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Kyle Busch sets new Nationwide record with latest win

Kyle Busch won the History 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon after leading for all but 14 laps of the event.
Kyle Busch dominated the History 300 Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend and always looked odds-on to claim what would be an appropriately historic and record-breaking win. But in truth it wasn't quite as easy at the end as he would ideally have liked, as he came under pressure late in the race after a strategy call left him on older rubber and locked in a tight battle with his old sparring partner Kasey Kahne that kept the result in doubt right to the final minute.

Austin Dillon had claimed pole position for the race, his fourth pole in 54 Nationwide starts (his first of 2013) after setting a time just two hundredths of a second faster than Kyle Busch, but it was Busch who quickly moved into the lead and cruised into the distance while Brian Vickers took over from Joey Logano in second until the first caution on lap 39 for debris in turn 3, possibly dropped from the wounded car of Chris Buescher who has brushed the wall earlier and needed pit lane assistance for repairs.

Sam Hornish Jr. wrested the lead from Busch before a return to yellow for spins on the backstretch for Johanna Long and Robert Richardson Jr., and the restart allowed Busch to take control again with his Joe Gibbs Racing team mate Vickers falling in as his wingman once more which lasted to lap 87 when a new debris caution came out for debris in turn 4 after John Wes Townley brushed the wall. Busch led another long green stint that passed the midway point of the race and extended through the final round of pit stops, Busch stopping later than most on lap 148 and resuming in the lead while Vickers reported a vibration and lost places to Hornish and Kasey Kahne.

Another debris caution on lap 153 allowed Vickers to pit again albeit at the expense of dropping to 15th for the restart. Hornish led briefly at the restart before being passed on the low-side by Busch and Kahne and on the high-side by a flying Kyle Larson, and there was a fifth caution on lap 165 when Travis Pastrana spun out of turn 2 into a heavy head-on impact with the inside retaining wall, the crumpled star-spangled #60 then having its tailed clipped by Joe Nemechek who was having to avoid John Wes Townley who'd spun in sympathy into the outside wall.

While everyone was good on fuel, many of the leaders wanted to take on fresh tyres to see if they could find on Busch and Kahne who opted to stay out: Larson took two tyres only and dropped to ninth while Hornish grabbed four and resumed in 11th. Hornish survived a violent bobble at the restart while being passed on the low-side by Matt Kenseth, but sustained performance-compromising bodywork damage to the #12 before a spin for Reed Sorenson in turn 2 put the track back under caution on lap 178 and left Busch and Kahne increasingly compromised on their older tyres.

Busch opted for the outside line and got a good push from Kevin Harvick at the restart on lap 183, but there was a rapid return to yellow as Dakoda Armstrong spun out of 16th place leaving him with it all to do again at the next restart on lap 187. Busch and Kahne belief their worn rubber to quickly pull out more than two second over the pursuing pack, Logano and Larson taking up the chasing positions.

As it became clear that there were no further cautions in the offing, there was little that they or anyone else could do about the leaders. They could only watch on from afar as Busch and Kahne engaged in a tense cat-and-mouse battle, Busch having to protect his line and do whatever he could to take the clean air off the nose of the #5. He achieved it to perfection, and once that was accomplished the #54 pulled away and made it a safe margin by the time the chequered flag came out at the end of the 200-lap, 300-mile affair.

"It's a little tougher than you think," insisted Busch after his 186-lap domination. "You certainly have to stay focused all the time. There is never really a moment where you think, 'Oh, this is easy, I'm waiting for someone to come race me.' I would rather no one ever come up and race me, but I know that's boring for the fans and for the media to see.

"I thought there at the end, Kasey didn't get by me and we really didn't dice it up or race that much, but he caught me. I had to change my line to a line that I hadn't run all race long and it proved to work to my benefit," he added. "That was good. Also, it's a lot of fun to go out there and lead that many laps and run up front and just see all the people in the grandstands telling you that you're number one every lap - to then take home the chequered flag at the end of the day."




Related Pictures

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Travis Pastrana drives the #60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Robert Richardson Jr., driver of the #23 North Texas Pipe Chevrolet, spins out after an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 25, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 AdvoCare Chevrolet, leads the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 25, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 25, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, receives a lobster in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Both Johnson and Harvick are in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished in 26th place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Gordon is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, drives with damage to his car after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying first for the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/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)
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)
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)
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)

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