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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Kyle Busch Wins Fr8 208 at Atlanta

Kyle Busch lights ’em up after winning the Fr8 208 at Atlanta on Saturday. (Photo: Ricky Martinez | The Podium Finish)

HAMPTON, Ga. — As David Byrne once sang with Talking Heads, when it comes to Kyle Busch running in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, it was the “same as it ever was.”

Once in a lifetime, greats make their mark in their trade like the 38-year-old Las Vegas native in NASCAR’s top series. Making the first of five starts this year, Busch was one of the drivers to beat in his No. 7 Group 1001 Chevrolet Silverado prepared by Spire Motorsports.

As Busch worked his way to the front from his seventh starting position to take the lead as early on Lap 3 for the first of four stints in front of the pack. Suffice to say, Busch, defending race winner Christian Eckes, Grant Enfinger, and Tyler Ankrum were the ones to beat in Saturday’s 135-lap race.

A case could have been made for one of the quartet to emerge victorious on Saturday afternoon. However, Eckes, who won Stage 1, encountered problems with his brakes, curtailing his efforts after 50 laps in his No. 19 NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet.

Enfinger, driving for CR7 Motorsports’ No. 9 Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet Silverado, led on three different occasions for 23 laps. In the late going, a flat tire proved costly for the Alabama native, relegating him to a 26th place finish.

Meanwhile, Busch, who won Stage 2, found himself battling Tyler Ankrum and his fellow Spire Motorsports teammates in Rajah Caruth, Chase Purdy and Nick Sanchez, the Fresh From Florida 250 winner at Daytona. For a while, it looked like Ankrum was going to end a 104-race winless streak, when he triumphant at Kentucky Speedway in 2019.

Initially, it was a battle between Anrkum and Enfinger before the latter’s flat tire. With seven laps to go, Busch made the winning pass on Enfinger, with a little help from his friends.

“You’re relying on help,” Busch said. “So you’ve got to have guys behind you that are willing to work with you. Majeski was that guy today for me. There in the end, we had a bunch of Spire teammates out there that were great to work with too. The 77 was good, the (71) was good, the 2 was good.

“I wanted to get us all on the bottom that time. And we did. We drove right up to the front. And I was going to try to control both lanes. As soon as I pulled out to the top, the bottom went away. So, I was like, ‘Well, sorry.'”

On this occasion, Kyle Busch was a little too tough to beat in the Fr8 208 at Atlanta. (Photo: Ricky Martinez | The Podium Finish)

Busch may have felt some remorse for his teammates being shafted in the final laps. Nevertheless, he happily bested Ty Majeski by 0.187 seconds.

Upon reflection, Majeski needed some drafting help from the No. 11 of Corey Heim to possibly best Busch to the stripe.

“It’s a tough spot,” Majeski said. “You’re playing with runs and timing. When you drag the brake and try to build the run to try to put him in a spot where he’s got to block. I did what I wanted to do.

“I got to his bumper down the backstretch and it was in my hands to make the move. He blocked the bottom so I faded right to try to get to his quarter panel. If the 11 could have gone with me, we probably could have won the race, but it just didn’t work out that way.”

Suddenly, Heim has found himself become “Mr. Consistency” for the Truck Series with another top five finish in as many weeks. The Marietta, Georgia, native expressed relief for not only surviving the drafting speedway races, but for nabbing strong results in the early going of the season.

“Yeah, it was a quiet day for us,” Heim said. “I feel like we played the strategy game really well today. TRICON Garage, and huge thank you to Toyota Racing and Safelite for putting us in position here. Yeah, really uneventful day for us, a good day.

“I feel like these first two races were going to be really tough, Daytona and Atlanta, and got through them with two top-fives. Can’t complain, and that’s what championships are made of, and that’s what we’re going for. Once again, huge thank you to TRICON Garage, Toyota Racing and Safelite.”

Gratitude was also expressed by Busch following his victory at Atlanta. Considering the conclusion of his Kyle Busch Motorsports team, with Spire Motorsports succeeding his efforts, it was not a bad Saturday for the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion.

Kyle Busch didn’t have to move the country to eat a lot of peaches after winning the Fr8 208 at Atlanta. (Photo: Ricky Martinez | The Podium Finish)

“Thanks to Chevrolet,” Busch said. “Appreciate Spire, Group 1001. Everybody that has been a part of this organization from the very start to what we have today, it’s a lot of fun. Love Rowdy nation. Appreciate all the No. 8 stuff out there. A lot of yellow out there. A lot of black. So that’s good. Appreciate it!”

Stage 1 Top 10 Results
  1. Christian Eckes
  2. Tyler Ankrum
  3. Layne Riggs
  4. Grant Enfinger
  5. Ty Majeski
  6. Ben Rhodes
  7. Jake Garcia
  8. Kyle Busch
  9. Jack Wood
  10. Daniel Dye
Stage 2 Top 10 Results
  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Tyler Ankrum
  3. Grant Enfinger
  4. Tanner Gray
  5. Corey Heim
  6. Nick Sanchez
  7. Ty Majeski
  8. Rajah Caruth
  9. Taylor Gray
  10. Bayley Currey
Fr8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Race Results
Finish Start Truck No. Driver Sponsor/Make Status
1 7 7 Kyle Busch (i) Group 1001 Chevrolet Running
2 33 98 Ty Majeski Farm Paint/Curb Records Ford Running
3 19 11 Corey Heim Safelite Toyota Running
4 31 17 Taylor Gray JBL Toyota Running
5 18 2 Nick Sanchez Gainbridge Chevrolet Running
6 25 45 Kaden Honeycutt GeorgiaGovernorsOfficeofHighwaySafety Chevrolet Running
7 2 18 Tyler Ankrum LiUNA! Chevrolet Running
8 12 71 Rajah Caruth Chevrolet Running
9 1 43 Daniel Dye Champion Container Chevrolet Running
10 23 5 Dean Thompson Thompson Pipe Group Toyota Running
11 24 32 Bret Holmes Precision Garage Door Chevrolet Running
12 29 33 Lawless Alan AUTOParkit Ford Running
13 8 88 Matt Crafton Slim Jim/Menards Ford Running
14 17 25 Ty Dillon Rackley Roofing Chevrolet Running
15 9 77 Chase Purdy Bama Buggies Chevrolet Running
16 11 13 Jake Garcia Quanta Services Ford Running
17 15 1 Colby Howard Project HOPE Foundation Toyota Running
18 27 56 Timmy Hill Coble Enterprises/UNITS Toyota Running
19 22 15 Tanner Gray Dead On Tools Toyota Running
20 30 02 Mason Massey Anderson Power Services Chevrolet Running
21 32 22 Keith McGee More Core Ford Running
22 33 76 Spencer Boyd Latitude Aero Chevrolet Running
23 16 52 Stewart Friesen Halmar International Toyota Running
24 13 21 Mason Maggio S I Yachts Ford Running
25 6 9 Grant Enfinger Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet Running
26 28 46 Thad Moffitt (R) Petty’s Garage Chevrolet Running
27 21 42 Matt Mills J.F. Electric/Utilitra Chevrolet Running
28 14 99 Ben Rhodes Campers Inn RV Ford Running
29 10 66 Conner Jones (R) Cincinnati Ford Running
30 20 41 Bayley Currey AutoVentive/DealBadger Chevrolet Damage
31 4 91 Jack Wood AutoVentive/DealBadger Chevrolet Damage
32 5 19 Christian Eckes NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Accident
33 13 38 Layne Riggs Northside Hospital Ford Running – DQ

Rob Tiongson is a 30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught his eyes. From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by him or by one of his talented columnists who have a passion for racing. Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. He enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat. Tiongson, a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, pursues his Master of Arts in Digital Journalism at St. Bonaventure University. Indeed, while Tiongson is proud to be from Massachusetts, he's an everywhere kind of man residing in Texas.

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