2009-03-05 / Sports

Kyle Busch Wins In Vegas

By Gerald Hodges THE RACING REPORTER

Kyle Busch Kyle Busch LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Kyle Busch grew up in Las Vegas, so it's understandable that winning Sunday's 427 Shelby Cup race was a big experience.

"This is probably the biggest win of my career," he said. "This is pretty cool. There's nothing like winning at home."

Busch actually won the pole for the 285-lap race, but he was forced to start the race from the tail end of the field, after his team changed an engine in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Toyota.

He never led the race until lap 228. He lost the lead during a round of pit stops and had to work to regain it again from Jeff Burton on lap 268. But from then on, it was Kyle Busch's race.

When Busch passed Burton for the lead, Busch's spotter said, "Goodnight Gracie," over the team radio. Busch's team knew it was all over.

Clent Bowyer finished second and moved from sixth to second in points.

His teammate, Jeff Burton, was third. It was Burton's fifth top-five at Vegas.

David Reutimann's fourthplace was his best career finish.

"The car was a blessing to drive," said Reutimann. "It drove great. We just needed a longer run there at the end."

Bobby Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, Brian Vickers, Jamie Mc- Murray,, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-10 finishers.

"When he (Busch) is out front, there's no way you're going to catch him," said Jeff Gordon.

For Gordon and his Hendrick teammates, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin, it was a bad day, full of miscues and blown engines.

Martin lost an engine in his No. 5 during lap 122 and wound up with a DNF.

On lap 223 both Johnson and Gordon were attempting to pit under green. Gordon was going too fast. He locked up his brakes entering pit road and blew a tire. He had to go around one more time before he could pit, and the tire came apart and tore up the left front fender.

Johnson entered his pit stall too fast and overshot it. His team had to push him back. By the time they had changed tires, he was a lap down. Late in the race he spun in turn two.

But it wasn't just Chevrolet teams that had problems. Three of the Roush-Fenway Fords lost engines. Matt Kenseth, winner of the first two races of the season lost his engine early in the race. The next to go was the one in David Ragan's car, and then right after the white flag was given, the engine in Carl Edwards No. 99 was cooked.

Top-12 leaders after 3 of 36: 1. J. Gordon-459, 2. C. Bowyer-441, 3. M. Kenseth-419, 4. G. Biffle- 419, 5. D. Reutimann-408, 6. Kyle Busch-405, 7. Kurt Busch-393, 8. T. Stewart-379, 9. C. Edwards- 377, 10. B. Labonte-360, 11. K. Harvick-351, 12. M. Waltrip-346

Biffle wins Vegas Nationwide race

Greg Biffle led the last 35 laps of the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Saturday for his first Nationwide Series win of the season. The top-10 points leaders after 3 of 35: 1. C. Edwards-515, 2. B.Vickers-467, 3. G. Biffle-416, 4. B. Gaughan-407, 5. Ky. Busch- 406, 6. D. Ragan-387, 7. K. Harvick 386, 8. J. Leffler-354, 9. J. Keller-343, 10. M. McDowell-326

Next week: Pulse of the Camping World Truck Series

Weekend racing: The Craftsman Trucks and Cup Series are at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Nationwide Series is off until March 21.

Saurday, March 7, Craftsman Truck Series American Commercial Lines 200, starting time: 2 p.m. (EST); TV: Speed Channel.

Sunday, March 8, Sprint Cup Kobalt Tools 500, starting time: 2 p.m. (EST); TV: FOX.

Racing trivia question: What four teams won 32 of the 36 races last year?

Last week's question: What was the total driver purse of the 2009 Daytona 500? It was $15.6 million. The winner Matt Kenseth received $1,536,388.

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