Kyle Busch Holds On to Win an Exciting Truck Race at Atlanta

Horn FanSenior Writer IMarch 8, 2009

Kyle Busch holds on to beat Kevin Harvick by a truck length or less, for his fourth win at Atlanta Motor Speedway and his second win in a row in the Camping World Truck Series.

Busch on a late restart, fell back to ninth since he lost third gear on lap 79 and second gear on the green flag on lap 123 and basically would steal a win for a change making pit strategy work.

Busch was able to use the center line, catch the lead pack and use the high-side to reclaim the lead from Bodine.

Kyle Busch in the No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Toyota started from the pole. Rick Crawford in the No. 14 Circle Bar International Truck Engine Ford, starts on the outside pole position in his 300th start.

Kevin Harvick in the No. 2 Charter Communication Chevrolet starts third, not bad with his Nationwide crew and in his Truck debut at Atlanta.

Todd Bodine in the No. 30 Tilted Kilt/Geico Toyota starts fourth. It's a one-race deal, that has the potential too turn into a full-time deal. According to scenedaily.com, with no sponsor, Germain Racing won't be going to the next truck race at Martinsville Speedway. 

Rounding out the top-five starters, is Ron Hornaday Jr. in the No. 33 VFW Chevrolet in fifth.

The pit window is 52 to 57 laps, be interesting to see how the new pit rules effect the race. Typically the race has finished with a last lap pass or at least the last two have finished that way.

On the Lap 1 green flag start, Busch pulls away from Crawford who starts badly dropping back to sixth on the start.

Harvick in second gets the jump on Busch, passes him for the lead coming out of turn four with drafting help from Hornaday in third.

Harvick would lead the first lap, but on the second lap Busch would re-pass him back for the lead.

On Lap 4, Rick Crawford has fallen out of the top 10, racing in 11th and his teammate James Buescher starts to challenge him for the position.

On Lap 8, Busch has a 1.3 second lead on Harvick in second and so far looks like we could see a repeat of Fontana.

On Lap 9, Chad McCumbee in the No. 07 AsiLimited Chevrolet started 11th, has worked his way up to fifth and passes Colin Braun in the No. 6 Con-Way Freight Ford on the low-side for fourth.

On Lap 10, the top five was Busch leading, Harvick in second, Hornaday in third, McCumbee in fourth and Braun in fifth.

Over the next fourth laps, Harvick starts to reel in Busch for the lead and the leads 0.325 second on Lap 15.

On Lap 17, Busch still leads, but being challenged by Harvick. Going into turn one, Harvick went high, but Busch would block him. Going into turn 3, Harvick runs low, Busch stays high and coming out of turn 4 Busch just barely hangs onto the lead.

On Lap 18, Matt Crafton in the No. 88 Tide/Menard's Chevrolet running in fifth, would pass McCumbee for fourth.

Busch still leads, with Harvick all over his bumper battling to become the new leader.

On Lap 19, Bodine would pass Braun on the low-side for sixth place.

On Lap 21, Bodine passes McCumbee on the low-side to get fifth.

On Lap 23, Busch feels the pressure from Harvick going into turn one; they battle side by side down the back straight away and coming out of turn 4 Harvick's leading across the stripe.

On Lap 24, Harvick starts to pull away has about a six truck length lead on Busch and gaining.

On Lap 25, Harvick's leading by close to a second over Busch. Rookie J.R. Fitzpatrick would pit due to a severe vibration and gets four new tires.

He'll be a lap down now, but the stop could play into his hands should the first pit stops be green flag ones. Since he only needs fuel, the field has to stop for tires and fuel. Right now they are halfway through a fuel run.

After 26 Laps, the top five was; Harvick leading, Busch in second, Hornaday in third, Crafton in fourth and Bodine in fifth.

On Lap 30, the first caution comes out for debris. Everyone pits getting tires, Busch got a air pressure and track bar adjustment and Harvick makes just a air pressure adjustment to fix the 2 truck.

On Lap 31, everyone makes their second stop for fuel. The top five off of pit road was Braun is now leading, Bodine is second, Crafton is third, Busch is fourth and Harvick is fifth.

On Lap 35 restart, Bodine passes on the low side of Braun and takes the lead.

On Lap 36, Harvick slows lets his crew chief Ernie Cope know he has a severe vibration, may have a loose wheel and need to pit.

But Harvick stays out, the problem could be the air pressure adjustment made on the first pit stop.

On Lap 38, Braun drops back to fifth, Crafton takes third and Harvick now in fourth.

On Lap 40, Crafton would pass Busch for second, out of no where Harvick takes third from Busch and coming off of turn four he also takes second from Crafton.

Looks like that vibration was related to the air pressure adjustment and Happy doesn't have a loose wheel.

On Lap 41, Harvick catches and passes Bodine for the lead and has a four truck length lead coming back to the stripe.

After 42 Laps, the top five was; Harvick leading, Bodine in second, Busch in third, Crafton in fourth and Hornaday in fifth.

On Lap 44, Crafton would pass Busch for third position and a lap later he would pass Bodine for second. 

On Lap 47, Harvick has a lead of 1.5 seconds over Crafton in second.

On Lap 48, Hornaday starts to pressure Busch, he goes low to pass Rowdy on the low-side and makes the pass stick. Busch who's truck is loose nearly gets into the wall, but saves it.

On Lap 51, Harvick has stretched his lead to 1.9 seconds over Crafton in second, Bodine is over 6 seconds back in third.

On Lap 56, Harvick has built up a 3.3 seconds lead on Crafton in second.

After 59 laps, the top five was; Havick leading by over 4 seconds, Crafton in second, Bodine in third, Hornaday in fourth and Busch in fifth.

On Lap 60, T.J. Bell running in sixth, his teammate Johnny Benson Jr. runs in seventh and they start to challenge each other for sixth and seventh.

On Lap 62, Hornaday passes Bodine for third place and pulls away from him.

On Lap 63, Harvick still leads by 3.3 seconds over Crafton in second and Hornaday is 6.2 seconds back in third.

On Lap 66, the second caution comes out for oil on the back stretch.

On Lap 68, Everyone pits, they take either tires or fuel and they all will come back in a second time.

On Lap 70, After pit stops, Hornaday is the new leader, Bodine runs in second, Harvick is third, Busch is fourth and Crafton is fifth.

On Lap 71, on the restart, Hornaday does not start well, results in a three way battle for the lead between Bodine, Harvick and Busch.

On Lap 72, Bodine now leads, Harvick runs in second, Busch is third, Hornaday is fourth and Crafton is fifth.

On Lap 73, the third caution comes out for Ricky Carmichael in the No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet spins due to contact from Braun.

Several trucks got through with minor damage because of the sliding the No. 4, but Dennis Setzer in the No. 8 Malcolmson Construction Chevrolet with no where to go hit him and had front end damage.

Both Crawford and Stacy Compton in the No. 60 Wyler.com/Melling Engine Parts Toyota have minor damage.

Several drivers would pit under the caution, but most stayed out and didn't pit.

On the Lap 77 restart, Bodine gets a great start gets past the lapped truck of Peters.

But both Harvick in second and Busch in third get passed Peters, they swap two and third twice on the the lap.

On Lap 80, Busch battles Bodine, takes the lead, Harvick goes for second and Crafton passes Hornaday for fourth.

On Lap 82, Busch leads with Harvick on his bumper, but Rowdy moves around preventing him from passing.

On Lap 83, Harvick would go high in turn one, then tries the low side coming out of turn two. Happy would get the bumper under him going into turn three and makes the pass coming stick coming back to the stripe.

On Lap 84, Harvick gets the lead, pulls away from Busch in second. That lap Crafton also takes third passing Bodine.

On Lap 85, Crafton in third, starts to pressure Busch for second.

Speed commentators let us know Harvick made the pass, by knowing Busch was loose in turns one and two. That he has a crew guy monitoring the radio's of other teams.

On Lap 86, Crafton would pass Busch for second and is less than a second behind Harvick the leader.

After 87 Laps, the top five was; Harvick leading by 0.784 second, Crafton is second, Busch is third, Bodine is fourth and Hornaday is fifth.

Harvick has led 47 of the 94 laps today, he's been on of the fastest trucks all day.

On Lap 95, Harvick leads by 1.7 seconds over Crafton in second and Hornaday would pass Kyle Busch for third.

On Lap 100, Harvick leads Crafton in second by 2.161 seconds and has over a 7 second lead on Hornaday in third.

After 105 Laps, the top five was; Harvick leading, Crafton in second, Hornaday in third, Busch in fourth and Bodine in fifth.

Gabi DiCarlo in the No. 90 Great Clips Toyota running in 25th, three laps down, but been sick and prior too the race received IV fluids in the infield care center.

She's stayed out of trouble, logged laps and that's important to her development as a driver.

It's going to be interesting as the leaders all need to pit twice for fuel and tires. Several teams pitted on the last caution and will need to only stop for fuel.

On Lap 108, Harvick still leads, he's the fastest truck on the track right now and needs to make a final pit stop. It will be interesting since he runs only a handful of races, if he'll gamble fuel wise, just take fuel or make two stops.

On Lap 114, the fourth caution comes out for debris.

On Lap 115, everyone pits for tires or fuel, most will make two stops but a few teams will only make one stop.

Busch would stop only once taking only tires and no fuel, while the other front runners Harvick, Crafton, Hornaday and Bodine all pitted twice for tires and fuel.

After the pit stops, the top five is; Busch leading, Terry Cook in the No. 25 Harris Trucking Toyota in second, Braun runs in third, Brian Scott in the No. 16 Albertson's Toyota in fourth and Mike Skinner in the No. 5 Exide Batteries Toyota is fifth.

Crafton is now seventh, Bodine is now eighth, Hornaday is now ninth and Harvick is now tenth.

On Lap 118, on the single file restart, Cook would pass Busch for the lead. Braun tries to pass Busch and the leaders wads up behind Cook.

On Lap 119, the fifth caution comes out as Braun spins and hits the inside wall.

Braun would bounce his truck off of Cook, but Scott in fourth gets tapped by Skinner in fifth and gets into Braun slightly and spun him into the inside wall.

On the Lap 122 restart, Scott moves to the low side, he passes Cook and Skinner would follow him in second.

On Lap 123, Scott leads, Bodine catches Skinner for second and starts to challenge for the lead. Coming out of turn two Bodine and Scott are side by side, when both Busch and Harvick make it a four wide battle for the lead.

Bodine would get the lead, both Busch in second and Harvick up high in third, would squeeze by. Scott loses it, bounces his truck off of the wall, but saves it and loses positions.

On Lap 124, Bodine leads starts to pull away as both Busch in second gets pressure from Harvick in third and battle for the position.

On Lap 125, Bodine leads, Busch in second with Harvick on his bumper in third catch back up to the leader.

On Lap 126, Busch would battle on the high side with Bodine on the low side for the lead. Coming out of turn four, Busch has the lead and Harvick starts to challenge Bodine for third.

On Lap 127, Busch leads, Harvick now runs second and is catching the leader.

On Lap 128, Busch leads, has Harvick on his bumper and even would bobble a little. But Harvick just couldn't take advantage of Busch's truck being loose and pass for the lead.

On the white flag lap, Busch leads Harvick is right on his bumper, Busch would get loose but Harvick couldn't take advantage and pass for the win.

Busch comes back to the stripe takes the checkers with about a truck length win over Harvick. It was Busch's fourth win in five races at Atlanta and his second win in a row in trucks from the pole. 

More amazingly was he did with a truck that lost both second and third gear and used the new pit rule for the win by taking tires and not making a second stop.

Kevin Harvick finished second, had the fastest truck all race and led 68 laps today. Post race Harvick made the following comment.

"I got tight when we took the white going into turn two there...and lost a little too much ground going into turn three", Harvick said. "Thing was fast, but it doesn't matter if you can't do a pit stop".

Bodine would finish in third, he lead 18 laps and collects his third top-five finish of the season. While Tilted Kilt was just a one race deal, probably sometime this week we'll know if they become a full-time sponsor for the team in 2009.

Skinner would finish in fourth, ran well all race and recorded the first top five finish for Randy Moss Motorsports.

Cook would finish fifth, led four laps today and recorded his second top five finish for HT Motorsports.

McCumbee had a another great run, would finish sixth and got his second top 10 for SS Greenlight Racing.

Hornaday would finish seventh, lead three laps and collects his third top 10 finish of the season.

Bliss would run a great race finishing in eighth for Key Motorsports. Benson the defending Champion, would finish ninth and record his best finish of the season.

Scott would finish tenth, led one lap and battle for his first top ten of the year.

Post race Hornaday and Crafton had words on pit road, but watching replays on Speed. Crafton is in the wrong on this one, he got caught with Scott in front of him with Hornaday passing him and was mad at Horn for not letting him squeeze in front of him.

Your racing for the checkers, you don't give away positions and Horn did nothing wrong.

Here's a few quotes from the winner Rowdy Busch.

"On that restart, I stepped on it to go and second (gear) broke as soon as I stepped on it," Busch said. "I had to put it in fourth and hope there was a fourth gear-and just lug it through. Fortunately we got going sooner than later and were able to make it back up through there."

"I stayed in the gas wide open," Busch said. "I don't think we out trucked 'em today, but I think we outran 'em at the end".

"At least it was exciting for the fans, if we'd have had second and third gear we might have pulled away."

The next truck race is March 28, the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway.

All quotes are from catchfence.com and photo source is sports.yahoo.com

To the editor, please do not change my tags.

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