Friday, September 22, 2023

Kyle Busch Survives Demolition Derby to Score SRX Win on Debut

Kyle Busch SRX win Motor Mile Pulaski County 2023 Paul Tracy Ken Schrader
Kyle Busch stood tall on the podium after a hard-fought win in his Camping World SRX debut at Pulaski County Motorsports Park. Photo Credit: Will Bellamy, Racing America

In a race that was mired by yet another misjudgment on track by Paul Tracy, Kyle Busch balanced the perfect mix of aggressiveness and skill in Thursday night’s Camping World SRX Series event at Pulaski County Motorsports Park.

Busch, who was piloting the No. 51 Florida Panthers machine, held off Clint Bowyer for the race win. With the win, Busch becomes the fourth driver in the history of the SRX Series to win on debut.

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RELATED: Camping World SRX at Pulaski County Race Results

The NASCAR Cup Series driver is the second to pull off the feat this season, as Denny Hamlin achieved it in his debut race at Stafford Speedway — the season-opening event for SRX.

While things were chaotic, Busch was elated with his experience racing in SRX.

“It’s fun,” Busch said of the Camping World SRX Series. “This is just a great atmosphere and environment to just be around. It’s really cool, there are some great race car drivers and great personalities, too. I love being able to race, you know? I’d race more if I could, but there’s only so much you can get in and so much you can do.”

Following Busch and Bowyer across the finish line was Tony Stewart, who was the highest-finishing full-time driver in the third race of the season.

Brad Keselowski, who spun on Lap 56 while leading Kyle Busch early in the Main Event, rallied amongst the chaos to finish fourth, and Ryan Newman maintained his series point lead with a solid fifth-place effort.

Newman now has a 21-point advantage over Marco Andretti for the series championship with three races remaining in the season.

While Busch and Bowyer dominated the top-two spots for the majority of the race, Paul Tracy made another costly error on track.

On Lap 89, Tracy was battling Josef Newgarden for a position, when he opted to just disregard the fact that Newgarden was to his outside on the exit of Turn 4.

Tracy slammed into Newgarden, which sent Newgarden hard into the wall. As Tracy spun across the track, he collected Ken Schrader, Hailie Deegan, and others in the carnage.

The error by Tracy will cause the FURY team members that build and repair the cars for the Camping World SRX Racing Series to work overtime this week in order to get things turned around for Berlin.

But perhaps more of a hit for SRX, is that they’ve potentially lost Ken Schrader from competing. Schrader, who has been involved in numerous incidents with Tracy in the opening three races, was very upset after seeing the replay of the big crash from Thursday’s race.

After seeing it, Schrader told the ESPN broadcast team, “I’m not running another race with [Paul Tracy]. I’m done.” Schrader then briskly walked away. Will Schrader indeed not return for the next race of the season? We’ll find out on Thursday.

While Schrader and the collective world saw it as Tracy making an error, Tracy didn’t see it that way.

“I mean, Newgarden and I were bouncing off each other for a couple of laps. I got a nose ahead of him, a half a car length ahead of him, and I just got hooked and turned sideways on the straightaway,” Tracy said after climbing from his wrecked No. 3 car. “Just hard racing at the end there. 10 laps to go, and everybody was going for it hard.”

The next stop for the Camping World SRX Series is Berlin Raceway on Thursday, August 3rd. That race will also be carried on ESPN at 9:00 PM ET.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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