Justin Boston (full-time), Matt Tifft (6 races) to run for KBM in 2015 NASCAR Trucks season

0 Comments

Before capturing another NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner’s title in last night’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kyle Busch Motorsports finalized its 2015 driver roster.

Justin Boston (pictured) will make the jump from ARCA to the Truck Series as KBM’s second full-time pilot alongside Erik Jones. In addition to finishing fifth in ARCA points this past year, Boston also made a pair of NASCAR Nationwide/XFINITY Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing (ninth at Kentucky, 12th at Dover) and one Truck Series start (30th at Bristol).

Additionally, Matt Tifft has scored a six-race deal with KBM that will see him share driving duties with Busch and JGR Nationwide driver Daniel Suarez.

Tifft had a varied schedule in 2014, competing in ARCA (five Top-5s and seven Top-10s in 10 starts), the Truck Series, and both the East and West divisions of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. He ran three of the final four Truck Series events this year with a top finish of eighth at Martinsville.

“Adding these two talented young drivers to the driver lineup at KBM next season gives us the opportunity to compete for the Rookie of the Year honors with Justin, a driver’s championship with Erik, and the owner’s championship sharing a truck between Matt, myself and Daniel,” Busch said in a statement.

“Justin was able to pick up a couple ARCA wins this season and had solid runs in his starts for JGR in the Nationwide Series. Matt knocked on the door of victory a couple times in the ARCA Series while running a part-time schedule and had a nice run in his Truck Series debut at Martinsville last month. We’re looking forward to seeing both of them behind the wheel of our Tundras next year.”

With KBM set for 2015, that leads to the question of what will happen to Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., who won last night’s Ford Ecoboost 200. Now that his time with KBM is over, Wallace heads into – as of now – an uncertain future.

“I wish things were finalized,” Wallace said following his latest win. “We’re continuing to work hard to find out future plans for me. I’m going to go play some golf down here in Miami, enjoy this win, enjoy the off-season. But as far as plans, we’re continuing to work hard.

“You never know, we could be in the XFINITY Series, get some Truck races. You never know, we’re working hard with [Joe Gibbs], everybody at JGR, they’ve been giving me a great opportunity ever since ’09…Hopefully, this helps some way, but we’ll stay on it and come up with something soon, I hope.”

In his own post-race comments, Busch said he expects to see Wallace run at least part-time in the XFINITY Series in 2015, but didn’t know for how many races.

Justin Grant prevails over Kyle Larson in the Turkey Night Grand Prix

Grant Larson Turkey Night
USACRacing.com / DB3 Inc.
0 Comments

On the heels of his Hangtown 100 victory, Justin Grant worked his way from 13th in the Turkey Night Grand Prix to beat three-time event winner Kyle Larson by 1.367 seconds. The 81st annual event was run at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the sixth time.

“My dad used to take me to Irwindale Speedway, and we’d watch Turkey Night there every year,” Grant said in a series press release. “This is one of the races I fell in love with. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to run in it, never thought I’d make a show and certainly never thought I’d be able to win one.”

With its genesis in 1934 at Gilmore Stadium, a quarter-mile dirt track in Los Angeles, the race is steeped in history with winners that include AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Gary Bettenhausen and Johnnie Parsons. Tony Stewart won it in 2000. Kyle Larson won his first of three Turkey Night Grands Prix in 2012. Christopher Bell earned his first of three in 2014, so Grant’s enthusiasm was well deserved.

So was the skepticism that he would win. He failed to crack the top five in three previous attempts, although he came close last year with a sixth-place result. When he lined up for the feature 13th in the crowded 28-car field, winning seemed like a longshot.

Grant watched as serious challengers fell by the wayside. Mitchel Moles flipped on Lap 10 of the feature. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took a tumble on Lap 68 and World of Outlaws Sprint car driver Carson Macedo flipped on Lap 79. Grant saw the carnage ahead of him and held a steady wheel as he passed Tanner Thorson for the lead with 15 laps remaining and stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the event.

“It’s a dream come true to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix,” Grant said.


Kyle Larson follows Justin Grant to the front on Turkey Night

The 2012, 2016 and 2019 winner, Larson was not scheduled to run the event. His wife Katelyn is expecting their third child shortly, but after a couple of glasses of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and while watching some replays of the event, Larson texted car owner Chad Boat to see if he had a spare car lying around. He did.

“We weren’t great but just hung around and it seemed like anybody who got to the lead crashed and collected some people,” Larson said. “We made some passes throughout; in the mid-portion, we weren’t very good but then we got better at the end.

“I just ran really, really hard there, and knew I was running out of time, so I had to go. I made some pretty crazy and dumb moves, but I got to second and was hoping we could get a caution to get racing with Justin there. He was sliding himself at both ends and thought that maybe we could get a run and just out-angle him into [Turn] 1 and get clear off [Turn] 2 if we got a caution, but it just didn’t work out.”

Larson padded one of the most impressive stats in the history of this race, however. In 10 starts, he’s won three times, finished second four times, was third once and fourth twice.

Bryant Wiedeman took the final spot on the podium.

As Grant and Larson began to pick their way through the field, Kofoid took the lead early from the outside of the front row and led the first 44 laps of the race before handing it over to Cannon McIntosh, who bicycled on Lap 71 before landing on all fours. While Macedo and Thorson tussled for the lead with McIntosh, Grant closed in.

Thorson finished 19th with McIntosh 20th. Macedo recovered from his incident to finish ninth. Kofoid’s hard tumble relegated him to 23rd.

Jake Andreotti in fourth and Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top five.

1. Justin Grant (started 13)
2. Kyle Larson (22)
3. Bryant Wiedeman (4)
4. Jake Andreotti (9)
5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1)
6. Logan Seavey (8)
7. Alex Bright (27)
8. Emerson Axsom (24)
9. Carson Macedo (7)
10. Jason McDougal (18)
11. Jake Swanson (16)
12. Chase Johnson (6)
13. Jacob Denney (26)
14. Ryan Timms (23)
15. Chance Crum (28)
16. Brenham Crouch (17)
17. Jonathan Beason (19)
18. Cade Lewis (14)
19. Tanner Thorson (11)
20. Cannon McIntosh (3)
21. Thomas Meseraull (15)
22. Tyler Courtney (21)
23. Buddy Kofoid (2)
24. Brody Fuson (5)
25. Mitchel Moles (20)
26. Daniel Whitley (10)
27. Kaylee Bryson (12)
28. Spencer Bayston (25)