Originally written for CLNS Radio.
Kasey Kahne, Ned Jarrett, Rusty Wallace. Those three drivers all won in their 300th career Sprint Cup Series start. Kyle Busch joined that group on Saturday night, outrunning Martin Truex Jr. and winning the NRA 500.
The excitement began before the race even started. Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski had a rear-end problem in inspection, and they had to make changes to the car. Logano was late getting onto the grid, and the field had begun pulling onto the track by the time Logano made it to pit road. Because of this, Logano joined Kevin Harvick -- who changed an engine over the weekend -- in the back of the pack.
Kyle Busch led the field to the green flag, after breaking the track record when he won the pole on Friday. Kyle was able to pull ahead of his brother Kurt coming off Turn 2. By lap 19, Kyle Busch realized that he had debris on his grille, but his team just wanted him to keep an eye on his gauges and he would be okay.
On lap 37, the first caution of the race came out for debris on the frontstretch. When the pits opened, Kyle Busch led everyone down pit road, and Busch was able to beat Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr. off pit road.
The race restarted on lap 42, and Busch was passed by Truex for the lead going into Turn 3. The same lap, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Austin Dillon got together on the backstretch to bring out the second caution.
The race restarted on lap 48, and Truex was able to clear Busch coming off Turn 4. On lap 74, after chasing him since the restart, Busch was able to take the lead away from Truex. On lap 81, Stenhouse brought out the caution again. He had just returned to the track, but his car began smoking in Turn 4, and NASCAR threw the caution.
Busch led everyone down pit road, and he was able to win the race off pit road, beating Jeff Gordon and Truex. While pit stops were going on, a fire erupted in Matt Kenseth's pit box. Kenseth ran over a lug nut leaving his stall, and the sparks caused the excess gasoline to catch on fire. Safety crews were able to get the fire extinguished with no problems.
Busch led the race back to green on lap 85, and Truex was pushing Busch off into Turn 1. They both cleared Gordon, and Busch was able to pull away from Truex with the lead.
Matt Kenseth brought his car down pit road on lap 128, and that started a round of green-flag pit stops. Busch brought his car in on lap 131, and that handed the lead over to Jimmie Johnson. Johnson gave up the lead to pit on lap 132. When stops cycled around, Busch was back in the lead.
On lap 150, the caution came out for debris in Turn 2. Busch brought the field down pit road, and he was able to beat Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. off pit road.
The race restarted on lap 156, and Busch was able to clear Gordon going into Turn 1. On the restart, Carl Edwards started to slow and he quickly dropped back. Edwards said that when he went to pull his belts tight before the green flag they got caught on something and came unhooked.
Jeff Gordon began catching Kyle Busch, and they started to race for the lead on lap 184. Gordon and Busch raced side-by-side for two laps, and Gordon was able to take the lead on lap 188.
Also on lap 188, Earnhardt brought his car to pit road for what he thought was a dead battery. By the time they had replaced the battery, he had lost two laps. Earnhardt was also caught for speeding on pit road, so he ended up being five laps down after serving his penalty.
Green-flag pit stops began on lap 197, and Gordon and Busch brought their cars down pit road on lap 200. When stops had cycled around, Truex was scored as the leader. Truex pitted a lap before Busch and Gordon, and he was able to make up a lot of time while running on fresher tires.
Travis Kvapil got loose coming off Turn 2 and hit the wall, bringing out the caution on lap 222. Truex won the race off pit road, beating Gordon and Busch.
The race restarted on lap 228, and Truex was able to beat Gordon into Turn 1 for the lead. Busch was also able to get around Gordon for second.
On lap 274, Kevin Harvick pitted, kicking off another round of green-flag pit stops. Truex pitted on lap 280, and right as he hit pit road the caution came out. Marcos Ambrose spun out after contact with David Gilliland, and Jeff Burton spun after running into the back of Mark Martin.
Gordon brought the rest of the field down pit road, and he was able to win the race off pit road.
The race restarted on lap 290, and Truex was able to pull ahead of Busch and Gordon for the lead.
On lap 306, Gordon said he had a flat tire and had to bring his car to the pits. When his team took a look at his tire, they saw that the tire was fine. Gordon took his car to the garage after his team diagnosed him with a broken left-front hub.
On lap 314, the caution came out for debris in Turn 4. The leaders brought their cars down pit road, and Busch was able to win the race off pit road.
The race restarted on lap 317, and Busch was able to clear Truex for the lead. Truex tried to catch Busch, but Busch was able to pull away and he never looked back. He went on to win the NRA 500.
Here are the unofficial results:
1. Kyle Busch
2. Martin Truex Jr.
3. Carl Edwards
4. Greg Biffle
5. Joey Logano
6. Jimmie Johnson
7. Aric Almirola
8. Brian Vickers
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Ryan Newman
11. Kasey Kahne
12. Matt Kenseth
13. Kevin Harvick
14. Mark Martin
15. Clint Bowyer
16. Jamie McMurray
17. Paul Menard
18. Trevor Bayne
19. Marcos Ambrose
20. Juan Pablo Montoya
21. Tony Stewart
22. Travis Kvapil
23. Jeff Burton
24. David Reutimann
25. Dave Blaney
26. David Ragan
27. David Stremme
28. Danica Patrick
29. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
30. Josh Wise
31. Casey Mears
32. David Gilliland
33. Austin Dillon
34. Landon Cassill
35. Joe Nemechek
36. Timmy Hill
37. Kurt Busch
38. Jeff Burton
39. J.J. Yeley
40. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
41. Mike Bliss
42. Bobby Labonte
43. Michael McDowell
Kyle Busch was very strong throughout the race, but it seemed that Martin Truex Jr. had made his car stronger during the second half of the race. But with it all on the line, Busch's team was able to get their driver out of the pits first, and that helped propel him to the lead. Busch swept the weekend at Texas after winning the Nationwide Series race on Friday. Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series rolls into Kansas, a track very similar to Texas. The STP 400 will be at 1 p.m. ET, only on FOX.