In this year’s two Nationwide Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch led 300 of 400 laps. In winning Saturday’s O’Reilly Challenge, Busch swept this year’s Nationwide races at TMS, and won his 10th Nationwide Series event, tying Sam Ard for the most in one year.
The crazy part is, Busch hasn’t even run every race in the series this year.
Busch led 174 laps in his Toyota and held off a late charge from Carl Edwards, who took four tires during the race’s second to last caution, and got shuffled back against drivers, including Busch, that only took two. Edwards fought his way to second, and closed the points gap between himself and leader Clint Bowyer, who finished sixth, to 91.
Photo courtesy NASCAR
Kyle Busch takes the checkered flag in the NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Challenge for his 10th win in the series this season.
“He was coming, and that was a product of his four tires versus my two, probably one more lap and he would have had me,” Busch said of Edwards.
Edwards, who sits second in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series championship standings, said he enjoys the challenge of being in contention for both titles, and it’s given him a new perspective on his competitors.
“I pay attention to Jimmie [Johnson, leader in the Sprint Cup Series standings] and Clint, [Bowyer, Nationwide leader] and I really learn about how their days go and how they do things, their strategies by having these points battles.”
The only other driver to lead any significant number of laps was Kevin Harvick, who led twice for 23 laps. Harvick pitted early under green, and it left him on the tail end of the lead lap, but he managed to stay in front of Busch until the next caution 35 laps later. But on a subsequent pit stop, Harvick accelerated too quickly out of the pit, snapping his car’s axle, which ended his day.
The win puts Busch’s total in all three national touring series at 21, but he said he’s not done winning this year.
“I would have liked to have seen 25, but I might have to shy off of that a little bit,” Busch said. “We’re trying to get as many as we can, it don’t matter from here on it. We’re just trying to get them all.”
Despite the success Busch added he wasn’t ready to start reflecting on this season.
“The year’s not over yet,” Busch said. “Once the checkered flag falls on the cup race at Homestead, then it will be time to reflect and look back at it all.”