FORT WORTH — Early, late and often.
That’s been the theme of Kyle Busch‘s season in the Xfinity Series, and it continued Friday night as Busch led 150 laps to score his fourth win of the year.
Busch started from the pole, gave up the lead briefly to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones and Kyle Larson before leading the final 81 laps.
“(Crew chief) Chris Gayle, he got his money’s worth tonight, he had to work on this thing for me and make it better all night long,” Busch said. “I think some people a few years ago wrote Chris Gayle off. We worked together last year and won races. To come out as strong as we have this year, this could have been five in a row.”
It was Busch’s eighth win at Texas in the Xfinity Series, but his first with Gayle, who has 12 wins in 102 races as an Xfinity crew chief. Ten of the wins came with Busch.
“I think basically with the two off weeks we had, we talked a little bit about it,” Gayle said. “Thought we had been pretty good on the short runs all year long, but probably our long runs had been a little bit off. That was one thing I really wanted to be good at going into tonight.”
After leading the first four laps, Busch would lead three more times, with the second and fourth stretches totaling 63 and 81 laps.
Busch has led 776 laps in his five starts in the 2016 Xfinity season. The only start he hasn’t won was March 19 at Auto Club Speedway when he was passed by Austin Dillon out of Turn 4 on the final lap while limping along with a shredded tire.
Friday’s win was his third straight in a NASCAR national series race after becoming the first to sweep the Sprint Cup and Truck series races last week at Martinsville Speedway.
“I don’t know if I get a cookie or what,” Busch said “I’ve won a Truck race, a Cup race and an Xfinity race all three in a row. I want a cookie right now.”
The next cookie Busch will set his eyes on is Saturday’s Duck Commander 500.
MORE: Xfinity Series point standings
HOW KYLE BUSCH WON: Busch started from his third pole of the season and led 150 laps, including the final 81 to take his record eighth Xfinity Series win at Texas Motor Speedway.
WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Brad Keselowski started eighth and made his way to a third-place finish. It’s his first top-five finish in the Xfinity Series this year. His previous best result in three starts was sixth … Erik Jones fought back from a penalty for crew members going over the pit wall too soon to finish second. It’s his fourth top-three finish of the year … JR Motorsports finished 4-5-6-7. Chase Elliott led the effort, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his first Xfinity start of the year, then Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler, who bounced back from an uncontrolled tire penalty on Lap 101 … Ryan Sieg finished 10th, earning the fourth top-10 finish of his Xfinity Series career.
WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Kyle Larson led a season high 38 laps but finished 11th … Ryan Preece brought out the caution on Lap 1 with a single-car spin on the backstretch. He finished 28th, nine laps down … Brennan Poole brought out the second caution on lap 45 when he lost a right-front tire and hit the wall in Turn 3. He finished 19th, three laps down … Daniel Suarez earned his worst finish of the year after spinning out of Turn 4 on Lap 79 to cause the third caution. He finished 16th, one lap down. In the first five races, Suarez hadn’t finished lower than eighth. Suarez still leads the standings by one point over Sadler … Tire problems caused a crash between Jeb Burton and Blake Koch with 56 laps left. Burton lost a right-side tire and hit the outside wall, where Koch couldn’t avoid ramming into him. Koch and Burton finished 34th and 35th, respectfully.
Quote of the Night: “Everybody gets a break from Kyle at Richmond, but I still have one more next week at Bristol.” – Kyle Busch
Next: Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 16 at 12:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.