Loudon, NH – Kyle Busch won a Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the fourth time on Saturday, but had to hold off Brian Vickers in three green-white-checkered finish attempts to earn the victory.
The scheduled 200-lap Nationwide race at New Hampshire was extended to 213 mostly due to multiple accidents in the overtime period. Busch started on the pole and led 141 of those laps, including the final 91. Vickers and Matt Kenseth, who are Busch's teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing, led the other 74 laps in the event.
Busch, who was able to conserve enough fuel at the end, crossed the finish line 0.5 seconds ahead of Vickers for his seventh victory of the season and the 58th of his Nationwide career. He had not won a race in his last four starts in the series.
"Great to be back in victory lane here," Busch said. "Just tough race, especially passing people. When I got back in traffic there after our bad pit stop, it took me a little bit to pass the leader (Vickers), and it was really tough, especially being a teammate. You don't want to get into them, rough them up any."
During a caution early in the race, Busch had an issue with the changing of his right-front tire and exited off of pit road in seventh, while Vickers took the lead for the first time. Busch caught up with Vickers and then passed him for the top spot just past the halfway point.
"When I had to come back through there, it was a little bit harder than I wanted it to be, especially when I got to Vickers," Busch said. "He was fast enough to hold us a little bit, but I knew I had the faster car if I could just get by him I could go away. Just so hard to pass here, especially on a teammate."
Chad Hackenbracht, who made his Nationwide debut, crashed on lap 199 to setup the first two-lap overtime finish. When the race restarted, Landon Cassill lost power and came to a stop on the track to force a caution. During the second green-white-checkered attempt, Paul Menard and Parker Kligerman bumped into each other in a tight pack of cars, with Menard backing it into the wall and Kligerman sliding into the muddy infield grass. NASCAR had to briefly stop the race to clean up the wreck.
"The restarts were a mess, and then I ran out of fuel on the last restart," Vickers said after his second-place finish. "I really want to win one of these races. This team deserves it. These guys (No. 20 team) just gave me a great car today, and I hate it's not in victory lane."
Austin Dillon finished third and collected the $100,000 bonus from series- title sponsor Nationwide Insurance for being the highest-finishing point- eligible driver in the race. Dillon also won the bonus at New Hampshire last year, finishing third in that event.
Brian Scott took the fourth spot, followed by Michael Annett, Trevor Bayne and Sam Hornish Jr.
Points leader Regan Smith finished eighth after he made contact with Elliott Sadler on the final lap. Sadler, who won the $100,000 last weekend at Daytona, was running in the top-five and attempting to collect the cash award for the second straight race before Smith bumped into him. He ended up finishing as the last car on the lead lap in 18th.
Sadler had heated words with Smith in the garage area after the race had concluded.
"I don't know why (Smith) has to race us that way," Sadler said. "I don't race him that way."
Vickers, Dillon, Scott and Annett qualified for the next Nationwide "Dash 4 Cash" bonus, which will take place in July 21 race at Chicagoland.
Smith's point lead is now five over Hornish.