For the second time in as many visits to Bristol Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch managed to win every race. Last August it was a triple with the NASCAR Camping World Truck, the Nationwide and the Sprint Cup, returning this weekend he captured the checkered flag for both the Nationwide and the Sprint Cup races.
The win for Busch was his 20th in 226 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts, and his first win and his third top 10 in 4 Cup starts in 2011. This win is Kyle’s fifth at Bristol and ties him with his brother Kurt and Jeff Gordon for wins among active drivers. Carl Edwards finished second, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Paul Menard in fifth.
After the race Edwards commented, “ It was exciting. I thought I could get to him (Busch) at the end and rough him up a little bit, and maybe get by him, but his car took off. I should have hit him harder when I got to his bumper the first time, but we were really racing hard. His car was better there at the end. Kyle did a good job, our team did a good job and we’ve just got to thank all the fans and let them know we appreciate them coming out and supporting us.”
In a post race interview Johnson talked about his car being really good and his team working hard, but at the end it was all about track position. “On the pit stop, the rear tire changer slipped and that lost us valuable track position. We just could never get that back.” Kenseth was also happy with his fourth place finish, “We had a lot of fun out there racing today and got lucky and got the right lane on the restarts a few times. We were able to make up some positions. It took all day, but we finally were able to make some adjustments that had the Crown Royal Black Fusion pretty decent.” Rounding out the top 10 for the Jeff Byrd 500 was Kevin Harvick 6th, followed by Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman in 10th.
Kyle Busch took a few minutes after celebrating in Victory Lane to talk about the race. “It was a lot harder today, that’s for sure. Carl Edwards kept me honest there. I was making a couple of mistakes, but nothing we couldn’t rebound from. This M&M’s Camry was awesome today. I can’t thank the guys at Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing, M&M’s, thanks for signing up for another infinite years.”
As the series heads for Fontana next week for the fifth race of the season, there was little movement in the top 10 in points other than Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson moving IN and A J Allmendinger and Denny Hamlin moving OUT. The new leader after Bristol is Kurt Busch, with Carl Edwards on point behind in second, as Tony Stewart slips to third. Ryan Newman and Paul Menard round out the top five. Kyle Busch moved up to sixth, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Martin Truex in tenth. The top ten are now separated by 27 points as a result of the new point system in place this year.