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Trucker Kyle Busch Is On The Board In Martinsville

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 2 2016
Kyle Busch takes checkered flag in the Camping World Truck Series Race at Martinsville on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Andrew Coppley)

Kyle Busch takes checkered flag in the Camping World Truck Series Race at Martinsville on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Andrew Coppley)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Kyle Busch snapped a 0-30 winless streak at Martinsville Speedway Saturday, holding off John Hunter Nemechek through three restarts in the final 21 laps of the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race to claim his first victory at the historical short track.

It was a feat Busch accomplished with good restarts on old tires.

“I’m not sure exactly (why I’m so good on restarts),” said Busch, who averaged 61.811 mph in the race he won by 0.425 second. “I think it was just something I developed as a kid back at the Bullring in Vegas, working on restarts with my dad, working on them in Legends cars, modifieds, late models, everything and knowing that’s an important part of the game. I got really good launches today.”

With the race winding down, Busch and crew chief Wes Ward debated about whether to pit for fresh tires. However, with five caution periods in the final 50 laps, it really didn’t make sense to take a chance of getting mired in traffic.

“We played it the right way whether we dumbed into it or not, maybe we did, but I’ll take it,” Busch said. “We had a fast enough truck today that I think was the key. We didn’t just luck into something out front.”

Busch led four times for 123 laps in the race that was slowed by 11 caution flags for 68 laps. There also were two red flags totaling 13 minutes 12 seconds so the track could be cleaned following multi-truck accidents that caused the final two caution periods.  

Even though Busch collected his 45th career truck series win, it was Nemechek and rookie William Byron who commanded most of the attention.

Nemechek produced his second consecutive runner-up finish at the paperclip-shaped track and took a three-point lead over Parker Kligerman in the point standings. The 18-year-old driver is already qualified for the championship Chase, having won Atlanta earlier this year, but he still needs a sponsor.

“There is nothing done right now for Kansas or the next couple of races after that,” Nemechek said. “We’re going to work hard in this off time. I know we have some deals that could get done, but it’s just trying to get everything done to get their name on the hood and support them.”  

Byron, driving a Kyle Busch Motorsports entry, recorded the first top-10 of his young career. Byron, also 18, has competed in only four truck races – one last season and three this year. Saturday’s race was his first at Martinsville.

“I am really impressed with William Byron,” Busch said. “For as little experience as he has in race cars, he’s really, really good. I’m optimistic that those guys are definitely going to win some races this year and contend for the championship. As crazy as that may sound, he’s a rookie and he has a lot to learn, but he races like a veteran.”  

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 2 2016
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