Kyle Busch qualified sixth for the final Camping World Truck Series event of the 2012 season, the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night. He had a fast lap of 167.931 mph (32.156 seconds) in the #18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra. German Quiroga, in the #51 NET10 Wireless Toyota, qualified 28th with a speed of 162.299 mph (33.272 seconds) in his second visit to HMS.
Busch worked his way up to second place by Lap 11, and traded the top two spots with youngster Kyle Larson for much of the race. Following a late race caution, Busch opened up a four-truck-length lead on the field with five to go, only to have the race red-flagged when Larson, Ty Dillon and Ryan Blaney were involved in an accident with just two to go.
Going into the green-white-checkered finish, Busch held the point as Cale Gale made a play for the lead. The two drivers raced side-by-side coming out of Turn Four, with Busch up against the wall and Gale taking the win by just 0.014 seconds over Busch.
“Came down to losing it on a yellow again,” said Busch following the race on the Kyle Busch Motorsports website. “That’s about it – we had a really good truck all day today. We just kind of watched Nelson (Piquet Jr.) run up there and Kyle Larson and those guys ran a good race too – and they were really fast. So, we just bided our time and kept working on our stuff and making adjustments there to try to get it better. That last run there, the battle we had with (Matt) Crafton I was really loose, but I was giving it everything I had. Just hate it that we had that caution that came out and then we had the red flag and then – well we had a caution and then we had another caution with the red flag. Just brought too many trucks into the picture and changed the order around too much.”
2013 KBM driver finished third in his last race for Richard Childress Racing, followed by Nelson Piquet Jr. and Miguel Paludo. This marked the first season Busch has failed to win a Truck Series race in seven years .
Quiroga went down two laps early in the race with handling issues. With less than 50 laps to go, he came in for a green-flag pit stop and air pressure adjustment, and was able to take advantage of the wave-around rule for the caution on Lap 104, gaining one of his laps back. He restarted in 19th following the caution period, and worked his way up to a top 15 finish by the end of the race.
Quiroga’s 15th-place finish was the second top 15 finish of his six-race career in Trucks. “I was really hoping to earn another top-10 finish – I think the NET10 Wireless Tundra was capable o f that, we just got too far behind early in the race,” said Quiroga following the race. “I am thankful to NET10 for trusting in me for these four races and to everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) for helping me get up to speed in the trucks. I’m hopeful that I will be running in the Truck Series again next year – it has been a great experience.”
Busch earned the pole for Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 Nationwide Series race in the #54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry with a speed of 167.984 mph (32.146 seconds). Busch is looking for his first win in the Nationwide Series this season as well, trying to maintain an winning streak that goes back to 2004. Follow the action at www.nascar.com and www.kylebuschmotorsports.com.
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