Published January 13, 2015
Kyle Busch scored his record seventh Nationwide Series race win at Charlotte Motor Speedway after leading 186 of 200 laps in Saturday's History 300.
Busch grabbed the lead from pole sitter Austin Dillon on the second lap and was a one-man show from there. During a late-race caution for a hard crash involving Travis Pastrana, Busch was one of five drivers who opted not to pit. With older tires, he held off his fellow Sprint Cup Series competitor, Kasey Kahne, in the closing laps, beating Kahne to finish line by 0.9 seconds.
Busch had been tied with Mark Martin for most Nationwide wins at Charlotte with six. He made his series debut at this 1.5-mile racetrack on May 24, 2003, finishing runner-up to winner Matt Kenseth. Busch was just 18 years old at the time.
The record for most laps led in a Nationwide race at Charlotte is 194, accomplished by Dale Earnhardt in the October 1986 event.
Busch has now extended his Nationwide record for most career wins to 57. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has won six of the first nine races in the series this season.
"This means a lot to be able to beat guys like Mark Martin, Jack Ingram and all the Nationwide guys that have set previous records before," Busch said. "This is cool for us, and it's great for the (No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing) team."
Earlier this week, Ingram was voted in the 2014 class of inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, along with Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty, Tim Flock and Glenn "Fireball" Roberts. After he had won three consecutive Late Model Sportsman Division championships, Ingram captured the inaugural Nationwide Series title in 1982 (then known as the Busch Series). He claimed another championship in 1985. His 31 career wins in the series was a record until Martin broke it in 1997.
In addition to his seven Nationwide wins, Busch has five Camping World Truck Series victories at Charlotte, including a win here on May 17. Busch has yet to take the checkered flag for a Sprint Cup race at this track. He will start eighth in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600.
"It's fun to come out here at Charlotte," he said. "I love this place. This is my favorite racetrack. I have a lot of Nationwide and truck wins but have yet to win a Cup race here. I feel like this weekend is a good weekend. We'll dig in with that in the 600 tomorrow."
Kahne was hoping to win a Nationwide race at Charlotte for the second time. His first victory here came in the spring of 2007.
"I thought I was really close and thought I might get (Busch)," said Kahne, who drove the No. 5 Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Nationwide team. "In a couple of those restarts there, my car got a little tighter when I ran two laps. Then it took off again. I got to the outside of him but just didn't get the run the lap before, and then he moved up. It was over at that point. It's tough to beat Kyle Busch at this track."
Joey Logano finished third, while Kyle Larson, a rookie in the series this year, and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-5.
Trevor Bayne took the sixth spot, followed by Justin Allgaier, Kenseth, Parker Kligerman and Regan Smith, the current points leader.
Smith now holds a 29-point advantage over Sam Hornish Jr., who finished 12th.
Pastrana's crash occurred on lap 166 when he got loose coming out of turn 2 and slammed head on into the inside wall along the backstretch. After his car ricocheted off of the wall and came back up the track. Joe Nemechek clipped him from behind. Pastrana was not injured.
Michael Annett finished 17th in his first race back since suffering a broken and dislocated sternum during an accident in the closing laps of the Feb. 23 Nationwide season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. Annett had missed the last eight races while recovering from his injuries.
"It was definitely an adventurous race back," Annett said. "I got out and looked at the car, and it seems like every corner of it is hit. I got in a three-wide situation there with Sam (Hornish) and lost quite a few spots. I had to overcome a speeding penalty early on, which is my fault, and that just made our day long with where we qualified (33rd), so I didn't do anything to help myself today. But the car came home in one piece."