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Busch Wins, Raikkonen Survives At CMS

| , RacinToday.com Friday, May 20 2011

Kimi Raikkonen and Kyle Busch were all smiles before Friday's Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After the race, too. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)


Kyle Busch passed Clint Bowyer for the lead with seven laps to go and went on to win the NASCAR North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The victory was the third in a row for Busch. It was his fourth in the last five races.

“We didn’t have the truck to beat tonight,” Busch said. “The 2 (Bowyer) did.”

Bowyer finished second in his second truck race of the season. He appeared to be getting ready to recapture the lead with three laps to go but clipped the wall. That cost him momentum and he dropped back.

He finished two truck lengths back.

“Too loose,” Bowyer said.

Former world driving champion Kimi Raikkonen of Finland finished 15th in his stock-car racing debut. Raikkonen, driver for Kyle Busch Racing, clipped the wall a couple of times but stayed out of wrecks on a night which was littered by them.

“The racing was fun,” Raikkonen, who won the Formula One championship in 2007, said. “Too many cautions.  Every time that I would feel like the car would start to run better then you would have a caution and then it would take the track a long time before the handling comes back.”

Of hitting the wall, Raikkonen said, “I hit it on the beginning and then I hit much harder and destroyed the car a little bit.  The car actually run really well there before the pit stop.  Once we got to pit then the tires and the tire pressures, it was better.  The handling was okay, but for sure the longer runs were a good thing.  Just because the car was better and better during the longer runs.”

Rick Ren, who served as Raikkonen’s crew chief, said he was pleased with the Finn’s first drive.

“It took about five laps for our truck to start coming in,” Ren said. “He would lose quite a few positions in that first five laps.  Then as soon as he got the tire temperature up – and I told him as soon as the tire temperature would come up that we would be better off and keep getting better.  Actually, if we could have ran a really long green flag run at the end, our truck actually could get better the longer it went.  It’s one of those things where we just kind of did some guess work looking at the notes and anticipated on what the track would do at night.  I actually felt like I had to treat him like he’s a young guy who had never raced here before.  A young guy can drive a tight race car, but can’t drive a loose one.  I tightened her up pretty good to start the race.”

Cole Whitt finished third and became the first rookie to lead the series in points.

“I’m just excited,” Whitt said. “I feel like we won the race.”

Whitt leads by one point over Johnny Sauter.

James Buescher finished fourth.

Ron Hornaday Jr. was fifth and Sauter was sixth.

| , RacinToday.com Friday, May 20 2011
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