BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Kyle Busch got his 16th career win at Bristol Motor Speedway — more than any other NASCAR driver at any other track —by holding off Kyle Larson after a late restart in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race.
Busch has now won three consecutive Nationwide Series races at Bristol since last March, when he and Larson also went 1-2 to the finish.
Of his 16 national wins at Bristol, five are in the Sprint Cup Series, seven are Nationwide and four are in the Truck Series.
“I definitely like coming to Bristol, I always have,” said Busch, who made his first trip to the .533-mile bullring in 2004 testing with Hendrick Motorsports.
“I’ve definitely gone through some trials with the Cup cars. First couple times here was a rough go-around for me. Sort of got it figured out, was able to start leading laps, start winning races and that’s been the biggest things. Why that is? I don’t know. I just enjoy coming to racing. To the banked tracks. It takes guts to go fast.”
Busch now has 65 career Nationwide Series wins.
On Saturday, he and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth combined to lead 298 of the 300 laps.
But Kenseth was mired in lapped traffic once Busch got out front.
“There were seven or eight (cars) that were really struggling today, so you caught them a lot,” Kenseth said. “Every 25 laps it seemed you would catch the same group. It was tough to get through there. Once he got the lead, it was hard to beat him.
Kevin Harvick was second on the restart with nine laps to go, but pole-sitter Larson got by him with seven laps remaining to try to challenge Busch for the victory. He didn’t get much of a chance and settled for second.
“I just tried to run hard and I know (Larson) was running the top, he loves the top,” Busch said. “I knew he was going to be up there. I tried to perfect that a little bit earlier in the race, but it seemed like anybody who was behind me on the restart would be able to jump the two guys that were on the bottom.”
Harvick was third and Ryan Blaney was fourth.
Kenseth was fifth after leading a race-high 178 laps.
Busch led four times for 120 laps.
“Kenseth, he was really fast,” Busch said. “He was lightning fast there much of the day and I was having a hard time catching him. I was just able to bide my time through traffic a little bit better than he did and he got stuck and I passed him.”