DRIVE FOR FIVE SUCCESSFUL FOR BUSCH AT TEXAS Z-Line Designs Driver Ties NASCAR Record with Fifth Consecutive Victory at 1.5-Mile Oval Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs/Conn's Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), made history by...
DRIVE FOR FIVE SUCCESSFUL FOR BUSCH AT TEXAS
Z-Line Designs Driver Ties NASCAR Record with Fifth Consecutive Victory at 1.5-Mile Oval
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs/Conn's Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), made history by winning Monday's rain-postponed O'Reilly 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
Busch, who led four times for a race-high 153 laps, won his fifth consecutive Nationwide Series race at Texas and joined NASCAR legends Jack Ingram and Dale Earnhardt in the record books as drivers who have won five straight 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.
"That's cool man," said Busch, who scored his third Nationwide Series victory of 2010 and his second straight as he won last week at Phoenix International Raceway. "I can't believe it. Such a great race car -- a great Z-Line Designs Camry. Just a phenomenal day. We were able to just run around all day and bide our time, and there at the end we were going to try and save fuel and go the rest of the way, if need be. But, a caution came out and we had to race Joey (Logano) for it. He kept me on my toes there. We were a little bit too loose to try to go real, real hard. I couldn't get away from him. Then it seemed like he got a little bit tight and I started moving away."
Busch has dominated in all five victories at Texas, having led a combined 810 of 1,000 laps available to him, meaning he has been at the point for an astounding 81 percent of the Nationwide Series circuits conducted at Texas since 2008.
That translates to 1,215 miles of leading the pack -- a distance that would allow Busch to start a drive from Texarkana, Texas, head west on Interstate 30 through Dallas, and take Interstate 35 south through Waco and the state capital of Austin to the north side of San Antonio. From there, Busch could take Interstate 10 west all the way to El Paso and continue north on Interstate 25 to the southern outskirts of Albuquerque, N.M.
"It's a team effort," said Busch, who now has 66 victories in NASCAR's top three divisions (Sprint Cup -- 16; Nationwide -- 33; Camping World Truck -- 17). "It's these guys -- all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing. The chassis guys, the body guys, the guys in the engine shop and everybody just makes this possible. Joey had a great racecar today. I'm proud of him. He ended up second and I know he's probably upset. I would be too. We had a flawless racecar so we had to make sure we got this one to victory lane. I drove my guts out there at the end after I made a miscue on pit road. Fortunately, I didn't look bad and I was able to come back and get it."
The victory capped off 801 miles of racing for Busch as he also competed in Monday's rain-postponed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 (actually 501 miles) where he finished a solid third in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for JGR. Despite having less than one hour between races, Busch never slowed down in the second-half of the NASCAR doubleheader.
"This makes it a lot easier to get out of the racecar, I'll tell you that," Busch said. "To run in the 500-mile race earlier I was a little bit down, a little bit drained. Got some fluids in me before the start of this race and got some good food in me. Of course, my fiance Samantha made me up something great. So, that was good and helped me win."
Finishing .688 of a second behind Busch was JGR teammate Logano. Reed Sorenson was third, while Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five. Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, David Reutimann, Steve Wallace and Paul Menard comprised the rest of the top-10.
The race featured four caution periods for 24 laps, with 13 drivers failing to finish event.
While Busch is not running the full Nationwide Series schedule, JGR's No. 18 Toyota is competing for the owner's title. Thanks to Busch's win, the No. 18 picked up two positions to climb to first in points after round seven of 35, where it is 20 markers ahead of the No. 22 car of Penske Racing. JGR has won the past two Nationwide Series owner's championships.
The next event on the Nationwide Series schedule is the April 24 Aaron's 312 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.