A cool, October night at Charlotte Motor Speedway was anything but serene as forty-six drivers battled for victory in the 32nd Annual Dollar General 300. Intense competition at the lead of the pack resulted in an all too familiar outcome, Kyle Busch won his eleventh NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the 2013 season.
Tonight’s win marks Busch’s eighth NASCAR Nationwide Series win at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He also has five Camping World Truck Series wins that makes him the driver with the most wins collectively at Charlotte Motor Speedway. While celebrating in victory lane Kyle and his wife, Samantha, announced that they are donating all of tonight’s winnings to the Pretty in Pink Foundation.
When asked how special it is to win this race tonight, Busch said, “I certainly want to do this tomorrow night also, but first and foremost our breast cancer survivors are with us tonight—they are the champions that we have here tonight. This is an honor to them—Samantha’s done a tremendous job with her Project Pink Initiative. To come out here and try to raise money—we had a dinner on Tuesday night, we had a mammogram unit at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) on Thursday and she’s done a tremendous job. She deserves all the credit this week.”
NASCAR’s support of Breast Cancer Awareness month was evident throughout the track with a variety of paint schemes and evidence of charitable support.
Although Busch has had tremendous success in the Nationwide Series this season, his trip to victory lane tonight did not come easy. Nationwide regulars, Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr., and Kyle Larson, gave Busch a run for his money.
When asked how he was able to catch Sam Hornish Jr. in the closing laps, Busch commented, “I felt like I didn’t have a chance to win the thing and went and found the top groove and chased Sam back down, got by him and I tell you without the help from upstairs—that’s the biggest help you can get these days.”
After a hard fought battle to the finish, driver of the No. 12 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford, Sam Hornish Jr., finished the night in third place posting his second top-10 finish in seven races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
When interviewed after the race, Hornish said, “We had that restart with about 40 to go and felt really good about our car and what we were gonna be able to accomplish. The Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Mustang was good, but our problem throughout the night that we continued to build freer as the runs went on and I think there were probably a lot of people that were in the same boat, but we could never get it tight enough at the start of the run to be not busting-free towards the end. We caught Kyle there and got around him and thought I was pulling away from him far enough to be ok, and then all of a sudden he just started reeling me back in. I was too free to run up there where he ran that last bit of the race.”
Hornish is eight points behind the Nationwide Series points leader, Austin Dillon. Hornish and Dillon battled for position during much of the race and Hornish stayed right with Dillon in the points tonight.
“Yeah, we ran around each other a lot the second half of the year here,” Hornish said. “It seems like no matter what we’re always right there together, but we got out there and led a bunch of laps and got that extra bonus point and kept it even up, so we’ll just keep working hard. We go to some tracks that I really like going to coming up.”
Nationwide points leader, Austin Dillon, finished the 32nd Annual Dollar General 300 in second place posting his second top-10 finish in four races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his twentieth top-10 finish in 2013.
Commenting on his night, Dillon said, “It was a good one, they asked us early in the week what it would be like to be the points champion without a win, that right there should show you how great the racing is and how tough it is. Had three guys fighting it out there until the end for everything we had and that was a heck of a race and like I told Sam, it was the best race I felt like I was a part of all year, slicing and dicing out there…”
Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 32 Target Chevrolet, was the highest finishing rookie with a thirteenth place finish. Larson made the bold move of running the high line on the track for much of the night, and it proved to be successful until he hit the wall during the final laps, which resulted in his thirteenth place finish.
The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford, with eleven wins this season, was driven by Joey Logano and ended the race with a seventh place finish. After the race Logano said, “It starts in practice. There was an adjustment on the car we went back and forth on and couldn’t figure out what we wanted to do and we went down a little bit more of a risky road, but it was faster and it bit us. I feel like I should have known better. I feel like I steered the boat down the wrong way, so I’m mad at myself. But you win as a team and you lose as a team, but it’s just frustrating.”
Other notable finishes in tonight’s race were Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth finishing in fifth and sixth places, respectively. Trevor Bayne, Parker Kligerman, and Michael Annett rounded out the top 10 in eighth, ninth, and tenth places.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will travel to Texas Motor Speedway on November 2nd for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300.