Kyle Busch delivered a smashing performance Friday night in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' Nashville 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. He just didn't deliver a smashing celebration this time.
Busch, who started from the pole position, led 131 of the 150 laps around the 1.33-mile concrete oval and cruised to a victory by 0.426sec over Kevin Harvick.The victory was the first in the Camping World Truck Series and first NASCAR national touring series victory for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Busch turned his Late Model team into a truck team after the 2009 season, and it took only four truck races for Busch to find Victory Lane in his own equipment.
"It's a big deal," Busch said. "It's always nice to win anytime you're in anybody's stuff. But especially in your own, it seems to sit a lot better within yourself. This is a big deal that we've taken on this year and (my fiancée) Samantha being a part of that, too.
"There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears this winter put into this deal. I'm very proud of everybody and the way they've worked so hard this year."
A change in teams also included a change in celebrations for Busch, who smashed the Gibson guitar that serves as Nashville's trophy last June after winning a Nationwide Series race. The act – which Busch said wasn't meant as a sign of disrespect to the track nor artist Sam Bass, who painted the guitar – created a stir for a driver who already battles his share of controversy.
This time, Busch just held the guitar over his head as he celebrated his 17th victory in 72 career starts in the series. It was the first time Busch had raced a truck at Nashville and the first time he won in a truck owned by someone other than Billy Ballew.
"I gave the guitar to Sam and told Sam if he wanted to do any damage to my truck, he could have at it," Busch said. "But he didn't. It's all good."
Following Busch and Harvick across the finish line were Ron Hornaday, Harvick's teammate, then Timothy Peters and Todd Bodine. In a race that had just two cautions, only eight drivers finished on the lead lap, with Matt Crafton in sixth, Mike Skinner in seventh and Aric Almirola in eighth.
"It's good that (Busch) won," Harvick said. "Obviously they put a lot of effort into it. He's going to win, whether it's his truck or Billy Ballew's truck. It was just a matter of time before they won."
Peters leads the points by 82 over Almirola and 93 over Bodine. The series now has a month off before racing May 2 at Kansas Speedway.