Kyle Busch starts Truck race ticked-off, only to end up in victory lane at Chicagoland

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JOLIET, Ill. – A ticked-off Kyle Busch is the most dangerous kind of Kyle Busch.

Busch was visibly dejected after dominating and then losing to Kevin Harvick in Saturday afternoon’s Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300 Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.

What better way for Busch to get rid of that dejection than to dominate and win the second half of a rare doubleheader, capturing the Lucas Oil 225 Camping World Truck Series race.

“I just told him you have to let it go,” said Eric Phillips, Busch’s NCWTS crew chief. “We’re both so competitive. I wanted to talk to him, wanted to make sure he cleared his mind and we had a job to do.”

It was Busch’s sixth win in eight starts on the Truck circuit this season and the 41st Truck win of his career. It’s also the ninth win this season for Kyle Busch Motorsports and his fourth career Truck triumph at Chicagoland Speedway.

“It was fun for us and this 51 Tundra was awesome for us,” Busch said. “This doesn’t make our (NNS) loss any sweeter, no, because we could have had two and gotten three tomorrow.

“But maybe we can still win two of three tomorrow (in Sunday’s opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup).”

Busch will start the MyAFibStory.com 400 from the pole position, earning that spot after Friday’s Sprint Cup Series qualifying session was rained out.

What made Busch’s accomplishment all the more remarkable is he started the race from the back of the field. He passed 59 lead-lap trucks en route to the win, leading 66 of the event’s 150 laps.

“This is a true testament to where this team has come from this year,” Busch said. “It’s a good win for us.”

Matt Crafton led 14 laps but finished second to Busch for the sixth time this season.

“I’m tired of finishing second to him (Busch),” Crafton said with a laugh. “That 51 truck was great. But our truck, we just needed a little bit more.”

Even with the runner-up finish, Crafton regained the Camping World Truck Series standings lead by five points over former points leader Johnny Sauter with seven races left.

Austin Dillon led the second-most number of laps (28) and finished third. Rookie Tyler Reddick was fourth, followed by Jeb Burton in fifth.

Busch’s teammate, Darrell Wallace Jr., finished sixth, followed by rookie Ben Kennedy, Joey Coulter, Joe Nemechek and Bryan Silas.

Tyler Young was 11th, followed by Ryan Blaney, Brennan Newberry, Johnny Sauter, John Wes Townley, Mason Mingus, Timothy Peters, Ray Black Jr., German Quiroga and Todd Peck.

Jennifer Jo Cobb was 21st, followed by Justin Jennings, Tayler Malsam, Michael Affarano, Todd Shafer, TJ Bell, Norm Benning, Caleb Roark, Scott Stenzel, Adam Edwards, Ted Minor and Mike Harmon.

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F1 aggressive on COVID-19 testing, social distancing enforcement

F1 COVID-19 testing
Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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With big hugs and wide smiles, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown exuberantly celebrated the first podium finish of Lando Norris’ Formula One career. His exuberance earned a warning from Formula One and FIA officials during the era of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and subsequent F1 testing.

“Obviously I got excited with Lando on the podium and embraced him after the race,” Brown said with a laugh during a news conference Friday. “You get caught up in the emotion and excitement of the event, but it was suggested maybe I don’t do that again if we get a podium anytime soon.”

MASK WARNING: NASCAR tells teams to avoid ‘complacency’

Now in its second race weekend of 2020, F1 has taken an aggressive approach to maintain a paddock free of COVID-19. Before teams hit the track last week for the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, F1 and FIA officials said more than 4,000 tests were conducted over a week with no positive tests.

In order to enter the track, any F1 personnel (which includes drivers and team members) must have a negative COVID-19 test. Private testing was used ahead of those traveling to Austria. After entering the track, personnel are tested every five days with private medical teams at events along with extra screening.

The results of F1 COVID-19 testing also will be made public every seven days. More than 8,000 tests were conducted through Saturday.

It’s a much different tack from NASCAR and IndyCar, neither of which is conducting COVID-19 testing (and with NASCAR recently distributing that warned teams of “complacency with protocols).

Though Brown, who also oversees Arrow McLaren SP Motorsports in IndyCar, demurred when asked whether the U.S.-based series should be taking a cue, he praised F1 COVID-19 testing for being a best-in-class example.

“I don’t know exactly what every other racing series is doing, so it would be difficult for me to say they’re doing it right or wrong,” Brown said from Austria. “All I can really do is speak to what Formula One is doing, and they’re doing an unbelievable job with 5,000 tests, and people flying in from different parts of the world. The minute that someone — and there’s not been many instances – has taken a mask off, you’re getting a letter or a phone call saying put your mask back on.

“I think all sports should be looking at all sports and seeing who’s doing what and what are our best practices, but I’ve got nothing but great things to say about how the FIA and Formula One and the countries they’re racing in are executing because it feels extremely safe here.”

Brown said it’s unlikely the European-based circuit will do F1 COVID-19 testing at races in the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Canada because the events likely will be scrubbed. Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, was scheduled to play host to F1 on the Oct. 23-25 race weekend but just canceled its MotoGP race.

“We’d very much like to race at all those circuits,” Brown said. “Unfortunately, my opinion is it’s probably unlikely we’ll race at any of those venues this year. That’s obviously due to the COVID situation. … Let’s see what happens, but certainly it seems like the spikes in Texas are pretty severe and Brazil and Mexico and Canada a little less so. But if we miss them this year, we certainly look forward to going back to those venues next year.”