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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Kyle Busch Dominates for Truck Series Win at Las Vegas

(Photo: Erik Smith | The Podium Finish)

LAS VEGAS — A new chapter of Kyle Busch in the Craftsman Truck Series is off to a strong start.

In his first race driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports underneath the Chevrolet umbrella, Busch led 84 laps en route to a dominating victory in the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

It was Busch’s 63rd Truck Series victory in 166 starts and his fourth in his hometown.

“Excited about being able to put the bowtie (Chevrolet) back in victory lane with KBM,” Busch said postrace. “With all of the unknowns and question marks, everything surrounding our team and all that late last year, this feels really, really good.”

Busch, despite the victory, battled early adversity on pit road. After starting on the pole, he pitted on Lap 21 during a caution.

Busch’s pit crew was amongst a group of around 10 crews who suffered a major delay on a chartered flight out of the Charlotte area. After a stop for fuel in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the plane landed at 5:49 p.m. PT in Las Vegas, according to Flightradar24. The crews rushed to the track to make the 6:18 start.

Most crews arrived toward the end of Stage 1. But when Busch came for service, his crew had yet to make it. So a group of road crew members with little over-the-wall experience serviced the car, and Busch had a slow stop.

When Busch returned to the track, he reported to his crew that he had a loose wheel, so he needed to pit a second time.

But a track truck was sitting in Busch’s pit stall, attempting to tow a crashed vehicle back to the garage. The truck backed up and Busch pulled into a corner of his box to complete the additional service.

“That was not fun,” Busch said. “Frustrating to have that happen. We pay a lot of money to the airline service as well as to our partners at RCR with the pit crew to have those guys here.”

Busch again short-pitted the second stage, which set him up for just one pit stop in the final stage, which happened to stay green.

He had a couple of concerning moments down the stretch, including a battle with Matt DiBenedetto as DiBenedetto fell a lap down, but Busch crossed the line with a 4.981-second victory.

(Photo: Myk Crawford | The Podium Finish)

“When you’re the outside truck and you buzz back by a guy’s door, that takes all the air off his truck and you can spin them out, and I about lost it and spun out,” Busch said. “You kind of expect a little bit better from some of those guys, but it all ended out OK.”

Zane Smith, who won the season-opener at Daytona, won a stage and finished second. He had the speed to compete with Busch, but got trapped in traffic on the final restart and could never get enough track position during the extended green-flag run.

“We got shuffled back there on one of those late race restarts and then just kind of let Kyle get away,” Smith said. “It is so hard to execute pit road when facing him. I am still happy with our day. Another good points day.”

Although Busch is satisfied with the victory, he wishes he could have raced Smith for the win.

“I felt like we would have had a hell of a race with Zane given if we would have started on the front [of the restart] together,” Busch said. “Once they got through traffic, I think we had seven seconds on them or something. That final run, when I came off of pit road, we were up the same. The last 20 laps, I probably just started going 90% or 80% and just chilling out.”

Ben Rhodes took the final step of the podium with a third-place finish, recording points in both stages. With his 11th-place effort at Daytona, Rhodes is currently fifth in driver’s points to Smith.

(Photo: Christopher Vargas | The Podium Finish)

“Third place is a good showing but I was wanting a little bit more,” Rhodes said. “We had to finish out Stage 2 for points where a lot of guys like Kyle and Zane were short pitting. It helps them get the track position so we had a lot more work to do but we need the stage points. It is a long season and some guys don’t have to do that. We didn’t have that luxury of short pitting.”

STAGE 1: Zane Smith, Ty Majeski, Matt DiBenedetto, Grant Enfinger, Rajah Caruth, Matt Crafton, Carson Hocevar, Ben Rhodes, Ross Chastain, Tanner Gray.

STAGE 2: Carson Hocevar, Ben Rhodes, Matt DiBenedetto, Chase Purdy, Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton, Rajah Caruth, Kaz Grala, Tanner Gray, Ty Majeski.

FINAL: Kyle Busch, Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, Corey Heim, Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, Carson Hocevar, Chase Purdy, Grant Enfinger, Jake Garcia.

Nathan Solomon serves as the managing editor of The Podium Finish. He has been part of the team since 2021 and is accredited by the National Motorsports Press Association. Solomon is a senior in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University. Contact him at

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