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Busch stays hot, wins 3 of 4 in Loudon

NASCAR
Sunday, July 19, 2015

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Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch won for the third time in four races on Sunday, claiming the 5-hour ENERGY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in a race that ended under caution to give the track 12 winners in its last 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver entered the race in 35th place in the standings, 87 points behind 30th-place Cole Whitt. With multiple victories this year, Busch -- who missed the first 11 points races after suffering injuries in the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener in February -- would qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup if he cracks the top 30 in the points standings.

After Sunday's win, Busch climbed to 33rd in the standings and is 58 points behind 30th-place David Gilliland with seven regular-season races remaining.

Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski finished second after leading 100 of 301 laps, recording his first top-five result since April. Kevin Harvick finished third, followed by Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup hopefuls Clint Bowyer and Paul Menard finished outside the top 20, after each cut a tire in separate incidents. Menard 25th and Bowyer was 34th.

Kyle Busch Finishing Position: 1st
Did you ever imagine to have this much success after your recovery?
“I don’t think any of us would have. This is such an awesome win and such an awesome comeback. I just can’t say enough about everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, the work that they’ve put in. Our cars are a lot better than what they were last year. It’s so much fun to win these races and to win with this group of guys – Adam Stevens (crew chief) and this bunch, all my pit crew since 2008, they deserve all this. Can’t say enough about Interstate Batteries – Happy Birthday Norm Miller – and M&M’s Crispy, Toyota, Sprint. This Camry was awesome today. Of course the fans, this is a crazy sport and you never know how it’s always going to turn out, but that coming to pit road I thought I had a tire going down and there was oil on the track. Luckily I got back to the lead lap before the yellow came out, but that saved us right there.”

Did you know and do you feel the pass to get on the lead lap was the pass to ultimately win the race?
“I didn’t know and it did. For five laps I just drove as hard as I could when I got off pit road and knew I needed to get those guys. They were telling me the 38 (David Gilliland) was in the lucky dog spot and once I got there, I was like ok, what else do I have to do to get back on the lead lap. I figured it was the 4 (Kevin Harvick) still and it was. The 4 and the 2 (Brad Keselowski) were really the class of the field I felt like today. Our car was a close third, but on the long runs our frontend would die and we just couldn’t turn. We’ve got some work to do to get better to be able to outright win this thing when we get back here in a couple months.”

How pleased are you with the points gain in the past several weeks with the victories?
“We just have to keep doing our deal every weekend and it’s been getting better and better. It’s certainly the right thing to do is to win races and to gather those points, but to do it in the fashion we have been – just winning these things, that’s just spectacular and that’s awesome.”

How special is it to get another victory in such a short period?
“This is cool. I just can’t say enough about this group of guys behind me, everyone on this team and Adam Stevens (crew chief) and my pit crew. The group we’ve developed and the relationship we’ve had over the years with my pit crew from 2008. This is just an awesome feeling and of course thanks to Interstate Batteries. Have to thank Toyota, this was a fast Camry today. I thank everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing for the work they’ve done and the effort that they’ve put in. We weren’t as good as we needed to be last year, but this year it seems to be that we are.”

What went through your mind when you pitted late believing you had a tire going down?
“I knew I’d been running it hard and I’d been trying to catch (Matt) Kenseth in front of me that entire run and I had just been so tight that I couldn’t get going and couldn’t get a rhythm going to close in on Kenseth and I figured I just chewed the right front off of it because I went into the corner and the thing just went straight one time so I was like, ‘Man, I’m down to cords now, that’s it, it’s done.’ We shot to pit road and got it changed there and evidently it was oil on the race track that just made the car slip so bad from out from under me. We got a lucky break and I hauled butt man, those five laps I ran were five qualifying laps through traffic trying to get back up to the front and pass (Kevin) Harvick to stay on the lead lap. That was our saving bucket right there. That was what we needed to do.”
 
How special is it to have your family in victory lane with you for the third time in four weeks?
“He’s (Brexton Busch) awake this time, I don’t know if he’s quite happy with it yet, but he’ll figure that out – it’s a good thing. This is awesome just with the whole family and this team is like a family and everybody that works so hard and pulls together. This is such a dream come true. Who would have ever thought with me coming back after my rehabilitation and everything that I’d be able to win three races like this. We had the Lord with us here today, we got a lucky break with that yellow and the way we put tires on and everything and we got out front. That was all it took, we were really good when it mattered.”

Results

Pos. # Driver Make Start Laps Led Status
1 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 4 301 96 Running
2 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 10 301 100 Running
3 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 12 301 59 Running
4 22 Joey Logano Ford 2 301 12 Running
5 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 19 301 0 Running
6 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 8 301 0 Running
7 19 Carl Edwards Toyota 1 301 19 Running
8 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 24 301 0 Running
9 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 23 301 2 Running
10 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 6 301 0 Running
11 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 26 301 0 Running
12 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 15 301 0 Running
13 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 22 301 13 Running
14 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 5 301 0 Running
15 43 Aric Almirola Ford 29 301 0 Running
16 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 21 301 0 Running
17 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 32 301 0 Running
18 55 David Ragan Toyota 3 301 0 Running
19 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 9 301 0 Running
20 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 25 301 0 Running
21 38 David Gilliland Ford 37 301 0 Running
22 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 7 300 0 Running
23 21 Ryan Blaney Ford 16 300 0 Running
24 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 20 300 0 Running
25 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 28 300 0 Running
26 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 11 300 0 Running
27 16 Greg Biffle Ford 14 299 0 Running
28 35 Cole Whitt Ford 33 299 0 Running
29 9 Sam Hornish Jr Ford 27 299 0 Running
30 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 13 299 0 Running
31 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 17 299 0 Running
32 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 31 299 0 Running
33 34 Brett Moffitt Ford 34 297 0 Running
34 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 18 297 0 Running
35 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota 35 296 0 Running
36 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet 38 296 0 Running
37 32 Eddie MacDonald Ford 41 295 0 Running
38 98 Timmy Hill Ford 43 292 0 Running
39 33 Derek White Chevrolet 42 290 0 Running
40 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 30 284 0 Running
41 26 Jeb Burton Toyota 36 239 0 Running
42 7 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 40 230 0 Running
43 23 J.J. Yeley Toyota 39 202 0 Rear Gear

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