Keeping Pace

Kyle Busch a smashing success at Nashville

Kyle Busch celebrates winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Federated Auto Parts 300 on Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) (Chris Graythen / The Spokesman-Review)
Kyle Busch celebrates winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Federated Auto Parts 300 on Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) (Chris Graythen / The Spokesman-Review)

Kyle Busch led four times for 173 of the 225 laps around the 1.33-mile concrete track, giving up the lead only for pit stops. He led the final 24 laps and beat Brad Keselowski by 0.891 seconds.

Special to Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

LEBANON, Tenn. -– Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch said he thought he was like Ozzy Osbourne after winning Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway.

He may have been more like The Who's Pete Townsend when he slammed the special trophy the track gives to race winners, a Sam Bass-designed Gibson Les Paul guitar.

"Ozzy's done it, right?" Busch said

"(Ted) Nugent," crew chief Jason Ratcliff suggested.

"Pete Townsend?" Busch wondered. "I think Ozzy's done it, too. I think Kiss has even done it. Everybody's done it, expect race car drivers. All them sorry saps, they take it home in one piece and put it on their shelf, man. I break that thing up and spread it within the team so everybody's got a piece."

That's all he was trying to do, Busch said. He made a promise to his team members last year that if he ever won a race at Nashville, he would give them each a piece of the guitar.

"I always said, 'Man, if I win here, I'd smash that thing.' I had to stick to my word. It's karma or something, I guess. I won here, so I tried to smash it up."

The problem was, it didn't break into many tiny pieces.

"It didn't break according to plan," Busch said. "I was actually hoping to get more pieces for the guys on the team. We'll go back to the shop and cut it up, and they can have nice, smooth pieces of it."

Top rookie finisher Michael McDowell said he felt bad for Bass, who put in "a lot of work" to design the paint scheme on the guitar.

Bass, too, was first taken aback by Busch's impromptu celebration in victory lane.

"Just like everybody else in victory lane, I was stunned when it happened," said Bass, who was brought into the infield media center moments before Busch's post-race news conference.

But then Bass heard Busch's explanation of the smashed guitar.

"When I took a picture with Kyle as I traditionally do, the first thing he said to me was that there was no disrespect to me or the trophy or the speedway or any of the sponsors," Bass said. "He just said that he told his guys that he was going to give each one of them a piece of the trophy whenever he won the guitar.

"That was his way, in the spirit of rock and roll to break the guitar like a Kiss concert and share it with all the guys on the team. That made me feel a lot better. As a person that loves rock and roll the way I do and appreciates a good show, Kyle Busch put on as great show in victory lane and shocked the world."

Busch probably should be delighted with the victory, for he won for the first time after leading the most laps in the previous three races. Busch won the pole and led the most laps Saturday, but this time nothing went wrong at the end of the race.

Busch's win was his fourth of the season in the series. He extended his point lead to 65 over Carl Edwards.

JR Motorsports' Brad Keselowski finished second, with Roush Fenway Racing's Edwards third, Phoenix Racing's Mike Bliss fourth and Braun Racing's Jason Leffler fifth.

Sixth through 10th were Stephen Leicht (Richard Childress Racing), Steve Wallace (Rusty Wallace Racing), Michael McDowell (JTG Daugherty Racing), Erik Darnell (Roush Fenway) and Brad Coleman (JGR).

Busch led four times for 173 of the 225 laps around the 1.33-mile concrete track, giving up the lead only for pit stops. He led the final 24 laps and beat Keselowski by 0.891 seconds.




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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.





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