No contest for Kyle Busch
He trucks off with a dominating win
LOUDON, N.H. - Did anyone get the number of the truck that steamrolled the field in yesterday’s F.W. Webb 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway?
It was the No. 18 belonging to Kyle Busch.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, who started the Chase for the Championship as the top seed but tumbled to ninth after a poor showing last week, seemed to take out all his frustrations on the field in yesterday’s Camping World Truck Series race at the 1.058-mile oval.
Busch recorded his sixth Truck Series victory - in 14 starts - this season in dominating fashion. He started from the pole and led for 165 laps, including the first 130.
“It was fun for us, maybe not for others,’’ said Busch, who finished 3.816 seconds ahead of runner-up Austin Dillon, who left NHMS with a 2-point lead (661-659) in the Truck Series over James Buescher, who finished seventh.
Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick finished third, while Ron Hornaday Jr. (fourth), Johnny Sauter (fifth), and Matt Crafton (sixth) rounded out the finishers on the lead lap.
“Getting behind lapped trucks, trying to lap ’em, kind of hurt us a little bit,’’ Busch said. “It slowed us down an awful lot, but once we could get clear of them, we could really run fast lap times again. So it was just a matter of clean air being a little bit too important today.’’
Dillon, grandson of car owner Richard Childress, entered the race trailing Buescher by 3 points (621-618) after his victory in last weekend’s race at Chicagoland Speedway. After a series of green-flag pit stops enabled Busch to build a 6-second lead, Dillon closed the gap over the last 35 laps.
“We’re all out here trying to win a championship,’’ said Dillon. “I feel like we’ve had a great truck to beat each and every week and have just been beating ourselves a lot this year. But we’re finally stringing some good finishes together and we’re really focused on the last six to to.’’
Silk’s purse Last week, Todd Szegedy won a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Lime Rock Park, Conn., to take the series points lead from Ron Silk. Yesterday, Silk wrested it back with a victory in the New Hampshire 100 Modified Tour race.
When asked about the tight battle with Szegedy, Silk said, “It’s a lot of fun, especially doing it with a guy like Todd Szegedy, a good friend of mine. I kind of kept tabs on where he was a little bit today and at times it looked like he was struggling.’’
Silk, who is from Norwalk, Conn., beat out Szegedy (Ridgefield, Conn.) to win his third race of the season and second overall at NHMS. Justin Bonsignore, who qualified third-fastest, finished third while Ted Christopher went from last to fourth.
Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman, who swept last year’s Modified races at NHMS and had his victory in July’s event nullified after a failed technical inspection, finished 28th when his engine failed after 40 laps.
Silk takes an 8-point lead over Szegedy into the penultimate race of the season at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway next Sunday.
“It’s going to go right down to the wire it looks like,’’ Silk said. “Me and him have been pretty strong at every track and I think it’ll come down to the final race there at Thompson [Conn.]’’
Two for the road Despite the threat of rain, officials squeezed in two Sprint Cup practice sessions yesterday for today’s Sylvania 300. Jimmie Johnson, the five-time Cup champion who will start 10th in today’s 43-car grid, was fastest in the second practice session with a lap of 130.198 miles per hour, while David Stremme was fastest in the Happy Hour final practice in 130.644 m.p.h. . . . NASCAR car owner Tommy Baldwin, whose roots trace to the Modifieds while growing up on Long Island, will field a car driven by Dave Blaney in today’s race with a paint scheme that will pay tribute to Richie Evans, the late seven-time Modified Tour champion who was recently elected into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “NASCAR started in the Modified Series,’’ Baldwin said. “And to honor a guy from the Northeast who accomplished so much and have the Hall of Fame recognize a past champion in the Modified Series is pretty awesome.’’ . . . Eddie MacDonald, of Rowley, Mass., won an exciting side-by-side battle on the last lap over Nick Sweet, of Barre, Vt., in the 50-lap ACT Invitational. “That was an unbelievable battle, but these guys just gave me an awesome car to be able to come from the back,’’ MacDonald said. “I ran Nick pretty hard and I felt bad because I had to pinch him down a couple of times, but I had to do anything I could to win because I didn’t want to come home second.’’
Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.