Busch savors historic sweep

JGR driver runs the table at Bristol

Staff WriterAugust 23, 2010 

— "Why do you say I'm so good?"

It's a question Kyle Busch's Sprint Cup Series crew chief Dave Rogers says his driver asks anytime Rogers or someone else on his Joe Gibbs Racing team brags on Busch's success and ability.

"First he'll argue with you, and then you'll start to argue back with him, and he'll say, 'OK, why, why do you say that?' " Rogers said.

Saturday night, no explanation was necessary. It was there for all to see.

Busch's dominating win in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway etched his mark in NASCAR history - if he wasn't already there - as he became the first driver to win races in all three national series - Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks - at the same track in the same weekend.

Busch, 25, won Wednesday night's Truck race as well as Friday night's Nationwide race at Bristol.

Already in his career he has 19 Cup wins, 40 Nationwide wins and 19 in Trucks. Busch's Cup win at Bristol is his third of the season, tying Kevin Harvick for the second-highest total this season. Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin have five apiece.

"I'm very blessed from the guy above that gave me the talents that I have, obviously," Busch said. "That's really, really cool.

"And I do the best with what I've got every weekend. I try to go out there and give it my all."

While the race fans at the track may not be big fans of Busch - he faced a cascade of boos before and after the race Saturday night - his biggest supporters stand close by.

"Kyle is a special driver and in my opinion the most talented driver on the circuit," Rogers said.

"I told him before the race, there are a lot of fans out there booing him and some wise guys saying some things that were somewhat unprofessional, but it's an absolute honor to work with Kyle Busch."

JGR team president J.D. Gibbs reveled in Busch's weekend sweep.

"To do all three of those [wins] back to back was a big deal," Gibbs said. "I think that's one of those things that will go down in the record books.

"Years from now I'll be able to say, 'Hey, I remember when,' and that was a lot of fun for us."

Pole-winner Jimmie Johnson had a dominant car early, leading 169 of the first 171 laps. But on Lap 262, Juan Pablo Montoya spun Johnson and sent his No. 48 Chevrolet into the wall, ending Johnson's chance at victory.

At one point late in the race, Jamie McMurray ran down Busch for the lead but lost it during a round of green-flag pit stops and finished third.

"Honestly at one point there I thought we were going to have the car to beat at the end, but we just didn't have the speed we needed," said McMurray, who moved into 13th place in the series standings, 100 points behind 12th-place Clint Bowyer.

David Reutimann, who battled flu-like symptoms all weekend, rallied late in the race to finish second but didn't have anything to run down Busch at the end.

Bowyer finished fourth, and Kasey Kahne was fifth. Harvick, the series points leader, finished 14th.

jutter@charlotteobserver.com or 704-358-5113

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