NASCAR Nationwide Series

Kurt Busch claims Nationwide win at Watkins Glen



Watkins Glen, NY (Sports Network) - Days after accepting the role as substitute driver for the injured Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch earned his third Nationwide Series win by taking Saturday's Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International.

Busch, driving Keselowski's No.22 Dodge for Penske Racing, held off his fellow Sprint Cup Series competitors Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and younger brother Kyle Busch during a green-white-checkered finish for his second Nationwide win at this Upstate New York road course.

The Busch brothers were the only drivers who led in this event, with Kyle holding the top spot for a race-high 48 laps and Kurt, the pole sitter, in front for the other 27 circuits.

An accident involving Eric McClure and Casey Roderick, who made his Nationwide debut, set up the two-lap overtime finish.

"I knew that it was going to be a good finish," Busch said. "On the restart at the end, all heck could have broken loose. I actually drove it in a little too deep. That right-front tire was cold. I just have to thank this [No.22] crew for allowing me to step in. They were starting to call me "Buschlowski," because I was wearing Brad's fire suit."

Keselowski continues to heal from a fractured left ankle he sustained in a crash while testing at Road America earlier this month. After the race, Keselowski congratulated his teammate in victory lane.

"This deal with Kurt didn't come together until Tuesday," Keselowski said. "When we left our driver debrief after talking about the Cup weekend at Pocono, I walked up to Kurt and said, 'Hey Kurt, I think it would be cool if you drove my car this weekend. I just don't think that I can pull it off'."

Jacques Villeneuve is scheduled to drive the No.22 car next weekend in Montreal.

Busch finished one second ahead of Johnson, who bounced back from an early race pit-road blunder. Johnson was penalized after he left his pit stall with the gas can still attached to the car.

"I knew I had a good car, and I knew it was getting better the longer I ran," Johnson said. "I was hoping for a lot of green-flag runs, and we had it. I was able to drive up through there."

Logano took the third spot, while his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch, settled for fourth. Busch was attempting to win his record 50th Nationwide race. He is currently tied with Mark Martin for most victories in the series.

On lap 18, Busch ran off course and had grass cover the front grille of his No.18 Toyota. He had to pit earlier than expected when his car began overheating. That put Busch out of pit sequence, requiring him to stop three times.

Prior to the Nationwide race, Kyle Busch won the pole for Sunday's 90-lap Sprint Cup Series race here. Kurt Busch qualified 27th.

Edwards finished fifth, followed by Paul Menard, Ron Fellows and Aric Almirola. Trevor Bayne and Elliott Sadler completed the top-10.

Despite a 15th-place run, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. remained the points leader. Stenhouse holds a 10-point advantage over Reed Sorenson, who finished 13th.

08/13 18:48:31 ET

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