Kyle Busch sweeps Martinsville NASCAR weekend
Kyle Busch won both races of the Martinsville NASCAR weekend. On Saturday he won the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 Truck Series race at the 0.526-mile oval, one day later he celebrated after the STP 500 Sprint Cup race. Earlier in a career, the reigning Sprint Cup champion never won at Martinsville Speedway in the previous 30 attempts, now he has two similar grandfather clock trophies, the traditional award for the Martinsville winners.
Busch led 123 of 255 laps
In Saturday’s Truck Series race Kyle Busch led a 123 of 255 laps. He was driving #18 Toyota Tundra of his own team and he won with a 0.425s gap ahead of John Hunter Nemechek. That was Busch’s 45th Truck Series victory in a career.
There were 11 caution periods during the race and Busch earned the victory with good tire strategy. He was also strong on restarts and the rivals had no chances to overtook him. William Byron, who was driving #9 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, added one more reason for team’s celebration finishing in third place.
Kyle Larson finished fourth, ahead of Truck Series regulars Timothy Peters, Spencer Gallagher, Matt Crafton, Parker Kligerman, Cameron Hayley and Rico Abreu. John Hunter Nemechek left Martinsville, which was the third round of the Truck Series, with a three-point lead in the series standings over Parker Kligerman. The next race is scheduled for May 6th at Kansas Speedway.
One clock wasn’t enough
After Saturday’s victory, Kyle Busch said that he learned a few things that could help him on Sunday. And it really worked. He won again, after leading 352 of the 500 laps in the STP 500 race at the shortest and tightest of all Sprint Cup Series short tracks.
After eight caution periods, Busch pulled away on the final restart on Lap 489 and he crossed the finish line 0.663s ahead of AJ Allmendinger. It was Busch’ 35th Sprint Cup victory, for Allmendinger it was career-best Sprint Cup finish on an oval track.
Harvick retained the Sprint Cup lead
Kyle Larson finished third, one spot ahead of Austin Dillon. Brad Keselowski recovered from a pit road speeding penalty to finish fifth. Carl Edwards, who started 25th, finished sixth. Brian Vickers, Paul Menard, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman completed the top 10. Polesitter Joey Logano struggled with the handling of his car. He was a lap down from Busch but fought back and finished 11th.
Kevin Harvick, who finished 17th at Martinsville Speedway, retained the series lead by four points over Jimmie Johnson and five points over Kyle Busch. The Sprint Cup Series resumes next weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Video: Kyle Busch in a Victory Lane