Kyle Busch seizes lead on final restart to win at Texas

From The Marbles

There's no stopping Kyle Busch at the moment.

The reigning Sprint Cup Series champion took the lead off the race's final restart and led the final 34 laps at Texas to win his second-straight Cup Series race and fourth-straight race in NASCAR's top three series. Busch won in both the Truck and Cup Series at Martinsville last weekend and won Friday night's Xfinity Series race.

And while he dominated that Xfinity Series race, he wasn't the main contender for the win throughout the entirety of the Cup race. The race's best car went to Martin Truex Jr., who Busch passed for the win.

[Related: Quick takeaways from Texas]

Truex had the lead on the final restart, but it was the second-straight caution flag where he didn't pit. He first stayed out when Greg Biffle hit the wall shortly after a caution flag and also stayed out again after Austin Dillon slid into the wall and triggered a 13-car crash after he got loose in front of Denny Hamlin and got tapped by Jimmie Johnson.

Dillon's crash put Busch, who had pitted after Biffle's crash for fresh tires, on the outside of the front row for the restart. With fresher tires than Truex, Busch easily dispatched of his satellite teammate (Furniture Row Racing has a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing) and drove away from the rest of the field.

"The restart was going to be key," Busch said. "If I could just get out in front of him, I knew I could protect the rest of the race. They had a good restart, but we got a better one and I just had to get up on his door. He chose the inside and the inside has been winning the race all night long, but this time on the last restart it finally prevailed for us.”

Truex said his crew chief Cole Pearn called him in to pit road late during the caution for the 13-car crash but he didn't dive on to pit road because he didn't think he could make it inside the commitment cone and not commit a penalty.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second and Joey Logano finished third. Truex ended up sixth. Truex led 141 laps while Busch teammate Carl Edwards, who finished seventh and started first, led 124. Edwards fought back for the top 10 after he was forced to pit for a loose wheel shortly after a restart and went a lap down.

Matt Kenseth, another Joe Gibbs Racing driver, led 20 laps. In all, Joe Gibbs Racing cars (counting Truex) led 319 of the race's 334 laps. To say the team controlled the race may be an understatement.

The highest non-JGR car in the laps led column was Trevor Bayne. And he only led his 12 laps because his team tried to make one less pit stop over the final 80 laps than the rest of the field. When a caution came out for debris to precede the yellow before Biffle's crash, Bayne's strategy was kaput.

You may also be wndering if Busch has ever won four-straight NASCAR events before. The answer is yes, and he accomplished the feat very recently. Busch won four straight races in July and August of 2015 as he won the Cup race at New Hampshire, both the Xfinity and Cup races at Indianapolis and the Truck Series race at Pocono. The Cup win at Indy was also his fourth Cup win in five races.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

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