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Bristol, TN (Sports Network) - Kyle Busch remained unstoppable at Bristol Motor Speedway by winning Saturday's Scotts EZ Seed 300 Nationwide Series race in dominating fashion.
Busch led 268 of 300 laps and easily held off Kasey Kahne at the finish for his fourth consecutive NASCAR win at this half-mile, high-banked track. Last August, he won all three of NASCAR's national touring series races at Bristol on the same week.
There were a lot of unknowns with the tires going into this race. After yesterday's Sprint Cup and Nationwide practices, NASCAR and Goodyear revealed a tire compound change for both weekend races at Bristol due to extreme wear on the outside shoulders of the right-side tires.
Nationwide teams used the original tires for qualifying earlier in the day and then ran it for the first 25 laps in the race before a competition caution was held for teams to switch to the newer tires.
Busch said he noticed a difference with the new compound.
"It changed the dynamic of the car quite a bit," Busch said. "We had to compensate for that in our driving."
He seemed to have no issues with it.
"We played a lot [during Friday's practices] with different setups on what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it," he said. "I knew the feel that I needed, but it's just hard to get it sometimes. We got it there yesterday and felt pretty good about it. Then they had the tire deal, and we were a little bit nervous about it. It worked out today."
Sprint Cup teams began using the new tire during Saturday's final practice for the 500-lap race at Bristol, which is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Busch made more NASCAR history by becoming the first driver in Nationwide to hit the 10,000 mark in career laps led. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started on the pole and led the first 28 laps before Busch took over from there, easily picking up his 45th career Nationwide win, which puts him once again four victories away from tying Mark Martin's record. Martin won two weeks ago at Las Vegas.
"It's cool, and I enjoy it, and there's still plenty of more time to make some more [records]," Busch said.
Busch will attempt to win for the fifth straight time at Bristol in tomorrow's Sprint Cup race. He will start 12th.
Kahne finished second, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the third spot. Elliott Sadler and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five.
"We were really loose, but we kind of made the right adjustments," Kahne said.
Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Jason Leffler, Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola finished sixth through 10th, respectively.
Leffler grabbed the points lead, holding a two-point advantage over Stenhouse, who finished 14th. Stenhouse was penalized for advancing his position just prior to a mid-race restart, which put him two laps behind.
After her record-setting fourth-place finish at Las Vegas, Danica Patrick's first short-track race in Nationwide did not goes as well as she had hoped.
With 52 laps remaining, Patrick and Ryan Truex Jr. made contact, with Patrick slamming into the wall and ending her day earlier. She walked up the track and showed her displeasure towards Truex when the field made its first lap under caution.
"I don't know if I've given him the benefit of the doubt right there," said Patrick, who ended up finishing 33rd. "He just runs hard. "He's run hard every time I've been around him, and it just seems like overkill."
Truex took the blame for the incident.
"It was my fault," Truex said. "We were fighting a loose race car all day. I was wrecking sideways through the center of the corner."
Jennifer Jo Cobb was scheduled to start in the Nationwide race, but Cobb refused to drive the car shortly before the start when she learned her car owner, Rick Russell, had planned to "start and park." Chris Lawson, who failed to qualify for the event, took over driving duties of the No.79 Ford.
Cobb later explained her decision not to participate in the race and part ways with the team.
"It's 'Jerry Maguire' in NASCAR, I tell you," Cobb said. "I was told ten minutes before the race started that I would be forced to start and park by the owner, mandating a black flag so the car could be ready for California. Then I was told that [Russell] is breaking the contract with me, and that I would not be racing in California."
The Nationwide Series is competing next Saturday in Fontana, CA.
03/19 18:18:28 ET
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