STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Sports Writer
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Kyle Busch has a chance at another NASCAR trifecta.
While out of contention for the Sprint Cup championship, Busch gets to go for a weekend sweep at Texas after winning the Nationwide Series race Saturday.
“It would be real special, certainly at another venue. I think that this opportunity for that (Sunday) would be something special,” Busch said. “I would certainly cherish it as much as the first.”
The win Saturday was Busch’s 141st victory in NASCAR’s top three series and record-extending 70th in the Nationwide Series. He also was won 29 times in the Sprint Cup Series and his 42nd victory in the Camping World Truck Series came Friday night at the high-banked, 1 1/2-mile track.
He has 15 victories this season, seven each in Nationwide and Truck and one in Cup. He starts ninth Sunday in the Cup race at Texas.
Busch led 116 of 200 laps and finished 1 1/2 seconds ahead of Joey Logano, giving Joe Gibbs Racing its 100th Nationwide victory.
“Obviously, it’s a special moment for all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing,” Busch said. “I’m proud to be part of the effort, a small part of the effort.”
Busch also won Nationwide and truck races at Texas in the fall of 2009, but finished 11th in the Cup race to end the weekend after leading 232 laps. The following year, he did pull off a tripleheader sweep at Bristol.
Nationwide season leader Chase Elliott finished fourth, moving 48 points ahead of Regan Smith with two races left. Smith finished 11th.
“We really struggled to start the day, we qualified 11th and we were struggling to run 13th, and couldn’t hardly get inside the top 10 early,” Elliott said. “For me , for us, to go from that to be able to battle into the top five … it was a great team effort to be able to turn a really, really bad day into a decent finish for us.”
Elliott was the only top-five finisher who is eligible for the season title in NASCAR’s second-tier series. Ryan Blaney finished third, and Matt Kenseth was fifth.
Elliott, who turns 19 later this month, got his first career Nationwide victory at Texas in April, winning in just his sixth start. He has won two more times.
Busch led six times, while Logano was in front five times for 59 laps. There were six consecutive lead changes involving the two from Lap 59 to 180.
“It was interesting there for a little bit,” Busch said. ” When we were out front, it was fun. Playing with Joey there for a little bit today — racing hard, I mean we weren’t playing with him — he had a fast car too. Having fun racing with him. … We were back and forth quite a few times and he was bottom, I was top. If I was bottom he was top. We were all over. So, it was fun.”
Smith led for five laps when the leaders took their final green-flag stops with 20 laps left. Busch regained the lead on Lap 186, and held on from there.
Busch has 11 NASCAR victories at Texas, seven in Nationwide, three in Truck and one in the Cup.