It was Busch’s fourth win of the season in 10 starts in the Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota. Busch also made Chicagoland the fifth track in which he has won a race in each of NASCAR’s three national series.
By Tim Tuttle
Special to Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
JOLIET, Ill. — Kyle Busch won his second straight race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, passing Todd Bodine with 19 laps remaining to take the inaugural EnjoyIllinois.com 225 on Friday at Chicagoland Speedway.
It was Busch’s fourth win of the season in 10 starts in the Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota. Busch also made Chicagoland the fifth track in which he has won a race in each of NASCAR’s three national series. He won the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races there last season.
“It was a fun night,” Busch said. “My parents are from just outside Chicago and my girlfriend is from just over the border in Indiana, and it was cool to come back and win before the home folks in the Midwest.”
Busch also has won in all three national series at Phoenix, the Auto Club Speedway in California, Dover and Bristol.
“It’s definitely an accomplishment,” Busch said. “I’d love to get some more.”
Bodine finished second, .580 seconds behind. It was his first top five in the last six races.
“Second is pretty good after the last two months,” Bodine said. “We’ll take it.”
Bodine took the lead on Lap 98 of 150 when Busch made his final pit stops for tires and fuel, on consecutive laps. Busch was fifth for the restart with 50 laps remaining.
Bodine then pulled out to a commanding lead. Busch steadily climbed and passed Timothy Peters for second just before a caution came out on Lap 122.
“Bodine had the race won until that caution came out,” Busch said.
Busch wasn’t able to overtake Bodine on the next restart, but there was another caution three laps later. The restart was on Lap 132, calling for it to be single-file. It left the bottom of the 1.5-mile track open for Busch.
“I got too good a restart,” Bodine said. “This place is so much like Daytona and Talladega and he was able to get a draft on me and drafted past me.”
Busch stuck to the bottom through Turns 1 and 2 and passed Bodine going into Turn 3.
“I didn’t have that good a restart, but I got through (Turns) 1 and 2 really good,” Busch said. “I pulled low on the back straight and alongside to break his momentum a little bit. He gave me room going into Turn 3, raced me clean. If he hadn’t, it could have gotten ugly.”
Colin Braun was third, followed by Rick Crawford and Johnny Sauter.
Points leader Ron Hornaday Jr. finished 11th, but still gained points on second-place driver Matt Crafton, who finished 14th. Hornaday leads Crafton by 220 points with nine races remaining. Mike Skinner ran 13th and is 316 points back in third.
Hornaday and Crafton were trapped a lap down just past the halfway point. Busch, Bodine, Braun and several others pitted on Lap 22, and a 62-lap green flag run forced Hornaday and Crafton to pit twice under green. A caution on Lap 97 put those two a lap down. Hornaday didn’t get back on the lead lap until the final caution that fell on Lap 139.