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Kyle Busch could make Nationwide Series history at Dover

Kyle Busch celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Royal Purple 200 at Darlington Raceway.
Kyle Busch celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Royal Purple 200 at Darlington Raceway.

By Lee Montgomery
Special to Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

To most, if not all, observers of NASCAR, Kyle Busch's claim as the Nationwide Series' all-time leader in victories is inevitable.

Even Mark Martin, the current leader with 49 wins, figures Busch will soon catch, pass and leave him in the dust.

But Busch himself doesn't figure it that way. Maybe that's one of the reasons why he's been able to win 48 times in 211 starts in the Nationwide Series.

"We'll see when it happens," Busch said, before quickly adding, "if it happens. Maybe some of (the media) say it's inevitable, but to us we just keep working our guts out and making sure we bring good racecars to the racetrack."

No doubt, Busch's No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team will bring a good car to Dover International Speedway, site of Saturday's 5-Hour Energy 200 and possible host to Nationwide Series history. Busch has done most of his damage in JGR equipment, winning 35 times in the No. 18 and once in the No. 20 for Gibbs' powerhouse team.

Busch's first Nationwide win came in 2004 at Richmond for Hendrick Motorsports, his first of 11 wins for Hendrick. Busch also won once for Braun Racing in 2008.

He's won an astounding 37 times since the start of the 2008 season, including a series-record 13 victories in 2010.

When-or if?-Busch breaks Martin's record, Martin will be there.

"I've had a lot of great times and a lot of success in the Nationwide Series, and Kyle passing my mark up won't change any of that," Martin said. "He's going to pass it up, and I think he's already talked to me about this weekend, this is a good weekend for that to happen. He's running Dover and Charlotte, so he stands a good chance. And he's already invited me, if he wins this weekend ... to come to victory lane.

"Kyle has shown an awful lot of respect to the people who have been here in the sport and that came before him. I really admire that."

Concrete tracks in general have been good to Busch. He's won 20 NASCAR races on concrete tracks, including six at Dover-three in the Nationwide Series. He swept the two Dover Nationwide races in 2010, winning from the pole in the May race and winning from second in the September event.

"Being within one of Mark's win record is special," Busch said. "We've said it the last few times since I've probably been within five of being able to eclipse him. I'm racing Dover and I'm racing Charlotte. Those are two really good places for me in a Nationwide Series-I've run really well at both of those."

Fast facts
5-Hour Energy 200
Where: Dover International Speedway; Dover, Del.
When: Saturday, 2 p.m. Eastern
TV: ESPN, 1:30 p.m. Eastern
Radio: MRN/Sirius Satellite Ch. 90
Track layout: 1-mile oval
Race distance: 200 laps/200 miles
Qualifying: Saturday, 10:40 a.m. Eastern
2010 winner: Kyle Busch
2010 polesitter: Kyle Busch