Buescher stayed glued to Kenseth’s bumper throughout the white flag lap, never poking his nose out to try and grab the lead. In the end Kenseth held on to score his first Nationwide victory in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, beating Buescher by .189-second.
Kenseth said he that prior to the final restart he was torn between restarting in the outside lane or restarting on the inside lane to stay with Buescher. He opted to stay with Buescher and it clearly paid off.
“Really I felt like the outside lane was better, but James could push me so fast,” said Kenseth, who now has 27 NASCAR Nationwide Series wins on his resume. “The 22 (Logano) and the 12 (Hornish), when they were together all night, no matter who I was pushing or who was pushing me we couldn’t run with those two. With the 34 (Buescher) pushing me we could.
“It was important to keep him with me. He did a really good job getting us up to the lead and putting us in a position to try to win, so I wanted to make sure we stuck with him. He did a great job, a really, really good job pushing there.”
Buescher, a former Daytona Nationwide race winner, said that he was committed to staying with Kenseth as long as possible.
“When Matt lost his drafting partner inside of 20 to go I was relieved,” Buescher said. “I was running inside the top 10 and I was the odd man out. I latched on to his rear bumper and we went right to the front. Right then I knew I had to stay committed to him until the end of the race as long as we could.”
Elliott Sadler finished third and claimed the $100,000 Nationwide Dash4Cash bonus for the top finishing qualified full-time Nationwide driver. He’ll have another shot at a $100,000 bonus next weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Kurt Busch, driving a car painted to look like one of Cole Trickle’s cars from the film Days of Thunder, finished fourth. Austin Dillon, who started from the pole for the sixth time in the last seven races, was fifth.