Hot Trick for Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch Wins the 5-hour ENERGY 301
On a day with temperatures soaring into the 90s, Kyle Busch continued his red-hot racing. The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver cruised to his second straight win and third in four weeks, taking Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-hour ENERGY 301 during New Hampshire Motor Speedway's 25th anniversary weekend.
It was Busch's second career victory at the Magic Mile, having won the July race here in 2006. Busch, who missed the first 11 races of the season because of an injury he suffered running an XFINITY Series race at Daytona in February, now sits just 58 points out of 30th in the standings - the lowest spot a driver can be in the standings and still make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship via a regular-season win.
"This is pretty special and not something we would have expected," said Busch, who led 95 laps en route to the victory and now becomes the 12th different winner in the last 12 races at NHMS. "We have had a perfect storm with fast race cars. Things are working in our favor, our team is making adjustments and we are doing the right things at the right time."Brad Keselowski, the defending July race champion, finished second, while Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five.
It was the second podium finish of the weekend for Keselowski, who finished third in Saturday's Lakes Region 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Keselowski now has seven top-10s in his last eight starts at the Magic Mile.
"He's good, but we're a pretty good team, too," said Keselowski when asked about Busch's hot streak. "We had really fast cars this weekend. That's the backbone of performance, having fast cars. We were exceptionally fast this weekend."
It was the second straight third-place finish here for Harvick, whose previous best finish was a win in September 2006. It was Harvick's fourth consecutive top-10 and his series-leading 13th top-five in 19 starts this season.
Logano, the reigning September race champion at New Hampshire, now has three top-10s in his last six starts at NHMS and now has five top-fives in his last six starts overall.
Earnhardt now has three top-10s in his last four starts at the 1.058-mile oval and is the only driver to win a race not named Kyle Busch in the last month.
"I'm always like the third, fourth, fifth best car," said Earnhardt. "That is frustrating, but at the same time it must say something about my ability or my team's ability."
The hot summer temperatures proved to be a battle for all the drivers, but in the end it was Busch standing at the top of the mountain.
"I am definitely warm, still trying to cool down, it is warm,” said Busch. “This is one of the warmest days I can remember In this part of the country.”
A bit more bearable when you're holding a 21-pound lobster in victory lane.