Kyle Busch has won four of the last four races in NASCAR’s top three divisions and has swept the last two weekends, beating the best competition in North American motorsports and not letting any other driver find victory lane for over three weeks (22 days – and counting).
Rain delayed the start of the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway for over 90 minutes. But when the race went green, it was clear that Joe Gibbs Racing and its satellite team, Furniture Row Racing, would be the teams to beat.
When Martin Truex Jr. opted to stay on the track and not pit with 36 laps to go, only a couple other cars stayed out with him, as the rest of the field put on fresh tires. Cole Pearn, the crew chief for Truex Jr.’s No. 78, thought that only three laps of racing on tires was going to be enough, added with clean air, to hold off the field. He was mistaken.
Busch blew by Truex Jr. on the restart and never looked back, grabbing his second checkered flag in as many weeks, and seven out of his last 28 (yes, that’s 25 percent of those 28 races) in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.
“The restart was going to be key,” Busch said. “If I could just get out in front of him (Truex Jr.), I knew I could protect the rest of the race.”
Busch was then asked about how his life is going, coming off another sweep (won the Xfinity race the evening prior), his first championship and his son being born.
“It’s pretty darn good, I’ll tell you that,” said Busch in an interview with FOX. “I’ve got a great wife, a great son and I’m having a blast, living the dream.”
“Our car was really, really fast, especially entry and center of the corner, and as the night progressed, I think the track actually came to us a little bit,” said Busch, who took over the lead in the point standings and became the first driver of 2016 to record multiple wins.
Joey Logano rebounded from an off-week at Martinsville to finish second to Busch in Saturday evening’s race. Hendrick Motorsports took the next three spots as Dale Earnhardt Jr. came home third, six-time Texas winner Jimmie Johnson rebounded from a pit road collision to finish fourth, and rookie Chase Elliott finished fifth, the best finish of his Cup career,
The aforementioned Truex Jr. finished sixth after leading a race-high 141 laps, with polesitter Carl Edwards (led 124 laps) coming home seventh after a loose wheel on lap 221 forced him to pit again, and wasn’t able to recover back to the lead throughout the remainder of the race. Kasey Kahne finished eighth, putting all four Hendrick drivers in the top ten. Kurt Busch came across ninth and Kevin Harvick tenth, as both Stewart-Haas Racing drivers struggled with the handling of their respective cars throughout the race weekend.
Some other notable finishers included JGR’s Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin in 11th and 12th respectively, Brad Keselowski in 18th (loose wheel on lap 128), Ryan Blaney in 29th (pitted twice for a vibration early) and Greg Biffle in 39th after crashing late in the race.
Next weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series heads to “Thunder Valley” at Bristol Motor Speedway for some good ol’ short-track racing at the half-mile high-banked oval. The Food City 500 will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET.