Photo: Stephen A. Arce/ASP, Inc.

Kyle Busch Ties Todd Bodine for Most Truck Series Wins at Texas

By Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service

A handful of late race cautions only made it more dramatic but veteran Kyle Busch still managed to hold off a hard-charging field to claim a record-tying sixth NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race victory at Texas Motor Speedway, just bettering Corey Heim by a mere .112-second to win Friday night’s 250.

Maybe while competing in Texas Busch should consider changing his nickname from “Rowdy” to the popular Texas greeting, “Howdy” because the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has absolutely created an unbelievable mark of excellence competing at the Fort Worth 1.5-miler.

Busch’s sixth win in a Texas Motor Speedway truck race ties him with Todd Bodine for most ever. Busch has won the last four truck races he’s entered at the track. And. is Busch’s 20th overall win at TMS – an unprecedented tally that also includes four NASCAR Cup Series victories and 10 Xfinity Series race wins.

He led a race best 112 of the 167 laps in the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Friday and won both stages.

“Great team, everybody here at Spire [Motorsports],” said Busch, who has won a record 66 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races in his career – two this season.

“They definitely kept me honest, I’ll give them that,” said Busch, who compared the robust competition all night to another inspired win when he had to come from 15th place with two laps remaining to win a race.

“Corey [Heim] kept us honest right there,” he continued. “He started to find that top over there and got some momentum over there with three to go. I chattered really bad, so my front just wasn’t working over there. … he made it and got to my rear bumper getting into [turn] three and I just didn’t know which way to go so I ran the middle then to the bottom and then he slipped up top and I guess we had enough of a gap after that.”

Heim’s runner-up finish in the No. 11 TRICON Garage Toyota continues his perfect streak of top-10 finishes in every Truck race this season (seven). The margin of victory Friday was the second closest ever at the Texas track.

“It just seemed like a big track position game at the end there,” said the 21-year old Heim. “He’d get really big runs on the straightaways and once you get to the corner it’s really hard to stay behind someone and keep the momentum.

“I did all I could there trying to pick up three [positions] on that last restart but got another caution there unfortunately and just tried to build a run on him, but he’s just too good and does a really good job. Really happy with our run tonight, picked up stage points and finished second.”

Despite Busch’s laps led tally, It was really a highly-competitive race at the front of the field. Christian Eckes led 31 laps and Nick Sanchez led 16. The three drivers – Heim, Eckes and Sanchez – exchanging positions among the top five all evening in pursuit of Busch.

REV Racing’s Sanchez finished third, followed by McAnally-Hilgemann Racing’s Eckes and former series champion – now a NASCAR Cup Series rookie – Zane Smith, who also competed for McAnally-Hilgemann Friday night.

Daniel Dye, brothers Tayler and Tanner Gray, Stefan Parsons and Ty Majeski rounded out the top-10 finishers.

It was a rough night for early-season championship leader Tyler Ankrum, who was collected in an accident only two laps into the race and finished last, 34th place.

The championship standings changed up with the Texas results and Eckes – the series’ only two-race winner so far in 2024 – takes the lead by two-points over Heim. Majeski, who came into the race leading the points, is now third, 12 points back. Ankrum drops to sixth place, 43 points behind Eckes.

The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series takes a weekend off before returning to competition May 4 in the Heart of America 200 at Kansas Speedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Grant Enfinger is the defending race winner.

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Race – 250

Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Texas

Friday, April 12, 2024

                1. (4)  Kyle Busch(i), Chevrolet, 167.

                2. (14)  Corey Heim, Toyota, 167.

                3. (1)  Nick Sanchez, Chevrolet, 167.

                4. (2)  Christian Eckes, Chevrolet, 167.

                5. (12)  Zane Smith(i), Chevrolet, 167.

                6. (6)  Daniel Dye, Chevrolet, 167.

                7. (9)  Taylor Gray, Toyota, 167.

                8. (34)  Tanner Gray, Toyota, 167.

                9. (25)  Stefan Parsons, Chevrolet, 167.

                10. (11)  Ty Majeski, Ford, 167.

                11. (21)  Lawless Alan, Ford, 167.

                12. (10)  Rajah Caruth, Chevrolet, 167.

                13. (3)  Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 167.

                14. (8)  Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, 167.

                15. (22)  Matt Crafton, Ford, 167.

                16. (17)  Dean Thompson, Toyota, 167.

                17. (18)  Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 167.

                18. (16)  Conner Jones #, Ford, 166.

                19. (13)  Jake Garcia, Ford, 166.

                20. (29)  Mason Massey, Chevrolet, 166.

                21. (30)  Timmy Hill, Toyota, 166.

                22. (27)  Bret Holmes, Chevrolet, 166.

                23. (24)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 166.

                24. (19)  Ben Rhodes, Ford, 165.

                25. (15)  Chase Purdy, Chevrolet, 165.

                26. (20)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 165.

                27. (28)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 162.

                28. (32)  Keith McGee, Ford, 159.

                29. (5)  Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, Accident, 151.

                30. (26)  Kris Wright, Toyota, Accident, 145.

                31. (7)  Layne Riggs #, Ford, Accident, 135.

                32. (23)  Thad Moffitt #, Chevrolet, Accident, 1.

                33. (31)  Memphis Villarreal, Chevrolet, Accident, 1.

                34. (33)  Tyler Ankrum, Chevrolet, Accident, 1.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  118.471 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 6 Mins, 52 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.112 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 40 laps.

Lead Changes:  7 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   N. Sanchez 1-16;C. Eckes 17-37;K. Busch(i) 38-127;C. Eckes 128;Z. Smith(i) 129-136;K. Busch(i) 137-149;C. Eckes 150-158;K. Busch(i) 159-167.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Busch(i) 3 times for 112 laps; Christian Eckes 3 times for 31 laps; Nick Sanchez 1 time for 16 laps; Zane Smith(i) 1 time for 8 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 7,19,2,91,52,43,38,9,11,17

Stage #2 Top Ten: 7,2,19,11,17,38,91,43,9,45

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