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Kyle Busch dominates Charlotte Nationwide race

by Pete McCole
Saturday, May 25, 2013

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Kyle Busch bows to his adoring fans
Getty Images for NASCAR
Kyle Busch raced his way into the history books on Saturday, becoming the all-time winningest NASCAR Nationwide Series driver at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a dominating performance in the History 300.

Busch led 186 of 200 laps and held off Kasey Kahne over the final 13 laps on his way to his seventh Charlotte Nationwide victory, breaking a tie he shared with Mark Martin for most all-time at the 1.5-mile facility.

Joey Logano, Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five finishers.

Busch’s victory was his 57th-career Nationwide victory and sixth of 2013. In 10 series starts this year, he’s had only one finish outside the top three.

“This one means a lot to beat a guy like Mark Martin, Jack Ingram and all the Nationwide guys that have set previous records before,” said Busch of becoming the winningest driver. “Anytime you’re tied with somebody, you want to beat them.”

Busch now has two wins in as many weeks at Charlotte, having won the Camping World Truck Series race here last Friday. He now has 12 overall victories at Charlotte in the Nationwide and Truck Series, but has yet to score his first Charlotte Sprint Cup victory.

“Certainly I’d love nothing more than to be able to win the (Coca Cola) 600,” said Busch. “This is my favorite race track and it’s led to a lot of Nationwide and Truck wins, but we’ve yet to win a Cup race here. I feel like this weekend is a good weekend for us and we’ll dig in on that tomorrow with 600 miles.

“We’ve had some fast cars this year and I don’t think we’re done yet.”

Busch started on the outside pole behind polesitter Austin Dillon and wasted little time getting to the front, passing Dillon on lap two and going on to lead the next 44 laps.

After an uneventful start, the final 50 laps saw four caution flags in quick succession, setting up a series of short runs in the closing laps that never allowed any of the drivers chasing Busch to mount a challenge on fresher tires.

On the final restart in lap 187, Busch and Kahne pulled away from the pack, looking to settle the victory among themselves.

For the first few laps, Kahne managed to keep pace with Busch, changing his line to run the high side looking for any advantage, but Busch saw the move and reacted, changing his own line to take the air off Kahne and pull away cleanly, moving out to a nearly one-second advantage he maintained to the finish.

“I thought there at the end, Kasey (Kahne) didn’t get by me and we really didn’t dice it up or race that much, but he caught me,” said Busch. “I had to change my line to a line that I hadn’t run all race long and it proved to work to my benefit.”

Kahne’s runner-up showing was his fifth top-10 finish in his last 20 Charlotte races and his fourth top-10 of the season in just five starts in the no. 5 Chevrolet

“I was trying to wait to go to the outside to see if I could catch him and I got there and couldn’t get to his outside,” said Kahne. “I came close, but didn’t get to him and then he changed his line and went to the top and from that point my car went to the tight side, so I just couldn’t keep up. He kept getting momentum on the top and started pulling away. I thought if he didn’t move up we would have had a really good shot.”

Busch’s 186 laps led were the most since the late Dale Earnhardt led 194 laps here in a Nationwide race in October of 1986. He’s now led in 641 of the 1,547 laps he’s competed in so far this season.

Third-place finisher Joey Logano was left wondering what it would take to finally beat Kyle Busch.

“Do you have any ideas?” Logano quipped to the media. “We’ve got to do something to beat that Kyle Busch guy because he’s pretty good. I know they’re a good team and I know Kyle Busch is a good driver.  You put all of that together and you’re gonna have one heck of a deal trying to beat these guys.”

Trevor Bayne, Justin Allgaier, Matt Kenseth, Parker Kligerman and Regan Smith made up the rest of the top 10 finishers.

Smith, the series points leader, gained a single point on second-place Sam Hornish, Jr., who finished 12th but led nine laps to gain a bonus point, and now trails Smith by 29 points.

Results

Pos Driver Car Make Start Laps Laps Led Status
1 Kyle Busch 54 Toyota 2 200 186 Running
2 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet 11 200 0 Running
3 Joey Logano 22 Ford 6 200 0 Running
4 Kyle Larson 32 Chevrolet 18 200 0 Running
5 Kevin Harvick 33 Chevrolet 16 200 0 Running
6 Trevor Bayne 6 Ford 21 200 0 Running
7 Justin Allgaier 31 Chevrolet 14 200 0 Running
8 Matt Kenseth 18 Toyota 9 200 0 Running
9 Parker Kligerman 77 Toyota 5 200 0 Running
10 Regan Smith 7 Chevrolet 10 200 0 Running
11 Brian Vickers 20 Toyota 3 200 3 Running
12 Sam Hornish Jr 12 Ford 7 200 9 Running
13 Elliott Sadler 11 Toyota 20 200 0 Running
14 Austin Dillon 3 Chevrolet 1 200 1 Running
15 Brian Scott 2 Chevrolet 4 200 0 Running
16 Nelson Piquet Jr 30 Chevrolet 13 200 0 Running
17 Michael Annett 43 Ford 33 200 0 Running
18 Kevin Swindell 98 Ford 17 200 1 Running
19 Mike Bliss 19 Toyota 15 200 0 Running
20 Alex Bowman 99 Toyota 8 200 0 Running
21 Landon Cassill 4 Chevrolet 24 199 0 Running
22 Jeremy Clements 51 Chevrolet 22 198 0 Running
23 Hal Martin 44 Toyota 36 197 0 Running
24 Mike Wallace 01 Chevrolet 34 196 0 Running
25 Steve Wallace 66 Ford 40 196 0 Running
26 Kyle Fowler 79 Ford 30 196 0 Running
27 Dexter Stacey 92 Ford 29 194 0 Running
28 Juan Carlos Blum 74 Chevrolet 35 194 0 Running
29 Kenny Wallace 29 Toyota 27 188 0 Running
30 Eric McClure 14 Toyota 32 186 0 Running
31 Dakoda Armstrong 21 Chevrolet 19 183 0 Accident
32 Joe Nemechek 87 Toyota 31 174 0 Running
33 Travis Pastrana 60 Ford 25 163 0 Accident
34 Jamie Dick 55 Chevrolet 23 162 0 Electrical
35 John Wes Townley 25 Toyota 26 160 0 Accident
36 Johanna Long 70 Chevrolet 28 155 0 Running
37 Reed Sorenson 40 Chevrolet 38 146 0 Engine
38 Chris Buescher 16 Ford 12 134 0 Running
39 Jason White 24 Toyota 37 110 0 Suspension
40 Robert Richardson 23 Chevrolet 39 45 0 Accident

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