Nationwide Series’ All-Time Win Record Eludes Busch… for Now
Z-Line Designs Driver Finishes Third in Top Gear 300 at Charlotte
Kyle Busch will have to wait for another shot at tying Mark Martin for the all-time win record in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) finished third in Saturday’s Top Gear 300 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Busch came into the 200-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval with 48 career Nationwide Series victories, one shy of the record currently held by Martin. In less than eight years, Busch is on the cusp of racking up as many wins as Martin did in 24 years.
... we just weren’t fast enough there at the end.
“There’s a little disappointment, but there’s plenty of time left to get there,” said Busch, whose next scheduled Nationwide Series start and shot at the 52-year-old Martin’s record is June 18 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. “We just have to wait another couple of weeks before we can try to get it done.”
The 26-year-old Busch started fourth in the Top Gear 300 and in 60 laps took his typical spot at the front of the 43-car field. He wound up leading four times for 44 laps, but the Roush Fenway Racing duo of Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards seemed to get stronger as the race wore on, and they ultimately finished 1-2.
“Those guys were definitely faster than us today,” said Busch, who now has 10 top-three Nationwide Series finishes in 16 career starts at Charlotte – a tally that includes six wins. “We had a really good car in the beginning and through the middle stages of the race. Unfortunately, we just weren’t fast enough there at the end.
“The car didn’t really change much. We actually got the balance better, but we just didn’t have the speed to carry up with those Roush cars. Our Z-Line Designs Camry was decent. I appreciate the guys and everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing for doing a great job. We had a good day today and came home third. I won’t be in it next week, but the next race we get to, we’ll be ready.”
Busch’s JGR teammates – Brian Scott, driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry, and Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry – finished eighth and 11th, respectively.
Kenseth’s win in the Top Gear 300 was his 26th career Nationwide Series victory, his first of the season and his third at Charlotte. Edwards finished .763 of a second behind in the runner-up spot, while Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Reed Sorenson rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Steve Wallace, Scott, Aric Almirola and Elliott Sadler comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were five caution periods for 25 laps, with 13 drivers failing to finish.