Entering Sonoma, Kyle Busch was the only winless multi-race starter for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season, while also facing his first winless season since 2012.
Busch extinguished that statistic on Saturday, securing the victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ first trip to Sonoma Raceway in over two decades.
Leading a race-high 45 of 75 laps, Busch was a dominant force throughout the entire event, taking the lead for the final time with 11 laps to go, after passing Ben Rhodes.
However, the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion would have to keep his young driver, Chandler Smith, at bay, as the Talking Rock, Georgia-native hounded him throughout the race’s penultimate green flag run.
That was until the final caution of Saturday’s event came with under five laps to go, when Stewart Friesen and Josh Bilicki crashed hard entering turn one, setting the field up for a two-lap dash.
While Busch had performed amazing restarts throughout the entire event, the Las Vegas, Nevada-native was aided by a battle for second on the final restart by Chandler Smith and Zane Smith, allowing the No. 51 Toyota Tundra to pull away from the competition.
Zane Smith – who benefitted from Busch’s last-lap misfortune to capture the win at COTA — recorded a second-place result in Saturday’s event, his sixth top-five of the season.
Ty Majeski – despite very little road course experience — recorded a third-place result, with Ross Chastain and Chandler Smith rounding out the top five.
Carson Hocevar will be credited with sixth, despite exiting his Niece Motorsports entry on the tenth lap of the event, allowing Suarez to get behind the wheel.
Parker Kligerman, John Hunter Nemechek, Tyler Ankrum, and Matt DiBenedetto rounded out the top-10.
With only four races until the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs, Ben Rhodes holds a five-point lead in the regular-season point standings over Chandler Smith.
Zane Smith and John Hunter Nemechek sit third and fourth, 12 and 14 points behind, respectively.
The battle for the final spot in the NCWTS Playoffs sees Matt Crafton holding a 33-point advantage over Tanner Gray, with Matt DiBenedetto and Derek Kraus just behind.
Next, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to the second annual event at Knoxville Raceway, as the drivers and teams will attempt to put on a cleaner show than the race’s inaugural showing last season.