May 16, 2014, 11:06 PM EDT
Last week. The track was Kansas Speedway. The top three trucks were 51-88-19.
Friday night. The track was Charlotte Motor Speedway. The top three trucks were 51-88-19.
The result? Nearly identical.
Kyle Busch won his second straight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race this evening in the No. 51 Hire Our Heroes/Toyota Care Toyota, from Matt Crafton and the No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford driven by BK himself.
The win is Busch’s 38th overall, and fourth in his last four starts dating to 2013 (three-for-three this year) in the Truck Series.
The only difference from the top three last week was that Joey Logano drove the No. 19 BKR Ford in Kansas. These were also the top three starters in Friday night’s race.
For Busch, this Friday night was yet another crushing tour de force, his 19th win on a 1.5-mile track and his fourth straight in a truck at Charlotte. He led 130 of 134 laps.
“This thing was stout, it showed in qualifying, and showed in the race,” Busch said in victory lane. “It was a fun race for us. We had a dominant beast, especially on the long runs. It seemed like in traffic, I didn’t lose as much as other guys. There’s no secrets (to restarts) – the biggest thing was just timing. You play those games, and see them happening. I try not to do that do often.”
Crafton was second, the fifth time he’s finished second to Busch in the trucks.
“I’m gonna have to whoop him in some way. I’m getting tired of it,” Crafton joked post-race. “We struggled a bit on pit road, although we got back some track position. The last five laps it just went away, but overall not a bad run.”
With his third top five finish of the season, Crafton is the points leader by 11 points over Timothy Peters.
Said Keselowski, who finished third: “I was wishing for a caution, just not all the ones with 25-30 to go. We were trying to snooker Kyle but didn’t get the chance. It wasn’t meant to be. We are trying to find a little bit more speed to run with the 51.”
Behind the top three, John Wes Townley finished a career-best fourth, although his night was marred by a moment of contact where he attempted to thread the needle between Keselowski’s teammate Ryan Blaney and Brian Ickler in the tri-oval. Peters finished fifth.
On Lap 105, Townley pitched Blaney, whose truck took off when it hit the grass at the second apex of the tri-oval, then slid up the road into Ickler who had nowhere to go.
Said Blaney of JWT, “(Expletive) happens. I don’t know what he was thinking.”
The Blaney-Ickler accident was one of several over the course of the races, which was interrupted by nine cautions for 47 laps.
The series resumes at Dover in two weeks, on Friday, May 30.