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Nationwide: Kyle Busch's 100th top-level victory

Kyle Busch held off Kevin Harvick in a green-white-chequered finish to claim his 49th series victory, equalling Mark Martin's record - and his 100th in NASCAR's three national series.
Coming into this weekend's races, Kyle Busch had been asked whether he was aiming to hit the landmark of 100 victories in NASCAR's national-level competition (comprising Cup, Nationwide and Truck series) at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway in two weeks time. Kyle had said he didn't think he could wait that long and wanted to wrap it up sooner - and he was true to his word when it came to the New England 200 Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Saturday afternoon.

Unusually, Busch didn't actually dominate this race - he led for only one 33-lap stint at the end which fortunately for him included the final all-important lap with the chequered flag at the end of it. Before then the race had been controlled by Kevin Harvick (who led for a total of 59 laps) and Trevor Bayne (who led for 58.) Polesitter Brad Keselowski had tussled with Kevin Harvick for the lead at the start but it was clear that Keselowski didn't have the pace early on and soon dropped back. Busch took up the pursuit of Harvick but the first yellow came out before he could make a play for the lead, when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. slid in turns 3 and 4. A huge traffic jam at the restart allowed Trevor Bayne to take the lead while his Roush Fenway team mate Carl Edwards retired with an engine failure: "Jack [Roush] just said it is a broken valve or broken valve spring," he said. Bayne stormed away and was practically unchallenged during the middle section of the race in his best run in the series since his return from medical leave.

A caution for debris put Harvick back into a lead he retained through a rapid follow-up caution for a spin by Aric Almirola, which was followed at the next restart by a spin for Jason Leffler after being turned by Steve Wallace: "He hit me four or five different times and I got tired of it," said Wallace afterwards. “He wrecked himself. I never laid a fender on that guy before. He tried to tear my car to hell today, and I just wasn't taking it."

The next restart was also thwarted, this time by Derrike Cope's engine blowing up; and then Stenhouse himself led after seeing off Keselowski at the restart, before Harvick and Busch once again came on strong and surged for the lead following a sixth caution for debris on lap 165. Finally on lap 175 Kyle took the top spot and a spin for Keselowski brought out another caution on lap 184.

A messy end to the race saw two multiple-car cautions: on lap 190 Steve Wallace knocked Joey Logano into Trevor Bayne and sparked an accident in turn 4 that also involved Reed Sorenson and Jeremy Clements. "I got back in [Logano] accidentally there,” Wallace admitted. "A lot of things happened my way today. Some were my fault, some of them weren't."

At the next restart a pile-up caught up Almirola, Logano, Andrew Ranger, Mike Wallace, Steve Wallace and Brian Scott, setting up a final green-white-chequered finish. Taking the inside line, Kyle Busch managed to pull away from Harvick at the restart and despite concerns about having enough fuel with the race now six laps past its original length he made it to the chequered flag 0.304s ahead of Harvick to take the win.

Despite their close running and their troubled history there were no incidents between Busch and Harvick, and Harvick revealed that he felt he had been "handcuffed" by NASCAR prior to the weekend: "I was told a few weeks ago if we touched the #18 car we would be parked."

As well as the 100th landmark, Busch's win at Loudon also puts him on 49 Nationwide wins which equals the all-time tally of Mark Martin, who was one of the first to show up to congratulate Busch. "Everybody forgets, he's 26 years old," Martin said. "There are so many more out there for him." Kyle Busch has racked up that number of wins in 217 career Nationwide starts. Busch also has 22 Cup wins and 29 Truck victories and has won a total of 14 NASCAR series races in 2011 to date.

Full race and qualifying times available.



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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #33 Rheem Heating, Cooling & Water Heating Chevrolet, lead Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 88 Grand Touring Vodka Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16 in Loudon, N.H. [Picture Credit: Elsa/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Trevor Bayne, driver of the #16 NESN Ford, races Carl Edwards, driver of the #60 Fastenal/Lenox Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #33 Rheem Heating, Cooling & Water Heating Chevrolet, three wide during the NASCAR Nationwide Series New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16 in Loudon, N.H. [Picture Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16 in Loudon, N.H. Busch`s win at New Hampshire was his 49th Nationwide Series win and also his 100th win in NASCAR. [Picture Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS qualified for sixth position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS qualified for third position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS qualified for second position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates setting the pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, smiles at Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, prepares for practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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