Kyle Busch dominates yet again in NASCAR victory
Kyle Busch tossed his 2year-old son in the air during his latest victory lane celebration. He’s taking baby steps toward catching The King. Busch dominated yet again to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
He won for the third time this season and 89th time in his career in the second-tier series. On Saturday night, he told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he plans to retire from the Xfinity Series when he gets to 100 victories. He has 175 career wins over NASCAR’s three national series: Cup (38 wins; 2015 champion); Xfinity (89; 2009 champion); and Truck (48). Richard Petty is NASCAR’s career leader with 200 wins, all at the Cup level.
“I know a lot of those are the minors, so I’ll take them where I can get ‘em as of right now,” Busch said. “But certainly there’s going to be a lot more wins to be had on Sundays, as well. I’ve got a long road ahead of me, probably.”
Busch started from the pole and wasn’t challenged much late after an early duel with fellow Cup regular Brad Keselowski. Keselowski led 102 laps but had nothing for Busch down the stretch because of a pit road penalty.
“It is always fun being fast and leading the most laps and all that but we just didn’t put the whole race together,” Keselowski said. Busch’s No. 18 Toyota was one of just six cars that finished on the lead lap. Ryan Preece was second, followed by William Byron, Kyle Larson and Keselowski. Larson was set to start the Cup race yesterday from the pole until his car failed inspection and forced him to the rear of the field.
Series points leader Elliott Sadler was seventh in a race that included a 58-minute rain delay. He has a 45point lead over Byron. The 19-year-old Byron had his sixth top-five of the season. He has two victories driving for JR Motorsports and has made a case as a candidate to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 at Hendrick Motorsports next season.
Earnhardt, long NASCAR’s most popular driver, left the team’s top Cup seat available when he announced he would retire from the series at the end of the season. Alex Bowman, who ably filled in for the injured Earnhardt last season, is perhaps the top contender to drive the 88. But Byron and free agent Matt Kenseth are certainly in the mix - and the odds of landing at Hendrick improve if the organization decides to cut ties with the slumping Kasey Kahne.
Team owner Rick Hendrick watched the race from atop Byron’s pit box. “He did a great job. Very impressive the way he works traffic and the feedback on the radio. Really good,” Hendrick said. “The guys are giving him good cars, but he’s got a lot of talent, and he’s a quick learner. He’s fast. —AP
LOUDON: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota, poses with his wife, Samantha, and their son, Brexton, in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Overton’s 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday. — AFP