Sunday, June 24, 2018
Sports

Kyle Busch takes Sprint Cup win in Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas — Kyle Busch took advantage of a late caution to regain the lead and held on for the final 16 laps after the last restart Saturday night to win the Sprint Cup race at Texas, completing a NASCAR weekend sweep.

Busch followed Martin Truex Jr. for about 50 laps before a yellow flag for debris with 21 laps left in the NRA 500. Busch took the lead off pit road during the caution and charged forward with a strong restart in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

It was the second time this season, and eighth in his career, that Busch won Cup and Nationwide races in the same weekend. He was the pole-sitter Saturday night and won the Nationwide race Friday night on the 1½-mile, high-banked track.

Busch, who also won both races at Fontana last month, led 171 of 334 laps for his 26th career Cup victory.

Truex was trying to win for the first time since June 2007, but his winless streak reached 210 races by finishing half a second behind Busch. Truex came in 25th in points with no laps led but had his Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in front for 142 laps at Texas.

Busch has 111 victories in NASCAR's three top series — 26 in Sprint Cup, 55 in Nationwide and 30 in trucks.

According to Fox, he's also the fourth driver to win his 300th career start — joining Ned Jarrett (Langley, 1965), Rusty Wallace (Atlanta, 1993) and Kasey Kahne (Charlotte, 2012).

Busch's weekend sweep last month in California was overshadowed by the last-lap crash in the Cup race between former teammates Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano that left Hamlin with a fractured vertebra in his lower back.

Carl Edwards, a three-time winner at Texas who had his seat belt come loose during the race, finished third ahead of Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle.

Logano finished fifth after almost missing the start.

Jimmie Johnson maintained his series points lead by finishing sixth, ahead of Tampa's Aric Almirola.

NASCAR confiscated the original rear-end housing parts from Logano's No. 22 Ford and the No. 2 of Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski, the defending Sprint Cup champion. NASCAR officials said the situation will be evaluated further this week, when decisions about any penalties could be made.

Logano gave up his starting spot of 18th after being late to the starting grid while having to get additional inspections. Keselowski got on pit road in time, started 16th and finished ninth.

Brian Vickers, filling in for Hamlin in the No. 11 Gibbs car, finished eighth. Hamlin was at the track this weekend and said he feels good, though he will miss at least another race, maybe more. A part-time Cup driver for Waltrip's team, Vickers had five top-10 finishes in eight races last year. Vickers is a full-time Nationwide driver for Gibbs.

David Reutimann of Zephyr­hills finished 24th, two laps behind.

This was the 25th Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, which opened in 1997 and started hosting two races a year in 2005.

Petty's vote: When Richard Petty casts his ballot for the next NASCAR Hall of Fame class, the seven-time champion driver knows one name that will be on his — Maurice Petty, his brother and chief engine builder. Maurice Petty is one of five new nominees on the list of 25 announced last week and could become the third Petty in the Hall, after Richard and his father Lee. "Without a motor, we wouldn't have been nowhere," Richard Petty said.

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