Kyle Busch leads every lap in dominating Nationwide win at Richmond

Kyle Busch celebrates his win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 5, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Getty Images)

Kyle Busch celebrates his win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 5, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va.—-Picture perfect.

Coors Light polesitter Kyle Busch led all 250 laps in Friday night’s Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway and beat runner-up and series leader Chase Elliott to the finish line by 1.323 seconds.

Driving a No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota that was the clear class of the field, Busch won for the fourth time this season, the fifth time at Richmond and the series-best 67th time
in his career.

It was the second time Busch has led every lap in a Nationwide Series race, the first coming at Phoenix in 2011 when he led 200 laps after starting from the pole.

“It’s been a while, if you think about it,” said Busch, who hadn’t won a Nationwide race at Richmond since 2011. “We’ve had a lot of bad luck lately, and it feels good, trying to get some mojo
back, get ready for tomorrow night (Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race), see what we can salvage there and roll on into the Chase.”

Busch said Joe Gibbs Racing did considerable work on its short-track package after finishing third behind the Chevrolets of Harvick and Elliott in April.

“All in all, the guys did a great job,” Busch said. “They were really smart about what they needed, what we needed, what I needed.”

Kevin Harvick ran third after ceding the second position to Elliott on the race’s final restart on Lap 233. Ryan Blaney came home fourth, followed by Brian Scott and Regan Smith, who fell 19 points
behind Elliott, his JR Motorsports teammate in the series standings.

While Busch spent the race comfortably out front after taking the green flag from the pole position, Harvick systematically worked his way forward from the 15th starting position. Harvick passed Blaney for the second spot just before the caution flag flew for the fifth time on Lap 166 because of debris on the backstretch.

But that was as close as Harvick could get. Busch quickly pulled away to a lead of more than two seconds after the subsequent restart on Lap 172 and continued to pull away. The margin stabilized at
roughly 3.3 seconds as Busch and Harvick worked heavy traffic as the laps counted down.

Harvick began to eat into Busch’s advantage before a yellow flag interrupted his progress.

NASCAR called the sixth caution on Lap 226 after Landon Cassill’s Chevrolet brushed the wall in Turn 2, but the restart on Lap 33 produced more of the same for Busch, who blocked Elliott to the
inside and took off.

“Kyle had a much better car and was able to take off on the short runs and get way out there,” said Harvick, who thought he might have been able to catch Busch during the final run, if not for the
caution.

Note: NASCAR is taking the rear gear from Busch’s winning No. 54 Camry back to its research-and development center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluation. Should any penalties be warranted, they will be announced next week.

NASCAR Nationwide Series Race – Virginia529 College Savings 250
Richmond International Raceway
Richmond, Virginia
Friday, September 05, 2014

1. (1) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 250, $47100.
2. (3) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 250, $36050.
3. (15) Kevin Harvick(i), Chevrolet, 250, $22025.
4. (2) Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 250, $27650.
5. (5) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 250, $25000.
6. (17) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 250, $23950.
7. (12) Dakoda Armstrong #, Ford, 250, $24535.
8. (16) Elliott Sadler, Toyota, 250, $22595.
9. (8) Ty Dillon #, Chevrolet, 250, $21950.
10. (14) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 250, $23025.
11. (10) Dylan Kwasniewski #, Chevrolet, 250, $21650.
12. (6) Matt Kenseth(i), Toyota, 250, $15575.
13. (4) Kyle Larson(i), Chevrolet, 250, $15525.
14. (11) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 250, $21475.
15. (9) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 250, $22275.
16. (13) Ryan Reed #, Ford, 250, $21350.
17. (19) Cale Conley(i), Chevrolet, 249, $21275.
18. (7) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 249, $21225.
19. (20) James Buescher, Toyota, 248, $21175.
20. (18) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 248, $15825.
21. (23) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 248, $21075.
22. (27) Kelly Admiraal, Toyota, 247, $14945.
23. (34) Ryan Sieg #, Chevrolet, 247, $20860.
24. (29) Ryan Ellis, Dodge, 247, $20720.
25. (32) Will Kimmel, Toyota, 247, $21170.
26. (37) Matt DiBenedetto, Chevrolet, 246, $20570.
27. (33) Hermie Sadler III, Toyota, 245, $20520.
28. (38) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 245, $20370.
29. (36) Cody Ware, Chevrolet, 242, $20320.
30. (24) Jeff Green, Toyota, 192, $20520.
31. (25) JJ Yeley, Dodge, Brakes, 120, $20165.
32. (21) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, Accident, 90, $20080.
33. (39) Josh Reaume, Ford, Oil Line, 79, $20015.
34. (26) Chad Boat #, Chevrolet, Accident, 71, $19980.
35. (35) John Jackson, Chevrolet, Brakes, 34, $13907.
36. (30) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Transmission, 19, $12880.
37. (22) Jamie Dick, Chevrolet, Accident, 5, $18820.
38. (28) Blake Koch, Toyota, Vibration, 4, $12741.
39. (40) Matt Frahm, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 3, $12620.
40. (31) Kevin Lepage, Dodge, Accident, 2, $18580.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  92.835 mph.
Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 01 Mins, 11 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.323 Seconds.
Caution Flags:  6 for 38 laps.
Lead Changes:  0 among 1 drivers.
Lap Leaders:   K. Busch(i) 1-250.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Busch(i) 1 time for 250 laps.
Top 10 in Points: C. Elliott # – 916; R. Smith – 897; T. Dillon # – 874; E. Sadler – 862; B. Scott – 859; T. Bayne – 832; C. Buescher # – 747; B. Gaughan – 720; R. Reed # – 686; J. Buescher – 671.

 

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