Kenseth Captures Nationwide Win at Darlington
Darlington Raceway actually looked pretty easy to tame for Kyle Busch Friday night. Until two laps to go, at least.
Busch, who led all but 10 laps in the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 Nationwide Series race at Darlington, suffered a flat tire and had to pit under caution while having the fastest car and while leading the race with those two laps remaining.
Matt Kenseth, who had won the pole for tonight’s Sprint Cup race earlier in the day, was there to grab the lead and then come away with the victory after the green-white-checkered restart.
Up to the misfortune at the end, Busch had dominated – he had led all but six laps.
With 10 laps to go, Matt Kenseth started closing ground on Busch.
It appeared Busch would be able to hold Kenseth off no problem but with two laps to go, Joe Nemechek crashed to bring out a caution and send the race to a green-white-checkered finish.
As the cars circled the track under yellow, the tire went down and Busch was done.
“It’s very frustrating,” Busch’s crew chief, Jason Ratcliff, said. “This is a track that is difficult already just to go out there and race the race track much less go out there and race 42 other cars. We had a good car and Kyle (Busch) did a great job. All the guys did a great job on pit road. We were half a lap short of getting to the white flag and then it would have been over – didn’t make it. I think we could have held him off there, but you have to have air in the right-rear (tire) to do it.”
Jason Leffler was second on the final restart but never had a chance to challenge for the victory as Morgan Shepherd crashed on the restart and that ended the race.
Carl Edwards finished third and Erik Darnell was fourth.
Busch finished 16th. He kept his lead in the standings but second-place Edwards moved to just 37 back.
Leffler is 153 points back.
Unofficial results of Friday’s Nationwide Series race at Darlington:
1. Matt Kenseth, No. 16 Ford
2. Jason Leffler, No. 38 Toyota
3. Carl Edwards, No. 60 Ford
4. Erik Darnell, No. 6 Ford
5. Justin Allgaier, No. 12 Dodge
6. Ryan Newman, No. 33 Chevrolet
7. Mike Bliss, No. 1 Chevrolet
8. Jeff Burton, No. 29 Chevrolet
9. Brian Vickers, No. 32 Toyota
10. Scott Wimmer, No. 5 Chevrolet
11. Brad Keselowski, No. 88 Chevrolet
12. Joey Logano, No. 20 Toyota
13. Steven Wallace, No. 66 Chevrolet
14. Jason Keller, No. 27 Ford
16. Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota
17. Patrick Carpentier, No. 07 Toyota
18. Kenny Wallace, No. 28 Chevrolet
19. Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 Chevrolet
20. Scott Speed, No. 99 Toyota
21. Tony Raines, No. 234 Chevrolet
22. Scott Lagasse Jr., No. 11 Toyota
23. Jeff Green, No. 40 Chevrolet
24. Brian Keselowski, No. 26 Dodge
25. Kevin Hamlin, No. 81 Dodge
26. Brandon Whitt, No. 61 Ford
27. Danny O’Quinn Jr., No. 01 Chevrolet
28 Eric McClure, No. 24 Ford
29. Michael Annett, No. 15 Toyota
30. Robert Richardson Jr., No. 23 Chevrolet
31. Morgan Shepherd, No. 89 Chevrolet
32. Joe Nemechek, No. 87 Chevrolet
33. Michael McDowell, No. 47 Toyota
34. John Wes Townley, No. 09 Ford
35. Kevin Lepage, No. 52 Ford
36. Kenny Hendrick, No. 42 Dodge
37. Mike Harmon, No. 84 Chevrolet
38. Travis Kittleson, No. 31 Chevrolet
39. Mark Green, No. 0 Chevrolet
40. Kertus Davis, No. 49 Chevrolet
41. Terry Cook, No. 91 Chevrolet
42. Johnny Chapman, No. 90 Chevrolet
43. Casey Atwood, No. 05 ChevroletNo Comment