Kyle Busch stole the show (again) at Darlington leading 107 of 147 laps and winning from the pole in an impressive Joe Gibbs Racing 1-2-3 finish. JGR had started the race 1-2-3-4 and along with sweeping the podium, Matt Kenseth finished a solid 5th. This is Kyle’s 5th win of 2013 in just 8 starts and the 56th of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career. The race featured 4 cautions and 8 different drivers led the event with the final lead change coming with 18 laps remaining when eventual race winner Kyle Busch made his way by the loose Joey Logano.
The first caution flew rather early when Trevor Bayne made contact with Bryan Silas sending both cars into the fence and ending Bryan’s day. Trevor soldiered on to a disappointing 32nd place finish costing him valuable championship points that he can’t afford to lose right now. 50 laps into the event, Elliott Sadler went for a spin while running 2nd but managed to keep his car off the wall but it was close. Another incident involved rookie Harrison Rhodes who got into the wall causing Eric McClure to spin after contact with the slowing No.23. car.
Joe Gibbs Racing was in control for most of the event and the race became a 25 lap fight to the finish after Kyle Fowler brought out the yellow for a blown tire right after the final set of green flag pit stops. Most of the field pitted while Joey Logano and Austin Dillon risked it and stayed out. Elliott Sadler took just 2 tires and restarted 3rd while everyone else behind him had 4 fresh Goodyears. Tires were not as big of a factor as most thought they would be and Joey actually held his own against the hard charging Kyle Busch until he got sideways off of turn 2 leaving the door wide open for Rowdy who retook the lead.
Logano ended up slipping back to 4th and Dillon 11th while Kyle Busch cruised to yet another victory in 2013. His teammate Elliott Sadler finished 2nd and Brian Vickers rounded out the JGR 1-2-3 finishing 3rd. Logano was 4th, Kenseth 5th, Larson 6th, Smith 7th, Hornish Jr. 8th, Kahne 9th and Allgaier 10th. Points leader Regan Smith extended his margin by a single point over Sam Hornish Jr. to 28 total markers with his 7th straight top 10 finish of the year. The fast paced race went by very quickly lasting just 1 hour and 32 minutes which is the quickest Nationwide race at Darlington since August of 2002. The NNS drivers get a 2-week break before their next race at Charlotte Motor Speedway before a grueling 4 1/2 month stretch where they will receive no off weeks.