Before the race, Kevin Harvick announced that he would donate $ 50,000 to COVID-19 for any full-time Cup driver who finished ahead of Busch. Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Gander RV & Outdoors, who sponsors the Truck Series, has agreed to honor Harvick’s pledge, bringing the total to $ 100,000 for pandemic relief.
Elliott rubbed a little salt into the wound, using the Busch party bow after the race.
– Xfinity Racing (@XfinityRacing) May 27, 2020
“It was an impetus of the moment. This is not a search of anyone, “said Elliott of the bow. “Just for fun. It was about beating him, and it was fun, and we did it, so why not? Hopefully no one feels hurt, but if they do, they do. Whatever. “
Busch said he did not see the bow and was not aware of it until he was asked about it at his post-race press conference.
“Imitation is the strongest form of flattery or something like that, I don’t know what it is,” said Busch. ” It’s cute. “
Asked if it meant he wasn’t upset, Busch replied, “I don’t know what he did, but he did it. Its good. Yeah, cool. “
Elliott’s victory comes six days after Busch sank Elliott in a Cup Series race in Darlington and two days after Elliott’s costly decision to show up late in the Coca-Cola 600, opening the door to victory for Brad Keselowski.
“It doesn’t catch up with Sunday, but it was still a very good night and good for the relief efforts for this virus,” said Elliott.
It was the first Truck Series race since February 21, when Busch won in Las Vegas.
Elliott, John Hunter Nemechek and Brennan Poole were the three full-time Cup drivers eligible to receive the $ 100,000 bonus.
Zane Smith finished third and Brett Moffitt finished fourth.
It was the first time a Truck Series race was held on a Tuesday evening.
Busch had won 57 Truck Series races entering the night, the most drivers in history, and he appeared to be the favorite. But he was never able to chase Elliott over a long stretch of the green flag to close the race.
Busch started 16th and quickly moved up to sixth place before separation issues forced him to withdraw and returned to 33rd place. The winner of 210 races in the top three NASCAR series quickly came back in contention with a solid second leg and took the lead in lap 69.
When Busch completed 34 laps, that put him in 23rd place and he never regained the lead.
Busch, behind the wheel of the Truck Series team he owns, said his team’s mistake in preparing the truck caused the problem with his splitter.
“It doesn’t help showing up on the race track with broken parts on your truck. It was a problem from the start, “said Busch. “Didn’t have our right front [bump stop] right, so we were all over the divider. We went in and didn’t know it was broken, so we had to fix it with a piece of makeshift, and it was way too high. Then we tried to fix it, and [it] was never right. We were in the left field all night. Never really had a great feeling for the truck or an excellent driving truck. I just got what I could. “
It was Busch’s third race in three nights. He followed a fourth place finish at the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday by winning the Xfinity series race in overtime Monday after passing Austin Cindric on the last lap.
Elliott said he took some satisfaction in beating Busch, even if it was not in a Cup Series race.
“I do, for sure. He’s good at everything he does, “said Elliott. “I was glad I had the chance to race against him for the win. For us, to face victory, and it felt good to come out on top. It’s not catching up on Sunday, but it was fun. “
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.