Kyle Busch Rebounds from Flat Tire to Finish Second At Las Vegas

Date: March 5, 2021
Event: Bucked Up 200 (Race 3 of 22)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile tri-oval)
Format: Three Stages; 30 laps/30 laps/74 laps
Start/Finish: 29th/2nd (Running, completed 134 of 134 laps)
Winner: John Hunter Nemechek of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)

Kyle Busch was able to rebound from going a lap down after suffering a flat tire in the final stage of the Bucked Up 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to finish second to KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek.

Busch, the three-time defending winner of the event, got the free pass with 31 laps remaining and despite having moderate damage to the left rear fender of his Cessna Tundra was able to quickly work his way from the 25th position to inside the top 10 in 10 laps. He lined up behind Nemecheck on the final restart of the race with six laps remaining and was able to push his teammate out front, but despite a valiant effort would cross the stripe 0.695 seconds behind the No. 4 Tundra.

Stage One Recap:

• Busch started in the 29th position after a performance matrix based on based off of finishing position from the previous race, the No. 51 team’s ranking in owner points standings from 2020 and the fastest lap from the previous race on the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Road Course. With Busch not participating in the prior race, he would have to start deep in the field.
• At the first caution of the night on Lap 3, Busch worked his way up to the 17th position.
• Busch would finish the stage in the fourth position.

Stage Two Recap:

• At the stage break, Busch radioed to his No. 51 Cessna crew that his Tundra was tight. Crew chief Mardy Lindley summoned his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments. Busch would restart the stage from the third position.
• When the second stage went green, the left rear tire would start smoking indicating a possible tire rub. As the tire pressures built, the rub would become negligible.
• During the run, Busch radioed to his Cessna crew that his Tundra was losing grip throughout the run.
• The veteran driver garnered the race lead from Nemechek on Lap 48 and would go on to win the stage on Lap 60.

Final Stage Recap:
• Under the break, Lindley summoned his veteran driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments. The veteran driver would start the second stage in the third position.
• With two cautions after the final stage went green, Busch worked his way up to the second position.
• While running second on Lap 89, Busch noticed that his left rear tire was flat. Busch attempted to nurse his Cessna Tundra to the pit lane, but it would snap loose coming off Turn 2 and bring out the sixth caution of the night.
• After the Cessna Tundra worked its way back to the pit lane, Lindley elected to take four tires, fuel and make repairs the left rear fender. Busch would fall one lap down before restarting 29th.
• With a caution falling on Lap 98, Busch was able to get back on the lead lap. Lindley summoned Busch to pit road to work on the right rear fender brace and make adjustments for the veteran driver to maneuver for traffic better. Busch would restart in the 25th position.
• By the eighth caution on Lap 116, Busch had worked his way up to the ninth position.
• By the ninth and final caution of the night on Lap 124, Busch had worked his way to third.
• After lining up behind race leader Nemechek on the inside lane on the choose lap, Busch would propel Nemechek to the lead and move himself to the second position.
• The veteran driver was unable to catch Nemechek in the closing laps and would finish in the second position.

Kyle Busch driver of the No. 51 Cessna Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports

What was missing at the end of the race to contend with John Hunter Nemechek?

“We just didn’t have enough in our Cessna Tundra. They were a little bit better than us so not sure what differences they had. I was just really tight and really rough over the bumps, trying to get through the bumps. Looking at the splitter wear, it was really rough on the splitter and wearing through it. We were battling some little things, but overall, our truck was still fast. It was cool to come home one-two.”

Having your team truck win, does that help take away the sting of not winning yourself?

“Certainly, it does. Anytime you finish second to a team truck, you know how good the equipment is and it’s nice to see the equipment getting its full potential and running up front. I’m excited to have John Hunter (Nemechek) this year. When we had the opportunity to talk last year and to bring him in and to have Eric Phillips (crew chief) back on board, that was going to be a winning combination I felt like and here we are already reaping the benefits. I hate I finished second obviously, I want to win, but as a team owner, I get paid the same whether they win, or I win and it’s nothing so I’m all good.”

Bucked Up 200 Recap:

• John Hunter Nemechek scored his first victory of the 2021 season beating Busch by 0.686 seconds. It was Nemechek’s seventh career Camping World Truck Series victory and his first for KBM. Austin Hill, Stewart Friesen, and Matt Crafton rounded out the top five.
• There were nine cautions for 48 laps. There were nine lead changes among five drivers with Busch leading once times for 16 laps. Busch and Nemechek combined to lead 110 of the 134 total laps.

How Busch’s KBM Teammates Fared:

• John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished first.
• Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished 19th.

Camping World Trucks Owner’s Championship Standings:

After three races, the No. 51 team sits sixth in the owner’s championship.

Next Race:

The No. 51 Cessna Tundra hits the track with team owner Kyle Busch when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes action on Saturday, March 20 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway. Live coverage will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 2:30 p.m. ET.