Kyle Busch Sweeps NASCAR Events At Martinsville
Kyle Busch came out of the Martinsville Speedway with two grandfather clock trophies as he swept the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. After completing a sweep of in the STP 500 on Sunday at Martinsville, Busch modestly asked his crew through the radio what time it was during his celebratory burnout.
He answered his own question saying it was time to tell haters to keep their mouths closed. It was in an apparent reference to his shaky relationship with the fan base of NASCAR.
The victory all but guaranteed his defense of his championship last year in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said he has all praises for his team. He led the final 173 laps of the race after he passed his teammate, Matt Kenseth. He added that the M&M Camry had a good practice on Saturday while Adam Stevens, the crew chief, made a number of excellent adjustments overnight to ensure they remain in the top spot.
Busch was in the top spot for 352 laps as he copped his first win for the season. It was also the 35th career win of Busch. The 352 laps was the biggest number since April 20, 1998 when Bobby Hamilton dominated the Sprint Cup race by leading in 378 laps.
Kyle Busch pulled away after the final restart on Lap 489. The restart happened after the race was slowed down by a caution when a tire on the car of Jamie McMurray was shredded. Busch was ahead of AJ Allmendinger by 0.663 seconds in crossing the finish line.
Allmendinger was able to match his career-best on an oval track in a NASCAR Sprint Cup. He also finished second in 2012 at Martinsville. The finish also gave Allmendinger his first top-five finish since winning the August 2014 race at the Watkins Glen International road course. He was able to force his way past Kenseth after restarting at third place with twelve laps to go. He ended up trying to go past Busch in the last ten laps.
Allmendinger said he was hoping they would stay green in the last 120 laps. While it did not happen, he was praying they would have the opportunity to do that.
Kyle Larson finished in third place in the Sprint race as he took advantage of extra track time. Austin Dillon came after Larson after he continued using his old tires in the final restart. The top ten included Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, Paul Menard, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman.
Joey Logano was struggling with his car at the start as Kyle Busch went ahead of him on Lap 76. Logano finished at 11th place with a damaged nose on his car.
Pre-race favorite Denny Hamlin retired when his Toyota wheel-hopped into a wall on Lap 220. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a 14th place finish while Kevin Harvick finished 17th. Kenseth finished at 15th place while Danica Patrick followed him at 16th in the NASCAR event.