BUSCH PERFORMS OWN RENDITION OF BRISTOL STOMP Z-Line Designs Driver Bumps His Way to 10th NASCAR Nationwide Series Victory of 2010 The beating and banging that has epitomized racing at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is back, and the man who ...
BUSCH PERFORMS OWN RENDITION OF BRISTOL STOMP
Z-Line Designs Driver Bumps His Way to 10th NASCAR Nationwide Series Victory of 2010
The beating and banging that has epitomized racing at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is back, and the man who brought it back was none other than Kyle Busch. The driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) scored his 10th NASCAR Nationwide Series win of the season when he took the checkered flag in Friday night's Food City 250 after bumping Brad Keselowski out of the way on lap 219 of the 250-lap race.
The two combatants were the class of the field, with Keselowski leading three times for 62 laps and Busch leading three times for a race-high 116 laps. Keselowski held the point from lap 162 to 218, but after doggedly pursuing the championship leader, Busch finally made his way past Keselowski in between turns one and two. But as soon as Busch's No. 18 Z-Line Designs machine got in front of Keselowski on the backstretch, the nose of Keselowski's Dodge nudged the rear bumper of Busch's Toyota, sending Busch scraping along the wall. Busch never let off the throttle and quickly snuck in behind Keselowski as they entered turn three, and just before turn four, Busch reached Keselowski and nosed his Toyota into the back of Keselowski, sending him spinning, with the rear of Keselowski's Dodge contacting the outside wall.
Busch motored on, and with the exception of two late-race restarts where he was briefly challenged by Elliott Sadler, Busch checked out to collect his second Nationwide Series win at Bristol.
"I raced and raced and raced him (Keselowski), I don't know for 12, 15 laps, and my Z-Line Designs Camry was pretty awesome tonight," said Busch, who is two for two this week at Bristol, as he won Wednesday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the .533-mile oval and has a chance to go three for three if he scores a win in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. "I thought I had him cleared on the back and I moved up in front of him, and instead of him doing an Earnhardt crossover move he decided that he would just run into the back of me and put me in the fence. So, that's Brad Keselowski. So, you know, I went down into the next corner and dumped him. He does it to everybody else. Why can't I do it to him?"
The victory was Busch's 10th Nationwide Series win this season, tying him with the mark set by Sam Ard during his championship run in 1983 and tied by Busch in 2008. It was also Busch's 40th career Nationwide Series victory, inching him ever closer to the all-time Nationwide Series win total of 48 set by Mark Martin.
"It was a pretty good race for us," Busch said. "We had trouble in practice trying to get the car exactly the way I wanted it. We were close, but Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) worked really hard with the guys to try and make sure that we had a winning car here tonight. We were swinging things at it all day. We came up with a good combination there for the race. It was a little too loose all night, but I kept trying to move my line around and try to find something that would work for me, and I was able to do that a little bit. Had good pit stops and just being able to keep our track position all night really helped us so we didn't have to pass too much. Just getting up there at the end and being able to set sail when it mattered most and get to victory lane.
"I can't thank Z-Line Designs enough and Jim and Monica Sexton -- they're awesome. It's fun to come over here and race. I enjoy it, and of course it's cool to put this 18 car in victory lane."
Busch's 116 laps led marked the 19th race where he's led at least one lap this season. His 2010 laps-led tally stands at an impressive 1,492. The only race where he's failed to lead a lap came last Saturday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, where he still finished third. Busch broke the series record for laps led in June at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where he led six times for a race-high 125 laps en route to the win. The previous record-holder was Martin with 8,082 laps led. With his win at Bristol, Busch pushed his laps-led total to 8,729.
Chassis No. 1861 -- the car Busch used in Friday night's win -- is responsible for 1,049 of those laps. It is a workhorse that debuted in 2007 and in 16 career starts has notched eight victories -- three at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., two at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and one each at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Bristol.
"This car has won everywhere. This baby, it's an awesome race car," said Busch about the racecar that has won at every style of track except a road course and a restrictor-plate track.
Despite not running the full Nationwide Series schedule, Busch remained third in the championship standings, 434 points behind Keselowski. Busch sat out a string of standalone events in June at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., as well as the series' July stop at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.
While Busch is not running the full Nationwide Series schedule, JGR's No. 18 Toyota is competing for the owner's title. It maintained its spot atop the standings, increasing its advantage to 73 points over the No. 22 car of Penske Racing. JGR has won the past two Nationwide Series owner's championships.
Jason Leffler finished .798 of a second behind Busch in the runner-up spot, while Sadler, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Carl Edwards rounded-out the top-five. Trevor Bayne finished sixth, with Clint Bowyer, Reed Sorenson, Parker Kligerman and Busch's JGR teammate Joey Logano comprising the remainder of the top-10.
There were eight caution periods for 48 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish.
The next event on the Nationwide Series schedule is the Aug. 29 NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course in Montreal. Brad Coleman will pilot the No. 18 Toyota while Busch takes the weekend off.