There is such a thing as perfection, but to achieve it is very rare.
At Texas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch was the model of perfection. He could not have performed better – nor could anyone else.
The 27-yeard-old driver for Joe Gibbs Racing won the pole for the NRA Sprint Cup race, followed that with a convincing win in the Nationwide Series race and then he took the big one.
He dominated the field to win the NRA 500.
Busch won everything there was to win at Texas.
It was the seventh time in his career that Busch has swept the NSCS and NNS events during a race weekend – and all seven sweeps have been while driving a Toyota for JGR.
Now, all of this may not sit well with the fans that love to hate Busch – they disapprove of his perceived arrogance – but no one can deny that Busch is one of the most talented drivers in NASCAR.
Yes, he was the last man out in the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup, losing out to Jeff Gordon.
But he closed the season with seven-top five finishes in the Chase’s 10 races.
After a slow start early in the season, Busch finished fourth at Las Vegas, first at Auto Club Speedway and fifth at Martinsville a week ago.
And now he has won at Texas, which means that over the last 17 races, dating back to 2012, Busch has earned 12 top-five finishes, including two victories.
Busch is fashioning his best season since 2008, when he won eight Cup races, 10 Nationwide events and three in the Camping World Truck Series.
Busch moved from fourth to third in the point standings, just nine points behind Brad Keselowski and 18 behind leader Johnson.
From the pole position, went on to lead 171 laps, more than any other driver.
However, he lost his lead to Martin Truex Jr., in Michael Waltrip’s Toyota, when Truex Jr. got off pit road first following a caution created by a crash between Marcos Ambrose and Jeff Burton that ended on lap 290.
Truex Jr., having one of his best performances in a long time, led 25 laps before another caution period began on lap 315 due to debris on the track.
This time it was Busch’s turn to lead the field off pit road. He remained the leader until the checkered flag fell.
“Dave Rogers (crew chief) and these guys gave me a great piece today,” Busch said. “We ran up front all day long. If it wasn’t for my pit crew, who is the most awesome crew ever – and since 2008 we’ve been together and haven’t had any changeovers. Man, those guys were awesome.
“They pulled out one heck of a stop right there at the end to put us up front and give us that lead and to be able to bring it home.”
The long-suffering Truex Jr., who has not won a race since Dover in 2007, admitted his loss was extremely disappointing.
“Finishing second is good,” Truex said. “I’m not saying that’s not the case. It’s just when you’ve been so close to winning so many times since your last one, it really sucks to run that good and finish second. Circumstances, the way they play out sometimes, they go that way … ”
“It’s so hard to get in position to win these races. It is so hard to make your car good enough to beat Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch and all these guys; and we had that tonight. We’ve got to get better at taking advantage of that.
“That’s where we’re missing and that’s what we need to work on. So that’s why I’m upset. Second is a great accomplishment, but it’s not what we’re here for.”
Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle led the Roush Fenway Racing contingent – normally very strong at Texas, by finishing third and fourth, respectively.
After failing to pass prerace inspections NASCAR confiscated the rear end housings of the Penske Racing Fords of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.
Keselowski’s team got it driver on the grid on time but Logano was late and had to start from the rear of the field.
Logano rallied to a fifth-place finish while Keselowski came home ninth.
NASCAR may impose penalties on Penske later this week.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who came into the race third in points, had peculiar race at Texas.
He was in third place when he pitted on lap 188. It was thought his battery was dead and he switched to the backup battery – but had to serve a penalty for being too fast on pit road.
While serving the penalty, Earnhardt Jr. stopped on pit road – which is not allowed. He had to make a second pass and by the time it was all over, he was five laps down and no longer a contender.
He finished 29th and fell to sixth place in points, 35 behind Johnson.
Busch’s night at Texas was, obviously, much the opposite of Earnhardt Jr.’s.
It was flawless.
“It’s good, really good, Busch said. “We’ve had a good start to the season. It feels amazing to keep this roll going. It’s so much fun to race with this group.
“We had a talk over the winter and Dave and I had a talk a few weeks ago and things have kind of jelled. We’ve been doing really, really well.
“I’m proud of this bunch and couldn’t say enough about Joe Gibbs Racing. Everybody back at the shop — all the guys and gals — these cars are amazing to drive, they’re fast, and they’re fun.”
And now we have the proof they can be perfect.