No Surprise, Kyle Busch Tops Lettow Memorial
WEST ALLIS, Wis. — There was no surprise Tuesday night at The Milwaukee Mile as frequent NASCAR winner Kyle Busch won the Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial 150 presented by RaceTeamGear.com sanctioned by the ARCA Midwest Tour.
The race was cut short by darkness after 115 laps of the one-mile oval with Busch holding off defending race winner Travis Sauter and his uncle Johnny Sauter.
“It’s awesome to come out to Milwaukee,” said Kyle Busch. “My dad grew up coming to these races here, Indy Car races, NASCAR races. Me, I like coming to the Mile. I love super late model racing, so this is like the best mix in the world for me.
“Especially coming here with the memorial for Howie Lettow and his race and being his name that’s on it and being able to compete with the rest of the ARCA Midwest Tour. It was really a lot of fun and I had a great time while we were here. There’s nothing sweeter than being able to win the race of course and end up in victory lane, but it’s a true testament to this team everybody that works so hard on this car and brought a really good piece for me to drive.”
Busch’s piece was so good for him to drive that it seemed like he was in a world of his own. He set fast time in qualifying and quickly got to the front after having to start 14th with the invert. By lap nine, he was pressuring Boris Jurkovic for the lead, and just a lap later he made the pass and set sail.
Once in the lead, Busch simply drove away from the competition, opening up as much as a four-second lead over the rest of the field.
A yellow flag on lap 20 when Johnny Van Doorn stopped in turn four bunched up the field and perhaps gave the rest of the field a chance to move in on Busch. When the cone came out, Travis and Johnny Sauter were able to move up on the outside and into the top five.
As the green flag waved, Busch easily put some distance between himself and Jurkovic, while Johnny Sauter moved around Travis and quickly moved closer to the front. Although the Sauter’s march towards the front will be slowed by another yellow on lap 33.
Team Spiked Island Touring Star, James Swan crashed hard into the sand barrels that protected the pit road wall, collecting Mason Mingus and Erik Darnell in the process.
Another green flag and another Kyle Busch great restart. However, this time having Johnny Sauter on his bumper, Busch would not get away as quickly. Sauter was even bump drafting Busch NASCAR style down the front straightaway heading into turn one.
Busch and Sauter steadily pulled away from the field, putting several car lengths between themselves and third place Boris Jurkovic.
With 60 laps in the books, Travis Sauter moved around Jurkovic for the third spot and was starting to gain on Busch and Uncle Johnny. Just seven laps later, a spin by Bryan Ortiz forced another yellow. ARCA Midwest Tour officials decided to just simply run off the remaining eight laps to get to the halfway break at lap 75.