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Kyle Busch Earns Joe Gibbs Racing’s 100th NASCAR Nationwide Series Win In Texas

Kyle Busch Earns Joe Gibbs Racing’s 100th NASCAR Nationwide Series Win In Texas

by November 1, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

FORT WORTH, Tex. – Kyle Busch captured Joe Gibbs Racing’s 100th NASCAR Nationwide Series victory after winning the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday.

The win is Busch’s seventh victory of the 2014 season, as well as his seventh career win at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch led 116 laps en route to the victory on Saturday. Joe Gibbs Racing now has nine wins overall this season.

“Obviously, it’s a special moment for all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and everybody in the body shop, chassis shop, engine shop — you know they’ve worked hard for a long time to get this many wins and they’ve done a great job,” Busch said. “I’m just proud to be a part of the effort — a small part of the effort. It’s certainly a blast to drive these cars. I can’t say enough about Monster Energy and Adam Stevens (crew chief), Jason Ratcliff (JGR crew chief), Dave Rogers (JGR crew chief) — all the crew chiefs that I’ve been able to win with in the Nationwide Series at Joe Gibbs Racing.”

Joey Logano was the only driver who challenged Busch on Saturday. Logano led 59 laps, and the two drivers swapped the lead on seven occasions. Team Penske’s No. 22 team continues to lead the owner standings by 26 points over Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 54 team. Logano said that he could hang with Busch but after about 20 laps into a run, but then his car just became too loose. The final run of the race was over 60 laps long, and that played into the favor of Kyle Busch.

“It was pretty fun,” Logano said. “Kyle and I have raced great with each other since I started my career and we were teammates. It is kind of cool to still be able to race like we did before, race each other hard but clean, it is a lot of fun racing like that. I would rather beat him though.”

There were only four cautions throughout the afternoon. The most notable came out on lap 50 when race leader, Trevor Bayne had either a right front tire explode or a line break in the apex of turn two. Bayne’s car slammed the outside wall and ignited into a fireball.

“It is never good to pop a right front tire or whatever we did there,” Bayne said. “Whether it was a line or tire, I think it was a tire, it is never a good time but especially not when you have the best car you have ever had in your career. That thing was on a rail. I have never had a car so dominant, especially at the Nationwide level. It was easy today for the time we were on the race track.”

The most bizarre event of the afternoon was when Ryan Sieg’s left rear hub broke loose on lap 131 in turn two, sending the entire wheel/hub down the backstretch and Sieg up and into Corey LaJoie. Both drivers were okay after the hard hits, but unfortunately their days ended.

Chase Elliott has an opportunity to clinch the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship next weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. He leads JR Motorsports teammate, Regan Smith by 48 points. Brian Scott is third in points, 63 back.

Battling an illness, Elliott Sadler held onto his fourth place position in the point standings despite having to climb out from behind the wheel during the first caution on lap 9. Clint Bowyer piloted the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota Camry for the rest of the afternoon. He captured a solid top-10 finish as he crossed the line in ninth.

“Well you never want to get in, especially since Elliott (Sadler) has done a lot for me in my career and been a good friend over the years,” Bowyer said. “I hate to see him sick like that. He was looking pretty rough. The OneMain Toyota was really good. I had a lot of fun out there. We just got way, way too loose there those last two runs and unfortunately that’s when the pavement was open. All in all it was fun.”

Coverage for the DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, November 8 will begin at 2 p.m. on ESPN and the Motor Racing Network (MRN).

O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Results:
1.) #54 Kyle Busch
2.) #22 Joey Logano
3.) #12 Ryan Blaney
4.) #9 Chase Elliott
5.) #20 Matt Kenseth
6.) #2 Brian Scott
7.) #33 Austin Dillon
8.) #5 Kevin Harvick
9.) #11 Elliott Sadler (Clint Bowyer subbed)
10.) #43 Dakoda Armstrong
11.) #7 Regan Smith
12.) #42 Kyle Larson
13.) #60 Chris Buescher
14.) #31 Dylan Kwasniewski
15.) #3 Ty Dillon
16.) #62 Brendan Gaughan
17.) #16 Ryan Reed
18.) #19 Mike Bliss
19.) #01 Landon Cassill
20.) #28 JJ Yeley
21.) #51 Jeremy Clements
22.) #93 Kevin Swindell
23.) #25 John Wes Townley
24.) #99 James Buescher
25.) #44 David Starr
26.) #14 Eric McClure
27.) #17 Tanner Berryhill
28.) #84 Chad Boat
29.) #23 Robert Richardson Jr.
30.) #55 Jamie Dick
31.) #40 Matt DiBenedetto
32.) #98 Corey LaJoie
33.) #39 Ryan Sieg
34.) #4 Jeffrey Earnhardt
35.) #90 Martin Roy
36.) #6 Trevor Bayne
37.) #52 Joey Gase
38.) #87 Carlos Contreras
39.) #10 Blake Koch
40.) #46 Ryan Ellis

NASCAR Nationwide Series Top-10 Driver Point Standings:
1.) #9 Chase Elliott
2.) #7 Regan Smith -48
3.) #2 Brian Scott -63
4.) #11 Elliott Sadler -68
5.) #3 Ty Dillon -75
6.) #6 Trevor Bayne -129
7.) #60 Chris Buescher -203
8.) #62 Brendan Gaughan -243
9.) #16 Ryan Reed -299
10.) #31 Dylan Kwasniewski – 333

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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