Mar 15, 2014, 4:27 PM EDT
Its official name is Bristol Motor Speedway, but the .533-mile bullring might as well be renamed Busch Motor Speedway going forward.
In his 20th NASCAR Nationwide Series start at BMS, Kyle Busch earned his seventh win – his third in a row and sixth in his last eight NNS starts there – in Saturday’s Drive to Stop Diabetes 300.
Busch now has a record 16 career wins at Bristol across all three of NASCAR’s major series — Nationwide (seven wins), Sprint Cup (five) and Camping World Trucks (four) — the most total race wins by a driver at a single track in NASCAR history.
Busch led 119 laps and easily cruised to victory, finishing 1.441 seconds ahead of runnerup Kyle Larson.
Busch pulled away from the pack following the final restart with nine laps remaining in the event, but no one could mount a serious challenge as each lap clicked off.
“We really had to change our car a lot today,” Busch said. “This car was awesome. A couple of those guys got close. (Matt) Kenseth was really fast, lightning fast much of the day, and I was having a hard time catching him. I just bided my time a little bit better than he did, and he got stuck.
“It’s always fun to win at Bristol. It doesn’t matter whether they’re cheering or booing. Hopefully, we can sweep the weekend. … What we accomplished today was pretty good.”
Only three drivers led the race: Matt Kenseth led the most (179), Busch (119) and Larson (two).
But seven Nationwide wins is only scratching the surface of just how dominant the younger Busch brother continues to be at Bristol, without question his most successful race track across all three of NASCAR’s professional touring series. In addition to his seven NNS wins, he also has 13 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes at Bristol in NASCAR’s junior circuit.
In the Camping World Trucks Series, Busch has eight starts, four wins, five top-5 and six top-10 finishes at Bristol.
And come Sunday in the weekend’s main event, the Food City 500, Busch will be going for his sixth Sprint Cup win in 19 starts. He also has eight top-five and 12 top-10 Cup finishes in NASCAR’s premier series at Bristol.
Smith barely held on to his points lead in the NNS standings. He leads Trevor Bayne by one point, is eight points ahead of Ty Dillon, 13 points in front of Chase Elliott and 16 points ahead of Elliott Sadler.
Also of note in Saturday’s race, rookie Cale Conley finished an impressive 11th in his first career NNS start.
Here’s the finishing order in Saturday’s Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway:
1 Kyle Busch
2 Kyle Larson
3 Kevin Harvick
4 Ryan Blaney
5 Matt Kenseth
6 Ty Dillon
7 Brendan Gaughan
8 Trevor Bayne
9 Chase Elliott
10 Regan Smith
11 Cale Conley
12 Landon Cassill
13 James Buescher
14 Brian Scott
15 Dylan Kwasniewski
16 Chris Buescher
17 Elliott Sadler
18 Jeremy Clements
19 Joe Nemechek
20 Ryan Sieg
21 Timmy Hill
22 Will Kimmel III
23 Jamie Dick
24 Dakoda Armstrong
25 Mike Wallace
26 Mike Bliss
27 Eric McClure
28 Derrike Cope
29 Joey Gase
30 Josh Wise
31 Ryan Reed
32 Jeffrey Earnhardt
33 Ruben Garcia Jr.
34 Kevin Lepage
35 Kelly Admiraal
36 Tanner Berryhill
37 Matt Carter
38 Carl Long
39 Matt DiBenedetto
40 Blake Koch
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