LOUDON, NH (NASCAR.com) - It was a day of major milestones for Kyle Busch, who tied Mark Martin for the career victory lead in the Nationwide Series with Saturday's win in the New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The victory was Busch's sixth of the season in 15 starts and the 49th of his career, tying Martin. At the same time, Busch, 26, won for the 100th time in NASCAR's top three series combined.
"Happy 49, happy 100," crew chief Jason Ratcliff radioed to Busch after the driver crossed the finish line .304 seconds ahead of Kevin Harvick, who said warnings from NASCAR a few weeks ago had handcuffed him when it came to making the moves necessary to win the race.
Busch pulled away on a restart after contact from Steve Wallace knocked Joey Logano's Toyota into the Ford of Trevor Bayne on Lap 190 to cause the eighth caution of the race. The accident also collected the No. 32 Toyota of Reed Sorenson and deprived Sorenson of a chance to wrest the points lead from Elliott Sadler.
That wasn't the last major incident. When the field reached the second corner on Lap 197, a massive pileup slowed the race for the ninth time, and necessitated a green-white-checkered finish that sent the race six laps past its scheduled distance at the 1.058-mile flat track.
Busch chose the inside lane, beat Harvick through Turns 1 and 2 and had a flag displaying the number 100 waiting for him at the stripe. Kasey Kahne ran third behind Busch and Harvick, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Aric Almirola.
"Harvick was right there on that [last] restart, but we got a good one, and I beat him through 1 and 2," Busch said. "To me, it's a great opportunity to be able to come out here and race."
Martin, 52, came to Victory Lane to congratulate Busch.
"Everybody forgets -- he's 26 years old," Martin said. "There are so many more out there for him."