Kyle Busch wins 100th NASCAR race
LOUDON, N.H. (AP) – Kyle Busch has sped into auto racing history, becoming the third NASCAR driver to win 100 races.
Busch’s victory Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway also tied him with Mark Martin for first place in career Nationwide Series victories with 49. Busch has 22 wins in Sprint Cup and 29 in the Trucks Series.
Richard Petty is NASCAR’s career leader with 200 wins and David Pearson is second with 106. Petty won all of his races at the Cup level. Pearson won 105 races in Cup and one in Nationwide. Busch has 100 wins spread over NASCAR’s top three national series.
Busch, the 2009 Nationwide champion, won for the sixth time this season.
Asked how many of his 99 victories he remembered, Busch said this week he only thinks about the next one.
Busch, only 26 years old, took a victory ride around the track holding a “100” flag out the window. One of the most polarizing drivers in the sport, even the milestone cause a stir, with old-school fans feeling Busch’s total shouldn’t be lumped with Petty and Pearson.
Busch understood those feelings. But 100 wins is 100 wins.
“Certainly, mine’s a little bit different,” Busch said. “But it feels good.”
Martin was in Victory Lane to shake Busch’s hand and offer congratulations.
Kevin Harvick was second and Kasey Kahne third. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Aric Almirola round out the top five.
Busch controlled the latter half of the race and blew past other drivers on restarts to win on a green-white checkered finish.
One of the drivers left behind was Harvick.
Harvick has been embroiled in a feud with Busch and the pair were placed on probation earlier this year for a pit road dust-up at Darlington. Late in the race, Harvick said over the radio that NASCAR president Mike Helton told him “not to touch” Busch. Harvick was unhappy with NASCAR’s decision.
“I was told a few weeks ago if we touched the 18 car, we’d be parked,” Harvick said. “It would have been a lot easier to win if you didn’t have handcuffs put on you.”
Busch’s first win came only 12 days after his 19th birthday in the 2004 Nationwide race at Richmond International Raceway. He’s won at 25 different tracks and had NASCAR’s first three-race weekend sweep last year at Bristol.