Busch Makes A Sweeping Statement At Bristol
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
Kyle Busch’s Saturday night began with fellow driver Brad Keselowski publicly calling him an ass during pre-race driver introductions and people screaming even worse things at him from the grandstands.
The night ended with Busch responding to it all by making history. Good history. Incredible history.
Busch pulled of the first triple victory ever in NASCAR when he won the Irwin
Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Busch, who won the Camping World Truck Series race on Wednesday and the Nationwide Series race on Friday night, dominated the Sprint Cup race on Saturday.
He led most laps – 284 – and beat second place David Reutimann by about a half second after leading by about 2 seconds with a couple laps to go.
He moved from eighth to third in points with the victory.
Jamie McMurray gave Busch his most competition in the second half of the race but had to settle for third place.
“It means a lot,” Busch said after waving a broom around Victory Lane. “I’m out of breath” from screaming.
McMurray, who was 17th on a restart on lap 269, caught and passed Busch with 111 laps to go.
Eleven laps latter, both McMurray and Busch pitted under green. Busch came out first and was second to David Reutimann when a caution came out for debris with 92 laps to go.
On the ensuing restart, which came with 82 laps to go, Reutimann was first, Busch second and McMurray third.
With 72 laps to go and after a dozen laps of tough racing with Reutimann, Busch reclaimed the lead. He never lost it.
“I love Bristol,” Busch said. “I love winning. To do for the first time – to sweep a weekend, that’s pretty awesome. I’ve been trying to do this since I got to NASCAR. Fortunately, tonight I was able to be the first one to do it.”
The victory was the third of the season for Busch.
Clint Bowyer finished fourth and strengthened his hold on the final Chase berth. He will head to Atlanta next week with 100 points separating him from 13th place.
In 13th is McMurray, who jumped past Mark Martin in the standings. Martin is one point behind McMurry, who won the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 biggies this season. Martin finished 23rd.
Kasey Kahne finished fifth and Ryan Newman was sixth.
“I really felt like I could challenge when we came out of the pits that final time and started eighth, but the front tires just didn’t work as good as they needed to,” Kahne said. “I was a little bit loose in and I just slid the nose too much and I couldn’t get to the outside of anybody and couldn’t beat them across the center on the bottom. It still wasn’t too bad.”
Jimmie Johnson, attempting to win a fifth straight championship, crashed after being hit from behind and spun by Juan Pablo Montoya on lap 263. Johnson started from the pole and led 174 laps.
“I thought I left him enough room,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it was anything intentional.”
– Jim Pedley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments