The only thing that stopped Kyle Busch this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway was Raybestos brakes.
Busch made NASCAR history with his win Saturday night in the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol (TN) Motor Speedway. He became the first driver to win in all three national series in the same weekend by capturing the Aug. 18 O’Reilly 200 Camping World Truck Series race and the Aug. 20 Food City 200 Nationwide Series event.
Busch gave Raybestos brand Brakes, a member of the Affinia Group family of brands, their EIGHTH NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in 2010. Cars using Raybestos brake products have won THREE of FOUR short-track events this season plus led the most laps in each of those races. Cars using Raybestos brake products have won eight of 10 events on tracks less than a mile in length over the past two seasons.
Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said after the race at Bristol that the relationship aspect of the technical partnership with Raybestos is a key element to the team’s on-track success.
“The biggest thing about it is the team we work with at Raybestos, they’re open to work on whatever you ask them to work on,” Gibbs said. “It’s always changing. The sport changes, what we need changes, and they’re always there to do it. That’s the biggest thing is just the partnership, the relationship, and then just coming through and doing it. We have different driving styles within JGR and one thing is they will push ‘em as hard as they can possibly push. The problem is Raybestos makes the brakes better and they push that more so you’ve got to come up with something else. They’ve got a great product week in and week out. The relationship piece is a big deal for Joe Gibbs Racing.”
Busch started 19th and didn’t take the lead until he passed Jimmie Johnson on lap 172 of the 500-lap event. From there, Busch dominated the race, leading 282 of the final 328 laps and pulling away down the stretch, taking the checkered flag .677 seconds ahead of second-place David Reutimann.
“It’s so cool to be here three nights on this weekend,” Busch said. “The pit stops tonight were flawless. Jimmie [Johnson] beat us out one time just because of pit selection. We had a really fast race car. Coming through the field was fun. Passing in front of those guys and working traffic the way you had to work traffic and just kind of pick and choose your way, do you go high or do you go low. You had to have a car that would really work anywhere.
“Dave [Rogers, crew chief] gave me a great car today. It’s his first win here so that’s pretty cool. I’m happy for him, of course, and the rest of the guys to be able to repeat and come back from our win here last year and do it again.”
Rogers said he made a phone call early Saturday to Jason Ratcliff, Busch’s crew chief in the Nationwide Series, which gave him confidence in changes that he made to the No. 18 Toyota prior to the race.
“I’ve got to give Jason Ratcliff a lot of credit,” Rogers said. “I called him up this morning and said look, man, you were the race-winning car in practice; what did you do? He told me what he did to work on his car to make it better which gave me more confidence in making the changes I needed to make today.”
One of the few challenges Busch had in the second half of the race came from Jamie McMurray. McMurray tracked Busch down under green and passed him on lap 389 but Busch beat McMurray on a green flag pit stop on lap 401.
Busch said that when he saw McMurray peel off the banking for pit road, he followed, although it was two laps ahead of when the team planned to pit.
“In this day and age with this car, you know, when anybody comes in and puts on fresh tires they’re normally about a second faster,” Busch said. “So you can’t give up that time. If McMurray came in and got off pit road, he’d be able to run a second faster lap time than I would have, which is an awful lot of distance. I knew I needed to come in with him. I was able to out-brake him and get to his outside and get to pit road, get slowed down and we had a really good pit stop.”
Reutimann cycled through as the race leader on lap 404 then the final caution of the night waved for debris on lap 410. The race restarted on lap 415 and Busch made his race-winning pass around Reutimann 14 laps later.
Busch won the fourth time in 12 races at Bristol and for the 19th time in 210 career starts. He claimed his third victory of the 2010 season and gained five spots in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship standings, moving up to third-place, 72 points behind second-place Jeff Gordon and 57 ahead of fourth-place Carl Edwards.
Busch averaged 99.071 mph in a race that took 2 hours, 41 minutes and 24 seconds to complete. There were 15 lead changes among nine drivers in a race that was slowed by seven cautions for 39 laps.
To gain a competitive advantage at Bristol, the Joe Gibbs cars used the Raybestos Sprint Cup braking system. The ultra-lightweight aluminum alloy six-piston calipers are the stiffest and lightest calipers available in all of NASCAR. The innovative calipers were developed using Raybestos technology partner Alcon’s state of the art “optimized design” process, and include an asymmetric body design and advanced between-piston and crossover cooling features. The brake package also provides for the largest brake pad volume (surface area) and largest rotor (13.15” outside diameter, and 1.65” thick) available in NASCAR.
For more information on the Raybestos Sprint Cup braking system, or for questions on any Raybestos brand brake or chassis products, visit www.raybestos.com or call (800) 323-0354.