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Busch makes it 2 of 3

Wins Truck and Nationwide, gunning for sweep
Saturday, September 14, 2013

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Kyle Busch gave the rest of the NASCAR drivers a schooling
Getty Images for NASCAR
Chalk up another win from the Coors Light Pole for Kyle Busch. And give the driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota two legs up on a weekend sweep at Chicagoland Speedway.

In Saturday's Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola, Busch won his 10th NASCAR Nationwide Series race in 20 starts this season, leading 195 of 200 laps in claiming the record 61st victory of his career.

Busch became the first driver to win from the pole in NNS competition at Chicagoland, though he's certainly no stranger to winning from the top starting spot. In Saturday morning's time trials, Busch won his eighth pole of the season. He has converted seven of those into victories.

Joey Logano ran second, but no other driver proved a threat to Busch's dominance. Sam Hornish Jr. finished third and extended his lead in the series standings to 17 points over Austin Dillon, who came home fourth.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fifth, followed by Brian Vickers, Matt Kenseth, Parker Kligerman, Kevin Harvick and rookie Nelson Piquet Jr.

Having won Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland, Busch will go for the second three-series weekend sweep of his career in Sunday's GEICO 400 Sprint Cup race at the 1.5-mile track.

That won’t be an easy task. During Saturday’s practice, the handling on Busch’s Cup car wasn’t optimal.

“We tried a lot of stuff (Saturday) in the Cup garage and couldn’t really find the feel I was looking for, couldn’t really find the grip I was hoping to have that would produce fast lap times and be comfortable for me,” Busch said. “It’s going to be a bit of a challenge (Sunday).

“I think we’re a top-10 car right now. That’s a little further off than where I’d like to start going into (Sunday), but we’ll just have to work through 400 miles and push hard and see if we can’t achieve the trifecta.”

Penske Racing teammates Logano and Hornish agreed that they needed to find a little additional speed to compete with Busch on a regular basis, but they also defended their own records. Four Penske drivers have combined for 10 NNS victories this season.

“We’re not far behind -- we’ve won quite a few races this year,” Logano said. “But the 54 car is obviously our main competition every weekend. Where it’s at is hard to pinpoint. It’s probably a little bit of body, it could be some motor, it could be some of our chassis setups.

“We have to look in every little area to find a little bit of speed. It’s not like he’s a half-second quicker than us. He’s a tenth better, all day. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where it’s at -- because he drives away so fast you can’t figure it out quick enough.”

Having led 153 of the first 158 laps, Busch held a lead of more than three seconds when Brett Butler plowed into the back of title contender Elliott Sadler's No. 11 Toyota as Sadler was slowing to enter pit road.

Lead-lap cars came to the pits on Lap 160 for tires and fuel, leaving them with enough gas to finish the race comfortably. Busch was first off pit road for a restart on Lap 164, but one circuit later, a caution for debris slowed the field for the fourth time.

Busch pulled away after a Lap 170 restart and stretched his lead until Kyle Larson blew a left rear tire and smacked the outside wall in Turn 2, spewing debris throughout the corner.

That wasn't the last yellow. One lap after a restart on Lap 182, Justin Allgaier's Chevrolet clipped the outside wall, bounced into Regan Smith's Chevy and sent it spinning down the backstretch. Smith, who entered the race third in the series standings, stayed on the lead lap but restarted 18th when Busch led the field to green on Lap 187.

Smith worked his way up to 13th by the finish but lost ground to Hornish, as did Sadler, who ran 19th, one lap down.

Notes: Busch led the largest number of laps ever in a Nationwide Series at an intermediate speedway, eclipsing the 194 of 200 led by Dale Earnhardt at Charlotte in 1986… Busch posted his 20th perfect Driver Rating in the series… Kenny Wallace started his 543rd NNS race, bring his total NASCAR starts across all three national touring series to 900.

Results

Pos # Driver Make St Laps Led Status
1 54 Kyle Busch Toyota 1 200 195 Running
2 22 Joey Logano Ford 3 200 2 Running
3 12 Sam Hornish Jr Ford 4 200 0 Running
4 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 2 200 0 Running
5 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 6 200 2 Running
6 20 Brian Vickers Toyota 10 200 0 Running
7 18 Matt Kenseth Toyota 18 200 0 Running
8 77 Parker Kligerman Toyota 5 200 0 Running
9 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 13 200 0 Running
10 30 Nelson Piquet Jr Chevrolet 9 200 0 Running
11 99 Alex Bowman Toyota 8 200 0 Running
12 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 20 200 0 Running
13 7 Regan Smith Chevrolet 16 200 0 Running
14 2 Brian Scott Chevrolet 19 200 0 Running
15 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 14 200 0 Running
16 98 Kevin Swindell Ford 17 200 0 Running
17 29 Kenny Wallace Toyota 11 200 0 Running
18 43 Michael Annett Ford 15 200 0 Running
19 11 Elliott Sadler Toyota 7 199 0 Running
20 5 Brad Sweet Chevrolet 12 198 0 Running
21 44 Chad Hackenbracht Toyota 27 198 0 Running
22 4 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 29 198 0 Running
23 19 Mike Bliss Toyota 35 198 0 Running
24 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 21 198 1 Running
25 14 Eric McClure Toyota 25 198 0 Running
26 70 Johanna Long Chevrolet 22 197 0 Running
27 60 Travis Pastrana Ford 24 196 0 Running
28 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet 26 193 0 Running
29 23 Juan Carlos Blum Ford 37 189 0 Running
30 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 23 186 0 Electrical
31 79 Maryeve Dufault Ford 36 183 0 Running
32 32 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 39 175 0 Accident
33 40 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 38 172 0 Running
34 24 Brett Butler Toyota 32 146 0 Accident
35 52 Joey Gase Toyota 31 46 0 Engine
36 74 Kevin Lepage Dodge 30 30 0 Fuel Pump
37 37 Tanner Berryhill Dodge 33 21 0 Electrical
38 00 Blake Koch Toyota 28 7 0 Transmission
39 46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 34 4 0 Rear Gear
40 10 Jeff Green Toyota 40 3 0 Vibration

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