Kyle Busch took the checkered flag in the Jeff Byrd 500 for his second consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup win at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch has won five straight at Bristol if you include truck and Nationwide series races. He's the first driver this season to sweep a weekend winning all three events. This comes only a year after he became the first driver to ever complete the sweep at a single track... I'm sure you can guess where that was.
Busch held off pole sitter Carl Edwards and defending Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson, who also won at Bristol last year. In his post race comments, Busch paid tribute to the race's namesake.
"I guess first and foremost, it's cool to have the race title be after Jeff Byrd. We know what he's done for us at Bristol, what he's done for the sport in general, how much he meant for all of us. To win the Jeff Byrd 500 is especially special to me and to the Joe Gibbs Racing team. We're real pumped about that. Thanks to Food City and those guys for giving up their name in order to put Jeff's name on there."
It was a good day all around for the Busch family all around as Kyle's brother Kurt, who finished in seventh today, moved into the Sprint Cup Series points lead. He's the fourth different points leader of the young season.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pulls into Bristol, Tennessee this weekend for the Jeff Byrd 500. The event is named after the former track president of Bristol Motor Speedway, Jeff Byrd, who died last year of brain cancer. Byrd has long been known as one of the great promoters and nurtures of both NASCAR and NHRA. ESPN did a really great piece on Byrd this week that I'd highly recommend.
Carl Edwards grabbed the pole for this weekend, edging out his Rousch teammate Greg Biffle. It's the third consecutive pole for a member of the Roush team.
"This is fun; the cars have just been great," Edwards said. "Greg motivated me. I didn't think anybody was going to be able to go that fast. I thought that the track had slowed down a lot more than that, so I was out there driving my heart out."
While Edwards was the fastest in qualifying, you can never overlook Kyle Busch in any race at Bristol. Busch has won at Bristol four times, leading all active drivers, and has two second place finishes in his last nine races. Busch also has two Nationwide Series wins and three Truck Series wins at Bristol. Busch told NASCAR's website that his success at Bristol can be attributed to his childhood racing roots.
"We grew up at the [Las Vegas Motor Speedway] Bullring and stuff like that," Busch said. "Maybe not as banked as Bristol is, but I love going and racing at Winchester [Ind.], Slinger [Wis.], and Salem [Ind.], where I've raced before. Those are all really high-banked race tracks that are a half-mile in distance, or a quarter. They're really fun to race around, and you kind of get a great feel for racing in a bowl."