Busch cruises to another easy Nationwide win
Kyle Busch continued his march through the Nationwide Series on Saturday.
Busch thoroughly dominated the 300-miler at Charlotte, leading 186 of the 200 laps in picking up his sixth win in seven Nationwide races and a record seventh at CMS, topping the former mark of six that he shared with Mark Martin.
“This means a lot to beat guys like Mark and Jack Ingram, guys who set Nationwide records,” said Busch, who celebrated the 10th anniversary of his first Nationwide start here.
Only a series of late caution periods and subsequent restarts created the biggest bit of drama for the race. But, Busch stifled a challenge from Kasey Kahne after final restart with 13 to go and pulled away to win by nearly a second.
“It’s a true testament to how good our organization is, how hard the guys work and what they have to do,” said Busch, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing.
As thorough as the domination was, it still fell eight laps short of the track record of 194 laps led in a Nationwide event set by Dale Earnhardt in 1986.
Kahne got close with about eight laps to go but couldn’t get close enough to draw beside Busch on the outside.
“I had to race hard with Kasey at the end,” Busch said. “He was beating me on the outside. I think he was beating me down the straights. I moved (in the turns) to protect my momentum and do what he was doing, and it seemed to help me.”
Joey Logano, Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick completed the top five.
Logano knows all too well with Busch has been successful this year. Logano drove for Joe Gibbs Racing before this year and regularly won.
“There a good team and he’s a good driver and they work hard,” Logano said. “To beat them, we’re going to have to work harder.”
Thomasville native Brian Vickers led three laps after beating Busch out of the pits under caution on lap 89 and then ran second to Busch for several laps. Vickers lost second with just over 70 laps left and then fell out of the top 10 when he pitted under caution on lap 154 and most of the rest of the lead lap car didn’t. Vickers finished 11th.
The second of two practice sessions Saturday for the 600-mile was interrupted when Trevor Bayne and Jeff Burton oiled the track. Bayne had an engine failure and went to the garage for an engine change. Burton had an oil leak and got back on the track after repairs were made.
Danica Patrick had an engine change during the first practice.
The Wood Brothers team will mark its 1400th start in NASCAR’s top division when Trevor Bayne takes the green flag in the No. 21 Ford. Team founder Glen Wood made the first one in a Lincoln in 1953 at Martinsville Speedway.
“Being able to stay here that long has been the hard part,” said Eddie Wood, the son of Glen Wood and a team co-owner. “It’s hard to stay here year after year, much less through the ups-and-downs of the past 63 years.”
Paul Menard said his contract renewal with Richard Childress Racing is for three years, which would take him through the 2016 season. ... Kyle Grissom won the PASS Super Late Model race Friday night at Caraway Speedway. He took the lead from Brandon Ward on lap 94 and held off Jay Fogleman in the 150-lap event. Jared Irvan, the 15-year-old son of former Cup driver Ernie Irvan, was third.