Kyle Busch dominated on his way to his eighth Nationwide Series win of the season at Texas Motor Speedway. From sixth on the grid, the 24-year-old grabbed the lead on lap 11 from polesitter Matt Kenseth and went on to control the race to the end. He briefly lost the lead due to the timing of his pit stops and during a couple of restarts, but nobody had the speed to hold him off.
The Joe Gibbs driver claimed his fourth consecutive win at Texas in NASCAR's second-tier series, and his second of the weekend as well, having won Friday night in Trucks after beating points leader Ron Hornaday with an impressive passing maneuver.
Having also won Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race at the track, on Sunday Busch has a shot at becoming the first driver in history to win all three NASCAR races in the same weekend. He'll taking the start from fifth on the grid in the Sprint Cup series event.
"This track is fun; it's fun obviously when you have good cars, of course," Busch said. "The team did a phenomenal job for me and (crew chief) Dave (Rogers), and they have done a great job on the Cup side for tomorrow, too; they worked their butts off this weekend.
"I feel like we've got a decent car, not a great car, but we can contend tomorrow and if things fall our way we could do it."
Not only was Busch on a different league on the track, but he also dominated on pit road, where his team was fastest of all, allowing him to stay up front. His 19th NASCAR victory of the year allows him to stretch his lead in the championship even farther, and with just two races remaining, he is in position to clinch his first NASCAR title next weekend at Phoenix if he manages to finish 15th or better.
Casey Mears impressed by finishing second in only his first outing for more than two years in a Nationwide Series car, replacing Jeff Burton who was initially scheduled to compete but preferred to sit out today's race after hitting the wall on Friday during Sprint Cup practice.
Jason Leffler and polesitter Kenseth followed, while Brad Keselowski finished fifth, narrowing the gap to 20 points to Carl Edwards in the battle for runner-up honors in the championship. Kevin Harvick looked like a contender in the early going leading six laps, but he finished sixth in the end. Edwards only managed a ninth-place finish, after being unable to profit much from taking new tires during the final caution of the day with 20 laps to go.
Only 23 cars finished the race, some retiring with mechanical issues while at least nine were involved in incidents. Kasey Kahne led laps driving a Toyota for Todd Braun, but retired with suspension failure, while Joey Logano hit the wall hard after a left-rear tire blew up on the backstretch.
Pos Driver Make Laps
1. Kyle Busch Toyota 200
2. Casey Mears Chevrolet 200
3. Jason Leffler Toyota 200
4. Matt Kenseth Ford 200
5. Brad Keselowski Chevrolet 200
6. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 200
7. Brian Vickers Toyota 200
8. David Ragan Ford 200
9. Carl Edwards Ford 200
10. Mike Bliss Toyota 200
11. James Buescher Chevrolet 200
12. Jason Keller Ford 200
13. Trevor Bayne Toyota 200
14. Scott Wimmer Chevrolet 200
15. Tony Raines Chevrolet 200
16. Brendan Gaughan Chevrolet 200
17. Kenny Wallace Chevrolet 198
18. John Wes Townley Ford 197
19. Eric McClure Ford 197
20. Kevin Conway Chevrolet 196
21. Steve Wallace Chevrolet 179
22. Michael Annett Toyota 177
23. Bobby Hillin, Jr Dodge 167
24. Joey Logano Toyota 152
25. Justin Allgaier Dodge 144
26. Robert Richardson Jr Chevrolet 138
27. Josh Wise Chevrolet 134
28. Mike Wallace Chevrolet 119
29. Michael McDowell Dodge 118
30. Kasey Kahne Toyota 112
31. Shelby Howard Chevrolet 109
32. Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet 103
33. Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 103
34. John Borneman III Ford 50
35. Danny O'Quinn Jr Chevrolet 32
36. Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 25
37. Kenny Hendrick Ford 15
38. Mark Day Chevrolet 8
39. Chase Miller Toyota 6
40. Johnny Chapman Chevrolet 4
41. Terry Cook Chevrolet 4
42. Dennis Setzer Dodge 2
43. Mark Green Chevrolet 2