By: Billy Tewes
Kyle Busch was back in victory lane after having a flawless night in his Interstate Batteries Camry. The NRA 500 came down to a battle off pit road between Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch. Busch’s team jumped him up one stop but that didn’t even matter because Kyle’s car was superior to Truex’s. This win marks Busch’s first win at the Texas Motor Speedway and his second of the 2013 season.
Busch led 171 of the 334 laps and it was obvious from his new track record that he had a strong car all weekend. Busch also won the Nationwide Series race the night before in dominating fashion as well. The only other driver to come close to Busch’s level would be Martin Truex Jr who led 142 laps and was leading the race late until the final pit stop. It should be noted that Martin Truex Jr did however fail post race inspection for having the nose of his car too low which was not up to par with the inspection policies. Any penalties for this infraction will come later this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was docked some points and his crew chief might get suspended.
There weren’t a lot of drivers who could stick with Busch and Truex who combined led 313 of the 334 laps. One of the drivers that could hang with the cream of the crop was Jeff Gordon, but his day was ended on lap 306 with suspension issues.
The big story out of this weekend comes in two parts. It happened before and after the race was over. Before the race started, the Penske Racing cars of last years champion Brad Keselowski in the #2 Miller Lite Fusion and the #22 of Joey Logano failed pre race inspection for having rear end housing parts that Nascar ended up confiscating. Both ended up racing but Brad Keselowski was fired up after the race:
“The way we’ve been treated over the last seven days is absolute shameful. I feel like we’ve been targeted over the last seven days more than I’ve ever seen a team targeted in my life. My guys keep their heads on straight and they showcased why they’re a winning team and a championship team.”
I sure hope Brad is ready to open up his pocket book. Earlier this year Nascar fined Denny Hamlin for criticizing the generation six car. I would not be surprised to see them fine Keselowski for saying damaging things about the integrity of the sport. I don’t really know what is going on behind the scenes, but I believe he could have handled this much better by saying nothing than opening himself up to Nascar for fines.
My prediction of Matt Kenseth winning the NRA 500 fell short so now I am 0/2 since beginning this prediction segment. Kenseth and crew could not get front grip out of the car and he seemed to be tight off the corner so he could never make significant progress toward the front and would finish 12th. Next week is first of two spots at the Kansas Speedway which is the sister track to Las Vegas. I won’t pick Matt Kenseth again even though I think he’ll be strong like he was at Vegas. My pick instead will be Greg Biffle in the #16 Fusion to get his first victory of the season. Biffle’s won at Kansas twice and the Roush cars are historically strong at 1.5 mile tracks. There is always more excitement instore so stay tuned for the STP 400 post race wrap up!
A glimpse of the potential madness at Kansas!!