NASCAR: Kyle Busch streak ends with disqualification redemption

Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

Kyle Busch saw a streak end in Saturday’s NASCAR Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas, one which had dated back to the 2020 season.

While Kyle Busch may have stepped away from competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series after reaching 100 wins in the series during the 2021 season, the all-time winningest Truck Series driver still competes in five Truck Series races each year for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Busch made his second start of the 2022 season in Saturday afternoon’s race at Circuit of the Americas.

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He dominated the 46-lap race around the 20-turn, 3.427-mile (5.515-kilometer) road course in Austin, Texas, leading 31 of the first 44 laps. But late contact in a three-wide battle for the lead with fellow Cup Series driver Alex Bowman and Stewart Friesen all but knocked him out of contention.

Busch still managed to finish in third place, but it ended an eight-race streak that had dated back to the 2020 season.

Since finishing in 21st place at Atlanta Motor Speedway in June 2020, not only had Busch not finished lower than second place in a Truck Series race, but he had not finished behind a truck he didn’t own.

Later in the 2020 season, the driver of the #51 Toyota won at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.

Last season, he was victorious twice in five starts, winning at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway, and he finished in second place in the other three at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Richmond Raceway, and Pocono Raceway. All three runner-up finishes came behind John Hunter Nemechek, the driver of the #4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

Busch made his first start of the 2022 season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and it appeared as though this streak was over at seven races when he crossed the finish line in third place.

Chandler Smith did win the race behind the wheel of his #18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, but Zane Smith, driving the #38 Ford for Front Row Motorsports, finished in second place.

However, the streak extended to eight when Smith — Zane Smith, that is — was disqualified and dropped to 36th place as a result of a lug nut violation. As a result, Busch was promoted to second and finished, once again, behind only one of his own trucks.

Ironically, who was in the catbird seat in fourth place when Busch, Bowman, and Stewart came together in overtime on Saturday afternoon?

Zane Smith.

Zane collected his second win of the 2022 season; he also won the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Nemechek finished in second place, and Busch recovered for third.

So in Busch’s most recent nine Truck Series starts, the only non-Kyle Busch Motorsports driver he has finished behind is Zane Smith — and yes, that is official this time around.

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Busch is set to make his third start of the 2022 Truck Series season on Thursday, April 7 at Martinsville Speedway. He set to make his fourth start of the year on Friday, May 27 at Charlotte Motor Speedway before finishing his five-race slate on Saturday, June 11 at Sonoma Raceway.