Kyle Busch continues Truck Series mastery with win at Atlanta

By Thomson Reuters Feb 24, 2024 | 5:06 PM

HAMPTON, Ga. — When Kyle Busch sold his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series team to Spire Motorsports, he didn’t surrender his prowess behind the wheel.

Driving the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet in his first start of 2024, Busch inherited the lead from Grant Enfinger on Lap 129 of 135 and held off Ty Majeski and Corey Heim over the final five laps to win his seventh race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the 65th of his career, extending his own series record.

Enfinger was out front for 21 consecutive laps before one of his tires began losing pressure, forcing him to the pits after Busch, Majeski, Heim, Taylor Gray and Nick Sanchez, last week’s winner at Daytona, sped past.

Busch crossed the finish line 0.187 seconds ahead of Majeski, who edged Heim for the runner-up position by 0.009 seconds. Gray and Sanchez came home fourth and fifth, respectively.

“I actually got a run on the 9 truck (Enfinger) down the backstretch,” Busch said of the pass for the win. “He must have been going flat down the backstretch and slowing down because it gave me–it sucked me up right to him. Then he got loose in the corner. I got loose in the corner. We all checked up trying not to crash.

“Thankfully, we didn’t. I thought that was a big moment. But then we got the lead right there, and after that, it was about trying to protect it. Majeski was a bit of a wing man today. Appreciate him–and the history we’ve had together growing up racing late models with him a lot in Wisconsin and around those parts.

“That was a lot of fun. Great to get Chevrolet to Victory Lane.”

The race was the first of five events Busch will run for Spire Motorsports this year, after selling Kyle Busch Motorsports to the organization late in the 2023 season. Busch now has 230 victories across all three of NASCAR’s national series (63 NASCAR Cup, 102 Xfinity and 65 CRAFTSMAN Truck).

Coming through the final corner Busch effectively blocked Majeski’s only potential path to victory.

“I had a run, and I got to Kyle’s bumper,” Majeski said. “I knew he was going to cover the bottom. My only shot was to try and fade right, get to his quarter panel. That was the only shot that I had.

“Overall, super proud of the day. The truck was a little ill-handling in the beginning. (Crew chief) Joe Shear made some great calls, tightened me up a little bit so we could go racing.”

Tyler Ankrum led a race-high 46 laps but got shuffled back in the bottom lane after Enfinger passed him for the top spot in Lap 108. Busch, who won Stage 2, was out front for 33 laps and Enfinger 23. Ankrum finished seventh behind Kaden Honeycutt in sixth.

Christian Eckes led 20 laps and won the first stage but suffered brake issues that prevented him from stopping in his pit box during the Stage 1 break. Eckes retired after 50 laps in 33rd place.

There were 20 lead changes among seven drivers and seven cautions for 37 laps.

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Race — Fr8 208

Atlanta Motor Speedway

Hampton, Georgia

Saturday, February 24, 2024

1. (7) Kyle Busch(i), Chevrolet, 135.

2. (3) Ty Majeski, Ford, 135.

3. (19) Corey Heim, Toyota, 135.

4. (31) Taylor Gray, Toyota, 135.

5. (18) Nick Sanchez, Chevrolet, 135.

6. (25) Kaden Honeycutt, Chevrolet, 135.

7. (2) Tyler Ankrum, Chevrolet, 135.

8. (12) Rajah Caruth, Chevrolet, 135.

9. (1) Daniel Dye, Chevrolet, 135.

10. (23) Dean Thompson, Toyota, 135.

11. (24) Bret Holmes, Chevrolet, 135.

12. (29) Lawless Alan, Ford, 135.

13. (8) Matt Crafton, Ford, 135.

14. (17) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 135.

15. (9) Chase Purdy, Chevrolet, 135.

16. (11) Jake Garcia, Ford, 135.

17. (15) Colby Howard, Toyota, 135.

18. (27) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 135.

19. (22) Tanner Gray, Toyota, 135.

20. (30) Mason Massey, Chevrolet, 135.

21. (32) Keith McGee, Ford, 134.

22. (33) Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 134.

23. (16) Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 133.

24. (13) Layne Riggs #, Ford, 133.

25. (26) Mason Maggio, Ford, 133.

26. (6) Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, 133.

27. (28) Thad Moffitt #, Chevrolet, 132.

28. (21) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 132.

29. (14) Ben Rhodes, Ford, 130.

30. (10) Conner Jones #, Ford, 129.

31. (20) Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, Damage, 96.

32. (4) Jack Wood, Chevrolet, Accident, 57.

33. (5) Christian Eckes, Chevrolet, Brakes, 50.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 111.425 mph.

Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 51 Mins, 57 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.187 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 7 for 37 laps.

Lead Changes: 20 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D. Dye 0;T. Majeski 1;T. Ankrum 2;K. Busch(i) 3-4;T. Ankrum 5-6;K. Busch(i) 7-10;C. Eckes 11-21;T. Majeski 22-23;C. Eckes 24-32;T. Ankrum 33-42;K. Busch(i) 43-62;M. Mills 63-68;T. Ankrum 69;G. Enfinger 70;T. Ankrum 71-99;D. Thompson 100-103;T. Ankrum 104-105;G. Enfinger 106;T. Ankrum 107;G. Enfinger 108-128;K. Busch(i) 129-135.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Tyler Ankrum 7 times for 46 laps; Kyle Busch(i) 4 times for 33 laps; Grant Enfinger 3 times for 23 laps; Christian Eckes 2 times for 20 laps; Matt Mills 1 time for 6 laps; Dean Thompson 1 time for 4 laps; Ty Majeski 2 times for 3 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 19,18,38,9,98,99,13,7,91,43

Stage #2 Top Ten: 7,18,9,15,11,2,98,71,17,41

–By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service. Special to Field Level Media.