Kurt Busch prevailed in the Nationwide Series while his brother Kyle Busch won the Sprint Cup race during a wild weekend of NASCAR racing at Richmond International Speedway.
Although Kyle Busch may have won the Sprint Cup race, it wasn't without a lucky break. For the vast majority of the race, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart were out in front. During a restart, Edwards mistakenly believed he was ahead of Stewart in the race and lined up in the wrong position. NASCAR penalized the driver, which caused him to fall back in the race and essentially ended his day.
That left Stewart out in front alone, and the driver built up a big lead on the competitors that seemed insurmountable. With just 12 laps to go, however, NASCAR called a caution for debris on the track. All of the teams headed to pit road, but a mistake by Stewart's crew meant Kyle Busch was the first back on the track.
After the race, Stewart pulled no punches when criticizing NASCAR's decision to call a caution for debris - especially as it was something he didn't believe would hinder the drivers.
"When the caution is for a plastic bottle on the backstretch, it's hard to feel good about losing that one," Stewart told the Indianapolis Star. "And we gave it away on pit road. That’s the best car I’ve had at Richmond in a long time. But we’ve got some work to do on pit stops right now."
The victory was the fourth-consecutive win at Richmond International Speedway for Kyle Busch. Busch now holds the record for consecutive track wins in NASCAR, breaking a tie with legendary driver Richard Petty. For his part, however, Busch admits he wouldn't have won without the caution giving him a chance to catch up.
"Stewart was phenomenal," he said. "I hate it for him that we had a caution like that. He deserved to win the race. But I can't say enough about us just getting our lucky break there and getting a chance to win."
Stewart was ultimately forced to settle for third, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. slipped past him on the final laps. Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top five.
Meanwhile, in the Nationwide Series, all eyes were on Travis Pastrana, the latest motorsports star to make the jump to NASCAR. Pastrana is best known for his motorcycle stunts, but a switch to NASCAR has been a long time coming. In fact, the rider was set to make his debut last year until a motorcycle accident suspended his dream. Having sworn off bikes until he gets his NASCAR career on-track, the rider ran his first NASCAR race in Richmond.
Before the race got underway, Pastrana said he had three goals: finish the race, stay on the lead lap, and beat Danica Patrick. Pastrana only accomplished one of those goals at the end of the day. He brought the car back in one piece, but finished two laps down in 22nd - one spot behind his friendly rival Patrick.
The Nationwide race was a moment of redemption for Kurt Busch, however, who won his first race since joining his brother Kyle's team. Busch held off a charging Denny Hamlin in the final moments of the race to claim the victory and make it an all-Busch weekend in Richmond.