Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kyle Busch Repeats NASCAR Truck Win With Nationwide Victory

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

Kyle Busch did the two-step in Texas Motor Speedway victory lane for second time this weekend cruising to the checkered flag during the 200 lap O'Reilly Challenge for the NASCAR Nationwide series. Taking his #51 Toyota Tundra to victory in the WinStar World Casino 350 after dicing with Ron Hornaday and holding off a late race charge from Matt Crafton, Kyle Busch started in 6th place in his Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Nationwide series Toyota roughly 14 hours after concluding the truck series festivities. As Kyle Busch found the #18 Z-Line/WWE Raw Toyota to his liking, he quickly overhauled polesitter Matt Kenseth on lap 11 and would lead 179 of the race's 200 laps.

With Kyle Busch performing yet another driving clinic in his brilliantly-prepped Nationwide Toyota, the rest of the field fought amongst themselves. The 2nd place RCR #29 Chevrolet deserves honourable mention not only for being the best of the rest. With Jeff Burton feeling too hurt to drive the #29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet after a Friday Sprint Cup crash, the car was placed in the hands of RCR teammate Casey Mears. Mears delivered a stellar run for the team which could only help his own 2010 prospects as his Sprint Cup ride with RCR is effectively gone after this season.

Though leadership battles are seldom during the O'Reilly Challenge, enough action deeper in the field would contribute to 7 cautions including ones for Rookie of the year contender Justin Allgaier and Busch's younger teammate Joey Logano. Justin Allgaier rim-rode his #12 Verizon Dodge along the turn 2 wall losing control of the race car out of the corner. Sliding down the backstretch, Michael McDowell and Mike Wallace would be swept up by the spinning Allgaier. Driving amid a personal loss of his grandfather, Joey Logano ran well in the NASCAR Nationwide race until his #20 Toyota's left rear tire exploded down the Texas Motor Speedway backstretch on lap 152. Traveling at a speed of about 170 miles per hour, Joey Logano was hard pressed to save the from impact with the safer barrier in turn 3. While the #20 WWE Toyota took a rough body slam, Logano was thankfully unhurt.

As only two races remain, Carl Edwards is seeing his hopes for a second Nationwide Championship slip away. Though fighting to secure a 9th place finish at Texas, Busch's points lead over the 2nd place Edwards has grown to 272 markers. In fact, Carl Edwards' bigger will be to hold off the charge of Brad Keselowski who sits only 20 points back 3rd in the Nationwide points. Brad Keselowski has a good race running at the front for much of the day and even grabbed the lead briefly for lap leading bonus points (an advantage he gained over Carl Edwards on the overall points standings). Keselowski finished a steady 5th place at Texas Motor Speedway and will be looking forward to his first run in a Penske Dodge in tomorrow's Sprint Cup event.

In NASCAR Nationwide racing, the win at Texas Motor Speedway was the younger Busch brother's fourth straight win at Texas and his 8th victory on the 2009 schedule.

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