Once Kyle Busch made it to the front of the field of the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night, he and pole-sitter Clint Bowyer battled through a blistering two-truck pace on the way to Busch’s 25th truck victory of his career.
Busch is the fastest driver in history to that number of wins in any of NASCAR’s three national touring series.
It clearly was a dominant two-vehicle race with the front-runner--Busch in his no. 18 Dollar General Toyota or Bowyer in his Tide/Kroger Chevrolet--always able to hold off the other along the way. Taking the inside lane for restarts, Busch had to maintain control over six restarts in the second half of the event at the one-mile oval.
“He (Busch) enjoyed the benefit of clean air,” said Bowyer. “When we had our Chevrolet out front in clean air, I thought it was pretty easy.”
It was the first round of pit stops that won the race for Busch. Taking advantage of the stall closest to the exit of PIR’s curved pit road, Busch barely nipped Bowyer on the way out.
Busch also credited his team, which has a few new members going over the wall this year: “My crew made some awesome changes on the first pit stop, which made it a lot easier for me to hustle it through the corners.”
After hardly a change among the top 10 trucks in the first 40 laps, second-place Busch earned the lead after all the leaders pitted under a yellow flag on lap 43. Bowyer had led every lap to that point.
Busch led every lap thereafter. Bowyer easily powered to second, with Ron Hornaday third, Johnny Sauter fourth, and Austin Dillon fifth.