RAIN GETS IN WAY OF A VICTORY FOR BUSCH; BUSCH GOES FROM 38TH TO THE FRONT OF THE PACK IN SHORT ORDER CONCORD, N.C. (May 23, 2009) - While a win on Saturday night was likely Kyle Busch's fate, it proved not to be his destiny as rain shortened ...
RAIN GETS IN WAY OF A VICTORY FOR BUSCH; BUSCH GOES FROM 38TH TO THE FRONT OF THE PACK IN SHORT ORDER
CONCORD, N.C. (May 23, 2009) - While a win on Saturday night was likely Kyle Busch's fate, it proved not to be his destiny as rain shortened the Carquest Auto Parts 300 by 30 laps. From the onset of the evening, Busch looked poised to score his fourth NASCAR Nationwide Series win of 2009.
Busch qualified second fastest on Saturday afternoon but an unapproved pre-race engine send the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry to the rear of the field for the start of the race. He made his presence known quickly, climbing to 21st place on lap 10 and battling for a spot in the top ten on lap 17.
A caution on lap 24 set up a two-tire audible for by crew chief Jason Ratcliff and crew, allowing Busch to line up sixth for the ensuing restart. He reached the top three on lap 33 and took the lead on lap 40. He began to distance himself from the rest of the field until a green flag pit cycle forced Busch to bring in his Toyota Camry on lap 86 for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment.
Following a caution flag on lap 91, Busch would continue to hold onto the lead until battling with fellow Toyota driver Brian Vickers, eventually losing the lead on lap 141. Another pit cycle would allow Busch to once again inherit the lead before pitting again for another wedge adjustment.
Busch had reached third place before a rain showered halted competition with 30 laps to go. Unfortunately, the race was canceled by NASCAR officials, relegating Busch to a third place finish in what was undoubtedly his race to lose.
In what has become typical of his appearances at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Busch was dominant, leading three times for a total of 98 laps.
Busch remains the leader in the Nationwide Series point standings, currently 37 points ahead of second place Carl Edwards.
Are you disappointed to have the race end early for rain?
"I was very disappointed that we didn't get a win and the guys aren't able to celebrate themselves in victory lane for putting together the fastest car out there, but the NOS Energy Drink Toyota was good - it was fast and circumstances just didn't hit our way tonight."
How were you able to come from the back to the front so quickly at the start of the race?
"It was a smooth journey at least. There wasn't a whole lot of stuff that happened. Typically we see a caution in the first 10 laps here so I was pretty surprised that we didn't have that, but it was uneventful. I just went to the top when they were on the bottom - went to the bottom when they were on the top and just kind of made my way through there and picked them off one at a time and sometimes two at a time. Tried to pick and choose and wasn't too worried about racing a few guys. We made it up there pretty smoothly and we had the fastest car and figured we would have won the race. Third place I guess is good and as everybody else would probably say, 'It's a good points day.' I'm not worried about points - I want wins."