Busch Bashes Inaugural Quaker State 400 Field
Kyle Busch deepened his legacy in the Kentucky Speedway record books tonight by becoming the first four-series race winner in track history after scoring a 0.179 of second victory over David Reutimann in the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) "Quaker State 400" while a track-record crowd of more than 107,000 cheered on.
Busch and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing machine led a race-best 125 of 267 laps, including the last 11. The 26-year-old, one of 10 race leaders on the historic night, assumed the point on the 43-car field for the sixth and final time under the fifth caution period of the night when Reutimann rolled his No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing ride to the pits for service on Lap 257. The JGR star survived the final restart on Lap 266 and raced away to his second Kentucky Speedway victory in three nights. His previous commonwealth wins came on Thursday night in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) "UNOH 225;" June 19, 2004 in a 300-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event and on May 10, 2003 in a 205-mile ARCA Racing Series (ARS) race.
Busch has now led 1,060 NSCS laps this season along with 704 of the 1,819 career Kentucky Speedway laps he's raced in 10 starts across four series.
"This is cool. This is right up there with the best of them. The way we ran tonight was awesome. It was a fun night, a tough night. Pit strategy can go either way, but Dave (Rogers - crew chief) made the right call and got us the tires we wanted and the fuel that we needed. That's what won us the race," Busch said after becoming the first NSCS driver to win from the pole position this season by nailing down his third victory, 10th top-five and 11th top-10 finish of the campaign through 18 starts.
He advances two positions in the NSCS standings to the lead and will hold a four-point advantage over Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards when the series arrives at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for its next event on July 17.
Reutimann pocketed his first top-five and second top-10 finish in his past seven starts this season.
"It's been awful season for us. At the end of last year it felt like we were making some gains. This year we haven't had the results we've been looking for. It (tonight) feels great, it feels good. Second is still second, but it's certainly a lot closer to than we have been in the last month or so," Reutimann said.
Five-time and defending NSCS champion Jimmie Johnson took the "Quaker State 400" checkered flag third for Hendrick Motorsports; Stewart-Haas Racing's Ryan Newman, an August 26, 2006 200-mile ARCA Racing Series Kentucky winner, placed fourth, while Edwards, a June 18, 2005 300-mile NNS and June 12, 2003 NCWTS Kentucky winner, rounded out the race top five.
Action continues at Kentucky Speedway Oct. 1 with the 13th 225-mile NCWTS race in track history followed by an open-wheel doubleheader featuring a 100-mile Firestone Indy Lights sprint followed by a 300-mile IZOD IndyCar Series event.
Tickets, infield Fan Zone passes and campsites can be reserved through the tickets pages of this Web site, by phone at 888-652-7223 as well as through the Kentucky Speedway corporate offices at 1 Speedway Drive in Sparta, Ky., just off Interstate 71 exit 57 and state Highway 35.
Story by Mike Schmaltz