Amidst the misty Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch dominated to win his record 52nd career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race. That win breaks the tie with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Ron Hornaday Jr. who held the record of 51 wins since 2011. Mike Skinner and Jack Sprague are tied for 3rd on the list with 28 each, far behind Hornaday and Busch. The active driver with the most wins is Johnny Sauter with 23, he finished 2nd Saturday night.
It was Busch’s first victory at Atlanta since 2009 racing for Billy Ballew Motorsports. In his 6th attempt at the track for his own Kyle Busch Motorsports, he was able to put BBM on his truck once more, and it gave him the extra luck he needed to win.
Starting in 7th, Busch was able to fight to the lead after just 5 laps. He went on to win Stage 1, but after his pit stop, he complained of a loose wheel while leading. About the same time, Joe Nemechek hit the trioval grass with his splitter and it was ripped off, laying on the frontstretch. The subsequent caution allowed Busch to pit under caution. It took him less than 25 laps to return to the leading, passing almost every truck in the process. There wasn’t much turning back after that.
After one restart, Johnny Sauter was able to take away the lead from the #51 Toyota, but only held it for about 5 laps. When Natalie Decker spun for a second time late in the going, it set up for what was supposed to be an exciting finale. However, when the green flag flew, Jesse Little spun the tires and Parker Kligerman got into the back of him. This triggered a 5-truck wreck that required extensive clean up and a red flag.
Once the wreckage was cleared and the trucks started moving again, the fog intensified and the mist picked up too heavily. Another red flag followed that was largely thought to bring the end of the race. NASCAR worked to get the track dry enough to race the final 5 laps or so of the race, that didn’t bring much change to the end result as Busch cruised to victory lane.
Some notable finishes, Niece Motorsports has now finished both trucks in the Top-10 in each of the first two races of the season, an extremely strong start after a mediocre 2018 season. Their early success is largely in part to their excellent driving talent with Ross Chastain and Truck Series veteran Timothy Peters. ThorSport Racing had 3 of their 4 trucks in the Top-5 at the finish and in the middle of Stage 2, they were running 1-2-3-4.
|1||7||51||Kyle Busch (i)||Toyota||130||Running|
|6||21||45||Ross Chastain (i)||Chevy||130||Running|
|22||25||10||Jennifer Jo Cobb||Chevy||130||Running|
|27||17||22||Austin Wayne Self||Chevy||118||Accident|
|31||24||63||Timmy Hill (i)||Chevy||53||Brakes|