14 April 2013
2013 Texas NASCAR: Busch wins Cup race to complete Texas sweep
Martin Truex Jr. tried but in the end no one had an answer for Kyle Busch at Texas this weekend, as the Joe Gibbs Racing driver completed his sweep of Nationwide and Cup races.
He dominated on Friday evening in the Nationwide Series race, leading the most laps before claiming the chequered flag in a dominant display; and on Saturday evening Kyle Busch was in just the right mood to do it all over again, starting from pole and leading the most laps before clinching the chequered flag half a second ahead of Martin Truex Jr.
"To be in victory lane in Texas, there's nothing better," said Busch after celebrating under the floodlights in the traditional Texas style by firing off two six-shooters loaded with blanks while wearing the winner's cowboy hat. "These cars are amazing to drive. They're fast, they're fun," he added.
There was pre-race drama even before Busch - joined on the front row at Texas Motor Speedway by his brother Kurt - led the field to the green flag, when the two Penske cars of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano were held up in pre-race technical scrutineering. NASCAR officials confiscated rear-end housing parts from both the #2 and the #22 and as a result Logano was late getting to the grid for the start of the race, meaning that he had to start from the back of the grid. He was joined there by Kevin Harvick, who'd suffered engine problems on Friday.
At the start it was Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch who led the race from pole for the first 40 laps, until an early caution gave Michael Waltrip Racing's Martin Truex Jr. a chance to jump in front for the next stint. Busch soon put a stop to that on lap 75 and embarked on a run of over a hundred laps in front with only brief interruptions during pit stop sequences, after which Truex had to wait until lap 201 to reclaim the front spot again.
But once he did, Truex gradually moved into a comfortable lead and held it until 17 to go, looking as though he was set to break a 210-race winless streak: but it was not to be, as the final round of pit stops under a late caution for debris put Busch back in charge - and he was in no mood the squander the opportunity.
"As soon as that caution came, my boys stepped up the plate and hit a grand slam," he said in victory lane after the chequered flag has welcomed him across the finish line. "They pulled out one heck of a stop right there at the end to put us up front, to give us that lead, and we were able to bring it home."
Understandably less thrilled with the outcome was Truex, who subsequently tweeted "Debris huh????" about the late caution that had wiped out his 1.3 second margin over Busch and ultimately cost him the victory.
"We started near the front and had a decent car at the beginning, but not great," he said. "We worked on it all night and got it to where it was the best car out there. The last caution came out, and we got beat out of the pits, and that was the race.
"It was pretty frustrating to run second again, I feel like we've been in this boat and this position a bunch of times," he continued. "Nothing about it is much fun ... Just running second sucks, especially when you're that fast. So, a little bit frustrated right now."
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
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