NATIONWIDE Dollar General 300Final
Kyle Busch wins Dollar General 300Jul 12, 2008 - 5:29 AM JOLIET, Illinois (Ticker) -- Kyle Busch seems to be making a mockery of NASCAR racing in 2008.
Busch won his fifth race on the Nationwide Series this year, taking the checkered flag in Friday's Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
With a record average speed of 144.443 miles per hour, Busch, in a Toyota Camry, pocketed his 13th NASCAR victory of the season.
"It's definitely an awesome feeling to be here in Winners Circle," Busch said. "We weren't that good early in the race but made some adjustments, and this car just came to life."
The Las Vegas native has won a series-leading six times on the Sprint Cup circuit while also placing himself in Victory Lane twice in the Craftsman Truck Series.
"It's definitely been a phenomenal year," Busch said. "It's the kind of thing that doesn't come along very often."
The 23-year-old Busch, who collected a purse of $84,645, led twice for a total of 101 laps. The current Sprint Cup points leader had a commanding lead near the end of this race, surging ahead by as many as 10 seconds before finishing with a three-second margin over Denny Hamlin.
It also was a record-tying 13th win for Joe Gibbs Racing, whose team matched the 2001 total by Richard Childress Racing with 15 events still remaining on the schedule.
Friday's win was a good beginning for of the weekend for Busch, who will begin Saturday's Sprint Cup Chicagoland 400 from the pole position. He automatically garnered the spot when heavy thundershowers passed through the area Thursday, forcing NASCAR officials to cancel qualifying.
"Winning tonight means plenty for (Saturday), that's for sure," Busch said. "The biggest thing I learned (Friday) is, the track didn't change much. It got cooler and gained grip, but the balance didn't change a whole lot. That was pretty cool to see."
Because of owner points standings, Busch collected his seventh top spot in 18 qualifying sessions this year.
The winner of last week's Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona, Hamlin - who started in 42nd place in a Toyota - has alternated first- and second-place finishes in six consecutive races.
"We really ran No. 18 (Busch) down on that last run," Hamlin said. "He just got too far ahead, and we couldn't overcome the track position."
Brad Keselowski, whose Monte Carlo was the lone Chevrolet among a group of Camrys in the top five, finished third. The 24-year-old Michigan native has seven top-five finishes this season.
Brian Vickers, who overcame a loose wheel and a penalty during the race, was fourth, while pole-sitter David Reutimann came in fifth. It was the third top-five result in just seven events for Vickers and the seventh this year for Reutimann.
Nationwide Series points leader Clint Bowyer, in a Chevy, crossed the finished line in seventh, one spot behind the Ford Fusion of Greg Biffle.
Defending champion Kevin Harvick finished in 18th place in a Chevy.