Feels like old school dirt racing in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Kevin Harvick has had enough of Kyle Busch dominating five truck races a year and has taken matters into his own hands, offering up $50,000 to any Cup driver who will step down and keep him out of Victory Lane.
Not just Harvick, but now the CEO of Gander Outdoors is doubling it, making us a crisp $100,000 go the man who brings them a win over Busch. In usual Kyle Busch fashion, he, of course, complained about it being unnecessary and managed to get something out of the deal himself.
Now all the money will go to the charity of the winning driver’s choice.
The two drivers who’ve managed to scrape together rides and sponsorship to challenge Busch so far are Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson. Two decent names who can wheel a truck to victory any chance they get. But, can they beat Kyle Busch at his own game is the big question.
The best way to really answer that is to see how they faired in the past against him. They both have raced against Busch 4 times in the Truck Series. Of those 4 times, neither of them ever won the race with Busch in the field.
Chase Elliott Stats Vs. Kyle Busch
Top fives: 4
Top Tens: 4
Average Finish: 4th
Chase Elliott never raced poorly against Busch and actually carries a better average finish than Busch when they race in the field together. Here’s the thing about that though Busch won 3 of those 4 races, and on the fourth, he had issues and finished 26th. This is the only time Elliott ever finished ahead of him in a truck race.
Elliott will be racing at Atlanta and Kansas for his bounty claim, two tracks that he runs well at in the Cup Series, winning at Kansas in 2018.
Kyle Larson Stats Vs. Kyle Busch
Top Fives: 2
Top Tens: 3
Average Finish: 10th
Larson, like Elliott, has never really been able to give Busch any type of problem. Never winning a race in the same field as Busch and only finishing ahead of him once. A 2nd place finish at Homestead where Busch placed 4th.
Homestead is notoriously Larson’s best track, and one of the reasons why I believe the championship race is no longer exclusive to Miami because NASCAR worried it’d be too easy for Larson if he ever made championship 4.
If you made me place a bet down today on if I thought Elliott or Larson would beat Busch, I’d say no.
I chalk it up to this, you have two guys who combine for a total of 25 Truck Series starts and only 4 wins and neither has sat down in a truck since 2016 (Larson) and 2017 (Elliott). Going against a man who has 151 starts in Trucks and 57 wins. Neither Elliot nor Larson ever even raced a full-time schedule in the truck series.
Busch is going to be laser-focused and highly motivated to win these three races and honestly, unless there are technical issues with his trucks, I don’t think Elliott nor Larson will be able to keep up.
I will be immensely impressed if either of them can step into an unfamiliar ride and beat the master of the truck series in his own cars. That being said, I hope it happens, just so I can hear Kyle Busch act like he doesn’t care in the post-race interviews.