History Says Kyle Busch Wins Again In NationwideBy Chris Knight
Busch, driving the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing netted his sixth win in 10 races and his fifth Nationwide win in his last six races and 57th of his NNS career.
The 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion started on the outside pole alongside Austin Dillon, but took command of the 200-lap race on lap two and dominated the race. The victory on Saturday, also allowed the Las Vegas, Nevada native to overtake NASCAR veteran Mark Martin for the most wins in the series at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The two were tied at six victories apiece entering the 10th NNS race of the season.
It was a really great race for us, we’ve had a lot of fast race cars this year and it’s a testament to our team and Adam Stevens and the work that the guys put in, they do such a great job for me and being able to go out there with some good driving cars and to lead a lot of laps, but yet put them in victory lane,” said Busch, who led a dominating 186 of the event’s 200 laps, second highest to Dale Earnhardt Sr., who inhaled the field with 194 laps led in 1986.
Kasey Kahne in the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports tried to steal Busch’s thunder late, but had to settle for the runner-up spot. It was Kahne’s second top-five finish of the season, surpassing his third-place result at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway earlier this month.
Joey Logano in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang for Penske Racing was third, flanked by rookie Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick to round-out the top-five. Larson in the No. 32 Vizio / Hulu Plus Chevrolet Camaro for Turner Scott Motorsports racked in his second top-five of the season and first top-five since Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in March.
Trevor Bayne debuting his new sponsor, PillowPets.com finished sixth, achieving his first top-10 run since Auto Club (Calif.) Speedway in March. Justin Allgaier added another Turner Scott Motorsports entry to the top-10 with seventh in his No. 31 BRANDT Chevrolet Camaro, while Matt Kenseth, Parker Kligerman and Regan Smith comprised the top-10.
Brian Vickers was 11th in his No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, while Sam Hornish Jr who wowed the crowd with a spectacular save late in the race, and hung onto 12th, while Elliott Sadler, pole sitter Austin Dillon and Brian Scott completed the top-15.
Michael Annett in his first Nationwide race since recovering from injuries sustained in the season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway placed 17th in his No. 43 EFS Ford Mustang. RAB Racing’s Alex Bowman carrying new colors for Windows finished 20th in his CMS debut.
In what is expected to be his final NASCAR Nationwide Series race for a while, Hal Martin drove his No. 44 American Custom Yachts Toyota Camry to 23rd, while Steven Wallace, who earned a berth into the History 300 amid Jeff Green’s withdraw from the race only was able to net 25th in his No. 66 HomeWithRichard.com Ford Mustang.
The scariest incident of the day occurred on lap 166, when Roush Fenway Racing’s Travis Pastrana lost control of his No. 60 Ford Mustang and crunched the backstretch wall lifting his machine into the air. Luckily, the avid athlete was able to climb from his machine uninjured. Later, the rookie said “he ran out of talent” when describing the crash. He finished 33rd.
After missing the race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, John Wes Townley started the No. 25 Zaxby’s Toyota Camry 26th, but found trouble several times during the race, which included some contact with the wall and also being collected with Eric McClure when Pastrana brought out the fifth caution flag of the race. He was 35th.
The only female in the race, Johanna Long had to qualify on time for the History 300. After starting 28th, the former Snowball Derby winner crawled her way through the field, but found herself involved in a frontstretch skirmish on lap 47 ruining her chances for a solid outing.
Former ARCA Racing Series champion Chris Buescher qualified strong in his No. 16 Ford EcoBoost Ford Mustang, but pancaked the wall very early into the race and never recovered. While he did finish the race, he posted 38th of the 40th competitors in the field.
Robert Richardson Jr., finished last in his No. 23 North Texas Pipe Chevrolet Camaro. The weekend had already been a series of struggles for the R3 Motorsports team, as they failed to get the handling under control in practice Wednesday and Thursday. His Saturday wasn’t much better. Richardson Jr. lost control of his Camaro in qualifying, destroying it. The team readied the back-up car, but trouble would devour the Texas native again after he was involved in the Johanna Long incident 47 laps into the race.
Regan Smith continues to hold the top-spot in the point standings with a 29-point cushion over Hornish Jr. (376 to 347). Justin Allgaier is third (-40), Elliott Sadler fourth (-45) and Vickers (-49) rounds out the top-five.
Next up for the NASCAR Nationwide Series is a stop at the “Monster Mile” for the running of the 5-hour ENERGY on Saturday, June 1.
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Article Tags: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, HISTORY 300, Kyle Busch, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NNS