BUSCH, Z-LINE RIDING HIGH AT LOWE'S Z-Line Designs Driver Leads 137 Laps En Route to Dominating Victory at Charlotte Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), led three times for 137 laps en route...
BUSCH, Z-LINE RIDING HIGH AT LOWE'S
Z-Line Designs Driver Leads 137 Laps En Route to Dominating Victory at Charlotte
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), led three times for 137 laps en route to a dominating victory in Friday night's Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C.
The win was Busch's 28th career Nationwide Series victory, his series-leading seventh of the season and his fifth at Charlotte.
"There wasn't much that was going to stop this Z-Line Designs Camry tonight," Busch said. "It was really, really good. Just a phenomenal racecar. It was a great job by this whole team. We worked on it in practice trying to make it better. We quit early because I got it where I wanted it, and I just knew that if everything fell into place then we'd be all right.
"It was great job by this whole Z-Line Designs team. This thing was on a rail tonight. It's awesome to come out here on such a cold night and have this many people in the stands, so I appreciate their support."
The trip to victory lane came one week after Busch battled a flu-like illness which forced him to vacate the Z-Line Designs Toyota and be relieved early by his JGR teammate, Denny Hamlin, in last Saturday's Nationwide Series event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
"I've never done it before," Busch said. "It was the worst thing ever. I'm sorry to my guys about last week, having to get out there. Jim and Monica (Sexton, Z-Line Designs) were there last week and I apologize to those guys too. I wish we could've brought them to victory lane last week in California. We were going for three in a row."
The victory was Busch's first since July 18 at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., a span of 11 races. It also helped his cause in the Nationwide Series championship point standings, as he increased his lead over second-place Carl Edwards to 195 markers with just four races remaining in the 2009 season.
"It's not over. It's definitely any man's race right now as far as Carl or myself or even the 88 (Brad Keselowski)," Busch said. "We have to go through these final races. I feel like here (Charlotte), Texas, Phoenix and Homestead are tracks I can win at. We're going to Memphis next week, which is a track Carl can win at. We know we need to keep up to our best game and do what we need to do in order to put this championship away.
"I would love to have done what Kevin Harvick did (in 2006 when he won the Nationwide Series championship). I think the championship was over here at this race. He just started this race and he was done. I wish that was the scenario that we were in. We've got a couple more weeks that we can gain some good points and hopefully put it away at Phoenix."
Finishing second to Busch by 1.712 seconds was Mike Bliss, while Dave Blaney, Brian Vickers and Edwards rounded out the top-five. Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton and Tony Raines comprised the remainder of the top-10.
The race featured six caution periods for 31 laps, with 14 drivers failing to finish the 200-lap event.