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A plethora of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers entered the regular season finale at Chicagoland Speedway desperate for a victory to secure themselves into the Chase. However, there was one major factor working against them.
Kyle Busch was on the entry list.
Spencer Gallagher surged on restarts, Cameron Hayley rose on long runs and Daniel Hemric came within a few feet of Busch’s No. 18 Toyota Tundra, but in the end their efforts were futile as Rowdy roared to his 46th-career NCWTS win.
Busch fended off Hayley on the race’s final restart and held off Hemric’s late charge on the final lap to claim his second win and Kyle Busch Motorsports’ eighth triumph of 2016.
“(The truck) was pretty good there through the middle part and we had some decent runs there and we had some speed on the long run for sure,” Busch said. “The short run stints at the end, I had really good help from Daniel Hemric who gave me a boost on the restarts. Awesome job by him reading the hand signals was pretty cool.
“Great run by everyone on this SiriusXM Tundra – I can’t say enough about these guys at Kyle Busch Motorsports who work so hard and do such a great job for us. We’ve won some races in the last year, it’s nice to get back to Victory Lane and show our strength in the series.”
Hemric crossed the line within two tenths of a second of Busch to tally a career-best second-place result and clinch a spot in the Chase on points. Hayley missed the playoff with a third-place finish, with Christopher Bell and Johnny Sauter rounding out the top 5.
Grant Enfinger, Gallagher, Timothy Peters, Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick completed the top 10.
The final race before the inaugural Truck Series Chase brought with it plenty of drama, though most came in the race’s second half. Five-time winner William Byron got into the outside wall twice to force early yellows, with the Caution Clock expiring to cause a third.
As the race began to wind down, desperation built and the field slowly became more reckless, resulting in crashes that included drivers such as Matt Crafton, Ben Kennedy, Ben Rhodes and John Wes Townley.
In all, there were 10 cautions, including one in NASCAR Overtime that finally sealed the victory for Busch.
Hemric and Peters clinched their spots in the Chase on points after rallying to top 10s in the final laps. They’ll join Byron, Crafton, Nemechek, Bell, Sauter and Kennedy to compete for the championship over the final seven races.
About the author
A graduate of Ball State, Aaron rejoins Frontstretch for his second season in 2016 following a successful year that included covering seven races and starting the popular "Two-Headed Monster" column in 2015. Now in his third year of covering motorsports, Aaron serves as an Assistant Editor for Frontstretch while also contributing to other popular sites including Speed51 and The Apex. He encourages you to come say hi when you see him at the track.