Driving with one hand for about 10 laps, Kyle Busch staved off a window net problem in the latter stages of Saturday's EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 to defeat Ron Hornaday, Jr. for his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win this year.
Meanwhile, Hornaday's runner-up finish returned him to the standings lead by four points over Mike Skinner with three races remaining in the season. It was the fifth time in the last six races there has been a change in the standings lead.
"That is OK for now, but after the final event is when I will be jumping up and down," Hornaday said. "I am sure Skinner will get it back next week and I will try and get it back the week after. To have two great teams battling and changing the points lead each week is unbelievable."
The window net problem on Georgia's Billy Ballew Motorsports truck developed around lap 100 in the 130-lap event.
"I don't know why the window net came loose," Busch said after collecting his fifth truck victory in 33 races. "I tried pinning it back up and when I tried that, I lost the back of it so the whole thing was out. I was sitting there trying to hold the whole thing up with my left hand. I was trying to hold it up so nobody could really tell, but I wasn't doing a very good job of that because it flew out a couple of times. I was trying to keep it in the right position to where the wind wouldn't take it and blow it out from where the window was. I kept trying to keep it inside the pane of the windshield. I was falling back a little bit. I was just too worried about wrecking the truck and too worried about the window net at the same time. My arm was starting to get sore and I couldn't move my hand after I was done with it.
"When that caution came out I said, 'Thank goodness.' I just dropped it. I was about done. I was on about my last couple of laps of being able to hold it up, really. It was pretty difficult to do. That caution saved our race. If we'd had to come down pit road under green, we would have parked it."
NASCAR ordered Busch to his pit on lap 107 to get the faulty window net repaired. Simultaneously, the fourth of five yellow flags waved due to an accident on the backstretch.
When the race restarted on lap 111, Busch rebounded quickly. With 13 laps remaining he was battling Johnny Benson for second. Then, on lap 119, the final caution period began, closing the field and providing Busch with one more shot at leader Hornaday and the second-place Benson.
Busch, who led four times for 65 laps, had no success when he attempted to pass Benson on the inside, so he changed his strategy for the restart. This time, the race's top lap leader would try the outside.
With eight laps remaining, the race returned to green and Busch wasted little time in implementing his plan. He immediately shot to the outside of Benson, taking over second, and then dispensed with leader Hornaday as the field returned to the frontstretch.
Busch easily pulled away during the remaining laps, leaving Hornaday to finish second and Benson third. Rounding out the top five were Mark Martin and Skinner.
Next weekend, the truck series will continue its season ending shootout at Texas Motor Speedway.
Great seats are still available for the Pep Boys Auto 500 NEXTEL Cup race. Tickets can be obtained by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (877)-9-AMS-TIX or can also be purchased at the gate, the day of the event.