"I felt like we were in another zip code tonight," Busch said.
It certainly looked like it at times, as Busch's No. 18 Toyota had little trouble doing whatever it wanted. He avoided a couple of early race wrecks that took out a handful contenders then zoomed away from the field to collect his 28th career Nationwide win.
A fast race car turned out to be just what the doctor ordered following a tough stretch in which the flu left one of NASCAR's hardest working drivers so weak he actually left last week's Nationwide and Sprint Cup races early because he was concerned a fever wouldn't let him see straight.
The move ended up costing him some valuable points, as Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin crashed while getting stuck between Brad Keselowski and Greg Biffle, a crash Busch said Hamlin couldn't avoid.
"Denny got caught up in a mess I don't know if any of us could have gotten out of," Busch said. "He could have won the race and almost won the race for us, but unfortunately we lost some points."
Busch got most of them back at the 1.5-mile oval, a place he has owned in recent years. The win was his fifth Nationwide victory in 13 starts at track.
"This is my house, at least on the Nationwide side," he said.
Mike Bliss was second, followed by Dave Blaney, Brian Vickers and Edwards.
The victory ended an 11-race winless streak for Busch, an eternity for one of NASCAR's top drivers. The streak included five runner-up finishes, heady territory for most drivers but hardly acceptable for the perpetually cranky Busch.
He was all smiles Friday, however, praising his crew for much of the race and telling crew chief Jason Ratcliff he wouldn't change a thing with the car.
"It was a freight train for sure," Busch said. "The car was on rails."
Bliss, who collected his 12th top 10 of the year in a car that didn't get sponsorship until Monday, held no grand plans of trying to catch Busch even as a rain storm threatened to cut the 300-mile race short. The showers held off until moments after Busch did a couple of post-race burnouts.
"He just dominated the race," Bliss said. "He was really fast."