Busch caps perfect weekend with Cup win at Texas
By: By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service, Superior Telegram
FORT WORTH, Tex. -- It was a weekend to savor for Kyle Busch.
The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota pulled away on the final 16-lap green-flag run to win Saturday night’s NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch won his 26th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race a day after winning the Cup pole and the Nationwide Series event at the 1.5-mile intermediate speedway.
The victory was Busch’s second of the season and his first at Texas. Martin Truex Jr. ran second despite leading 142 laps and saw the drought since his first and only Cup win reach 210 races. Carl Edwards was third, followed by Greg Biffle and Joey Logano.
Truex streaked away from the field after a restart on lap 229 and opened a lead of more than 2.5 seconds over Busch. That advantage grew to more than four seconds before a worn-out right front tire threatened Truex’s winning chances.
As Truex brought his No. 56 Toyota to pit road under green on Lap 280, however, David Gilliland turned Marcos Ambrose’s Ford on the backstretch to cause the sixth caution of the night. As the yellow flew, Jeff Burton ran into the back of Mark Martin’s Toyota and spun into the inside wall.
Since both Truex and Busch were already on pit road when NASCAR called the caution, they remained in the lead for a restart on Lap 291. Truex opened a lead once again before a La 314 caution for debris in Turn 4 slowed the field again and allowed the lead-lap cars to pit for four tires.
Busch won the race off pit road, and that proved decisive, as he sped away after a restart on lap 319 and made a bridesmaid of Truex for the sixth time since his only Sprint Cup victory on June 4, 2007.
Trouble started early for the Penske Racing Fords of reigning series champion Brad Keselowski and Logano. NASCAR confiscated the rear-end housings of the cars, forcing the teams to make a change before the race.
Keselowski made it to the grid in time for the start, but Logano’s car was late presenting itself on pit road and had to start from the rear.
"It is just something that is not in the spirit of the rules," NASCAR vice president of competition told the Sporting News in explaining the violation. If penalties are forthcoming, they will be announced next week.
Nevertheless, both drivers rallied from a lap to down to post top-10 finishes. Keselowski came home ninth and remained second in the Cup standings, nine points behind Jimmie Johnson, who ran sixth on Saturday.