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NASCAR Truck Series at Texas 2014 Results: Winner, Standings and Reaction

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVNovember 1, 2014

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 31:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates with the checkered flag after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Kyle Busch won his seventh NASCAR Truck Series event of the year and the third of his career at Texas Motor Speedway in Friday night's WinStar World and Casino Resort 350, holding off a slew of title contenders in the process.

Busch led more laps than anyone else, in front for 80 of the 152 laps. He was forced to come from behind multiple times down the stretch after a handful of caution flags, but nothing was stopping his inevitable victory. He now has seven wins in nine 2014 Truck Series appearances.

It was a hotly contested race, especially down the stretch, with championship positioning and late-season points at a premium. That was shown with some extracurricular action as Busch rolled past the checkered flag, per NASCAR:

NASCAR @NASCAR

CHECKERED FLAG: @KyleBusch wins the #Winstar350 under caution as cars wreck behind him on the final lap. http://t.co/fIGq19mVkc

Jeb Burton impressed by sticking around in the top five virtually all race and finishing in second, while Tyler Reddick finished third and reigning champion—and points leader—Matt Crafton finished fourth. Darrell Wallace led 51 laps in his quest to win for a second straight weekend, but untimely engine troubles prevented him from finishing.

Let's take a glance into the top finishers from Friday night's race. You can find the entire finishing order at NASCAR.com:

NASCAR Truck Series at Texas Results
PositionDriverCar No.Laps Led
1Kyle Busch5180
2Jeb Burton130
3Tyler Reddick193
4Matt Crafton886
5Timothy Peters170
6Joey Coulter210
7Max Gresham230
8Joe Nemechek80
9Ryan Blaney290
10Cameron Hayley300
11Brennan Newberry200
12Ron Hornaday Jr.90
NASCAR.com

Here's a look at how Busch's victory impacted the Camping World Truck Series standings with only two races to go, as per NASCAR.com:

NASCAR Truck Series Standings after Texas
PositionDriverPointsWins
1Matt Crafton7562
2Ryan Blaney7331
3Darrell Wallace Jr.7133
4Johnny Sauter7041
5Timothy Peters6801
NASCAR.com

Much of the talk heading into Friday's race centered around Burton, and for good reason. The notable NASCAR driver won last year's Truck Series event at Texas and entered Friday looking to make it 2-of-2.

He had a good feeling about his truck heading into the race:

Jeb Burton @JebBurtonRacing

I think we have a pretty good truck for tonight! #Dig

That showed early and often for Burton, as he began in the top 10 and stayed near the front of the pack throughout. But despite threatening the leaders for most of the 152 laps, he failed to lead a single one of those laps.

Taking his place at the front for most of the early going was Darrell Wallace Jr., as the No. 54 car led the race for 51 of the first 106 laps and looked set to win a second straight race and take the Truck Series points lead.

Never far behind was Kyle Busch Racing teammate Busch, who stayed close to Wallace's rear bumper and made sure he didn't get far, and Matt Crafton, the Truck Series points leader entering Friday. 

At that point, it was all about the KBR teammates at the front, per NASCAR:

NASCAR @NASCAR

It's the @KBMteam show so far. @BubbaWallace has led 28 laps and teammate/boss @KyleBusch has led 25. Leaderboard: http://t.co/9GYNuGrCei

Wallace had no trouble being chased for nearly half of his laps Friday, but things turned sour on Lap 106. Engine troubles caused Wallace's car to go up in smoke, all but ending his championship hopes.

Understandably, Wallace was disheartened after the result and wasted no time taking to Twitter:

Bubba Wallace @BubbaWallace

Sorry didn't wanna talk, heart broken. I have no words, devastated. Thank you all. Too good to be true.

Wallace was the most impressive driver through the first half of the race, but the others near the front didn't scoff at the opportunity when the leader slipped. In fact, Busch—who had already taken the lead off and on from Wallace prior—used it as a chance to take a convincing lead.

Busch stayed leading throughout much of the clutch moments of the race, with Burton unable to keep generating the push he had earlier in the race. Crafton, however, saved his best for last and looked like he was refusing to give up his points lead.

With just more than 20 laps to go, Crafton was in position, per NASCAR Trucks:

NASCAR Trucks @NASCAR_Trucks

Lap 120: Busch leads Crafton by 0.636 seconds, he's led 60 laps tonight #NASCAR

Things remained tight heading down the stretch. With cautions virtually every couple of laps as the race wound down, it came down to execution on the closing couple of laps to decide who would take to the winner's circle.

It would prove to be Busch, with a little help from his friends, as Fox Sports NASCAR noted:

FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX

.@KyleBusch to the lead with help from @TimothyPeters17. #NASCAR @NASCAR_Trucks

Crafton was fighting desperately for the lead down the stretch in order to guarantee he would keep the points lead, but he won't have to worry about that after Friday's race. The victor, Busch, isn't even in the Truck Series standings, and fellow contenders Ryan Blaney and Wallace failed to make a push.

While Crafton remains in position for his second consecutive Truck Series championship with two races to go, the talk after Friday's race was the 29-year-old Busch, and rightfully so. He's been virtually unstoppable in the Truck Series, winning seven races now on the season, despite racing primarily in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. 

Busch's dominance on the Truck Series circuit just makes you wonder where he'd finish if he competed in it year-round. He's more efficient than ever before in the Truck Series, now having won 12 of the last 18 races he has appeared in.

Crafton, Blaney and the other top contenders for the championship are certainly glad he hasn't raced in 11 of the 20 races this year. That leaves the title wide open for Crafton to repeat or for Blaney to make a late push for his first championship.

But if it's wins that they hope to gain in pursuit of the title, they had better hope Busch isn't in the field. He's been nearly automatic in 2014 when it comes to the Truck Series. 

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