Kyle Busch Sweeps Texas
Kyle Busch celebrated his 300th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tonight with a dominating victory in the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch completed the weekend sweep in Texas after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series the night before.
Meanwhile Brian Vickers brought home a solid eighth-place finish filling in for the injury Denny Hamlin, while Matt Kenseth raced most of the day in the top five, but was caught in a late restart and finished 12th.
Busch qualified the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota on the pole and would jump out to the lead from the start as he led the field through the first green flag run. He would briefly give up the lead to the No. 56 but then regained his spot at the top of the field on the next run. He would retain the lead following a round of green flag pit stops on lap 133 and remained in the top spot as the race reached halfway. The Interstate Batteries Camry would become extremely loose on the entry of the turns and Busch would run third on lap 220. He would remain third for a restart with 106 laps to go and moved into the second spot behind the 56 car. Busch would restart second again with 44 laps to go. A caution with 20 to go would bring Busch back down pit road and the Interstate Batteries crew would complete a great four-tire change to get him out first for a final restart with 16 laps to go. Busch kept the lead and never looked back over the final laps to give Interstate Batteries its first Cup victory at his home track. He would lead a race-high six different times for 171 laps.
Brian Vickers, who is filling in for Denny Hamlin while he recovers from a back injury, started 15th tonight in the No. 11 FedEx Office / March of Dimes Toyota but quickly climbed into the top ten and was running seventh when the first caution came out 40 laps into the race. Vickers would enter the top five before the handle on his No. 11 Camry began to change causing him to drop just outside the top ten about a third of the way into the race. Vickers would run 14th as the race reached halfway and he battled loose conditions once the sun set on the mile and a half speedway. The FedEx crew would make adjustments under a caution and picked up several spots in the process to restart 10th with 106 laps to go. Another caution with 56 laps to go would allow Vickers to restart fifth with 44 laps to go as several teams were caught in the pits when the caution came out. Vickers would lose a couple spots on the restart and was running seventh when a caution came out with 20 laps to go. The FedEx team would put Vickers out sixth with 16 to go. He would go on to finish eighth.
Kenseth qualified his No. 20 Dollar General Toyota 20th but was extremely fast from the outset as he entered the top 10 for the first time at lap 30. He would run in the fourth position after the first 100 laps. The Dollar General team would seek to tighten up the No. 20 Camry during a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 129. He would cycle through in the fourth position and would be running sixth at the halfway point. A long green flag run that included a pit stop would see Kenseth move up to fifth as the race reached 200 laps. A caution would provide an opportunity for adjustments and Kenseth would restart fourth with 106 laps to go. NASCAR ruled that the 20 car was a lap down when a caution came out just as he had come down pit road for a scheduled green flag. He was given the lucky dog position and would have to restart 11th with 44 laps to go. He would climb to eighth just five laps into the run and was running seventh with 30 laps to go. A caution with 20 laps remaining would bring Kenseth down pit road one final time and he would line up 10th for a final restart with 16 laps to go. Kenseth would go on to finish 12th.
Kyle Busch won the race, followed by Martin Truex, Jr., Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Joey Logano. There were seven cautions for a total of 36 laps and 18 lead changes among seven different drivers.