LOUDON, N.H. – It turned out to be a Milestone Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Kyle Busch, who once left the speedway with a sour taste after getting off to a horrendous start to the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup, led the final 33 laps of the New England 200 to post his 100th career NASCAR national series victory and tie Mark Martin's all-time mark of 49 Nationwide Series wins.

"It certainly feels good and means a lot," Busch said. "To tie (Martin's) record at 49 wins, that's something pretty awesome, as well, and it's a great opportunity to race in this series and win that many."

Busch carried an oversized flag with the the number "100" on it during his victory lap, and Martin met him in Victory Lane to help celebrate the accomplishment.

Busch also has 22 career Sprint Cup wins and 29 Camping World Truck Series wins.

 

"It's special regardless (of which series)," said Busch, 26. "It really doesn't matter. To me, it's a great opportunity to come out here and be able to race in NASCAR and for myself to win as many as we've won. That's pretty special.

"Whether it is or isn't relative to the other guys (Richard Petty and David Pearson) – it doesn't matter. It's something I've wanted to do and something that I've been passionate about."

Kevin Harvick finished second in the New England 200, with Kasey Kahne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Aric Almirola rounding out the Top-5.

Though Busch won his third straight Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Saturday – the only driver to post multiple series wins at the track – it's not a facility that's always been kind to him.

In 2008, Busch entered the Chase as the leader having posted eight wins in the first 26 races of the season. He qualified on the pole for the Sylvania 300 – but had a disastrous 34th-place finish. The next week at Dover, he finished dead last, and his championship hopes were over literally as soon as they started.

But now with three Nationwide Series wins and the Sprint Cup Series points lead heading into Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire, Busch's milestone day Saturday came in a fitting place.

"This is only the first step of it, so we've got a long ways to go," Busch said. "I'm really, really looking forward to the rest of them."

– TB