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Checkers For Kyle Busch, Heartbreak For Ben Rhodes

Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway
Saturday, May 13, 2017

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Kyle Busch in Victory Lane at Kansas
Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

Kyle Busch didn't do a celebratory burnout when he won Friday night's Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway.

He didn't do his customary bow after notching his 47th victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Heartbreak for Ben Rhodes, who was leading by more than a second when his engine expired with eight laps left, provided the stroke of serendipity that launched Busch into Victory Lane.

And Busch knew it.

"That's one of the worst ones to swallow right there, for sure," Busch said of Rhodes' misfortune. "I didn't do a burnout or nothing like that. I just got the checkered flag for our group of guys at Kyle Busch Motorsports.

"Ben Rhodes had that race won. That one was his. I tried everything I could to try to chase him back down. I just didn't have enough speed in our Tundra tonight-it was fast, but his was a little bit faster than ours."

Busch won for the second time at Kansas, having also triumphed in his most recent previous start at the speedway in 2014.

Three laps after a restart on Lap 139 of 167, Rhodes won a sustained side-by-side battle against Busch and pulled ahead. Rhodes stretched the advantage to as much as 1.4 seconds before a piece of debris shot through the grille of his No. 27 Toyota and torpedoed the engine.

Rhodes, who was driving a chassis built by Kyle Busch's Rowdy Manufacturing with a body made by KBM, took his truck to the garage and retired in 23rd place.

"We ran with the best tonight," a chagrined Rhodes said after the race. "Our Safelite Tundra had speed all night long. We did everything right, but Ben Rhodes has a curse on his back or something, because something always goes wrong.

"A piece of debris went through the grille into the radiator and blew up the motor… It's just crazy that something always goes wrong with our (ThorSport) team. We do everything right-we just can't pull one off. We've been trying for years and years."

Rhodes, of course, is only 20 years old and has just 31 career starts in the Truck Series.

Johnny Sauter ran second and retained the series lead by two points over polesitter Christopher Bell, who was trapped a lap down after pitting on Lap 123 when the 10th caution of the race on Lap 127 interrupted the pit sequence.

Kyle Busch takes the checkered flag at Kansas
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Busch had just left pit road when the yellow flag flew. The caution kept him on the lead lap, and he cycled back into the lead when the rest of the contenders came to pit road on Lap 128.

But Busch lost the top spot to Rhodes after the 11th caution for Matt Crafton's spin through the infield grass, and Rhodes pulled away while Busch and third-place finisher John Hunter Nemechek were battling for second place.

Bell came home fourth, followed by Chase Briscoe and Brett Moffitt.

RACE RESULTS

Pos.#DriverMakeStartLapsLedStatusPointsPlayoff Points
151Kyle BuschToyota1016791Running00
221Johnny SauterChevy31670Running490
38John Hunter NemechekChevy141670Running450
44Christopher BellToyota116737Running510
529Chase BriscoeFord111670Running420
616Ryan TruexToyota51670Running380
77Brett MoffittToyota71670Running340
833Kaz GralaChevy61670Running290
924Justin HaleyChevy121670Running280
1019Austin CindricFord161670Running270
1198Grant EnfingerToyota1516714Running330
1292Regan SmithFord181670Running250
1317Timothy PetersToyota91670Running240
1402Tyler YoungChevy191670Running230
1545Austin Wayne SelfChevy211660Running220
1688Matt CraftonToyota21660Running280
1744Matt MillsChevy251650Running200
1866Ross ChastainChevy201640Running00
191Jordan AndersonChevy241630Running180
2012Spencer BoydChevy301630Running170
2163Kevin DonahueChevy231630Running160
2250Cody WareChevy321620Running150
2327Ben RhodesToyota816025Engine260
246Norm BenningChevy271600Running130
2599Travis MillerChevy171090Vibration120
2613Cody CoughlinToyota13840Transmission110
2710Jennifer Jo CobbChevy28820Brakes100
2818Noah GragsonToyota4680Clutch90
2983Todd PeckChevy31290Brakes80
3036Camden MurphyChevy26270Electrical70
3149Wendell ChavousChevy29210Accident60
3252Stewart FriesenChevy22160Accident50

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