Kyle Busch wins Nationwide at Chicago
|By Diego Mejia||Saturday, July 12th 2008, 05:02 GMT|
Kyle Busch scored his fifth Nationwide Series victory of the season by dominating the second half of the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
'Rowdy's' win is the twelfth of a dominant year for Joe Gibbs Racing, in which they have already matched the record for victories in one season held by Richard Childress Racing, with fifteen events still remaining on the Nationwide series calendar.
Busch was fortunate not to fall a lap down under caution when he was in the pits on lap 63 and despite falling down the order he quickly made his way back to the front to take the lead of the race on lap 95.
From then on he was unstoppable at the front, basically driving away from his rivals as the race remained under green all the way to the chequered flag. He only gave up the lead during pitstops and crossed the line four seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin.
"This car was good but we just weren't sure how good is was there at the beginning," said Busch, who has now won thirteen NASCAR races this year including his Sprint Cup victories and Craftsman Truck Series victory.
"It's definitely been a phenomenal year for us, this is something special and it doesn't come along in a long time. We're looking forward to hopefully being able to get tomorrow's (Sprint Cup) win too. This weekend is not over yet."
Hamlin was a solid second driving the No. 32 Braun Racing Toyota, followed by Brad Keselowski who was once again by far the best of the Nationwide Series regulars, helping to solidify his second place in the championship.
Brian Vickers recovered from being two laps down to finish fourth following a penalty for speeding on pitroad that he served under green. He was probably the fastest car on the track besides Busch but his early issue hampered his challenge for victory.
Polesitter David Reutimann came home in fourth place after dominating at will for most of the first half of the race. He said he struggled with the handling on his car as the track conditions changed into the night.
"We just couldn't keep up with the racetrack I guess," Reutimann said. "We just seemed to be one step behind all night and we took a big flight there at the end trying to do something to make it a lot better but the car just didn't react the way we needed to, so ended up top-five, but disappointed."
Tony Stewart recovered from early damage to the rear of his car at the start of the race, when he missed a gear and Kevin Harvick got into the back of his No. 20 JGR Toyota. He eventually finished the race in ninth place and will hand driving duties back to Joey Logano for next week's race at Gateway.
Rookie Landon Cassill rounded up the top ten behind Stewart in the second JR Motorsports Chevrolet, which was second-best among the Nationwide regulars.
Dario Franchitti had a disappointing return to the Nationwide Series despite having qualified sixth. He fell two laps down early after a caution flag came out right after he had pitted and then struggled with the handling of his car in the long green-flag periods during the second half of the race. He eventually finished 26th and four laps down.
"You know, again, just one of those tough nights," said Franchitti. "We really weren't quick enough to start. We were loose to start and then we were super-tight. It was like a switch. And then we got behind with that caution.
"We pitted early, the caution came out and we were just about going one lap down when we pitted and then when the caution came out that put us two down. That was bad enough and then we did our usual in the pits and left a lug nut loose for about the tenth time this year and that cost us another lap or two.
"At best it was going to be a 20th-place, I guess. A long night. We just missed it with the Fastenal Dodge. Tough night."
Following Toyota's fourteenth victory of the season out of twenty events, NASCAR impounded nine engines to test them on their dynos at the Research and Development Centre in Concord, North Carolina.
Pos Driver Make Laps 1. Kyle Busch Toyota 200 2. Denny Hamlin Toyota 200 3. Brad Keselowski Chevrolet 200 4. Brian Vickers Toyota 200 5. David Reutimann Toyota 200 6. Greg Biffle Ford 200 7. Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 200 8. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 200 9. Tony Stewart Toyota 200 10. Landon Cassill Chevrolet 200 11. Mike Bliss Chevrolet 200 12. Kelly Bires Ford 200 13. David Ragan Ford 200 14. Jason Keller Chevrolet 200 15. Marcos Ambrose Ford 198 16. Carl Edwards Ford 198 17. Matt Kenseth Ford 198 18. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 198 19. Bobby Hamilton Jr Ford 198 20. Mike Wallace Toyota 197 21. Elliott Sadler Dodge 197 22. Mark Green Chevrolet 197 23. David Stremme Chevrolet 196 24. Steve Wallace Chevrolet 195 25. Josh Wise Dodge 195 26. Dario Franchitti Dodge 195 27. Kenny Wallace Chevrolet 194 28. Jason Leffler Toyota 193 29. Robby Gordon Dodge 193 30. Brad Coleman Ford 193 31. D.J. Kennington Dodge 191 32. Eric McClure Chevrolet 189 33. Danny Efland Chevrolet 188 34. Kevin Lepage Chevrolet 109 35. Stanton Barrett Chevrolet 57 36. Burney Lamar Ford 47 37. Johnny Chapman Chevrolet 34 38. Derrike Cope Chevrolet 31 39. Andy Ponstein Chevrolet 30 40. Kenny Hendrick Chevrolet 30 41. Brandon Whitt Ford 20 42. Kertus Davis Chevrolet 9 43. Larry Gunselman Chevrolet 7