Texas Sweep for Kyle Busch
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on April 13, 2013 | 11:28 P.M. EST
Busch now moves into a tie for 23rd on the all-time series wins list with NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Fred Lorenzen. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
FORT WORTH, Tex. - Kyle Busch followed his Nationwide Series win with his first career Texas Motor Speedway Sprint Cup Series victory in Saturday night's NRA 500.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver scored his 26th career series win to tie Fred Lorenzen for 23rd on the all-time victory list.
Martin Truex Jr. had the lead until a caution flag sent the leaders to pit road with 21 laps-to-go. Busch was able to come back on track with the lead and was able to outrun Truex Jr. to the checkered flag.
"These guys gave me a great (car), but if it wasn't for my pit crew, the most awesome group ever," said Busch, who started from the pole. "Those guys pulled out one heck of a stop to bring it home."
It was the second time this season, and eighth time in his career, that Busch won Cup and Nationwide races in the same weekend.
"We had a great racecar, but if it wasn't for our pit crew, which is the most awesome group ever," Busch said. "Since 2008, we've been together and these guys are just awesome, pulling out a heckuva stop to give us the lead and put us in front to be able to bring it home.
"We've had a great start to the season. It feels amazing to keep this roll going," Busch said. "We talked over the winter and (crew chief) Dave (Rogers) and I had a talk a few weeks ago and I think we have just kind of gelled. I'm proud of this bunch."
Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Joey Logano rounded out the top five.
"What do they say, second sucks?" Truex said, who was trying to end a 209-race winless drought. "Second sure sucks tonight. I'm just disappointed. The race was over when we got beat out of the pits. I'm proud of my team. We've had a tough season and definitely had a car capable of winning. Man, I'm tired of finishing second. This is getting old.
“Circumstances didn't play in our favor. The reason we came in ahead of Kyle, we came in with the lead. I still feel like we should have been able to beat him out. I don't know what happened there, but it wasn't even close. I was three cars behind, so it wasn't all pit position, it was other things on our end.”
After the race, Truex's car was found to be too low in the front. Any penalties from the infraction could come next week.
Logano was forced to start from the rear of the field when his car was sent through inspection several times prior to the race for rear end issues.
“It was one of the toughest races we've ever dealt with," Logano said. "To come home with a top five, we couldn't be more excited about that.
"If you told me I would have finished fifth today, I would have given you a hug. I'm definitely pumped about this."
Jimmie Johnson, Aric Almirola, Brian Vickers, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman completed the first ten finishers.
Although he came away with a top 10, Keselowski was upset following the race. (Read More and Audio)
Jeff Gordon’s chance to win went away with 28 laps left with a hub problem sending the Hendrick Motorsports driver to the garage.
"I'm not sure maybe a burned wheel bearing or something,” said Gordon. “No signs just went down the back straightaway and went to go to the brake and the brake pedal was spongy and the car just didn't turn. I thought I had a left-front tire going down. Man that was unfortunate.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. also experienced trouble when he had a battery failure and was forced to pit road. He was running third at the time and was penalized for speeding on pit road when he came in on lap 187. But then Earnhardt was penalized another lap when he stopped in his pit stall to change tires during what should have been a drive-thru penalty only.
"It has been rough, but we had a really good car tonight,” said Earnhardt, who finished 29th “If we were running bad and having these kinds of nights we would have a hard time making that Chase, but running good eventually things will turn back around for us. We will get going. We have a lot of confidence. We've got a lot of positive attitude and feel like we will have no problem rebounding."
Johnson has a nine point lead over Keselowski in the Sprint Cup Series standings with Kyle Busch, Biffle and Edwards the top five.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Kansas Speedway for next Sunday’s STP 400.