Kyle Busch had ’em covered once again in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last night at Darlington Raceway, winning the VFW/SportClips Help a Hero 200 from the pole and claiming his fifth triumph in eight NNS starts this season.
Busch’s decision to opt for a four-tire stop under caution on Lap 121 proved to be a critical one. Re-starting fourth at Lap 125 behind Joey Logano and Austin Dillon (both of whom had stayed out on older rubber), as well as Elliott Sadler (who took two tires on his last stop), Busch surged past with the fresh Goodyears and took the lead for good from Logano on Lap 130. He would pull away to the win over Sadler by over nine-tenths of a second.
Sadler spun out while running second on Lap 50, but managed to avoid the wall and fought his way back to the runner-up position at the checkers. Brian Vickers, Logano, and Matt Kenseth finished third, fourth, and fifth respectively, and with their 1-2-3-5 finish, Joe Gibbs Racing became the first organization to ever put four cars in the Top 5 of an NNS event.
The series’ top two title contenders, Regan Smith and Sam Hornish Jr., battled to a stalemate in South Carolina as Smith finished seventh and Hornish finished eighth. Smith currently holds a 28-point edge over the former IndyCar champion.