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Kyle Busch one victory away from NASCAR Nationwide Series record

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Kyle Busch and Samantha Sarcinella celebrate in victory lane after Busch won the Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo: Lesley Ann Miller/Toyota Motorsports)

By Lee Montgomery

BRISTOL, Tenn. – If Kyle Busch wins another NASCAR Nationwide Series race this year, car chief Leo Thorson will finally go to victory lane.

Thorson is a veteran mechanic who chooses not to celebrate with the team after the No. 18 Toyota team wins a Nationwide race. Thorson, though, is coming off the road next year to spend more time with his family, and Busch made Thorson make a promise before the 2010 season ends.

Busch made Thorson promise that he would go to victory lane should Busch break the Nationwide Series single-season record for victories. Busch matched that record in Friday’s Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway and could break it later this year.

"It (would) bring one of our crew members that has never been to victory lane before to victory lane," Busch said of win No. 11. "Leo Thorson, the car chief on our car, for some reason just doesn’t like coming to victory lane, but I told him on win No. 11 when I break the record for most wins and you’re a part of it, I said, ‘You’re coming to victory lane and getting your picture taken and hanging it up on the wall for your kids to see he was a part of it.’"

Busch also won 10 races in 2008, with Sam Ard winning 10 in 1983, the second year of the series.

"Kevin Grubb, the engine tuner (at JGR), he was with Sam back when Sam won 10 so it’s pretty cool to have him here now," Busch said. "Three seasons he’s been able to do it."

Busch certainly appreciates the enormity of the record.

"It’s pretty awesome," Busch said. "To me, it’s cool to have the opportunity. We’ve got eight, nine, 10 more races left or whatever it is to get the opportunity to do it. Hopefully luck can fall our way and we can get No. 11. No. 11 is going to be pretty special because for one, it’s never been done before."