DARLINGTON, S.C. – Kasey Kahne made the right choice in giving up a week off, running up front the final 51 laps to win the Camping World Truck series event at Darlington Raceway on Saturday night.
The Sprint Cup star could’ve powered down like his Cancun-bound truck owner Kyle Busch as NASCAR’s top series took off. Instead, Kahne hopped into the No. 18 Toyota to win his second Darlington Trucks race in two starts.
“I’ll buy (Kyle) a vacation anytime to drive this thing again,” Kahne said.
He held off defending series champ and Darlington winner Todd Bodine on a restart with three laps remaining.
Ron Hornaday Jr. finished second, and Bodine was third. Series points leader Matt Crafton took fourth and James Buuescher finished fifth.
Kahne has three victories and a second in four career Trucks starts.
Kahne was the clear headliner at Darlington and came loaded with one of the series’ most dominant machines. Busch won eight times last season, including three of the last four events.
Busch has kept it up this year, winning at Phoenix two weeks ago.
This time, though, Busch chose to take a Mexican vacation with wife, Samantha – the couple were watching the race in TV but in Spanish – leaving the seat open for fellow Sprint Cup racer Kahne.
Kahne won his first Trucks start at Darlington in 2004 and just about picked up where he left off then.
He was quickest in the first of two practice sessions, was second in qualifying and, by running mostly up front, stayed free of the wreckage that always seem to take place at the “Lady in Black.”
The race saw a record-tying 10 caution periods.
Kahne took the lead for good on lap 96.