Perfection personified: Kyle Busch wins Truck race at Kentucky, now 5-for-5 in 2014

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Nobody’s perfect – except Kyle Busch.

Busch has started five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this year and after Thursday night’s UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway, he has also won all five of those starts.

Busch won from the pole, leading 91 laps to win the sixth race overall for Kyle Busch Motorsports on the Truck series this season (teammate Darrell Wallace Jr. won the other one, two weeks ago at Gateway Motorsports Park in suburban St. Louis.

Busch has now won 40 NCWTS races in 120 starts, and Thursday’s win actually makes it six triumphs in a row, dating back to the 2013 season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He’s also led nearly 70 percent of the laps in the five races he’s been in this year.

Wallace started and finished second, the first time a Kyle Busch Motorsports has started on the front row and finished together.

“I’m proud to see the first KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) one-two, that’s really cool for me as an owner and (wife) Samantha,” Busch said.

Busch had a nearly four-second lead before the caution flag fell with 12 laps left when Caleb Holman lost power, perhaps for running out of fuel.

On the ensuing restart, Wallace tried to challenge his boss for the first few laps before Busch pulled away and never looked back.

“He knew what he was doing,” Wallace said when asked if he thought he had a chance to beat Busch. “He’s so cool to work with, he’s hard to beat, he’s so good but I wouldn’t want to be with anybody else.”

Ryan Blaney had a strong run and finished third, followed by Timothy Peters and Sprint Cup regular Brad Keselowski.

“Kyle, that whole team, that whole program has been real good all year, they’ve shown it,” Blaney said. “We’re right there, we’re real close to them, we just need that little bit more speed, myself and Brad (teammate Keselowski) both.

“At the end of the day, we’re not happy with a third and we’re not happy to see that same truck in victory lane. We want to beat them and that’ll prove that we’ve really gone to the next step as a whole team.”

Sixth through 10th were Mat Crafton, Austin Dillon, Ron Hornaday Jr., Johnny Sauter and Ben Kennedy.

Sauter retained his lead in the NCWTS points standings, eight points ahead of Matt Crafton, who remains in second place.

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Hunter and Jett Lawrence walk a delicate balance between winning races and favoring the fans

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ANAHEIM, California – Hunter and Jett Lawrence are two of the most popular riders on the Monster Energy Supercross circuit, with fan bases that established and grew immediately when they came to America to ride for HRC Honda. Connecting with those fans came naturally for the charming Australian brothers, but it has not come without cost.

“It’s cool they’re there and it’s one of the things we try to do is give the fan that interaction,” Hunter told NBC Sports during Supercross Media Sessions ahead of the 2023 season. “It’s why we do ride days, meet-and-greets, press conferences  – all that stuff, because it’s exciting for them. We are trying to bridge the gap so they get personal interaction. Because that’s all they’re after. It’s all about getting that fan to think, ‘I know that guy. I didn’t meet him, but I get him. I get his humor.’ ”

There is no artifice in either brother. Their fan appeal is directly attributable to who they are at their core. And it’s that very genuineness that has throngs of fans standing outside their hauler, waiting for just a moment of their time.

“It’s about being yourself – talking to people,” Hunter said. “It’s not like I turn it on or turn it off; it’s just about being yourself. This is who we are, this is who you get and this is how it will be. You can’t portray something you’re not. If you keep saying you’re an orange, but apples keep popping out, it’s only a matter of time [until they figure it out].”

The key word is ‘throngs’, however. One person wanting just a few moments of time is incidental. Dozens are an entirely different matter.

“It’s tough in Supercross because it’s such a long day,” Hunter said. “The recovery side of it’s tough to do everything. We get stuck outside the grid; we can’t be there for like 10 minutes. We’re stuck there for like an hour. It gets overwhelming at times.

“You feel bad because you want to sign everything, but you’re still here for a job. Every race day is like that. We do the best we can, but there are so many people who wait out front. They’re screaming for you. Even when we’re coming off the sessions, they’re already yelling before you put your bike on the stands. You don’t even get time to take you helmet off.”

It can be a double-edged sword. Personality is only one part of the equation. A much bigger part of the brothers’ fan appeal comes because of their success. Hunter finished second in the last two Supercross 250 West title battles and third in the past two Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.

Jett won the last three titles he competed for, including last year’s 250 East Supercross Championship and the last two Motocross contests.

“I think they expect me to have nothing else to do on a Saturday and that I have unlimited energy,” Jett said. “But, I’m trying to recover for the next race.”

It’s a matter of timing. Jett has gained a reputation last year for handing out hundreds of donuts before the races during Red Bull fan appreciation sessions. And after the race, once the business at hand has been settled, Jett is equally available to the fans.

“After the race it’s fine; I’ll stay behind.” Jett said. “My job is done on the racing side of things, but until that last moto is done, my main thing is dirt bikes. The fans come along with it. The fans are part of the job, but main job at hand is the racing side of things. After the race, I’ll stay there for an hour or so. It’s a lot calmer.”