NASCAR Nationwide Season Rewind

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Kyle Busch (HHP/Gregg Ellman Photo)

Kyle Busch (HHP/Gregg Ellman Photo)

2009 Champion: Kyle Busch

If this were any other year, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski would have been in a dogfight for the NASCAR Nationwide Series title.

Too bad Kyle Busch was around to spoil the fun.

Busch dominated NASCAR’s second-tier series in 2009 by collecting nine victories, 25 top fives and 30 top 10s, breaking the record for most points in a single season previously held by Sam Ard as a result. That dominance also translated in the laps-led category, where he broke another of Ard’s records.

Busch clinched the championship simply by starting the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, leaving Edwards and Keselowski to fight for second in the standings.

“My championship means a lot to me. Those guys (the crew) really earned it. They performed well, did not back into this and performed well throughout the year,” said Busch. “I hope they enjoyed it.”

On The Record

“I just made a mistake at the end there and lost the race. Any other lap, any other corner, I would have got it straight back.” — Marcos Ambrose after losing the lead in the final corner of the race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to Carl Edwards

“If he wants to continue to be an idiot, we can play that game.” — Michael Waltrip on a crash at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway with rival Clint Bowyer

“He was just gone.” — Kyle Busch on Kevin Harvick’s late run during the Sept. 5 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway

“I should be so grateful and so happy to finish second, but I am not.” — Kyle Busch after finishing second to Brad Keselowski at Iowa Speedway

“It was crazy. That was the most fun race I’ve ever had in my whole life.” — Joey Logano after recovering from a crash to win at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Oct. 10

“This is my house on the Nationwide side.” — Kyle Busch at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in October after scoring his fifth series win at the superspeedway

“I can’t believe I won at home. I’m speechless.” — Brad Keselowski at Michigan Int’l Speedway after a last-lap pass of Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers

“He obviously needs some sort of guidance. He just ran into us.” — Denny Hamlin after a crash with Brad Keselowski (above) at Dover (Del.) Int’l Speedway Sept. 26

Noteworthy Moments

– DOUBLE TROUBLE: Kyle Busch made history Feb. 21 at Auto Club Speedway by becoming the first driver to win two major NASCAR races in a single day. Busch first won the Camping World Truck Series race before taking the Nationwide Series race a few hours later.

– ONE FOR HIMSELF: It took him nearly four years, but Kevin Harvick finally managed to win a race in his own equipment. Harvick picked up his first victory as a driver-owner at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway March 21. He added another victory later in the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

– CENTURY MARK: Greg Biffle gave team owner Jack Roush an early birthday present — his 100th series win — April 17 at Phoenix Int’l Raceway.

– SMASH HIT: Kyle Busch sparked controversy June 6 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway when he smashed the track’s signature Gibson guitar trophy, drawing the ire of race fans and artist Sam Bass. Busch claimed he smashed the guitar so he could give pieces to his crew.

– BLISS IMPRESSES: Sitting sixth in series standings, Mike Bliss (right) was abruptly fired by Phoenix Racing in early August. Bliss scraped together rides with a number of different teams, and in an odd twist, returned to Phoenix Racing for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where he finished 16th, enough to earn him fifth in the final point standings.

– LAST LAP SURPRISE: Marcos Ambrose looked like he finally had a victory at Canada’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the bag until he made a mistake in the final corner on the last lap. Ambrose hopped the final curb, giving Carl Edwards all the room he needed to squeeze by and record his first victory on a road course.

Stat Pack

10 – Consecutive races that Kyle Busch finished either first or second

124 – Laps led by Marcos Ambrose at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in three races without winning at the 2.7-mile road course

3 – Races in 2009 where Kyle Busch did not lead a lap