BUSCH'S WINNING STREAK IN LONE STAR STATE SNAPPED Z-Line Designs Driver Finishes Second After Leading Four Times for a Race-High 107 Laps at Texas Kyle Busch's drive for a sixth straight NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at Texas Motor Speedway...
BUSCH'S WINNING STREAK IN LONE STAR STATE SNAPPED
Z-Line Designs Driver Finishes Second After Leading Four Times for a Race-High 107 Laps at Texas
Kyle Busch's drive for a sixth straight NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth came up one position short when he finished second in Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge.
The driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs/Conn's Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) dominated early in the 205-lap race, which was extended five laps from its originally scheduled distance by a green-white-checkered finish, as he lead four times for a race-high 107 laps. But with less than 50 laps remaining, Busch's once dominant car began to tighten up around the 1.5-mile oval, opening the door for pole-sitter Carl Edwards to take the lead on lap 155.
Busch hung tough in second, holding off a hard-charging Brad Keselowski, and found two chances to retake the lead from Edwards when two separate caution periods gave him the opportunity to challenge for the lead on the ensuing restarts.
On the lap-190 and lap-199 restarts, Busch did all he could to drive his No. 18 Z-Line Designs/Conn's Toyota past the No. 60 Ford of Edwards. Each time, however, he came up short. When the checkered flag flew on lap 205, Busch was .702 of a second behind Edwards.
"It was a good day," Busch said. "It started out really good. Our car was fast there in the beginning, but we just didn't quite have the speed it took there toward the end of the race with the way the '22' (Keselowski) and the '60' (Edwards) made adjustments and got going really, really good. We just didn't have the speed quite like they did. Through the corners it seemed like I could make up a little ground, but I couldn't maintain it down the next straightaway. Disappointing day finishing second."
Busch, who won the last five Nationwide Series races at Texas (April 2008, November 2008, April 2009, November 2009 and April 2010), was looking to break a tie with NASCAR legends Jack Ingram and Dale Earnhardt as drivers who have won five straight Nationwide races at one track. Ingram, the 1982 and 1985 Nationwide Series champion, won at South Boston (Va.) Speedway in July 1985 and then won four more races at the .357-mile oval in southern Virginia in April, May, June and July of 1986. Earnhardt won the February Nationwide Series event at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway every year from 1990 to 1994.
Despite not running the full Nationwide Series schedule, Busch remains third in the championship standings, 695 points behind Brad Keselowski, who clinched the 2010 championship via his third-place finish at Texas. Busch sat out a string of standalone events in June at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., as well as a July stop at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., and an August event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
While Busch is not running the full Nationwide Series schedule, JGR's No. 18 Toyota is competing for the owner's title. It maintained its spot atop the standings, and now has an 81-point advantage over the No. 22 car of Penske Racing, driven full-time by Keselowski. JGR has won the past two Nationwide Series owner's championships.
Edwards' win in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge was his 28th career Nationwide Series victory, his third of the season and first at Texas.
Finishing fourth behind Busch and Keselowski was Busch's JGR teammate, Joey Logano. Martin Truex Jr., was fifth, while Jason Leffler, Reed Sorenson, Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard and Steven Wallace comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were five caution periods for 24 laps, with 13 drivers failing to finish.
The penultimate event on the Nationwide Series schedule is the Nov. 13 Wypall 200 at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. The race starts at 4:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by ESPN2 beginning with its pre-race show at 4 p.m.