Kyle Busch drove away over the course of three restarts to take his second consecutive Camping World SRX Series win Thursday night at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich. Also for the second straight week, his win came at the expense of NASCAR rival Brad Keselowski, who finished second in the main, having been spun out of the lead by Busch last week at Pulaski County Motorsports Park. Ryan Newman took third.
Busch is no stranger to Berlin Raceway, having raced a variety of cars at the venerable legendary 7/16th bullring, including an ASA start in 2002, a Benson Speed Equipment Outlaw Late Model, and a Super Late Model under the Kyle Busch Motorsports banner over the past decade and a half.
“This place is so tough, so challenging with all the things you have to do here — rolling into the gas and rolling out of the gas, the steering wheel and keeping the tires underneath you,” said Busch. “Berlin is one of the toughest short tracks we go to. Brad was really good and I wasn’t sure I had anything for him until [Helio] Castroneves got up there and ran him really hard. Then I saw Brad start to slip his tires and I’m like, ‘OK, he’s right on the edge so I might have something too.’”
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Keselowski led the most laps in the final after starting second but felt he used up his front tires in trying to battle Castroneves for the top spot in the final.
“I pushed a little too hard and just used up the front end a little too much. That was on me,” Keselowski said. “We had a good race, won a heat race, that was good, drove from the back to second, and that was good, led that the most laps and that was good and just overdrove it a bit and didn’t have enough by the end of the race.”
Castroneves led the main event early but faded to eighth by the finish, having used up his tires trying to keep Keselowski behind him. Busch methodically ran consistent, low-intensity laps, and had the most grip available approaching the final laps. Three competition cautions waved over the final 30 laps, but Busch pulled away comfortably on each restart.
Marco Andretti finished fourth after starting 10th in the main but spent most of the race riding nearly a full lap behind the leaders with the goal of tire conservation. It nearly worked, as the defending SRX champion gained ground over the final three green-flag stints. Local legend Johnny Benson finished 12th having battled a mechanical issue over the course of the entire night.
Main Event Results
Johnny Benson Jr.