Busch Back in Winning Form
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
Kyle Busch passed Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano with 36 laps to go in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and then eased away to victory.
The victory was the fifth of the year for Busch and allowed him to stretch his points lead over Carl Edwards, who finished sixth. Edwards now trails Busch by 162 points.
The victory was the 26th in the series for Busch.
Logano, who finished .6 seconds behind, led the most laps in Saturday’s Camping World RV Sales 200 – 108.
But, as Jason Ratcliff, Busch’s crew chief said, “We were there when it counted.”
Busch said, “Today we didn’t have the winning car, we made the winning car. Sometimes when we’re out front we’re content with what we’ve got and we end up getting beat in the end. The show is stolen from us. But this is great. Ratcliff and myself talked this past week about what we needed to do in order to get better, in order to take this team to victory lane instead of finishing second week in and week out. This is a good step in the right direction. I’m really proud of Jason and all of these guys here.”
Busch started ninth and led twice for 37 laps. Logano led six times but was no match for Busch once he gave up the lead.
“I may not show it as much, but you’re never happy about finishing second,” Logano said. “It’s always tough, but it’s cool to see both Gibbs cars up there week in and week out over here in the Nationwide Series. It’s really cool. It seems like the last few races it’s been me and Kyle coming down to the wire like that.”
The Logano/Busch duo has finished 1-2 five times in the past two seasons, but Saturday’s race at New Hampshire marked the first time Busch came out on top.
“Joey’s a great racer and really has a lot of potential, and he’s showing it for sure in the Nationwide Series as well as what he’s been able to do in the (NASCAR Sprint) Cup Series,” Busch said. “We’re proud of him, and he’ll be here a long time at Joe Gibbs Racing.”
Brad Keselowski finished third and Mike Bliss was fourth.
Keselowski remains third in points, 243 behind Busch.
Saturday marked the fifth straight race in which Keselowski has had a top-three finish.
There was a bit of added excitement which occurred just as the race was ending. Scott Speed and Brian Vickers, who are teammates in the Sprint Cup series but not in Nationwide, tangled on the track and then heading off the track after the race was over.
Speed, who finished eighth, said, “We all went into the corner and everyone started to check up. Brian (Vickers) slowed up more than I could and we both went up the track. I couldn’t stop on time. It was unfortunate for both of us because we were both going to have better finishing positions. Michael Waltrip Racing gave me a great car though like always, so we had a really good race and overall a good day too. I’m happy with our run today.”
Vickers, who finished 12th, was not happy with much of anything after the race. He showed his lack of joy by bumping Speed’s car as they headed for the garages.
“I don’t know what his deal was,” Vickers said. “He (Speed) wrecked us. He said that we slowed down going in the corner. It’s a shame. We had a really good run going. I don’t know what happened. He just drove in way over his head and wrecked us.”No Comment