Kyle Busch stormed past race leader Martin Truex Junior thirty-three laps from the finish and kept his Number-18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in front the rest of the way to claim his second victory of the season on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch led only thirty-four laps, but that included the ones that counted most as he beat runner-up Dale Earnhardt Junior to the checkered flag by four seconds. Joey Logano finished third with Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports rookie Chase Elliott completing the top five.
Truex faded to sixth after his crew elected to bypass a final pit stop for fresh tires while other contenders – Busch included – got new rubber. Truex started third and led a race-high 141 laps in his failed bid for victory Number-1 of 2016. Carl Edwards started from the pole and was strong throughout the first half of the race, leading a total of 124 laps en route to a seventh-place finish.
With the win, Busch assures himself of a spot in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with an opportunity to defend his 2015 championship. It was the second straight weekend sweep for Busch, who won Friday night’s X-FINITY Series race on the Fort Worth oval after claiming Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series victories at Martinsville Speedway one weekend earlier. Saturday’s win lifted Busch from third to first in the Cup Series standings, now six points ahead of Johnson and seven up on Kevin Harvick.
Busch’s victory gave Toyota its first Sprint Cup win at T-M-S since he was victorious in this event in 2013 … The race included seventeen lead changes among eight drivers. There were seven cautions for forty-one laps, including a thirteen-car accident along the backstretch less than forty laps from the finish.