Capturing the Flag
Kyle Busch extended his single-season Nationwide Series victories record to 13 by pulling away from Kevin Harvick during a 23-lap run to the Homestead-Miami Speedway checkered flag.
Busch powered past Harvick on a Lap 178 restart and won by 0.850 of a second. Busch completes the season with a total of 22 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes and will enter the 2011 season six wins away from taking the all-time series lead from veteran Mark Martin. Busch's 43rd NNS victory through 202 career starts also brought Joe Gibbs Racing this season's owners' championship.
"It was a battle. Kevin was great tonight, he had a great car and it was a great race. I just got a good restart on that last one. I had to work for it, it wasn't easy. I started getting tight there at the end of the race, but I had just enough there to beat him out," Busch said.
He also was pleased to secure his season-long goal of capturing an owners' championship for Joe Gibbs Racing.
"I just can't thank these guys at Joe Gibbs Racing enough. The guys in the engine shop, chassis shop and body shop, everybody that builds these cars. All of the guys that come out to pit these cars do a wonderful job and deserve to celebrate long and hard for this one. Being the owners' champion is really special to us. That's what we set out to do at the beginning of the year," Busch said after nailing down his third career top-five finish in the final championship standings.
Harvick placed sixth in the final series standings and in the championship top 10 for the fifth time in his 12-year career. He took three victories, 17 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes this season.
"Once you get the lead, it's fun to get that clean air. We were on verge of being too tight and after that last caution we were terrible tight.
"It's been a great year. We've come a long was as a company and I feel we're competing to win races week in and week out. As a company, we won four races this year and I feel like we could've won 10. It's just a matter of getting adapted and keeping the consistency of the people," Harvick said.
This season's series champion Brad Keselowski placed third with his single-season series record 26th top-five finish, Roush Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., took Rookie-of-the-Year honors with a fourth-place effort and his teammate Trevor Bayne completed the race top five.
The series opens its 2011 season at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 19, 2011. It visits our venue July 8 as the second leg of a NASCAR tripleheader that also features July 7 Camping World Truck and July 9 Sprint Cup action. Visit the Tickets pages of this Web site to order your affordable six-race season ticket plan or gift certificates.
Story by Mike Schmaltz