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Nationwide: Busch Brothers dominate the Glen

If your name wasn't Busch, then you weren't going to be leading a lap during this Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen, with Kurt coming out top at the chequered flag.
The 'Zippo 200 at the Glen' Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen International started with a front row consisting of Busch brothers, and pretty much the rest of the race was a similar tale of the two brothers.

Kurt Busch had claimed pole position for the race on Saturday morning despite being a late midweek replacement in the car for his Penske team mate Brad Keselowski, who is still suffering from his testing accident at Road Atlanta the previous week. It's Kurt's third Nationwide pole in 12 starts, his first since 2007 - and all three have come at the Glen.

Kurt found himself joined at the front heading to the chequered flag by his younger brother Kyle, not exactly known as a road course specialist although he'd also claimed pole position in the Sprint Cup race at the Glen so he was definitely a force to contend with.

Kurt was able to convert pole to the initial race lead and maintained the position for the first eight laps. Kyle was looking the faster car however and on lap nine he got past the #22 through the inner loop, only to then cut onto the rumble strips through turn 1 which gave Kurt the opportunity to immediately retake the lead. Worse, an off-track excursion left him with a grille clogged with grass and on lap 18 he was forced into pit lane with an overheating engine and steam pouring out of the car.

The team cleaned up the #18 and put him back out with a full tank of fuel and an alternate strategy: to try and make it the rest of the 82 scheduled 2.45-mile laps on just one more pit stop. But it was pushing feasibility to think it was going to work and some caution laps were very much required - and absolutely, definitely no green-white-chequered flags extending the end of the race.

Kyle got lucky with the first part - a yellow flag on lap 25 when Eric McLure came to a halt on track through the esses, which came just after everyone else had cycled through for green flag pit stops. That meant that Kyle was now back out in front on his off-sync strategy, followed by Kurt, Ron Fellows, Carl Edwards and Elliott Sadler at the restart.

Kyle stayed in front, pulling away from Kurt and Carl, until lap 50 when he came in for what he hoped would be his final pit stop of the day. He'd done a good job, with the rest of the field starting to come in almost immediately afterwards with brother Kurt only lasting until lap 55 before surrendering back the lead to Kyle for his own stop. But the crew of the #18 - led by crew chief Jason Ratcliff - were under no illusions that those five laps were crucial, the difference between making it and potentially not.

They still needed cautions, and this time none materialised, even when Mike Wallace spun at the entrance to the final turn on lap 75. By lap 78 it was clear that even having leaned off as much as possible and allowed Kurt, Carl Edwards, Ron Fellows and the rest of the field to close right up to him, there was no chance of making it those final four laps and his fuel pressure started to fail.

"We were running hard together," Kurt said of his battle with his brother. "It wasn't to force him to run out of fuel. I wanted to race him as fair and square as you can, but we knew that they were short."




Related Pictures

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Kurt Busch, driver of the #22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. [Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, races to the finish line to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Plaid Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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