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April 12, 2024

Kyle Busch holds off Corey Heim to win Truck Series race at Texas

A handful of late-race cautions only made it more dramatic but veteran Kyle Busch still managed to hold off a hard-charging field to claim a record-tying sixth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race victory at Texas Motor Speedway, just bettering Corey Heim by a mere 0.112-seconds to win Friday night’s 250.

Maybe while competing in Texas, Busch should consider changing his nickname from “Rowdy” to the popular Texas greeting, “Howdy.” The two-time Cup Series champion has created an unbelievable mark of excellence competing at the Fort Worth 1.5-miler.

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Busch’s sixth win in a Texas Motor Speedway truck race ties him with Todd Bodine for most ever. Busch has won the last four Truck Series races he’s entered at the track. And. is Busch’s 20th overall win at TMS – an unprecedented tally that also includes four Cup Series victories and 10 Xfinity Series race wins.

He led a race-best 112 of the 167 laps in the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Friday and won both stages.

“Great team, everybody here at Spire [Motorsports],” said Busch, who has won a record 66 Truck Series races in his career – two this season.

“They definitely kept me honest, I’ll give them that,” said Busch, who compared the robust competition all night to another inspired win when he had to come from 15th place with two laps remaining to win a race.

“Corey [Heim] kept us honest right there,” he continued. “He started to find that top over there and got some momentum over there with three to go. I chattered really bad, so my front just wasn’t working over there. … he made it and got to my rear bumper getting into [turn] three and I just didn’t know which way to go so I ran the middle then to the bottom and then he slipped up top and I guess we had enough of a gap after that.”

Heim’s runner-up finish in the No. 11 TRICON Garage Toyota continues his perfect streak of top-10 finishes in every Truck race this season (seven). The margin of victory Friday was the second closest ever at the Texas track.

“It just seemed like a big track position game at the end there,” said the 21-year-old Heim. “He’d get really big runs on the straightaways and once you get to the corner it’s really hard to stay behind someone and keep the momentum.

“I did all I could there trying to pick up three [positions] on that last restart but got another caution there unfortunately and just tried to build a run on him, but he’s just too good and does a really good job. Really happy with our run tonight, picked up stage points and finished second.”

Despite Busch’s laps-led tally, It was really a highly competitive race at the front of the field. Christian Eckes led 31 laps and Nick Sanchez led 16. The three drivers –Heim, Eckes and Sanchez — exchanged positions among the top five all evening in pursuit of Busch.

Rev Racing’s Sanchez finished third, followed by McAnally-Hilgemann Racing’s Eckes and former series champion – now a Cup Series rookie – Zane Smith, who also competed for McAnally-Hilgemann Friday night.

Daniel Dye, brothers Taylor and Tanner Gray, Stefan Parsons and Ty Majeski rounded out the top-10 finishers.

It was a rough night for early-season championship leader Tyler Ankrum, who was collected in an accident only two laps into the race and finished last in 34th place.

The championship standings changed up with the Texas results and Eckes – the series’ only two-race winner so far in 2024 – takes the lead by two points over Heim. Majeski, who came into the race leading the points, is now third, 12 points back. Ankrum drops to sixth place, 43 points behind Eckes.

MORE: 2024 Truck Series schedule | Truck Series standings

The Truck Series will return to competition on Saturday, May 4, in the Heart of America 200 at Kansas Speedway (8 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Grant Enfinger is the defending race winner.

NOTE: Post-race inspection in the Texas garage concluded without issue, confirming Busch as the race winner. The No. 75 of Stefan Parsons was missing two lug nuts post-race, resulting in a $5,000 fine and a one-race suspension for crew chief Chris Carrier. The Nos. 17, 19 and 98 will additionally return to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina, for teardown inspection.