Two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars battled hard for the win in the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday night. In the end it was Kyle Busch who was able to fend off Brad Keselowski to win his fourth Truck Series race of the 2013 season.
It was Busch's third win in the trucks at Chicagoland and 34th of his career overall.
"That was tough," Busch said in victory lane. "Brad and Ryan there man had some really good trucks today. We didn't have the speed on a short run but on the long run we had a really really good truck."
The 150 lap race began with Jeb Burton on his fifth pole of 2013 and Ty Dillon alongside in second. Miguel Paludo was third and jumped down below Dillon before the start-finish line. NASCAR blacked flagged Paludo for a pass through penalty. On lap 9 Pauldo would get lapped by Burton.
The first caution of the cool night in Joliet came out on lap 13 when Bryan Silas spun out. Silas would finish in 24th of the 36 truck field. Paludo also got the free pass back onto the lead lap.
Jeb Burton, Ty Dillon, Brendan Gaughan, and Joey Coulter stayed out while all the other drivers pitted for fuel only stops. The race went back green on lap 19 and on lap 25 Burton continued to show the way with Brad Keselowski up to second, Ty Dillon third, Gaughan fourth, and Ryan Blaney fifth.
On lap 45 Joey Coulter was out of fuel and coasting to pit road. He lost laps and would finish in 23rd. Then on lap 46 Keselowski took the lead from Burton right before the second caution came out for an engine issue on Jennifer Jo Cobb's truck.
Off pit road Keselowski held the lead with Kyle Busch coming out second, Ty Dillon third, Gaughan fourth, and Blaney fifth. Burton dropped to sixth when he was slowed by being hung up on his jack. The race restarted on lap 53 where Kyle Busch battled past Keselowski for the lead. Keselowski would fight back and on laps 55, 56, 57, 58, and 59 the two would run side-by-side. On lap 59 Keselowski got really loose and had to lift which dropped him back to fifth on the track.
Keselowski's teammate Ryan Blaney then took his shot at Busch and passed him for the lead on lap 61. On lap 63 James Buescher passed Busch for second. Darrell Wallace Jr also made a green flag stop for a tire issue and lost a lap. He would get it back later in the race and finish in 11th. On lap 64 Busch went back past Buescher for second and then on lap 67 passed Blaney back to again lead the race.
The third caution then came out on lap 68 when Mike Harmon had an engine let go. He finished in 31st.
Busch, Keselowski, Buescher, Gaughan, and Paludo stayed out while Ryan Blaney, Ty Dillon, and Austin Dillon led the trucks off pit road that did pit. The race restarted on lap 73 but would go under the caution for the fourth time on lap 75 when Scott Riggs was turned into the outside wall. He was done for the night and finished in 29th.
Under the caution Kyle Busch was allowed to come down pit road because NASCAR needed to change the scoring transponder on his truck. He was able to reassume the lead and led with Keselowski to his side for the lap 82 restart. Keselowski took the lead on lap 83.
By lap 100 the running order was Keselowski, Busch, Blaney, Buescher, and Ty Dillon. The fifth caution then flew on that lap when Timothy Peters was turned hard into the wall off Turn 4 by Ryan Sieg. Peters would finish in 27th and Sieg 21st. Final pit stops occurred under the caution with Kyle Busch's team getting him the lead over Keselowski.
The race went green on lap 107 with 43 laps left and from there it was on between Busch and Keselowski to see who would win. Keselowski took the lead on lap 108 and then by lap 121 Busch was right on Keselowski's bumper with pressure on him from Blaney and Gaughan. On lap 125 Busch would make the pass on Brad for the lead. Soon after Gaughan made an unscheduled stop for overheating and also speed. That ruined his night and Gaughan ended up in 25th.
Keselowski tried to pass Busch numerous times but just couldn't get the job done. He had to settle for his fifth second place finish in the Truck Series as the Sprint Cup and Nationwide champion still seeks his first win in the trucks. Kyle Busch meanwhile continued his impressive season. He now has 17 wins across NASCAR's three top series.
Finishing third was Ryan Blaney. Fourth went to Matt Crafton. It was his 16th top ten finish in the 16 races this season. Fifth was Ty Dillon with John Wes Townley in sixth, Austin Dillon seventh, James Buescher eighth, Jeb Burton ninth, and Johnny Sauter tenth.
Crafton extended his points lead out to 41 points over James Buescher. Ty Dillon is 59 points back in third. Fourth is Jeb Burton, Ryan Blaney is fifth, Miguel Paludo is sixth, Timothy Peters seventh, Johnny Sauter eighth, Darrell Wallace Jr ninth, and Brendan Gaughan tenth.
The Camping World Truck Series has next week off and returns to the track on September 28th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Smith's 350.
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