With just 27 laps to go, Kyle Busch passed Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to win the New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Busch made history today as he won his 49th career NASCAR Nationwide Series race, tying Mark Martin on the all-time wins list. The victory also gave Bush his 100th victory in NASCAR’s three divisions (NCWTS, NNS, NSCS). In doing so, Busch joins some prestigious company (Richard Petty and David Pearson) as the only drivers in NASCAR history to win at least 100 races in NASCAR’s top three divisions.
“Well, certainly mine’s a little bit different,” said Busch. “But certainly it feels good. It means a lot. … to tie Mark Martin’s record of 49 wins as well, that’s pretty awesome. It’s a great opportunity to race in this series and win that many. And now to do it is pretty neat.”
Mark Martin made a visit to victory lane Saturday to congratulate the “young driver”. “It’s just incredible,” said Martin. “Everybody forgets that he’s just 26 years old. There are so many more that are out there for him.”
Busch held on to the lead on a green-white-checkered, not allowing his nemesis Kevin Harvick to have a piece of first. Kasey Kahne had a great finish of third, followed by Stenhouse Jr., and Aric Almirola.
Brad Keselowski started on the pole for the event, but Harvick wasted little time to take over first from the start.
It only took 20 laps before Busch began closing in on race leader Harvick.
Bayne also led for 58 laps in the beginning before Harvick retook the lead on pit road during a caution for debris.
Just passed the halfway point, Steve Wallace got into Jason Leffler, the contact sent Leffler hard into the wall on the backstretch. This was just the start of the drama that would follow Wallace for the remainder of the race.
With 70 laps to go, Keselowski passed Stenhouse for the lead, just as the rest of the field began to sort out. With 45 to go, it was Stenhouse who went back out in front.
With just 11 laps left in the New England 200, Busch jumped out front during the restart. However, Wallace ran into Joey Logano triggering a crash that would involve several drivers who were in “contention” (Clements, Bayne, and Reed Sorenson).
This setup a restart with just 4 laps left, but yet another caution would come out. This time, Brian Scott hit Wallace, which he wasn’t too thrilled about.
Without hesitation, Busch then ceased control of the race on the final restart only to look back once he crossed the finish line for the final time.