Busch wins another Nationwide race at Bristol
Bristol, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyle Busch continued his dominance at Bristol Motor Speedway and in the Nationwide Series by winning Saturday's Drive to Stop Diabetes 300.
Matt Kenseth, who is Busch's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, led 178 of 300 laps, but Busch grabbed the top spot with 91 laps to go when Kenseth was caught up in lapped traffic, allowing Busch to slip by him and keep it for good.
"Kenseth was really fast; he was lightning fast there for much of the day," Busch said. "I was having a hard time catching him, but I was able to bide my time through traffic a little bit better than he did. He got stuck, and I passed him kind of the same way that he did to me earlier in the race."
Busch, who led a total of 120 laps, claimed his record-extending 16th NASCAR national touring series race win at Bristol -- seven in Nationwide, five in the Sprint Cup Series and four in the Camping World Truck Series. He won both Nationwide races at this 0.533-mile oval last year.
It was Busch's second victory of the season and the 65th of his Nationwide career. He won two weeks ago at Phoenix.
Busch will start seventh in the 500-lap Sprint Cup Series race here, scheduled for Sunday. Weather could be a factor, as the National Weather Service is forecasting a 100 percent chance of rain during the day and then 80 percent during the evening in the Bristol area.
"It's always fun to win at Bristol," Busch said. "It doesn't matter if they're cheering or booing. Hopefully, we can sweep the weekend."
Kyle Larson, the pole sitter, grabbed second from Kevin Harvick with five laps remaining, but Larson ended up finishing 1.45 seconds behind Busch.
Earlier in the day, Larson topped Busch in qualifying to earn his first career pole in Nationwide. Larson was penalized for speeding on pit road early in the race.
One year ago, Busch and Larson battled hard for the win in the closing laps of the Nationwide race at Bristol. Busch beat Larson, then a rookie in the series, to the finish line by just 0.023 seconds.
"I got my first pole today, so that was neat," Larson said. "I thought I could chase down Kyle, and I was trying really hard, but I got up over the cushion I guess. I got some rubber on my tires and lost some ground from there. I then had to hold off Kevin Harvick, who was really strong in those last few laps."
Larson has yet to win a Nationwide race but has finished in the runner-up position five times now.
Harvick finished third, while Ryan Blaney took the fourth spot. Kenseth faded late in the race and ended up finishing fifth.
"I got passed in lapped traffic," Kenseth said. "There was just so much lapped traffic. I thought I was being too aggressive the way it was, but Kyle got by me. After that, I was on the bottom on every restart. I would spin the tires a little bit down there."
Rookie Ty Dillon, Brendan Gaughan, Trevor Bayne, Chase Elliott, also a rookie this year, and Regan Smith, the current points leader, completed the top-10.
Driving the No. 33 car for Richard Childress Racing, Cale Conley had an impressive run in his Nationwide debut with an 11th-place finish.
Smith holds only a one-point lead over Bayne, while Dillon is eight points behind.
03/15 17:57:41 ET