HUNTERSVILLE – Kyle Busch came close to matching a racing feat that only had been done once before – by him.
Busch, who drives for Huntersville-based Joe Gibbs Racing, won two points series races at Dover International Speedway last weekend and narrowly missed a third. He won the Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 on May 30, leading for 150 of the race’s 200 laps.
A day later, Busch dominated the Nationwide Series Buckle Up 200, which he led for 124 laps en route to victory. He was poised to try for a weekend sweep and bolted to the lead June 1 during the first 81 laps of the Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks.
Busch, who was in fourth place at the time, attempted to pass Clint Bowyer on Lap 124 (of the race’s 400) when his No. 18 car was forced into the front stretch wall. The damage was substantial and forced Busch out of the race. He finished 42nd, a sour note to an otherwise outstanding weekend.
A win would have given Busch victories in NASCAR's three national divisions in a single weekend, a feat he accomplished in 2010 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
A new points leader
HUNTERSVILLE – Matt Kenseth hasn’t won a race yet in the Sprint Cup Series, but he is the points standings leader. After finishing third at Dover last weekend, Kenseth moved two points ahead of former leader Jeff Gordon.
Kenseth, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing, has been in the top 10 in eight of the past nine races. He’s methodically piled up the points without winning and now he’s the points leader. But that will be tested this weekend at Pocono Raceway, where Kenseth’s last three finishes there have been 22nd, 25th and 23rd. He, like the rest of the drivers, has to deal with Jimmie Johnson, who has won the past two weeks and is surging upward in the standings.
Changes in truck race format
DAYTONA, Fla. – NASCAR announced format changes to the Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway (July 23), the lone dirt track race on the circuit.
• Pit stops during competition cautions are now optional. They were mandatory in last year’s inaugural event.
• Each qualifying race will be 10 laps each. Last year, each race was eight laps.
• A random draw will determine qualifying order. Last year, practice speeds dictated the qualifying order.
• Owner points will be awarded to the top five team owners whose trucks do not transfer to the main feature.
We rank Herald Weekly-area drivers in the racing world:
1. Kyle Busch – Winning one race is a huge accomplishment. Busch won two and led in the third at Dover International Speedway last weekend. The dude can drive.
2. Matt Kenseth – Moved into the points lead in the Sprint Cup Series. Ran strong at Dover for Huntersville-based Joe Gibbs Racing, finishing third in the Sprint Cup race and fourth in the Nationwide race.
3. Clint Bowyer – Finished fourth in the Sprint Cup race at Dover, but got tangled with Busch in a wreck that ended Busch’s day.
4. Joey Logano – A productive weekend at Dover, finishing third in the Nationwide race and eighth in the Sprint Cup. A lot more good races than bad this season.
5. Kyle Larson – He’s the frontrunner for rookie of the year honors, but there’s plenty of racing left. Finished sixth in the Nationwide race at Dover.