This is the Kyle Busch NASCAR fans have loved to hate.
It’s the one who winds up in Victory Lane far too often for their liking.
A fast pit stop on the race’s last caution put Busch in the lead and he held off a furious challenge from Martin Truex Jr. to win Saturday night’s NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The win completed a weekend sweep for Busch, who also won Friday night’s Nationwide Series race in dominating fashion.
The win is Busch’s second in the past three Cup races and he hasn’t finished outside the top-five in five consecutive races.
Carl Edwards finished third, Greg Biffle was fourth and Joey Logano was fifth.
Trouble for two drivers started before the race even got underway.
After failing to pass pre-race inspection, NASCAR confiscated the rear end housing and associated parts from the cars of Penske Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and Logano.
Keselowski’s team got his car on the grid on time but Logano was late and had to start the race from the rear of the field. Both teams could face NASCAR penalties this week.
Once the race got underway, Kyle Busch quickly took control. The pole winner led 129 of the first 167 laps.
On Lap 178, Kurt Busch – who was running in the top-10 – had to take his car to the garage with a fuel system issue.
On Lap 188, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was running third at the time, dropped on pit road not under power. The team determined his battery was dead and he switched over to the backup battery but also had to serve a penalty for speeding on pit road.
Then, while serving the penalty, Earnhardt stopped in his pit stall which is not allowed, so he had to make a second pass-thru on pit road. When he was done, Earnhardt was five laps down and out of contention.
Shortly after Earnhardt went to pit road, Jeff Gordon passed Kyle Busch for the lead.
On Lap 195, teams began a series of green-flag pit stops. Once the cycle was completed, Truex had moved into the lead followed by Kyle Busch and Gordon.
Debris on the track brought out the sixth caution of the race on Lap 223. All of the lead lap cars pit for fuel and tires. During the stops, Biffle was flagged by NASCAR for speeding on pit road.
On the restart, Truex continued to lead followed by Gordon and Kyle Busch.
With 75 laps remaining, Truex continued to hold a sizable lead over Kyle Busch, followed by Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson.
Just as teams were beginning a round of green-flag pit stops, Marcos Ambrose and Jeff Burton got together on Lap 281 to bring out the seventh caution of the race.
Since the caution came out after some teams had already pit, only 10 cars remained on the lead lap when the race restarted.
Truex remained in the lead on the restart on Lap 291, followed by Kyle Busch, Gordon, Logano and Brian Vickers.
With 25 laps to go, one of the race contenders, Gordon, was forced to the garage with damage to the left-front wheel hub.
Debris in Turn 4 brought out another caution on Lap 314. The lead-lap cars all pit for fuel and tires and Kyle Busch reclaimed the lead on the restart on Lap 319 followed by Truex, Edwards, Biffle and Logano.