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Kyle Busch Drives No. 18 DLP HDTV Toyota to Victory at Texas

JGR Gives DLP® HDTV Hometown Win

Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch drove his No. 18 DLP® HDTV Toyota to a dominating victory in Saturday’s O’Reilly 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver led four times for a race-high 126 laps to deliver Dallas-based Texas Instruments and its DLP brand a win at its hometown track.

The win was Busch’s first this season and his 12th in 115 Nationwide Series races. It was also the 12th career Nationwide Series win for JGR. But all of the past Nationwide Series wins for JGR came via its No. 20 team. The O’Reilly 300 marked the first win for the Jason Ratcliff-led No. 18 team, as well as the first trip to victory lane for Texas Instruments’ DLP brand. DLP HDTV has been an associate sponsor of JGR’s No. 18 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since 2006, and its full sponsorship of Busch in the O’Reilly 300 complemented its overall relationship with JGR.

“This feels so good because this place is so hard to win at,” said Busch, who now has six top-10 finishes in seven career Nationwide Series races at Texas. “For me, it’s extra-special to bring DLP their first NASCAR victory and to bring Toyota here to victory lane at Texas. All of these guys work so, so hard on these things and I’ve torn a couple of them up. I also want to thank my fans for sticking with me. It’s been tough time in the Nationwide Series so far this year. Finally, we were able to stay out of trouble and win one. It would be great if we could just keep it going now that we got the first one.”

Busch began the 200-lap race deep in the 43-car field. He started 31st after Thursday’s qualifying session was rained-out, which forced NASCAR officials to set the top-30 positions based upon team’s current standing in car owner points. The rest of the grid was set based on how many qualifying attempts each team had made so far this season. But for the No. 18 team, which is running a limited Nationwide Series schedule in 2008 and made only two qualifying attempts prior to Texas, it was awarded the 31st slot thanks to Busch’s four Nationwide Series victories in 2007.

“When I was driving through the field there and Jason (Ratcliff) was rattling off lap times, I thought there was no way that we’re three-tenths or four-tenths quicker than the leader,” Busch said. “It’s pretty cool and we were still in traffic, so I can’t imagine what it was going to be like when we got out in front. To be able to finally get out front and stay there in clean air was the best scenario for us because it ultimately helped us hold on for the win.”

Busch’s JGR teammate, Tony Stewart, finished 10th after a cut right rear tire on lap 71 took him out of the lead and into the pits. The unscheduled stop dropped Stewart off the lead lap, where he spent the rest of the race working to get his lap back. He finally did after passing his teammate with 40 laps to go, and in the last 30 laps, picked his way from 15th to 10th.

Busch’s win brought the No. 18 team up six spots to 35th in owner points, while the No. 20 car – which is being campaigned for the full Nationwide Series schedule – gained one position to sit fifth in car owner points, 120 markers behind the leading No. 2 car of Richard Childress Racing (RCR).

There were four caution periods for 13 laps, with nine drivers failing to complete the 300-mile race.

Finishing 1.041 seconds behind Busch was Jeff Burton, while Burton’s RCR teammates Clint Bowyer and Bobby Labonte were third and fourth, respectively. Jamie McMurray came home fifth, while Brian Vickers, Dale Earnhardt Jr., David Ragan, Jason Leffler and Stewart rounded-out the top-10.

The next event on the Nationwide Series schedule is the April 11 Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. The race starts at 9:45 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN2 beginning with its pre-race show at 9:30 p.m. The race will also be broadcast live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 128.

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