Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kyle Busch Wins New England 200 Nationwide Race

Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/ Getty Images for NASCAR

LOUDON, N. H. -- Kyle Busch added a few more records to his impressive resume
He became the NASCAR Nationwide Series' all-time lap leader in winning the New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and he also broke veteran Mark Martin's laps-led mark in 45 fewer races than it took Martin to set the record of 8,083 laps.
Busch has now led 8,117 laps. Afterward, he heaped praise on his Joe Gibbs Racing team, under the leadership of crew chief Jason Ratliff.
Points leader Brad Keselowski finished second with Carl Edwards, third, Joey Logano fourth and Trevor Bayne fifth.
Justin Allgaier was sixth followed by Kevin Harvick, Reed Sorensen, Paul Menard and Brenden Gaughan, respectively, to round out the top 10.
The victory was Busch's sixth of the season. He’s running a part-time series schedule as the defending champion. Saturday’s victory also marked the first time a driver has won two NASCAR Nationwide Series events at New Hampshire. Saturday’s was the series’ 24th race there; Busch also won the track’s June event a year ago.
Indy Racing League star Danica Patrick had another luckless day, finishing 30th, five laps behind, after an early-race shunt with Morgan Shepherd damaged her car.
Skies were overcast when the race began, and a threat of rain put a little more urgency in the start. Pole winner Keselowski pulled out front and Allgaier moved into second.
Patrick's day took a miserable turn on Lap 7 when the veteran Shepherd ducked beneath her in Turn 1, lost control and spun, collecting Patrick in the process.
When the green fell again, Kyle Busch took the lead but Keselowski went back to the front a couple laps later. Patrick, the center of attention in pre-race publicity and promotions, was relegated to 38th, a lap down, as a result of her spin.
At 30 laps, it appeared Keselowski was in for a good afternoon, but Harvick, Busch, Edwards, Logano and Allgaier were hanging within striking distance. Sorensen, Steve Wallace, Lofton and Dillon rounded out the top 10.
Patrick, meanwhile, had dropped another lap by Lap 40, putting her two laps down.
Harvick took the top spot on Lap 45 and Busch went with him, putting Keselowski in third. A lap later, Busch went back out front.
On Lap 94, Taylor Malsam and Ricky Stenhouse got together to bring out the second caution of the day. The leaders pitted again, some for two tires and some for four. Busch and Harvick took four while Logano and Allgaier took two. Keselowski didn't pit this time around.
On the restart, just past the halfway point of 100 laps, Keselowski led with Busch a little over a second behind. Logano was third, Edwards fourth and Harvick fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 were Sadler, Menard, Allgaier, Bayne and Sorensen.
Busch, however, chased Keselowski down and passed him for the lead on Lap 120.

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