Kyle Busch is no stranger to racetrack in New Hampshire, and spent most of the race where he eventually finished. He crossed the finish line first with the checkered flag flying Saturday afternoon.
Busch is now the all-time laps leader in Nationwide Series history, passing Mark Martin’s record of 8,117. He took the No. 18 Toyota to victory lane for Joe Gibbs racing for the 36th time in his career. The next record Busch aims to set is the all-time wins record.
“That’s pretty cool,” Busch said. “There’s one more record I’m after and that’s the win record. I want to try and beat him and see how many I can set.”
Martin also holds the record for Nationwide Series wins at 48. Busch is tied for second in that category with Kevin Harvick. Busch held off Brad Keselowski, who could have finished in the top position had he not suffered a poor pit stop late in the race.
Kyle won at the track last year, and is the first driver to win multiple Nationwide races at the track. No other driver has accomplished the feat in 24 career races at the track dating back to 1990.
“I’m proud of the fact we made it happen and we had everything go right for us today,” Busch said.
Danica Patrick had an off-day, finishing 30th and five laps down. It was the best Nationwide Series finish for Patrick to date in four career races for the rookie. She and Morgan Shepherd were involved in wreck just seven laps into the race.
“I was thinking out there at the end that it reminds me a lot of my first couple of short oval races in an IndyCar,” Patrick said. “I got lapped liked a ton of times in those. It’s part of the process, it’s part of learning and I know these things are going to happen.”
Shepherd was immediately apologetic after the completion of the race.
“Anybody who tries to pass her needs to be patient. She’s got a very fast race car,” he said. “I hate that I got into her.”
Patrick maintains that a top-15 or top-20 finish would be considered a success by her camp. She will try to go for that result in two weeks at Chicagoland Speedway.
“I thank all those people out there that still want to keep watching me because it can’t be fun to watch the driver you’re cheering for go laps down and get passed,” Patrick added. “But, you know, I’m learning and it’ll help me get better.”
NASCAR sportsbooks have set Busch’s chances to win the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sunday at 13/2. Jimmie Johnson is the favorite to win at 5/2.