Kyle Busch holds off all challengers to win the NASCAR Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway

Kyle Busch celebrates in Victory Lane after winning Friday night’s 250 NASCAR Craftsman Series truck race at Texas Motor Speedway. Photo by David Barks.

Busch ties Todd Bodine for the most truck wins in Fort Worth

FORT WORTH, TX – It wasn’t easy but in the end, future NASCAR Hall of Famer Kyle Busch held off the young guns to win Friday night’s Craftsman Truck Series 250 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Statistics show Busch had the dominant truck all night – leading 112 of the 167 laps over the speedway’s 1.5-mile oval.

But Busch was never able to build a big lead as Christian Eckes, Corey Heim, and Nick Sanchez stayed close throughout.

Kyle Busch (7) beats Corey Heim (11) to the finish line by 0.112 seconds to win Friday night’s truck race at Texas Motor Speedway. Photo by David Barks.

And a late caution almost derailed Busch.

With 18 laps left, Eckes managed to get the nose of his Chevy Silverado in front of Busch’s Silverado when a four-truck crash forced the race’s seventh and final caution.

That put Eckes in first place for the restart but with nine laps to go, Busch was able to reclaim the lead.

Then Heim and Sanchez dove inside Eckes, pushing Eckes back and Busch was able to win a sprint to the checkered flag by 0.112 seconds over Heim and 0.835 seconds over Sanchez with Eckes falling back to fourth place.

It was the second-closest margin of victory in a truck race at the speedway.

“Great team, everybody here at Spire [Motorsports],” said Busch. “They definitely kept me honest, I’ll give them that. Corey [Heim] kept us honest right there. He started to find that top over there and got some momentum over there with three to go. I chattered really bad, so my front just wasn’t working over there. … he made it and got to my rear bumper getting into [turn] three and I just didn’t know which way to go so I ran the middle then to the bottom and then he slipped up top and I guess we had enough of a gap after that.”

Nick Sanchez (2) leads the field at the start of Friday night’s Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Photo by David Barks.

Heim has now finished in the Top 10 in all seven Craftsman Truck Series races in 2024.

“It just seemed like a big track position game at the end there,” said Heim. “He’d (Busch) get really big runs on the straightaways and once you get to the corner it’s really hard to stay behind someone and keep the momentum.

“I did all I could there trying to pick up three on that last restart but got another caution there unfortunately and just tried to build a run on him, but he’s just too good and does a really good job. Really happy with our run tonight, picked up stage points and finished second.”

Zane Smith finished fifth, followed by Daniel Dye, brothers Taylor and Tanner Gray, Stefan Parsons, and Ty Majeski.

The victory was Busch’s 66th in his Truck Series career and sixth at Texas Motor Speedway – tying him with Todd Bodine for the most Truck Series wins at the Texas track.

Busch has also won the last four truck races that he’s been in at TMS, and increases his total to 20 TMS wins over NASCAR’s three top aeries – four in Cup and 10 in Xfinity.

Busch led the race three different times, taking the lead for the first time on Lap 38 and then holding it for the next 90 laps – winning both Stages 1 and 2.

Eckes also led three times for a total of 31 laps; Sanchez, the pole sitter led the first 17 laps; Zane Smith managed to get out front once for eight laps while the other leaders hit pit road.

The race started ugly as a four-truck pileup at the end of the first lap caused the night’s first caution.

The crash ended the night for Tyler Ankrum, Thad Moffitt, and Memphis Villareal.

Rajah Caruth was the fourth driver involved.

The pace truck pulls off the track as the field approaches the start line to begin Friday night’s truck race at Texas Motor Speedway. Photo by David Barks

Deite having serious tire troubles, Caruth, who went down two laps, was able to recover to finish 12th.

Ankrum, the Truck Series points leader, finished dead last (34th), and dropped to sixth place in the standings.

The truck race kicked off NASCAR’s tripleheader weekend.

Saturday features the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 Xfinity race. Rookie Jesse Love is on the pole.

Sunday, the Cup cars take to the track for the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 with Kyle Larson capturing the pole.

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Race – 250

Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Texas

Friday, April 12, 2024

Statistics provided by NASCAR

    1. (4)  Kyle Busch(i), Chevrolet, 167.

    2. (14)  Corey Heim, Toyota, 167.

    3. (1)  Nick Sanchez, Chevrolet, 167.

    4. (2)  Christian Eckes, Chevrolet, 167.

    5. (12)  Zane Smith(i), Chevrolet, 167.

    6. (6)  Daniel Dye, Chevrolet, 167.

    7. (9)  Taylor Gray, Toyota, 167.

    8. (34)  Tanner Gray, Toyota, 167.

    9. (25)  Stefan Parsons, Chevrolet, 167.

    10. (11)  Ty Majeski, Ford, 167.

    11. (21)  Lawless Alan, Ford, 167.

    12. (10)  Rajah Caruth, Chevrolet, 167.

    13. (3)  Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 167.

    14. (8)  Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, 167.

    15. (22)  Matt Crafton, Ford, 167.

    16. (17)  Dean Thompson, Toyota, 167.

    17. (18)  Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 167.

    18. (16)  Conner Jones #, Ford, 166.

    19. (13)  Jake Garcia, Ford, 166.

    20. (29)  Mason Massey, Chevrolet, 166.

    21. (30)  Timmy Hill, Toyota, 166.

    22. (27)  Bret Holmes, Chevrolet, 166.

    23. (24)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 166.

    24. (19)  Ben Rhodes, Ford, 165.

    25. (15)  Chase Purdy, Chevrolet, 165.

    26. (20)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 165.

    27. (28)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 162.

    28. (32)  Keith McGee, Ford, 159.

    29. (5)  Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, Accident, 151.

    30. (26)  Kris Wright, Toyota, Accident, 145.

    31. (7)  Layne Riggs #, Ford, Accident, 135.

    32. (23)  Thad Moffitt #, Chevrolet, Accident, 1.

    33. (31)  Memphis Villarreal, Chevrolet, Accident, 1.

    34. (33)  Tyler Ankrum, Chevrolet, Accident, 1.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  118.471 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 6 Mins, 52 Secs.

Margin of Victory:  0.112 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 40 laps.

Lead Changes:  7 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   N. Sanchez 1-16;C. Eckes 17-37;K. Busch(i) 38-127;C. Eckes 128;Z. Smith(i) 129-136;K. Busch(i) 137-149;C. Eckes 150-158;K. Busch(i) 159-167.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Busch(i) 3 times for 112 laps; Christian Eckes 3 times for 31 laps; Nick Sanchez 1 time for 16 laps; Zane Smith(i) 1 time for 8 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 7,19,2,91,52,43,38,9,11,17

Stage #2 Top Ten: 7,2,19,11,17,38,91,43,9,45

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