Busch Strikes Again!
HOMESTEAD, Fla. — With the driver’s championship already decided, Kyle Busch was just as happy to ad to records and continue his chase of the legendary Mark Martin on Saturday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Busch led 153 of the 300 laps on the way to his record 13th series victory of the season, and in the process clinched the owner’s championship for Joe Gibbs Racing. No other driver led more than 17 laps on the night.
The victory left Busch five triumphs short of Martin’s series mark of 48.
“This has been so much fun,” Busch said from Victory Lane. “It’s cool to come out here and race and celebrate with all these guys. Right now we’re going to enjoy it. This Toyota was fast. I can’t thank the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing enough. It’s a shame to see this car go, but we have a new priority now.
“It’s going to be a new challenge for us.”
The Ford 300 marked the end of the current formula of Nationwide Series cars. The series will switch to the new chassis beginning at Daytona in 2011.
Kevin Harvick was second, followed by series driver’s champion Brad Keselowski. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. finished fourth to earn Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in a tight battle with Brian Scott, and Trevor Bayne rebounded from an earlier trip to the wall to record his first top-five finish for Roush Fenway Racing.
“We were way too tight, and we carried that all the way through the final run,” Harvick said. “We got beat on the restart and he [Busch] got away far enough where we couldn’t catch him.”
Keselowski, Stenhouse and Bayne all pitted on the final caution with 30 laps to go and worked their way to the front in the final segment. Keselowski, who entered the race 41 points behind Busch in the race for the owner’s championship, had to finish ahead of the No. 18 car to double up, but fell about three seconds short.
Carl Edwards, who also pitted on the final caution, came home sixth, followed by polesitter Joey Logano, Brendan Gaughan, Paul Menard and Jason Leffler.