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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]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, poses with the Keystone Light Pole award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS qualified for 33rd position after hitting the wall Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Harvick, who is in the Chase, is 2nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.  (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS won the pole position and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS qualified for 16th position Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. McMurray, who is not in the Chase, is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. This was McMurray`s 2nd Pole win this season. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, climbs into his car prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, laughs before practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, leads Ben Kennedy, driver of the #31 Heater.com Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
A view of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, driven by Darrell Wallace, Jr., in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished in 9th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Harvick, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet, spin out into the grass during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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