Kyle Busch Motorsports owner/driver Kyle Busch picked up his first career Camping World Truck Series win at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, capturing the checkered flag over Ryan Blaney in the Careers for Veterans 200. KBM driver and Michigan native Erik Jones finished third in his MIS debut, while Cody Coughlin finished 20th in his KBM debut.
Busch’s win was the first for KBM at MIS, and his second win in as many starts in the Truck Series this season. Michigan is now one of many tracks where “Rowdy” has won in all three NASCAR top-tier series.
“First win for me, first win for KBM here and I can’t thank Dollar General enough, M&M’s and everybody on that program,” said Busch, who started 10th in the No. 51 Dollar General Toyota Tundra. “Jerry Baxter (crew chief) and these guys at KBM, they do an awesome job…This Camping World Truck Series is pretty fun – I love racing with those guys up there, (Erik) Jones and (Ryan) Blaney and (Austin) Dillon, it was pretty hectic on how all that was going to shape up and play out…Just cool to finally get that monkey off my back here in the Truck Series and notch another race track where I’ve won in all three divisions here at Michigan.”
Jones started seventh in the No. 4 Toyota Tundra, led 16 laps and closed in on points leader Tyler Reddick and second-place Matt Crafton in the championship hunt. Jones is now nine points out of the lead with 10 races remaining in the Truck Series season.
“We were just a little off all day unfortunately,” said Jones. “We had to work pretty hard to get it back to where we needed it to be and had to pit there with like 25 (laps) to go or so and loosen it way up. It wasn’t quite enough of an adjustment of what we needed, but it got us close and we were able to make some good moves on restarts and get back up to third. That’s a good point’s day for us, we’re only nine (points) back and that’s really nice to say, really nice to feel for the first time this year – we’re back in it. We just have to keep doing the same thing and keep having these good weeks and keep having good trucks. We’ll have our Tundra up there before too long.”
Coughlin, making his first KBM start in the No. 54 JEGS Tundra, started 18th and, after fighting handling issues earlier in the race, was starting to make a push for the top 10 when he got loose in Turn Four on Lap 82 and collected Ben Kennedy. A few trips to pit road for repairs put Coughlin four laps down, but he did collect a top 20 finish.
“It was unfortunate the way things ended,” said Coughlin, nephew of NHRA drivers Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Troy Coughlin. “We showed that we had speed today and that was a good thing. I’m very thankful to KBM for giving me the opportunity to race for them today.”
Johnny Sauter and Austin Dillon rounded out the top five at MIS.
The Truck Series gets a short break and is back on track Wednesday, August 19 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Busch and Jones are joined by Daniel Suarez at the 1/2-mile concrete oval. Keep up with the action at www.kylebuschmotorsports.com.