Kyle Busch held off Zane Smith in a two-lap dash to the finish at Sonoma and claimed his first NASCAR Truck Series win of the 2022 season.
A late-race multi-truck wreck sent up a two-lap run to the finish in Saturday’s race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.
Zane Smith quickly moved into second but could not make a pass for the lead as Busch won by 1.176 seconds. It’s Busch’s first win in the five starts he’s allowed in the series this season.
“We just continued to work on the truck all weekend and make it better,” Busch said. “We had a struggle at Charlotte a couple weeks ago but today was really good.
“Awesome job by the guys in making adjustments to get us the win today. Yesterday was ugly. I wasn’t sure about it. I didn’t feel good about the truck. They worked on it all night long. We made some great changes and made some chassis changes.
“These guys never stop.”
Ty Majeski finished third, Ross Chastain was fourth and Chandler Smith rounded out the top-five.
Completing the top-10 were Daniel Suarez (who replaced Carson Hocevar in the first stage), Parker Kligerman, John Hunter Nemechek, Tyler Ankrum and Matt DiBenedetto.
Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, a handful of drivers pit but Busch remained on the track and returned to the lead.
Ankrum had an uncontrolled tire during his pit stop prior to the stage break and had to restart from the rear of the field.
When the race returned to green on Lap 50, Busch was followed by Chastain, Alex Bowman, Majeski and Kligerman.
With 20 laps remaining in the race, Busch held a 1.3-second lead over Chastain as Majeski moved into third.
Entering Turn 11 on Lap 61, DiBenedetto got into Stewart Friesen and also toppled over one of the stacks of tires which brought out the fourth caution of the race.
Busch has now won at least one race in the Truck Series for 10 consecutive seasons.
Most of the lead-lap trucks pit with Busch the first off pit road. Ben Rhodes stayed out and inherited the lead. Bowman was penalized for equipment interference during his stop and had to restart from the rear of the field.
On the restart on Lap 65, Rhodes was followed by Derek Kraus, Chase Purdy and Busch.
Busch wasted little time powering back to the lead after the restart on new tires.
Hailie Deegan wrecked in Turn 1 on Lap 66 and came to a stop off the track, which triggered another caution.
On the restart with seven laps to go in the race, Busch was followed by Rhodes, Majeski, Chandler Smith and Zane Smith.
Rhodes fell off the pace on the restart with what he believed was a flat tire.
On Lap 71, a multi-truck wreck erupted in Turn 1 which included Friesen, Bowman, Lawless Alan and Josh Bilicki. NASCAR red-flagged the race for nearly 13 minutes to clear the track of debris and repair the Turn 1 wall.
The race resumed with two laps to go with Busch out front followed by Chandler Smith, Zane Smith and Majeski.
Rhodes decided not to pit before the stage break and cruised to the Stage 2 win over Chandler Smith, his eighth of the 2020 season.
Purdy was third, Kaz Grala fourth and Suarez – driving for Hocevar – rounded out the top-five.
Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, several lead-lap trucks elected to pit with Ankrum first off pit road. Chastain, who pit before the stage break, stayed out and inherited the lead.
Deegan had to start from the rear for equipment over the wall too soon while DiBenedetto had to start in the back due to an uncontrolled tire.
Chastain led the way on the restart on Lap 26, followed by Busch, Bowman, Friesen and Ankrum.
On the restart lap in Turn 11, Busch went inside of Chastain to take the lead for the first time in the race.
Christian Eckes, who running ninth at the time, wrecked on Lap 27 in Turn 8 after contact with Nemechek which brought out a caution. Suarez, now driving for Hocevar, got the free pass and returned to the lead lap.
The race returned to green on Lap 31 with Busch out front followed by Chastain, Bowman, Ankrum and Friesen.
With 10 laps to go in the stage, Busch’s lead over Chastain had grown to 1.7 seconds as Ankrum ran third.
Ankrum got around Chastain to move into the runner-up position with five laps remaining.
On Lap 43, several drivers elected to pit before the stage break including Nemechek, Friesen and Zane Smith. Busch and Ankrum pit as well, turning the lead over to Rhodes.
Majeski held off a last-lap, last-turn charge by Ankrum to claim the Stage 1 win.
Nemechek was third, Grant Enfinger fourth and Kligerman rounded out the top-five.
With Hocevar having to start in the rear, Chastain quickly jumped to the lead at the start and ran out to a nearly 3-second lead after just three laps.
Friesen wheel-hopped in Turn 7 on Lap 7 and briefly went off track but was able to get rolling again.
With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Chastain maintained a 1.5-second lead over Kyle Busch with Majeski in third.
On Lap 12, Hocevar pit to make a driver change. Suarez got in the No. 42 and returned to the race in 35th, two laps down. Hocevar suffered an ankle injury in last weekend’s race at Gateway.
“I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish the whole race,” Hocevar said. “Sometimes the hardest decision is maybe the smartest one.”
On Lap 18, Busch, Bowman and Chastain elected to pit before the stage break.
Hocevar, who had won the pole, and Stefan Parsons both had to start from the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments to their respective trucks.