Polesitter Busch dominates Nationwide race at Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas -- It's high time Kyle Busch got a new nickname. "Shrub" is no longer worthy of the younger Busch brother -- so how about "The Dominator?" Busch led a track-record 178 of 200 laps in winning Saturday's O'Reilly 300 Nationwide Se...
FORT WORTH, Texas -- It's high time Kyle Busch got a new nickname.
"Shrub" is no longer worthy of the younger Busch brother -- so how about "The Dominator?"
Busch led a track-record 178 of 200 laps in winning Saturday's O'Reilly 300 Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway by 1.447 seconds over fast-closing Tony Stewart.
In claiming his second Nationwide victory of the season and the 23rd of his career, Busch achieved several milestones. He became the first driver to win a Nationwide race at Texas from the pole and won a record third straight event in the series at the 1.5-mile intermediate speedway.
Third-place finisher Brad Keselowski was running second and gaining ground on Busch before NASCAR called the fourth and final caution of the race on Lap 188, after rookie John Wes Townley's No. 09 Ford smacked the Turn 4 wall. Keselowski started from the rear of the field in a backup car after wrecking during Thurdsay's qualifying session.
Busch pulled away after the restart with seven laps left, while Stewart, who had stopped for four tires under the caution, charged from seventh to second during the closing circuits. Busch won for the 12th time in his last 29 Nationwide starts, dating to last year's spring race at Texas.
David Ragan finished fourth and Paul Menard came home fifth. Matt Kenseth, Mike Bliss, Jeff Burton, David Reutimann and rookie Justin Allgaier completed the top 10.
Busch said he was fighting a loose condition that worsened as the race progressed. That's why Keselowski was able to gain ground late in the race, but the caution ended his chance for victory.
"If we didn't get a caution like we did, it probably would have been a heck of a show," said Busch, who pulled away after the last restart while Keselowski battled Joey Logano for the second position.
"I was just so loose today, and finally, there at the end, we got it tightened up. That was pretty cool... And, fortunately, the caution did fly there. Some guys came in and got tires. I saw Carl (Edwards) got banged up there, so it's a good points day for us, but you've got to have that sometimes to get back to the winning ways."
Busch trimmed Edwards' series points lead to 38, thanks to a late-race wreck involving Edwards and Logano. With four laps remaining, Logano's Toyota squeezed Edwards' Ford into the outside wall as Edwards was trying to work his way toward the front.
Forced to pit because of a flat tire, Edwards finished 18th, two laps down. Logano stayed on the lead lap but dropped to 12th after the contact.
"We were driving to get everything we could," Edwards said. "I had a run on the outside of him. I had my nose up there. I don't think his spotter told him, or he just decided to block at the last moment, but it was too late -- he came across the hood and got me into the wall and got himself into the wall.
"Six more inches, and it would have been fine."