Busch bounces back from penalty to dominate Miami Trucks

There was no stopping Kyle Busch in Saturday night’s 25th Annual Baptist Health 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, no matter what was thrown at him.

Busch had to start from the rear and take a drive-through penalty on the opening lap due to an L1 penalty in pre-race technical. He explained: “The deal with the infraction was just a fluke deal, it was a bar that was legal here last year but not legal this year, and it hadn’t been back to the fab shop.”

Despite brushing the wall on his first run, Busch returned to imperious form in stage two, storming from ninth to first in a handful of laps.

Busch fired off swiftly at the start of the final stage, heading Ross Chastain and Austin Hill, as Christian Eckes almost wrecked off Turn 2 and slipped to the bottom of the top 10.

Chase Elliott was on the move, grabbing fifth place just before a caution for Brennan Poole spinning at Turn 2.

Busch led Hill at the restart, with Chastain slipping to third. Elliott hit the wall while running seventh and fell outside the top 10. Stewart Friesen moved up to fourth, but then fell back behind Ben Rhodes and Grant Enfinger.

Green flag pitstops among the leaders, and a yellow flag with 30 laps to go when Korbin Forrister hit the wall, put a different complexion on the race. The cleanup was delayed when Sheldon Creed pounded the barrels at the pit entry, so the red flag flew.

Elliott stayed out to save a set of tires, and restarted in the lead. “I’ve driven into the wall about four times,” said Elliott under the red flag. “Hopefully we get another caution to give us a chance win later.”

After a 15-minute delay, Elliott and Eckes led the field to the line with 24 laps to go. Elliott went backwards as Busch toyed with Eckes for a lap before going on his merry way to victory. Rhodes, Hill and Chastain all passed Eckes, prompting a three-way battle for best driver who wasn’t Busch. Rhodes slipped back after suffering a big slide off Turn 4, as Hill pulled away from Chastain.

The caution flew again when Jordan Anderson hit the wall, setting up a sprint to the finish. All the leaders pitted, with Elliott getting the chance to put his final set of fresh tires as the others had to settle for already-scrubbed rubber.

The green flew with seven laps to go, with Busch pulling clear as Hill and Chastain swapped second again. Tyler Ankrum was also on new tires, and surged up to second, with Chastain being forced to settle for third, ahead of a late surging Elliott, Johnny Sauter, Todd Gilliland, the fading Hill and Eckes.

Stage 2

Busch won the second stage following a remarkable march to the front, swerving through the pack and getting the job done in style.

Eckes led at the start, having pitted before the end of stage 1, but the man to watch was Busch, who restarted ninth but pulled an amazing slingshot move off Turn 2 to sweep around those ahead, and was past Eckes to take the lead nine laps later.

Hill and Chastain renewed their battle, this time for second, as lightning lit up the Florida sky and weather threatened.

Chastain finished second, 5s behind Busch, with Hill, Eckes and Gilliland rounding out the top five.

Stage 1

Chastain won the first stage, metronomically working his way forward from 15th on the grid.

Hill led Enfinger and Creed early on, with Chastain moving up to third from his eighth row starting spot by the competition caution on Lap 15.

At the restart, Chastain surged past Enfinger to run second, as a multi-truck wreck off Turn 4 involved Zane Smith, who clipped Chase Elliott into a huge spin and Brett Moffitt got collected in the process.

Despite Hill’s best attempts to block, Chastain and Hill ran side by side as they began the final lap, with Chastain winning out from a fast-finishing Rhodes and Hill.

Busch served his pass-through penalty at the end of the opening lap, but avoided going a lap down. He was back in during the competition caution, however, for attention to his right-rear quarter panel having hit the wall, and ended the opening stage back in 33rd position.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
151 Kyle BuschToyota134 82
226 Tyler AnkrumChevrolet1342.847 
344 Ross ChastainChevrolet1343.3572
424 Chase ElliottChevrolet1343.5963
513 Johnny SauterFord1343.663 
638 Todd GillilandFord1343.943 
716 Austin HillToyota1345.17529
818 Christian EckesToyota1345.31117
988 Matt CraftonFord1346.7361
1045 Ty MajeskiChevrolet1347.031 
114 Raphael LessardToyota1347.240 
1215 Tanner GrayFord1347.558 
1311 Spencer DavisToyota1347.793 
1452 Stewart FriesenToyota1347.838 
1519 Derek KrausToyota1348.059 
1622 Austin Wayne SelfChevrolet1348.276 
1798 Grant EnfingerFord1349.945 
1899 Ben RhodesFord13410.424 
1930 Brennan PooleToyota13414.688 
202 Sheldon CreedChevrolet13415.781 
2104Cory RoperFord13416.025 
2220 Spencer BoydChevrolet13416.038 
2302Tate FoglemanChevrolet13416.155 
2400 Angela RuchToyota13428.306 
2556Tyler HillChevrolet1331 lap 
2633 Gray GauldingToyota1331 lap 
2710 Jennifer Jo CobbChevrolet1322 laps 
289Codie RohrbaughChevrolet1322 laps 
2949 Ray CiccarelliChevrolet1313 laps 
3068Clay GreenfieldToyota12212 laps 
313 Jordan AndersonChevrolet12014 laps 
3255Dawson CramChevrolet11123 laps 
337 Korbin ForristerToyota9539 laps 
346 Norm BenningChevrolet8945 laps 
3540TJ BellChevrolet7064 laps 
3623 Brett MoffittChevrolet20114 laps 
3721Zane SmithChevrolet19115 laps 
3834Bryant BarnhillToyota1133 laps 

Source: Read Full Article