Kyle Busch fans have something to rejoice about this week.
Not only was the Las Vegas native honored by the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame as Racer of the Year, but he won his fifth consecutive Nationwide race at Texas Motor Speedway. In the last five races, he has led 810 of the 1000 laps raced.
This makes Busch the third driver in the series' history to win five consecutive races at one track. The other two drivers are Dale Earnhardt Sr. (Daytona) and Jack Ingram (South Boston Speedway in Virginia).
Also, thanks to Busch's win, along with fellow JGR teammate Denny Hamlin's Sprint Cup win earlier in the day, it is the first time a team has one a Nationwide and Cup win in the same day.
ALL VEGAS NASCAR DRIVER RECAPS
Nationwide: Busch has four NNS wins in a row and was hoping to make history by making it five in a row with a win at TMS this weekend. In the first practice, Busch posted the fifth fastest time. He took third in qualifying, behind pole-sitter and teammate Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer. He led more than half of the race, for a total of 153 of the 200 laps, clinching his "drive for five." In usual form, Busch and teammate Joey Logano finished 1-2, despite Busch coming out of the pits third before the last restart.
Cup: After qualifying seventh in the Cup race, Busch was honored as Racer of the Year by the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. He held his own, staying in sixth until the competition yellow after lap 25. He had a great pit stop and came off pit road third. On the restart, he moved up to second immediately. By lap 57, something had begun to go wrong and he had fallen to seventh. Just four laps later he had fallen further back to 12th. After a caution on lap 76, he was 17th. He improved after the next caution on lap 100, coming off pit road 13th. 25 laps later he as in eighth, flip flopping between being in and out of the top 10. On lap 165, the team discussed taking the car to the garage to fix whatever seemed to be wrong with it but kept it on the track and made adjustments on the green flag stops. With 117 laps to go, he came in with a very loose car during green flag pit stops. On lap 231, he was ninth. With 36 to go, and after a cycle of green flag pit stops, he was 14th. On lap 310, he came out of the pits sixth, his highest position since early on in the race. After the big wreck on lap 317, he was fourth. He crossed the finish line third after being passed by Jimmie Johnson with two laps to go.
In the first practice, Busch called is car “lethargic,” although he didn't quite know how to spell it (there was a Q involved, making for a funny radio communication). He qualified 11th, just one shy of the top ten. He stayed in 12th most of the first 25 laps, until the competition yellow. Thanks to a great pit stop, he came off ninth. By lap 57, he was still there. After a caution on lap 76, he came off pit road sixth. When the next caution came on lap 100, he was 14th, right behind his brother. On lap 125 he was in fifth. At the halfway mark, he was inside the top 10 still, but had dropped back to eighth place. On lap 231, he was tenth. Busch led one lap (lap 287) during green flag pit stops but then hit pit road himself and came out 11th after the cycle was over. He stayed 11th after the next caution on lap 310. After the big wreck with 17 to go, he was left eighth. He crossed the finish line behind his brother, in fourth place.
This week, Gaughan had a different sponsor on his hood, leaving behind his South Point Hotel & Casino for Loan Star Title Loans (same paint scheme though). He has four truck wins at TMS so hopes were high for Gaughan at the track. It didn't start well, with a 27th place in first practice. He picked up a bit and qualified 13th. He had an uneventful race, save for a battle for 25th midway through the race with Scott Lagasse Jr. Gaughan finished the race 21st.