The Gander Outdoors Truck Series made their annual stop in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday night. Cup star and truck team owner Kyle Busch once again proved to be too much for anyone else in the series, easily capturing his 5th victory of the year.
Five for five for Kyle Busch in the trucks
I’m a pretty firm believer in the car, or truck in this case, being more important than the driver’s talent. That theory didn’t apply to Kyle Busch in the trucks in 2019, but more on that later.
Kyle took the No. 51 to victory lane five times in five tries, capturing the checkered flag at Atlanta, Las Vegas, Texas, Martinsville and Charlotte.
In racing, going five for five in anything is downright impressive. There are so many things that can go wrong — to be near perfect five straight times is praiseworthy, even if it is Kyle Busch in the truck series.
Busch likely didn’t deserve a win at Texas, but a late wreck took out Brett Moffitt, who had far and away the best truck on that night. Busch also found a way to win at Martinsville, despite fighting with the balance of the truck for much of the day.
Kyle’s numbers are off the charts
Unsurprisingly, Busch was particularly dominant on older surfaces. He turned a staggering 48 fast laps at Las Vegas and Atlanta, while putting up a shocking 74 fast laps at Charlotte of a possible 134.
For reference, Brandon Jones has finished 13th and 5th in his two tries in the No. 51 truck in Kyle’s absence. Jones has turned exactly three fast laps in two full races.
While Jones may not be viewed as an elite talent, a quick look at the rest of Kyle Busch Motorsports makes Busch’s performances even more impressive. Todd Gilliland’s average finish of 11th and Harrison Burton’s average finish of 12th help paint the picture of where KBM is at from a pure speed perspective.
As far as fast laps go, Gilliland has registered only 30, while Burton has put up just 27.
In short, Kyle Busch is just that good. He’s able to elevate his own team from a 5th to 10th place truck to a truck capable of turning over 50 percent of the fast laps in a race. That’s wild — and it deserves to be appreciated.
It will be fascinating to track the progress of Todd Gilliland, who is already under pressure from the boss, along with Harrison Burton. Quietly, Burton has struggled out of the gates in his first full time season running for KBM.
Also something to keep in mind — Greg Biffle will run the No. 51 on June 7th at Texas. Now that should be fun.
While Busch robs us of drama in the lower divisions, his dominance is hard to comprehend. Fortunately, for the sake of parity, his reign of terror is done in the trucks for the 2019 season.