Milwaukee: Kyle Busch race report

Busch Finishes Second at Milwaukee Combos Driver Maintains Hefty NASCAR Nationwide Series Point Lead Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Combos Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), finished second in Saturday night's NorthernTool.com 250 ...

Busch Finishes Second at Milwaukee
Combos Driver Maintains Hefty NASCAR Nationwide Series Point Lead

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Combos Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), finished second in Saturday night's NorthernTool.com 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis., and continued a solid hold on the series points lead.

Busch, who started his day practicing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350k at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., arrived at Milwaukee just prior to the start of the event and knew he had his work cut out for him.

Johnny Sauter qualified the car in 10th-place while Busch was in Sonoma, however the No. 18 car was forced to start from the rear of the field due to the driver change per NASCAR rules.

Despite starting at the rear of the 43-car field, the talented 24-year old wasted little time in driving his No. 18 Combos Toyota to the front. By lap 125, Busch was in third and, following a well-executed pit stop on lap 126, the Joe Gibbs Racing team had put the No. 18 Toyota in the lead. Unfortunately, handling issues late in the race dropped Busch from the top spot and left him struggling to hold onto a top-three finish.

"Even though we started in the back, we were able to drive through the field and gain a lot of ground," Busch said. "The Combos car got better when we were able to stay out on the tires for longer runs and we were lucky enough to not have a lot of cautions early on. We were able to gain a lot of track position early on, but as we got to the final laps, the car went away from us and we got passed. We were never able to make up those positions and we ended up second."

"Second is not where we wanted to finish tonight," Busch said. "I didn't come all this way and the team didn't work hard all day to end our night in second place. I hate it that we weren't able to finish the night with a win, but I think that Jason (Ratcliff) and the team were able to gain a few things for the next race at Loudon."

Carl Edwards finished 5.340 seconds ahead of Busch to score his 21st career Nationwide Series victory, his first of the season and second consecutive at Milwaukee. Brad Keselowski, Erik Darnell and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., rounded out the top-five. Steve Wallace, Mike Bliss, Stephen Leicht, Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Jason Leffler comprised the remainder of the top-10.

Busch's JGR teammate, Brad Coleman, finished 24th in the No. 20 Toyota after starting from the outside pole for the 250-mile event. Coleman had a strong run going, leading three times for 35 laps, but an accident on lap 208 took him out of contention for a strong finish.

There were four caution periods for 15 laps, with 10 drivers failing to finish the race.

With 15 of 35 races complete, Busch maintained his lead in the championship standings, where he is now 127 markers ahead of second-place Edwards.

The next event on the Nationwide Series schedule is the June 27 Camping World RV Sales 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race begins at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ABC beginning with its pre-race show at 2:30 p.m.

-credit: jgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Leffler , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Johnny Sauter , Mike Bliss , Carl Edwards , Brad Coleman , Brad Keselowski , Stephen Leicht , Erik Darnell , Steve Wallace , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing