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The Bristol bully claimed his fourth victory in his past five Truck Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway.
EARL NEIKIRK | Bristol Herald Courier
Kyle Busch celebrates his truck win Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
BRISTOL, Tenn. — Nobody likes a bully.
And that’s what Kyle Busch is when he races on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
By all accounts, Busch had no business winning Wednesday’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway, coming all the way back from nearly being lapped with just 20 laps remaining to hold off Timothy Peters for the checkered flag in a thrilling finish.
Busch also recovered from an early speeding penalty on pit road, masterfully making his way back through the field.
But as unlikely as Busch’s win was, it was all too familiar in many other ways.
Busch is the poster boy of racking up wins on the minor series of NASCAR, claiming his third victory on the Truck Series in 2013 along with eight Nationwide Series triumphs.
He’s now won in four of his past five Truck Series starts at Bristol — simply an unreal winning percentage.
Busch made no apologies for taking down a field that included three drivers in the top six who can’t yet enjoy a beer after the race.
“There’s certainly young guys in the series that are learning and trying, and the only way for them to learn is to race against guys like myself,” he said. “I was in the Truck Series back in 2001 and I was 16. I was racing against guys like Greg Biffle, who was a Nationwide Series driver then. I was racing against other guys as well, too.
“Tony Stewart, I remember racing against him a few times when I was 18, and I beat him at Dover. You’ve got to race against those guys throughout your career. Martin Truex and myself in the Nationwide Series, we raced against all the Cup guys and yet we were able to beat them out. We finished 1-2 in the Nationwide championship in ’04.”
Bumping and banging with Busch does give youthful drivers valuable experience, but there’s something about reaching Victory Lane that does wonders for a burgeoning career as well.
Having Sprint Cup regulars in the Truck Series is akin to putting a wall in front of the finish line for the rest of the field.
Busch said the criticism he gets about hopping in a truck or Nationwide car comes mostly from outsiders.
“It’s definitely the media, definitely the fans that are most outspoken about it,” he said, adding that other drivers have only given him good-natured grief.
Peters said it didn’t bother him that it was a Cup veteran like Busch who beat him to the finish line.
“It’s cool for him to come down and race with us because you learn a lot,” he said. “… We wanted to beat him because it doesn’t do nothing but make my resume better, but we’ll try next time he comes down and plays with us.”
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