field. As Eckes and Busch started to pull away, Jordan Anderson slammed the outside wall, bringing out the third caution. With only six laps left in the stage, most of the leaders came down for tires and fuel. As with earlier, more pit strategy occurred as lead lap trucks farther back in the field stayed out for track position.

Ben Rhodes and Brett Moffitt assumed the lead and led the field back to green for a two-lap shootout to end the second stage. Going down the backstretch on the last lap, Derek Kraus and Tate Fogleman got together. Brett Moffit held the lead with the caution coming out to end the stage. The pit strategy game continued as those who pitted last time stayed out while those who did not, came in to pit.

Stage 3:

After the pit strategy cycled through, Christian Eckes and Zane Smith led the field back to green on Lap 88. While running in the top 10, Brendan Poole got turned to the outside wall. With no caution displayed, Poole was able to limp his truck to the pits. As the sun began to set over Texas Motor Speedway, Eckes and Busch ran away from the rest of the field.

With 43 laps left in the race, third-place Zane Smith pulled into the pits with a flat right rear tire. Smith’s pitstop opened the floodgates for the rest of the field as the other drivers began their green-flag stops. Once green-flag pitstops cycled through, Busch came away with the lead and Eckes in second. With 33 laps left in the race, Zane Smith slid into the outside wall. Though driving away with minimal damage, Smith suffered a flat tire and required a pitstop.

As the race got down to 15 laps left, the caution came out once again. Todd Gilliland got into the outside wall before being turned and crashing hard to the inside wall. Busch brought the field back to green with Eckes to his inside with ten laps left in the race. After multiple laps of side-by-side racing for the lead, Busch held onto the lead with eight laps in the race. Busch remained unchallenged as he took the checkered flag with Eckes following in second. Even during his victory interview, it appeared still that Busch looks for redemption from earlier in the day.

The Truck Series race played out similarly to the Xfinity race earlier in the day. Busch, Eckes, and Smith were the class of the field with no other driver able to mount a challenge. The victory tonight marks his 59th victory in the Truck Series, the all-time series leader. What did you think about tonight’s race?

Next week, the Truck Series visits Kansas Speedway.

Stay tuned for more great NASCAR news on www.sportsobsessive.com

Written by Robert Chipman

Robert is a die-hard fan of the Detroit Red Wings and the New Orleans Saints. He has watched NASCAR since he was a kid and knows a little about a lot of sports.

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