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Busch wins Nationwide race, trails Martin by one win

by Pete McCole
Saturday, May 7, 2011


Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch moved within one victory of Mark Martin on the all-time NASCAR Nationwide Series win list with his first career Nationwide Series victory in Friday night’s Royal Purple 200 at the famed Darlington Raceway.

Busch led the final 23 laps after passing Elliott Sadler and beat out teammate Denny Hamlin to record his fifth Nationwide victory of the season and the 48th of his career – just one back from Martin’s all-time record.

Sadler held on to finish third, followed by Justin Allgaier and Steven Wallace.

Friday’s night’s victory was the first for Busch at a track that has so far eluded him in the Nationwide Series - recording two-runner up finishes in seven starts at the “Track Too Tough To Tame.”

“I love coming to Darlington and it’s a really tough, treacherous place for me.  Kind of proved that because the right side (of the car) doesn’t look so great, but we still were able to win today,” said Busch. “It’s special because it’s so tough and so demanding.  To beat the guy that we beat tonight -- Denny Hamlin -- that’s pretty cool too.  We had a flawless race car today -- it was really awesome.”

Busch led four times for a race-high 49 laps, but almost saw his chances for a victory go up in smoke after a nine-car pileup broke out in front of him on lap 95, taking out Aric Almirola, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski.

Up front, Sadler and Allgaier led the field after electing not to pit on lap 90, with Sadler moving to the head of the pack with 39 laps to go.

What looked like a clever ploy on the part of Sadler’s team to trade fresh tires for track position was not the team’s plan, as Sadler turned back onto the track at the last minute as the leaders came to pit road.
“We had no idea they were going to pit,” said Sadler. “All of a sudden everybody darts down pit road, and I go with 'em. Then, at the last second, I think in my mind, 'My guys are not even ready.'
“So I stayed out, and I think at the time we were five laps short on fuel, and I kept cutting the car off and saving fuel as much as I could during the caution laps. It turned out to be a good call on our part, because I think we would have been right in the middle of the big wreck that happened there on the backstretch one lap later.”

Running on worn tires at Darlington proved to be a losing strategy, and with Busch quickly moving through the field on much fresher tires, Sadler didn’t stand a chance as Busch caught up and overtook Sadler on lap 124.

Sadler would eventually fall to third behind Hamlin, who never came close to mounting a challenge on Busch, finishing more than three seconds behind his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate.

“We challenged for the lead there on that second to last run, but when we came in that last stop we took two tires and the 18 (Kyle Busch) took four (tires) and it was just too much to overcome,” said Hamlin. “He just had the better tires and had the better car there at the end so we just didn’t have enough for him. 

“With that wreck clearing out most of the cars, Kyle (Busch) was able to restart right behind me.  That was the difference because I needed those cars as a buffer to separate us because he had the better tires.”

Already a record holder for the most wins in a single season in the Nationwide Series, Busch is now poised to beat Martin’s record for all-time wins as the series moves on to Dover and Charlotte, two tracks where Busch has racked up a combined nine Nationwide Series victories.

“Being within one of Mark’s (Martin) win record is special,” said Busch. “We’ve said it the last few times since I’ve probably been within five of being able to eclipse him. Maybe some of you say it’s inevitable, but to us we just keep working our guts out and making sure we bring good race cars to the race track

“We’ll see when it happens -- if it happens. I’m racing Dover and I’m racing Charlotte.  Those are two really good places for me in a Nationwide Series -- I’ve run really well at both of those.” .


1 1 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Z-Line Designs 0 147 Running
2 16 20 Denny Hamlin Toyota Raybestos / Wix Filters 0 147 Running
3 6 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet OneMain Financial 42/1 147 Running
4 12 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Brandt 41/1 147 Running
5 7 66 Steve Wallace Toyota 5-Hour Energy 39/0 147 Running
6 2 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Ruud 0 147 Running
7 4 38 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Great Clips 0 147 Running
8 5 32 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet Dollar General 36/0 147 Running
9 11 30 Jason Leffler Chevrolet AccuDoc Solutions 35/0 147 Running
10 8 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 34/0 147 Running
11 19 09 Kenny Wallace Toyota Toyota 33/0 147 Running
12 20 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota Extenze 32/0 146 Running
13 31 23 Scott Riggs Dodge Wildlife Conservation Society 31/0 146 Running
14 13 7 Josh Wise Chevrolet 30/0 146 Running
15 23 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet G&K Services 29/0 146 Running
16 24 39 Danny Efland Ford C3i Sports 28/0 146 Running
17 17 16 Chris Buescher Ford 27/0 146 Running
18 26 81 Blake Koch * Dodge 26/0 146 Running
19 27 15 Timmy Hill * Ford Lilly Trucking of Virginia 25/0 146 Running
20 3 60 Carl Edwards Ford Ford. Drive One. / Ford Mustang 0 144 Running
21 39 52 Kevin Lepage Chevrolet Metro Ministries / TRX Alliance 23/0 143 Running
22 33 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Victory In Jesus 22/0 143 Running
23 30 70 Dennis Setzer Chevrolet All American Sports Pouch 21/0 140 Running
24 25 28 Derrike Cope Chevrolet Maxelence 20/0 135 Running
25 14 99 Ryan Truex * Toyota Pastrana Waltrip Racing 19/0 132 Running
26 29 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet Co-ops 18/0 110 Transmission
27 10 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge Ruby Tuesday 0 99 Accident
28 9 88 Aric Almirola Chevrolet Grand Touring Vodka 16/0 95 Accident
29 15 11 Brian Scott Toyota Shore Lodge 15/0 94 Accident
30 21 19 Mike Bliss Chevrolet TriStar Motorsports 14/0 94 Accident
31 18 62 Michael Annett Toyota Pilot Flying J 13/0 89 Accident
32 42 113 Jennifer Jo Cobb * Ford / 12/0 42 Clutch
33 32 141 Carl Long Ford Young Plantations 11/0 29 Brakes
34 35 44 Jeff Green Chevrolet TriStar Motorsports / Pro Motor Engines 10/0 26 Vibration
35 34 79 Tim Andrews Ford Days Inn Lake City, S.C. 0 19 Brakes
36 22 14 Eric McClure Chevrolet Hefty BlackOut / Reynolds 8/0 12 Oil Pump
37 38 175 Johnny Chapman Ford Rick Ware Racing 7/0 12 Clutch
38 28 40 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet Key Motorsports 6/0 11 Handling
39 37 168 Matthew Carter Chevrolet Craig's Used Cars 5/0 9 Engine
40 41 172 John Jackson Toyota 0 8 Vibration
41 36 174 Mike Harmon Chevrolet Riverwalk Cafe 3/0 7 Carburator
42 40 49 David Green Chevrolet Acredale Vending 0 2 Engine
43 43 0 James Hylton Chevrolet G&K Services 0 2 Rear Gear

* Denotes Rookie

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