Kyle Busch is no stranger to success at Martinsville Speedway in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, and the winningest driver in series history added to that record on Saturday with a win in the TruNorth Global 250.
Busch said that, after claiming the first 75-lap stage victory, it was a matter of staying patient during the middle portion of the race and allowing his team’s tire strategy to play out.
“It was a case of being patient. Obviously with trying to go 150 laps to the end of the race on one set of tires is a long way to go, so we just kind of wanted to bide our time and take it easy, make sure we didn’t push too hard,” Busch said. “We didn’t need to go up there and get any stage points or anything like that so the opportunity for us to just kind of ride was given to us.”
Once Busch re-took the lead in the final stage, it was just a matter of surviving a loose condition and some late-race restarts on the way to his second Truck Series victory at Martinsville Speedway.
“We just kept trying to make it turn the center better. That’s where it’s at, at Martinsville. You’ve got to be able to turn the center without getting too lose in and too loose off,” Busch said. “There during the race, a couple of times when I was underneath some guys I’d get loose. I saw other guys getting loose in the same kind of aspect. We were able to get by them and get through them and have enough tire there at the end to hold them off.”
Busch led four times for 174 laps en route to the victory.
Ben Rhodes, Brett Moffitt, Ross Chastain and Stewart Friesen followed Busch home to round out the top-five finishers in the TruNorth Global 250.
As for the famous grandfather clock trophy, Busch said it was crew chief Rudy Fugle’s to keep.
“Yes, he can have the clock,” Busch said of Fugle. “This is his (Fugle’s) first win here at Martinsville. I’ve won here with two other crew chiefs I think so it’s pretty cool to get Rudy his first win at Martinsville.”
Following Busch’s TruNorth Global 250 win, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers hit the track for Virginia Lottery Pole Qualifying ahead of Sunday’s STP 500.
Logano posted a 97.830 mph lap in the final round of knockout qualifying to claim the top spot, edging fellow Ford driver Aric Almirola.
“It was a great lap,” Logano said. “I think we were able to get through the first couple rounds without putting many laps on our tires and that really paid a reward as we got to the third round. The car was pretty good.”
Logano’s fifth pole award at Martinsville Speedway comes in his 21st career Cup Series race weekend at the historic half-mile.
“We definitely work at it a lot and talk about it a lot and it’s just been a track for most of my career I’ve qualified pretty well at, but once I’ve been able to team up with Todd and Team Penske here I’ve really been able to turn those pretty close qualifying efforts to poles,” Logano said. “It’s something that it’s a challenging place to do it because there’s just so much that goes into each round and each lap.”
Almirola, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and William Byron round out the top-six starting spots, and will lead the field to the green flag from the first three rows.
Chase Elliott, the fastest car in STP 500 final practice, will start eighth in Sunday’s race.
The STP 500 will be run Sunday at 2 p.m. and tickets are still available.
Adult tickets start at $47 and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
Youth tickets for the STP 500 are $25 at any location in the grandstands.