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Lucky? Kyle Busch wins 13th Nationwide Series race of the season

Kyle Busch races during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Kyle Busch races during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Is a second triple in the offing?

Kyle Busch pulled away from Kevin Harvick during a 23-lap run to the finish to win Saturday's Ford 300 Nationwide Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

With his 13th victory in 29 starts this season, Busch extended his single-season win record. The victory was his 43rd in the Nationwide Series, leaving him five behind all-time leader Mark Martin.

Busch won his second race of the weekend, having triumphed in Friday's Ford 200 Camping World Truck Series race at the 1.5-mile track. The truck series champion owner with his own No. 18 Toyota, Busch helped secure the Nationwide Series owners championship for Joe Gibbs Racing with his victory Saturday.

In Sunday's Ford 400, as JGR teammate Denny Hamlin attempts to win his first Sprint Cup title, Busch will try to sweep the weekend for the second time this season. He won races in all three series at Bristol in August - the first weekend triple in NASCAR history.

Busch likes his chances to repeat.

"I feel like we've got a good racecar," Busch said. "We worked awful hard (in Saturday's Cup practice) on changing a lot of things and seeing what we could learn. The heat of (Sunday), though, is going to be pretty crazy.

"I always feel like I do better at night than I do in the daytime, so with the daytime race tomorrow, it'll be a little hectic. We have to work as hard as we can to try to win the race, first of all. Secondly, we'll work towards trying to make sure we do everything we can to get Denny Hamlin a championship."

Harvick ran second Saturday, followed by 2010 series champion Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne.

Harvick's winning chances disappeared when Chase Mattioli's No. 27 Ford spun off Turn 2 and pounded the inside wall on the backstretch.

"For us, we didn't need that last caution," Harvick said. "Our car just got way too tight on the restart there and just carried that ‘tight' all the way through the last run. We got beat on the restart, and Kyle (got ahead) far enough to where we couldn't catch him."

Danica Patrick qualified fifth, pitted early and led four laps - her first of the season - by staying out while others pitted under caution on Lap 24. Soon after a restart on Lap 28, however, she dropped back to 21st in the running order. She finished a career-best 19th in her 13th start in the series.

Stenhouse clinched Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in the series.

Notes: Keselowski posted his 26th top-five finish of the year, a single-season record. ... The win was JGR's 49th in the series over the past three seasons. Busch accounted for 32 of those. ... Stenhouse overcame a 35-point deficit (after 15 races) to win the rookie title, the largest comeback for a rookie of the year winner in any of NASCAR's top three series. Brian Scott finished second.