Nationwide win brings Busch to brink
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Kyle Busch show continued Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch won his fourth consecutive Nationwide Series race at the 1½-mile, high-banked track Saturday. The dominating victory at the O'Reilly Challenge came a day after he won his fifth truck race in his last five starts in the series.
He will try to complete an unprecedented trifecta Sunday and become the first driver to win all three of NASCAR's national series on the same weekend.
When Busch climbed out of the car in Victory Lane on Saturday, he said he was "sorry" he won and would make it three in a row. When asked later about what reaction he expected if he did pull it off, he said he was "messing with the fans" with his comment and wasn't sure.
"People would get tired of buying tickets to the Kyle Busch show, I guess," he said. "That's two, one more to go. ... If luck is on our side and we play it smart, we could come out of here 3-for-3. That would be pretty special."
Busch has now won five Nationwide Series races at TMS, and four in a row overall at the track.
After starting sixth Saturday, Busch maneuvered into position at the front of the field and led 179 of the 200 laps on the way to his 29th career series win.
"Today was really fun, had great competition all-around throughout the race," Busch said. "We had [Kevin] Harvick there in the beginning. [Matt] Kenseth was coming on strong at the end. Those guys pitted so we had a little bit of a breather there."
Busch scored the maximum 195 points in the win and has a 272-point lead over Carl Edwards. He can wrap up his first Nationwide championship by scoring 118 points in Phoenix.
Busch will look to sweep the weekend races Sunday at the Dickies 500, a feat never accomplished in NASCAR history. He starts 28th in the M&M's No. 18 Toyota Camry.
Burton sits out after Friday crash: Mears replaced teammate Burton in the No. 29 Holiday Inn car for Richard Childress Racing after Burton hit the wall in the first Sprint Cup practice Friday afternoon. Mears qualified the car 14th and drove to a runner-up finish in the O'Reilly Challenge.
The move was a precautionary measure for Burton, who was 29th in the first Saturday Cup practice and 32nd in the final Happy Hour practice session. Burton will start 42nd in the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevy for Sunday's Dickies 500.
Buescher has solid weekend: Plano's James Buescher drove through the field after starting 28th in the O'Reilly Challenge to finish 11th.
Buescher finished 10th in Friday's truck series race.
Johnson paces final practice: Jimmie Johnson, who commands the Chase points lead by almost a full race, had the fastest lap Saturday in Sprint Cup Happy Hour practice at 186.670 miles per hour. Johnson will start on the outside of Row 6 for Sunday's Dickies 500 in the 12th position.
Edwards was second fastest. Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle and Bill Elliott rounded out the top five in final practice. Polesitter Jeff Gordon was 15th overall, almost three miles an hour slower than Johnson.
Briefly: Seven cars were involved in accidents during the O'Reilly Challenge, but no drivers were hurt.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.