Solid Top-Five Run Ends With a Top-10 for Busch at Montreal Interstate Driver Spun from Behind on Green-White Checker Restart Â Kyle Busch looked like anything but a first-time visitor to the legendary Formula 1 road course in Montreal known as...
Solid Top-Five Run Ends With a Top-10 for Busch at Montreal
Interstate Driver Spun from Behind on Green-White Checker Restart
Kyle Busch looked like anything but a first-time visitor to the legendary Formula 1 road course in Montreal known as the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, evidenced by his solid run that was marred only by a late-race incident two laps from the end of Sunday's NASCAR Nationwide Series NAPA Auto Parts 200, leaving him with a disappointing 10th-place finish.
As is so often the case these days, the talented 24-year old driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing looked very much at home from the drop of the green flag. He took to the 2.708-mile, 15-turn layout like, well, Busch takes to most any racetrack.
Having started 12th in dry conditions after a Saturday qualifying session that was held in a steady rain, Busch gradually made his way to the front from the start of today's race. He immediately worked his way into the top-10, and into the top-five for pretty much the rest of the race well before its midpoint. In the end, he was running a solid fourth and was eyeing a final charge to the front on a green-white-checker restart on lap 75 when he was spun from behind in turn two. Still, Busch was able gather up the No. 18 Interstate Batteries racing machine and salvaged a still respectable Top-10 finish.
"That was a really tough way to end a long, long day," said Busch, who had to check up negotiating turn two to avoid the cars of Carl Edwards and Andrew Ranger, who were tangling in front of him. "We got banged around a good bit out there today, but still we were looking like we had a shot at winning this thing at the end -- at least a top-five. (On the green-white-checkered restart) they got bunched up in front of me. We had to check up and got spun from behind. It's disappointing, to say the least."
The late-race incident wasn't the first such encounter of the day for Busch. He had nowhere to go while running in extremely tight quarters on the very first lap of the race and ended up with left-front fender damage that necessitated an unscheduled pit stop for repairs. On lap 26, he endured a hard impact from behind and spun off course when the cars of Justin Algaier and Ron Fellows collided behind him. Still, Busch was able to not only continue, but steadily work his way to the front.
Only the final incident on the green-white-checker finish left him without time enough to chase the leaders back down again.
"I think with Kyle coming in here for his first time here, it raining all day yesterday, and the only laps he had on the track prior to the race coming under wet conditions, I thought the day went really well -- until the last restart." said crew chief Jason Ratcliff. "But we knew the potential for that was going to happen. Other than that, everything went well. I hate that we didn't finish where we ran. We definitely had a top-five car. Kyle did a great job, and we'll be alright. We got the road courses out of the way. They've been pretty good to us -- we've had a pretty good run on road courses. We'll go back to oval tracks next week and finish the year doing that."
Busch's JGR teammate Brad Coleman finished 28th in the No. 20 Toyota Camry after an accident put him out four laps from the finish.
Edwards beat Marcos Ambrose by 0.393 seconds to win the NAPA Auto Parts 200 and score the 23rd victory of his Nationwide Series career, his third of the season and his first at Montreal. He did it with a dramatic last-lap pass of Ambrose, who otherwise dominated the race by leading 60 of the 76 tours of the circuit.
Finishing third was Ranger, while Jacques Villeneuve and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five. Tony Raines, Jean Francois Dumoulin, Stephen Leight, Brendan Gaughan and Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were a Nationwide Series road course race-record 11 cautions periods for 31 laps, with 15 drivers failing to finish the 200-mile race.
With 25 of 35 races in the books, Busch now leads the Nationwide Series driver championship by 192 points over second-place Edwards.
The next event on the Nationwide Series schedule is next Saturday's Degree V12 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga.