JOLIET, Ill. — Just when it appeared Kyle Busch couldn’t be any stronger in a Nationwide Series race, he broke the record for most laps led on a 1.5-mile track in a Nationwide event in winning the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday.
Starting from the pole, Busch went on to lead 195 of the race’s 200 laps, eclipsing the record of 194 laps led the late Dale Earnhardt set at Charlotte in 1986.
“It was just a great day with a phenomenal race car,” said Busch, who earned his 10th win in 20 Nationwide races this season, tied for second-most wins in a single season on NASCAR’s junior circuit.
Busch holds the record for most Nationwide wins in a season, 13 in 2010.
It was Busch’s 61st career win in 264 career Nationwide Series starts, and his 123rd overall win across all three of NASCAR’s top racing series.
Joey Logano was second.
TRUCK SERIES: In Joliet, Ill., Busch won his 34th career series race Friday night, beating Brad Keselowski at Chicagoland Speedway before running out of gas on his way to Victory Lane.
It was Busch’s fourth series win of the season and 17th overall spanning all three of NASCAR’s national series.
Busch and Keselowski ran side-by-side for a large portion of the race, trading the lead several times as they combined to lead 102 of the 150 laps.
“Finally got by him and he was still with me, and I started stretching him and thought I could breathe again,” Busch said. “Then two laps later, he was on my butt again.”
Busch was startled on his celebratory burnout when he leaned out the window while mimicking a boxer <0x2014> an attempt to show he’d outdueled someone <0x2014> and his truck ran out of fuel. It looked as if it nearly caused Busch to fall out the window.
Busch, who will try for the weekend sweep at Chicago by winning the Nationwide race on Saturday and the Sprint Cup race on Sunday, laughed it off later.
“Always try to do something. Keep it fresh. I’m running out of ideas,” he said.
Keselowski had to settle for his second runner-up finish of the season and fifth of his career. Keselowski is still searching for his first career Truck Series victory.
“Running this race, side-by-side, every restart, some pack racing, that’s just something that I think is exceptional to watch,” Keselowski said. “But from my place is exceptional to do. A little disappointed we didn’t get the win, but I know we were close. I know how far our team and company has come.”
Ryan Blaney finished third driving for Keselowski.
Series leader Matt Crafton, who now leads James Buescher by 47 points in the standings, was fourth after grabbing his 16th top-10 in 16 races. Buescher was eighth.
Ty Dillon finished fifth, John Wes Townley was sixth and Austin Dillon seventh.
Jeb Burton and Johnny Sauter completed the top 10.