A failed post-race inspection in the NASCAR Xfinity Series earlier in the day would not sway the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series champion as Kyle Busch would pull ahead late to claim the Vankor 350 victory at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday evening.
The win is Busch’s 59th win in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series. In Busch’s last 10 truck races dating back to Feb. 23, 2019 (Atlanta), the 35-year-old has won eight of them.
The win is Busch’s fifth career truck victory at Texas.
After a brief side-by-side battle with Grant Enfinger through the first two turns on lap one, pole-sitter Sheldon Creed would clear Enfinger and lead through the first nine laps of the race. A flat right-rear tire for Creed, however, would force the 22-year-old to pit road and give Busch the lead.
Busch would keep the lead for five laps until Zane Smith would overtake him. The 21-year-old for GMS Racing would keep the distance from Busch until Busch would regain the lead with five to go in stage one. The No. 51 Toyota would shoot out to a second-plus lead and keep it to pick up the stage win.
Busch would win the battle off pit road and start stage two as the leader. Busch would push ahead to seven-tenths of a second before fluid on the track from Johnny Sauter’s No. 13 for Thorsport Racing would bring out the first non-stage caution of the night on lap 61. Engine failure from Sauter’s truck would result in a 33rd-place finish for the five-time Texas truck winner.
While Busch would maintain the lead on the restart with 11 to go in stage two, a Christian Eckes pass would stick and net the 19-year-old the lead with 10 to go. A Jordan Anderson caution out of turn four on lap 74 would bring the trucks to pit road. Brett Moffitt, who did not pit, would win stage two under caution after Tate Fogleman and Derek Kraus would spin out on the backstretch.
At the start of the final stage, Eckes would start in the top position and hold it until Busch would claim it back after the former had to pit. Busch would push up his lead to over four seconds until a Todd Gilliland crash would bring out the caution with 15 to go.
Busch, however, would push ahead on the outside by side-drafting off of Eckes and would take the lead back. Busch would clear Eckes once more and pull away by four-tenths of a second with five to go, keep the lead for good, and claim the victory.
Eckes, Matt Crafton, Stewart Friesen and Moffitt would round out the top five. The runner-up finish for Eckes is his best-ever finish in his truck career.
Despite starting on the pole, Creed would finish three laps down in 16th. In four career truck races at Fort Worth, Creed has finished outside the top 10 in three of them.
The Gander RV and Outdoor Truck Series will trek to Kansas Speedway for a doubleheader next weekend. Race one coverage will begin July 24 at 7:00 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1. Coverage for race two will also be on FS1 and will begin July 25 at 1:30 p.m. EST.
Full race results:
Check back for driver points