Kyle Busch continues to defy description in Nationwide Series
After another victory -- his third straight -- on three completely different kinds of tracks, one question begs to be answered, writes Terry Blount. Is there anything Kyle Busch can't drive to Victory Lane in the Nationwide Series?
Updated: April 20, 2008, 9:01 PM ETBy Terry Blount | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Miguel TovarKyle Busch left them trailing in his wake at Mexico City.MEXICO CITY -- With each passing week, Kyle Busch takes another step toward proving there's nothing he can't do on a race track.Busch added another line to his resume Sunday, this time on foreign soil. Rowdy can get it done on a road course, too.Busch won the Corona Mexico 200 for his third consecutive Nationwide Series victory on three different types of tracks."It's pretty phenomenal," Busch said. "My guys did an awesome job. It's great to come down here and win it."The surprise of the day was how few people showed up to see the event. It was the smallest crowd of the four Nationwide races run on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course.Less than half of the frontstretch grandstands were filled, which could have a bearing on whether the race returns to the city of 25 million. The ones who didn't come missed a wild show.It had a similar ending for road-racing veteran Scott Pruett, but this time he didn't get punted out of the lead. Pruett was in front with eight laps remaining in 2007 when teammate Juan Pablo Montoya bumped him out of the lead en route to victory. Pruett again was leading the pack late in the race, but Busch passed him cleanly with nine laps to go."We were struggling today to get the right setup," Pruett said. "We gambled by [pitting] early and our tires were a little too used up at the end."Pruett ended up third, his best showing in a NASCAR event. The same was true for Nationwide regular Marcos Ambrose, who had a remarkable run from the back to the front to finish second.Ambrose started at the rear of the field because his No. 59 Ford team was penalized for making unapproved repairs to the clutch after qualifying.He moved his way up to 20th, then went to the back again when NASCAR penalized his crew for jumping over the pit wall too soon on a stop."The back to the front and back again," Ambrose said. "I'm so proud of my guys. Two more laps and we would have caught Kyle for sure."No one has caught Busch since his victory in the Nationwide race on the 1.5-mile oval at Texas on April 5. He followed that up with a win at Phoenix on the 1-mile flat track.But the talented Sprint Cup regular never had won a NASCAR road race until Sunday. Now it's official. There's no track where Busch can't beat the competition."Road racing is a different game," Busch said. "But there was too much rough racing out there at the end."Yes, the young master of rough racing actually said that, believe it or not. But Busch finally is starting to realize he doesn't have to run over people to beat them.Boris Said felt Ambrose played the over-aggressive game late in the race when Ambrose bumped the back of Said's car on a restart and ended Said's day."Either he made a big mistake or he's incredibly stupid, and I don't think he's stupid," Said said about Ambrose. "I'm not going to get mad. I'm going to get even. "I'm going over right now to apologize to his crew chief [Gary Cogwell] for the damage I'm going to do to his car in the future. He better watch his mirrors. It's gonna cost him a car."Ambrose knows the feeling. He was headed to victory in Montreal last year when Robby Gordon bashed him from behind on an overtime restart in retaliation for an earlier bump by Ambrose.But Ambrose said Sunday's incident was unintentional."I'm going to apologize to Boris face-to-face," Ambrose said. "I didn't mean to get into him. If I could take it back, I would. It was unfortunate."Bumping and spinning was the theme of the day. The race had seven cautions and two red flags.Sam Hornish Jr. was the villain with the fans for banging into Mexican favorite Adrian Fernandez, ending any chance Fernandez had of winning for the hometown crowd.Other Mexican drivers ran up front most of the race, including Antonio Perez and Ruben Pardo, who was second with 26 laps to go. But Pardo finished 18th and Perez finished 34th.Regardless of their nationality or road-racing skills, no one was as good as Busch. And that's becoming a pattern.Busch is third in the Nationwide standings, but each victory may bring him closer to running the entire Nationwide schedule this season."The consideration is there," he said. "But we're not letting anything out of the bag quite yet. I don't even know if there's anything in the bag. But I know this: I love winning."Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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