Kyle Busch rejoined Joe Gibbs Racing on the Nationwide side this year and so far, it has payed major dividends. Busch has now won 3 Nationwide races in a row and 4 of the last 5. He led 91 of the 200 laps in route to his record 6th win at Texas Motor Speedway earlier tonight. The story of the race was tires and conserving them. Every time someone put on a new set, they became superman and would drive straight to the front. In the Nationwide series, teams don’t have very many sets to work with and the strange amount of cautions we had forced teams to put new ones on more often then they’d of liked.
The race broke the record for different leaders and lead changes due to all the strategy but in the end, Kyle Busch found himself out front and driving away. Brad Keselowski desperately tried to run him down but his efforts were in vain as Kyle went on to win his 4th NNS race of 2013 and the the 55th of his career.
The highest finishing Nationwide regular was Austin Dillon in 3rd followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. 4th and Kevin Harvick 5th. The rest of the top 10 finishers were Matt Kenseth, Regan Smith, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers, and Justin Allgaier. Pole sitter Alex Bowman finished 14th and led 4 laps early in the event.
Brian Scott finished 11th ending his streak of seven straight top 10’s. Sam Hornish Jr. came into the race with a 28pt lead but he watched it disappear after being involved in a crash on the front stretch with Jeremy Clements that would send him to the garage for repairs. He ended the race 34th, 41 laps down scoring just 11pts. One of the more breath-taking wrecks of the night happened fairly early on when Kyle Larson went spinning through the infield, came back onto the track facing the wrong direction and Alex Bowman narrowly avoided him. The real scary moment happened minutes later when Larson found himself plowing into the inside wall under caution…..on purpose. Yes, he blew a tire sending him straight towards a safety truck and he sacrificed the left side of his car in order not to hit the truck.
With Hornish’s crash, the championship standings have gotten very tight. There are now five drivers within 9pts of each other! Regan Smith finds himself 2nd just 2pts behind, Austin Dillon 8 back followed by Allgaier and Scott who are both 9 back. The next race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be April 26th at Richmond International Raceway.