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Busch Makes a ‘Z-Line’ to Victory Lane at Fontana

Seventh Nationwide Series Win of 2008 Comes in Dominating Fashion

Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch
It was like a summer repeat, only the main character and car number were different.

In February, Tony Stewart dominated the Stater Bros. 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., by leading three times for a race-high 136 laps en route to taking the No. 20 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) to Victory Lane.

Saturday night, Kyle Busch dominated the Camping World RV Service 300 Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway by leading three times for a race-high 144 laps en route to taking the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry for JGR to Victory Lane.

Busch’s victory means that JGR swept both Nationwide Series races at the 2-mile track by leading 280 of the possible 300 laps (93 percent).

The win was Busch’s seventh Nationwide Series victory of the season and his 18th total victory in NASCAR’s top three divisions in 2008. It was also his first Nationwide Series victory at Fontana.

“This thing was flawless, it was just amazing,” said Busch, who relinquished the lead only during pit stop cycles. “I really have to thank all the guys back at the shop. The way these Z-Line Designs guys prepared the car coming to the racetrack was just phenomenal. This is Toyota’s home track and these guys were awesome today. I want to thank the fans for coming out to the track tonight and supporting these guys.”

Busch’s win also gave sponsor Z-Line Designs another victory in its home state as the designer and import manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture is based in San Ramon, Calif.

“I’m really excited to give Jim Sexton and all the Z-Line Designs folks a win in their home state,” Busch said. “I’m glad we could take them to victory lane.”

Earlier in the day, Busch won the pole for the 150-lap race, which set the stage for his dominating victory. That said, leading nearly all of the event did have its challenges.

“There’s two ways to look at it because when you’re out front like that the whole time and leading the race, you don’t know how much to work on your car and you don’t know how much to change your car,” Busch said. “Yeah, you’re fast but how much is the guy behind you holding back? You don’t really know that. When you start 20th or 25th and you drive through the field you can kind of see how quickly you drive through the field, what other guys are fighting, what they’re doing, different adjustments that they’re making during the race and if they’re getting better.

“So for me, tonight leading that many laps and staying up front like that was kind of a crap shoot. That’s why you always have to stay on top of your car. I could’ve left my car alone tonight, but I knew that if I did I would’ve gotten eaten up. We had to make some changes to it. I saw Carl (Edwards) a couple times getting up a little bit closer to me, but we were just able to keep kind of adjusting on the car and keeping it under me and being able to keep that gap.”

The victory propelled the No. 18 car, which has run only a partial schedule so far this season, up two spots to 27th in the Nationwide Series owner standings.

There were five caution periods for 15 laps, with 10 drivers failing to finish the 150-lap race.

The race ended under caution with Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, Jeff Burton and Jamie McMurray rounding out the top-five behind Busch. Joey Logano, Busch’s JGR teammate finished sixth, while Clint Bowyer, David Reutimann, David Ragan and David Stremme comprised the remainder of the top-10.

The next event on the Nationwide Series schedule is the Sept. 5 Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. The race starts at 8 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN2 beginning with its pre-race show at 7:30 p.m. The race will also be broadcast live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 128.

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