Johnny Sauter led the field to the green flag in Lucas Oil 225. He led the first 23 laps then faded the rest of the race eventually to get trapped a lap down by a speeding penalty.
Due Kyle Busch’s media responsibilities for the Chase for the Sprint Cup on Thursday Erik Jones practiced the No. 51 Dollar General Truck. In spite of the seventh place starting position due to Jones’s efforts, Busch had to start the race from the rear of the field.
Earlier in the day Kyle Busch was dominating the NASCAR Nationwide Series Race only to be beat by pit strategy. Instead of starting the race disappointed he got some help from his Crew Chief Eric Phillips.
“This guy (Eric Phillips) came over and rubbed on me a little bit gave me some encouraging words.” Busch added, “It’s nice to have a support system like that around you when you have frustration times and sort of straighten your mind out right.”
Kyle Busch was the class of the field in spite of starting in the rear he was up to seventh place by lap 10. When the competition caution came out on lap 30 Busch was running fourth only to get a pit road speeding penalty and have to do it all over again passing 59 trucks in the process.
Busch said, “Well early on, I was patient with it, just trying to get everyone acclimated to not being on the track at all yesterday from practice day. Me, for sure, I was getting acclimated, too. I knew we had a good truck. I was just trying to pace myself there early. I knew what I had and when I had that pit road penalty and got stuck behind then I could try to charge back through harder. The truck was good and got back to the front there. “
Matt Crafton was second followed by Austin Dillon, Tyler Reddick and Jeb Burton.
Tyler Reddick in the No. 19 Harper/Ace Hardware Ford is the highest finishing rookie with his best finish to date of fourth. He will be running full time next year for Brad Keselowski Racing.
Matt Crafton took over the lead from previous point’s leader Johnny Sauter who finished fourteenth by five points.
Feature Photo Credit: 301549 Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images