Kyle Busch ran away from Ron Hornaday Jr. after a restart with four laps left in Friday night’s Ford 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and won the race by .577 seconds over last year’s series champion.
In winning for the eighth time in 16 starts this season and the 24th time in his career, Busch locked up the owners’ championship for his No. 18 Toyota in his first year as an owner in the series.
“This is so cool, to come out here and win in our last race the way we did,” said Busch, who is still looking for sponsorship to sustain his truck team next year. “(Crew chief) Eric Phillips made some great calls and got my head back in the race.”
Johnny Sauter ran third, followed by 2010 truck series champion Todd Bodine and Aric Almirola, second in the standings this year.
Busch was running in the top five when Sauter’s No. 13 Toyota pinched him into the outside wall on Lap 102 of the 134-lap race. The right front tire on Busch’s Toyota blew shortly thereafter, causing the fourth caution of the race. That turned out to be a minor hurdle between Busch and the victory.
Busch stayed on the lead lap and restarted 21st on Lap 111. By the time John Jackson’s wild slide into the sand barrels protecting the entrance to pit road brought out caution No. 5 on that same lap, Busch was running 14th. NASCAR red-flagged the race while the barrels were replaced.
Hornaday took the lead after a restart on Lap 115 and held it until Elliott Sadler’s spin off Turn 4 caused the sixth and final caution and set up the decisive four-lap run to the finish.
Kevin Harvick, Hornaday’s owner, urged his driver to take the outside on the final restart. Hornaday tried to hold Busch down to the inside, but to no avail. Hornaday said it wouldn’t have mattered which lane he picked.
“No, it didn’t matter—we were just too tight up through the middle, and his truck was free enough where he kept the momentum going,” Hornaday said. “I just wish Johnny had hit him a little harder when he squeezed him against the fence over there, so he didn’t have such a good truck to come back and beat me.”