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Apr 25, 2014 - 04:48 PM
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Kyle Busch - No. 51 JEGS.com Camry Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Post
Posted by: newsla on Apr 25, 2014 - 04:44 PM
NASCAR News
Kyle Busch - No. 51 JEGS.com Camry Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Post Race Report


Three-time Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown winner Kyle Busch came home fourth in Thursday's seventh annual event held by his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Without having practiced his JEGS.com Camry, the talented wheelman was able to lead wire-to-wire in his heat race, but during the feature was only able to muster a top-five run as he battled an ill-handling vehicle.

 

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"The JEGS Camry was really loose in the first segment -- I was trying to save something for the final 50 laps, but I had to use up too much of the rear of the car to keep from falling way back before the break," Busch said. "The guys threw a lot of adjustments at it during the break, but we just got too tight a little bit into the final segment. Once we got back up to fourth, we just couldn't go anywhere. Have to thank JEGS, Arnette, Sunglass Hut, ADP Careers and Axalta for coming onboard for this race, Erik Jones for practicing the car for me and Jeremy Upchurch at Ultratech for all the hard work he put into the motor. It was a great crowd out here tonight at South Boston and hopefully we helped raise a lot of money for the Denny Hamlin Foundation and their efforts in the fight against Cystic Fibrosis."

Busch arrived at South Boston (Va.) Speedway just in time for the evening qualifying session after completing two practice sessions for Friday's NASCAR Nationwide Series at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway earlier in the day. Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Truck Series driver Erik Jones was behind the wheel of the No. 51 JEGS.com Camry for practice sessions on Wednesday and earlier Thursday before handing a fast Camry off to his boss for the 200-lap event.

Despite not having made any practice laps at the .4-mile oval, Busch was able to post the sixth fastest time in the five lap group qualifying session and earned the outside starting position in the third and final heat race. 'Rowdy' was able to clear Peyton Sellers before the field completed lap one and went on to lead all 20 laps of his heat race, but communicated to his KBM crew that the handling of his Camry was extremely loose. The win in the final preliminary race earned KBM's owner-driver the third starting position for the main event.

After the green flag dropped in front of a sold out crowd at the historic Virginia track, Busch quickly made his way up to the second position. As the track rubbered in, the talented wheelman reported that his JEGS.com Camry continued to get looser. Over the final 50 laps of the first 150-lap segment, he faded back six spots to the eighth position as the caution flew for the break.

During the 10-minute break, the KBM crew made a plethora of adjustments to try and improve the handling before sending their boss back onto the track for the final 50-lap segment. Busch started the final session from the eighth position, but within five laps had made his way back into the top five. Once he maneuvered his way into the fourth spot on lap160, he reported that his Toyota had moved to the tight side and was unable to gain any more positions before the end of the event.

Matt Bowling, who won the Late Model division championship at South Boston in 2012, worked his way around Matt Waltz with three laps remaining to pick up the victory. Waltz finished in the runner-up spot, while Nick Smith came home third. Busch was fourth and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five finishers.

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