Busch Wins Record 50th Nationwide Series Race
Z-Line Designs Driver Beats Teammate Logano by .019 of a Second At Bristol
Kyle Busch held off his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate, Joey Logano, by just .019 of a second to win Friday night’s Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
In doing so, Busch won his record-setting 50th Nationwide Series race, ending his tie with the legendary Mark Martin.
“Turned out I had to race Joey (Logano), my own teammate there.
“It’s awesome,” said Busch, driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry for JGR. “To be able to win 49 races and tie Mark Martin, and then to come here and be able to beat his record at Bristol – one of my favorite places and one of the team’s favorite places – it was certainly an awesome race tonight. We had a great race car. Clint (Bowyer) was the one I thought was going to get us and he was going to be the one we would have to beat.
“Turned out I had to race Joey (Logano), my own teammate there. Those guys had a great race car. Congratulations to the GameStop guys. They had a really nice car. I can’t say enough about Z-Line Designs and Jim (president of Z-Line Designs) and Monica (wife) Sexton, as well as everyone at Toyota.”
Busch now has 12 career NASCAR victories at Bristol – five in the Sprint Cup Series, four in the Nationwide Series and three in the Camping World Truck Series. He’s won three consecutive Nationwide Series races and four of the last five Sprint Cup Series events at the .533-mile oval.
“I’ve always liked racing at Bristol and we’ve had a lot of success here in the last few years,” Busch said. “I love running here and Joe Gibbs Racing has always given me great equipment in the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series, and the Kyle Busch Motorsports guys have given me great trucks in the Camping World Truck Series. It’s a great place to win and hopefully we can get another one tomorrow night.”
Busch led four times for a race-high 186 laps, but in the final 10 laps Logano began chasing him down. The duo spent the final lap side by side all the way around the high-banked half-mile oval. But when the JGR cars crossed the finish line it was Busch’s Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry just inches ahead of Logano’s machine.
“I don’t know where he (Joey Logano) came from to be honest with you,” Busch said “I don’t know where Joey came from, but he had a rocket ship there at the end. I just kept getting a little bit looser and a little bit looser the more we ran there. Had to protect the bottom there a little bit and we just kept rolling the bottom because he wanted it. I thought that maybe the top was going to win the thing and I was just trying to pinch him down a little bit. He used me up right here through (turns) three and four. I’m sure the fans loved it.”
Busch now has 102 victories across NASCAR’s top three divisions (Sprint Cup – 23; Nationwide – 50; Camping World Truck – 29). He could add to that total again this weekend with a win in Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race.
The 1-2 finish by Busch and Logano was the 14th time JGR cars have finished first and second in the Nationwide Series.
The third member of JGR, Brain Scott, driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry, finished 10th.
Clint Bowyer finished third in the Food City 250, while Carl Edwards and Aric Almirola rounded out the top-five. Michael Annett, Jason Leffler, Elliott Sadler, Parker Kligerman and Scott comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were five caution periods for 27 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 250-lap race.