NASCAR: Busch wins truck race
CONCORD ó Kyle Busch didnít have the fastest truck and got into early trouble by spinning out.
Busch, though, is convinced he got some unique help to secure a dizzying 97th victory in NASCARís top three circuits.
With the name and picture of a slain North Carolina girl on his truck, Busch recovered to pass Clint Bowyer with seven laps to go and pulled away Friday night to win his third consecutive Trucks Series race.
Busch honored Zahra Baker, a 10-year-old girl with disabilities who was reported missing from her Hickory home last October. Police eventually found some of her remains in searches around western North Carolina. Her stepmother has been charged with second-degree murder.
ěI had an angel riding with me,î Busch said. ěWe didnít have the truck to beat tonight. (Bowyer) did. Somehow I found some more out of it. Iím going to say I had some help tonight.î
Hours after capturing the pole for Saturdayís All-Star race, Busch outdueled a fellow Sprint Cup regular down the stretch to break a tie with Mark Martin for fifth place on the NASCAR national series victory list and move into a tie with Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip for third.
ěIt feels good to be getting close to 100,î Busch said.
He has 21 Sprint Cup victories, 48 in Nationwide and 28 in Trucks.
Cole Whitt finished third in the wreck-filled race and the 19-year-old became the first rookie and the youngest driver to hold the points lead.
Former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonenís NASCAR debut ended with a respectable 15th-place finish despite a couple of scrapes with the wall in the No. 15 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Bowyer had the lead on a restart with 23 laps to go as a charging Busch moved into second. Busch then set his sights on Bowyer, getting on his bumper with eight laps to go. Busch passed him on the inside a lap later for his first lead of the night.
Bowyer, making his second Trucks start of the season, overcame a brush with the wall with two laps left, but couldnít get any closer.
ěIt was too loose all day long,î Bowyer said of his truck. ěI knew in practice we were going to have our hands full.î
James Buescher was fourth, and Ron Hornaday Jr. recovered from his own spin to finish fifth ó then went nose-to-nose with sixth-place finisher Johnny Sauter on pit road on a night that featured a record-tying 10 cautions and hot tempers.
ěHe thought I blocked him,î Hornaday said. ěI donít know what the heck happened. He didnít know I was three-wide.î