NASCAR » 22 February 2009
NWS: Busch again for two out of three
Hours after winning a Camping World Truck Series race in a runaway, Kyle Busch staged a repeat performance in Saturday night's Stater Bros. 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Auto Club Speedway.
In claiming the 22nd Nationwide Series victory of his career, Busch became the first driver ever to win two races in any of NASCAR's top three series' on the same day. Busch had come close once before, finishing second to Jamie McMurray by 0.005 seconds in a July 7, 2007 Sprint Cup race at Daytona after winning a rain-delayed Nationwide race earlier in the day.
On Sunday, he'll try for another record – a weekend sweep of NASCAR's top three series' at the same racetrack.
About the only suspense came on a re-start on lap 135, after Carl Edwards beat Busch off pit road following the final stops for both cars. Busch dived to the inside of Edwards' Ford, and Kevin Harvick made it three-wide through the corner before Busch regained the lead through turns three and four.
From that point, Busch pulled away and crossed the finish line 1.011 seconds ahead of Harvick. Joey Logano, Busch's team-mate at Joe Gibbs Racing, finished third, followed by pole-sitter Edwards and his Roush Fenway Racing team-mate, David Ragan.
Jeff Burton, David Reutimann, Brian Vickers, series rookie Brendan Gaughan and Steve Wallace completed the top ten.
"It was a blast," Busch said. "We were just glad to put on a great show. It got a little nerve-wracking there on that last re-start...but that's what the fans come to see."
Harvick tried to seize the opportunity, but couldn't force his way past Busch and Edwards.
"I was able to sneak by Kyle and Carl when they got together there [on the re-start]," he said. "At least that's what it looked like from my perspective...I just couldn't quite complete the pass there."
Busch, who led 143 of the 150 laps, obliterated the field during the first green-flag run, streaking to an advantage of more than eight seconds before pitting from the lead on lap 40. After the cycle of green-flag stops, Busch led Kevin Harvick by as much as 11.486 seconds, before Michael McDowell's fiery crash in turn two caused the first caution of the race on lap 52.
By then, 14 of the 43 cars that had started the race were on the lead lap.
"Definitely, the best car won – that's for sure," said Edwards, who fell back after battling Busch and Harvick on the final re-start. "That was amazing."
by Reid Spencer/Sporting News
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