In his relatively brief time in the racing spotlight, Kyle Busch has proven to be a quick learner. He continued that trend today with a dominant win in the Cabela's 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Busch, who was making his first Busch ...
In his relatively brief time in the racing spotlight, Kyle Busch has proven to be a quick learner. He continued that trend today with a dominant win in the Cabela's 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
Busch, who was making his first Busch Series start at the two mile speedway, is second in the point standings and started on the outside of the front row after qualifying was rained out on Friday. Under sunny skies on Saturday, the 19-year-old rookie quickly went to work on the competition.
Points leader Martin Truex Jr. started on the pole and led the first 22 laps. Casey Atwood and Kasey Kahne also led a handful of laps before Busch took the lead for the first time shortly after a competition caution on lap 20.
Ron Hornaday was tapped from behind and spun on lap 86 to bring out the race-record seventh caution. The yellow cost Kyle Busch a five-second lead on the field. Kenny Wallace was leading on the restart, but held the point for just four laps before Busch powered his way around the bottom of the track into the lead.
The yellow came out again in the closing laps and Busch held off Mark Martin, who leads the series with 45 career wins, on the restart. He built up a three-second lead over the final 10 laps for his second straight win.
"We really had a great car today," said Busch, who led a race-high 87 laps. "We were fortunate enough not to have any problems. We had great restarts all day. I knew that I would be able to pull away again at the end."
Martin, who made his first start in nearly four years, finished second in his Roush Racing Ford. Jeff Burton was scheduled to run the race before he left the team to join Richard Childress last week. Martin started last, but quickly worked his way through the field. He took fuel only during a yellow-flag stop on lap 24 that helped him jump into the top-5.
"It's a relief," Martin said about his return to the Busch Series. "I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to hold up the tradition of this team. I'm pleased that we were able to run as strong as we did. I'm very satisfied for our first time out."
Busch struggled recently with five straight finishes out of the top-10. He won at Indianapolis Raceway Park two weeks ago and has closed the gap for the points lead to 97 points behind Truex with 11 races to go. Busch has won a series-high five races this season to tie Greg Biffle's record for wins in a season by a rookie.
"It's a testament to this team," said Busch, who has 14 top-10 finishes in 23 races this season. "They're an awesome team and I just can't say enough about them. Hendrick Motorsports is great horsepower and that's what it's all about."
Truex finished third while Casey Mears and Kahne rounded out the top-5.
"It started out really good," said Truex. "For some reason, after that first caution, we were really loose. The guys stuck with it and we had a good car at the end of the race. It was a 25th place car and we finished third, so it was a great day."
Rusty Wallace was also making his return to the Busch Series for the first time since 1993. He started 42nd in the Dodge fielded by his own team and brought home a sixth place finish.
Kevin Harvick, who won the rain-shortened Busch Series race at MIS last August, started third and ran in the top-10 for the first 80 laps. He struggled with a poor-handling race car in the closing laps and dropped back to a 30th place finish.