BUSCH RALLIES BACK TO SEVENTH AT BRISTOL
Z-Line Designs Driver Claws Way to 13th Top-10 of 2008
Kyle Busch rallied from a mid-race setback to finish seventh in Friday night's Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
For Busch, driver No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), it was his 13th top-10 of 2008 and his seventh top-10 finish in nine career Nationwide Series starts at the .533-mile oval.
Busch started 15th in the 43-car field, but quickly moved into the top-10, despite complaining of a tight handling condition, meaning the nose of his car was pushing toward the outside retaining wall as it moved through the corners.
When Busch entered the pits for the first time on lap 88 while in 10th-place, the Z-Line Designs crew changed four tires, added fuel and made a tire pressure and wedge adjustment, all the while gaining Busch four spots.
After restarting in sixth on lap 93, Busch moved to second by lap 135 of the 250-lap event and appeared set to battle for the victory.
But when Busch returned to the pits on lap 188 for his final pit stop of the night, the crew had problems with a lug nut on the left-front wheel during the tire change, and Busch was forced to return to the pits to correct the problem. Unfortunately for the team, the problem was not corrected, and Busch had to return to the pits a third time to finally get all the lugs tight.
"It's frustrating, but everybody else is frustrated too, so you can't kick them down too bad." said Busch, the winner of the March 2006 Nationwide Series race at Bristol. "We just have to keep digging. All we can do is try to take our Z-Line Toyota home and build on it for next year and try to make it better."
Busch and the Z-Line Designs Team overcame their issues in the pits and rallied from 16th to seventh throughout the final 58 laps.
"We fought to get back into the top-10," Busch said. "It's not what we wanted, but we got spots at the end to get a top-10."
The seventh-place finish dropped the 18 car, which has run only a partial schedule so far this season, down two spots to 29th in the Nationwide Series owner standings.
There were five caution periods for 26 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the race.
Brad Keselowski won the Food City 250 to score his second career Nationwide Series victory and his first at Bristol, while also climbing to within 122 points of championship point leader Clint Bowyer. Finishing 1.025 seconds behind Keselowski was Bowyer, who after leading a race-high 121 laps, had a late-race bobble that allowed Keselowoski to take the lead and go on to the win. Greg Biffle, Cale Gale and David Stremme secured the rest of the top-five. Scott Wimmer, Busch, David Reutimann, Brian Vickers and Steve Wallace comprised the remainder of the top-10.
The next event on the Nationwide Series schedule is the Aug. 30 Camping World RV Service 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The race starts at 10 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN2 beginning with its pre-race show at 9:30 p.m. The race will also be broadcast live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 128.