Busch overcomes setback, penalties to win UNOH 500

Special to The Times

August 28, 2013

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Timothy Peters’ last-ditch effort to claim his second straight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory sent him spinning across the finish line, but not enough to stop Kyle Busch, who captured the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway Wednesday night.

Notching his third truck victory of the 2013 season, Busch overcame a pit road speeding penalty near the midway point of the race to notch his 14th career win at the Last Great Colosseum.

“Man, great racing here at Bristol,” Busch said after the win. “It’s cool to have two lanes so you can do that. I knew I had it [on the last lap]. I had the momentum and Timothy just tried to throw a ‘Hail Mary’ there, I guess and wrecked a pretty good race truck.

“We had a great truck today. Messed up a little bit in qualifying and then definitely got behind on pit road there with my penalty. We just stuck in there and persevered and tried to work through that and got back to the front.”

Peters was unapologetic after climbing from his embattled machine.”

Peters, who dominated the event for the second straight year, had no regrets on the ‘Hail Mary.’

“Wouldn’t have done nothing different,” he said. “Hey, I was going for it. I got a really good bite on throttle off of (turn) four into the checkered flag and got a little loose and went up and hit him and just knocked me back to the left there. I hate that we have a tore up truck, but hey that was exciting wasn’t it?”

Stefanik extends record with Bristol win, ranks it high on list: Mike Stefanik extended his Whelen Modified Tour career win record to 74 in the first leg of Bristol Motor Speedway’s Wednesday night doubleheader, but the 55-year-old ranks his first victory at the World’s Fastest Half Mile near the top of the list.

“This is way up the ladder. I’m being cool right now, but I’m freaking out inside,” said the Coventry, R.I. native. “This is a huge, huge victory in my arsenal of victories - right at the top if not the top. I’m really going to try and savor this.”

Open wheels and high banks combined for a frenzied 135 laps around the concrete oval, as Stefanik battled Todd Szegedy and Cup regular Ryan Newman for much of the TitanRoof 150, shortened by 15 laps because of a time limit.

“We were wheel-to-wheel racing,” said the seven-time Whelen Modified Tour champion. “There was some bumping and rubbing with Todd but nothing we couldn’t handle. It’s not a game of inches here, it’s hundredths of an inch.”

Hinting that this might be his last complete season on the Tour, Stefanik voiced conflicting emotions following his second win of the 2013 season.

“I’m so elated to win here at Bristol, but it’s also a relief just to win,” he said in his post-race press conference. “This game is so emotional, so intense, so frustrating. It’s not like I can’t do it or I’m too old to do it, but there comes a time when you just have to say it’s time.”

Szegedy piloted his UNOH-sponsored Ford to his second runner-up finish of the season with Ron Yuhas Jr., Ryan Preece and Newman rounding out the top five.