Busch breaks out broom after sweep
BRISTOL, Tenn. — Kyle Busch made NASCAR history last night with an unprecedented sweep of three national races in one week, completing the trifecta with a victory in the
Busch hoisted a broom in Victory Lane, where he made his third visit in four days. He also won the Nationwide race Friday night, and the trucks race Wednesday to become the first driver to complete the sweep since NASCAR expanded to three national series in 1995.
“I’ve been trying to do this since I got to NASCAR,’’ said Busch, who has tried for a three-race sweep five times in his career.
The Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and third in the last four at Bristol, was drama-free after another round in his ongoing feud with Brad Keselowski.
Busch admitted to intentionally wrecking Keselowski late in the Nationwide race, and he celebrated that win by mockingly rubbing his eyes like a crying baby as the crowd showered him with boos. Keselowski vowed revenge over the public address system to the delight of the Bristol crowd.
The barbs continued all the way up to the start of the Cup race. As Busch was booed in race introductions, he sarcastically told the crowd, “Aw, you’re so loving.’’
Keselowski was introduced moments later, taking the microphone and earning a thunderous cheer by saying, “I’m Brad Keselowski . . . Kyle Busch is [a jerk].’’
There was almost no chance of an on-track altercation, though, as the two hardly raced near each other for most of the night.
Keselowski did make it hard for Busch to pass him late in the race, when Keselowski was fighting hard not to go a lap down, but Busch made a clean move around him in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
“Great job,’’ his team radioed after the pass.
“I know,’’ Busch replied. “I have more class.’’
Crew chief Dave Rogers reiterated that after Busch completed the victory.
“Some wise guys got introduced behind him, and he raced like a champion and handled it with class all day,’’ Rogers said.
David Reutimann rallied from a bout with food poisoning to finish second for Michael Waltrip Racing, and Jamie McMurray was third in for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing.
Clint Bowyer rallied from an early pit-road speeding penalty to finish fourth for Richard Childress Racing, and he moved a step closer to locking down the 12th and final spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Mark Martin, who started the night 35 points behind Bowyer in 13th place, finished 23d.
Juan Pablo Montoya, McMurray’s teammate, finished seventh despite damage to his car from contact that wrecked pole-sitter Jimmie Johnson.
NASCAR will cut the purses for the Nationwide Series by 20 percent next season, a move designed to make hosting the second-tier series a more profitable proposition for tracks.
It’s the second consecutive year the purse will be reduced in Nationwide. NASCAR also cut the purses in the Sprint Cup before this season.