TALLADEGA, Ala. — Kyle Busch made a last-ditch slide past Aric Almirola at the finish line, then brushed aside Almirola’s suggestion that he should be stripped of the victory.
With his truck on the verge of spinning out, Busch appeared to put two wheels below the yellow out-of-bounds line at the bottom of the track just as he made his wild move to win Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway by 0.002 seconds. He wasn’t penalized.
“I don’t even know if I got near it, below it, next to it, on it, I have no idea,” Busch said. “All I knew was I was trying to save my truck and keep it straight and hopefully make it past the start/finish line before the rest of the guys.”
Almirola went to NASCAR officials immediately after the race to plead his case, but he said they ruled that Busch was trying to keep his car from spinning out and wasn’t subject to a penalty.
“My perspective is, I feel like I won the race,” Almirola said. “NASCAR’s perspective is, we ran second. I guess today, we lose. I’m disappointed in that.”
It was the closest finish in series history when using electronic scoring, NASCAR officials said.
It was Busch’s series-high sixth victory in 13 truck series starts this season and his second straight truck win at Talladega, after winning there last year.
Busch was third on a restart with two laps to go, made his way to second, then ducked under Almirola and beat him by a nose as the checkered flag came out.
With Johnny Sauter charging behind him, Busch said he didn’t have any other choice than to duck under Almirola.
“I had to bring it back down, and I got underneath Aric,” Busch said.