Busch earns 50th Nationwide victory
Kyle Busch edged teammate Joey Logano at the Bristol Motor Speedway finish line Friday night to become the all-time winningest driver in Nationwide Series.
The win was the 50th of Busch's career in NASCAR's second-tier series and broke a tie the 26-year-old had with Mark Martin.
''There's an awful lot of accomplishments, and it's hard to pinpoint exactly where they fall,'' Busch said. ''Certainly this is a pretty big one. Just being able to race that hard, and race against a teammate like that, knowing he had just as good as stuff as I did.''
Martin visited Busch in Victory Lane at New Hampshire last month when Busch tied his record, and the two posed for pictures. But at Bristol, it was all about Busch and his team.
''It was great to have Mark with us in Victory Lane at Loudon ... tonight was our night, being able to beat him and get atop the all-time wins list in Nationwide was special for us as a team and me as a driver,'' Busch said.
It was fitting for Busch to break the mark at Bristol, where he's practically unbeatable of late. Friday night's win was his 12th at Bristol spanning all three NASCAR national series, and he became the first driver to win three consecutive Nationwide races on the Tennessee bullring.
Busch, who has 102 total wins in NASCAR's top three divisions, will try to win his third consecutive Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol on Saturday night. Busch is the current Cup points leader and his victory Sunday at Michigan was his series-best fourth of the season.
''Well, we all hate him by now,'' joked third-place finisher Clint Bowyer, ''but he's really good. To win that many races at this young of age is really remarkable. He's one of the best drivers this sport has ever seen, and he's going to win a lot of races, unfortunately.''
To get the Nationwide record, though, he had to hold off a strong challenge from his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate. Busch and Logano drove door-to-door over the final two laps, and Logano briefly surged ahead before Busch beat him by a nose to the checkered flag.
''If there were two more laps, he probably would have got me,'' Busch said. ''Certainly it would have been a lot uglier if it had not been a teammate. Depending on who you had been racing with would determine how dirty it got.''
The .019-second margin of victory was the closest in series history at Bristol and left Logano frustrated with the outcome.
''I did everything besides wrecking him. I wish I was in Victory Lane now instead of sitting here in second by like three inches,'' Logano said. ''I knew I was really going to have one shot at it. I got underneath him, door-to-door, I ran him up the race track, we bounced the doors a couple of times, and looking at the replays, I needed to bounce the door just one more time.''
Bowyer finished third and said he'd been sitting back waiting for Busch and Logano to make a mistake.
''It was a good race,'' Bowyer said. ''Joey just didn't do his job. I was going to try to go by both of them, it just didn't work out.''
''Shut up,'' Logano replied with a laugh.
Carl Edwards finished fourth, Aric Almirola was fifth and was followed by Michael Annett, Jason Leffler and Elliott Sadler. Parker Kligerman, the injury replacement this week for Brad Keselowski, was ninth and Brian Scott rounded out the top 10.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 11th to hang on to his series points lead. He has a five-point lead over Sadler.