FORT WORTH, Texas (April 15, 2013) – Kyle Busch has his fingerprints all over the Texas Motor Speedway record books and during this weekend’s NASCAR doubleheader at the 1.5-mile speedway he continued to leave his mark.
Busch’s victories in both the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race and NRA 500 Sprint Cup Series event marked the first Cup/NNS sweep in the 17-year history of Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch’s weekend sweep was the eighth and ninth NASCAR victories of his career at Texas Motor Speedway respectively, making him the winningest driver at the speedway. He owns a track record six Nationwide Series victories, two truck series wins and finally secured his elusive first Sprint Cup Series victory on Saturday evening.
The victory allowed him to become the first driver to win in all three top-tier NASCAR national series at Texas Motor Speedway. It also was his 26th career Sprint Cup Series victory, which came in his 300th start.
“I’m glad the monkey is off our back,” Busch said after his victory. “We’re riding a wave right now that’s 30-feet tall and ready to keep riding.”
Busch is the only driver with wins in all three series at TMS, but eight other drivers have victories in multiple NASCAR series at Texas Motor Speedway. Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series winners consist of Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin. Two-time Sprint Cup Series winner at Texas Motor Speedway Greg Biffle has won in both the Sprint Cup and truck series while five-time TMS Nationwide Series winner Kevin Harvick also has a victory in the truck series.
- Setting The Record(s) Straight
The NRA 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend was fast and competitive and two track records fell as a result. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying record at Texas Motor Speedway that was established by Brian Vickers at 196.235 miles per hour during the fall event of 2006 had not been challenged much since, but the Gen-6 car quickly changed all that. Kyle Busch now owns the mark after posting a lap of 196.299 miles per hour during Friday’s SportsDay Qualifying Day Powered by The Dallas Morning News in the debut of the Gen-6 car at TMS.
Busch also had a hand in the Nationwide Series track records established in Friday evening’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300. The 200-lap event set marks for most lead changes (22) and different leaders (11) in the race won by Busch, who led five times for a race-high 91 laps. The previous records were set in April 2005 when there were 17 lead changes among 10 drivers.
NASCAR Nationwide Series 19-year-old rookie Alex Bowman reached a milestone in his young career at Texas Motor Speedway when he earned his first career pole during Friday’s SportsDay Qualifying Day Powered by The Dallas Morning News.
With Kyle Busch on the pole and just two drivers left to qualify including the unheralded Bowman, most people would have expected the pole to once again go to Busch at a track where he has dominated his entire career. The NNS pole would have been the fourth for Busch at Texas Motor Speedway, but he will have to wait another day to add to his career poles mark at “The Great American Speedway!”
Bowman surprised everyone and grabbed the pole from Busch with a lap of 183.418 miles per hour (29.441 seconds). He edged Busch by .037 of a second.
“It means a lot, everybody at the shop does a great job,” Bowman said. “RAB Racing is a heck of an underrated race team, all the support we get from Toyota. Chris Rice (crew chief) does a great job, it all counts. Feels real good to get SchoolTipLine [the pole] the first week. We said we were going to end up in Victory Lane, so we did it at least part of the way.”
Making it an even more impressive feat, Bowman had been battling the flu all week. He left the care center, where he had been receiving IVs throughout the day, to climb into his No. 99 SchoolTipLine.com Toyota. Unfortunately for Bowman, his illness may have caught up to him later in the evening. Despite starting up front, Bowman finished 14th.
- A Mouthful Of DW & Kenseth
Sandwich artist Dan Weinberger of Weinberger’s Deli unveiled his newest creations, reflecting the characteristics of 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth and NASCAR on FOX commentator and three-time Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip. “Kenseth’s Sub” and “Boogity, Boogity, Burgoo on a Bun” will be available at all three of Weinberger’s Deli locations.
The “Kenseth’s Sub” is served on a toasted wheat hoagie with pepper jack cheese and pit ham sliced thin, along with a special cole slaw made with sweet and spicy pickle, jalapenos and cracked black peppercorns, Creole mustard and Reser’s creamy cole slaw. The sandwich is topped off with banana peppers and roasted red peppers.
The “Boogity, Boogity, Burgoo on a Bun” consists of burgoo, a mixture of pork shoulder, potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, tomato, celery seasonings and barbeque sauce. The burgoo is served on a bed of lettuce with tomato, pickles, red onion all on a toasted telera bun.
- Heartbreak Kid Paces Himself … And The Field
World Wresting Entertainment Hall of Famer Shawn “The Heartbreak Kid” Michaels led the 43 drivers to the green flag for Sunday’s NRA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race driving the “No Limits” Wild Asphalt Circus Chevrolet Camaro pace car.
Michaels became just the third celebrity in the history of Texas Motor Speedway to serve as the honorary pace car driver, joining movie star Vince Vaughan (2007 Dickies 500) and former Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson (2010 AAA Texas 500).
“I have no idea how those guys come out of those turns at 140 or 150 and come up against that wall,” Michaels said. “My goodness. It is a work of art.
“My son was very happy with my WWE career, but driving the pace car has put me way above anything I did in the WWE in his eyes.”
The NRA 500 event-branded merchandise was a big hit with race fans over the weekend as Speedway Motorsports, Inc. sold out of all its primary items such as t-shirts, camo hats, 3x5 flags, koozies and decals. SMIP sold 1,000 more adult event t-shirts when compared to last year’s April event and also sold out of its entire NRA 500 starting lineup t-shirts by noon of the Saturday evening race.
NRA 500 winner Kyle Busch became the third driver in Texas Motor Speedway history to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from the pole. The others that went wire to wire were Kasey Kahne in this event in 2006 and Jimmie Johnson in last fall’s AAA Texas 500. … Kay Robertson and John Goodwin, stars for the A&E hit reality show Duck Dynasty, introduced the top-10 drivers during the pre-race activities for the NRA 500. … Brothers Kyle and Kurt Busch qualified first and second, respectively, for the NRA 500. It was just the second time the two have started on the front row together, the first coming on March 1, 2009, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when Kyle started on the pole and Kurt was second. … Matt Kenseth’s impressive streak of five consecutive top-five finishes in Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway was snapped after his 12th-place finish in the NRA 500. It is just the seventh time in 22 Sprint Cup starts that Kenseth has not finished in the top 10 at Texas Motor Speedway. … Kyle Busch’s early-season dominance in the Nationwide Series has set a new bar. His win in Friday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 was his fourth in the first six races, allowing him to become the first Nationwide Series driver in history to accomplish the feat.