2009-03-26 / Sports

Gibbs Teams Finish 1-2 At Bristol

By Gerald Hodges THE RACING REPORTER

Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart, the Odd Couple Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart, the Odd Couple BRISTOL, Tenn. - Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, two Joe Gibbs Racing drivers, finished first and second in Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, but it was Busch's dominating performance that was the focal point of the 503-lap race.

He led four times for 378 laps, including the last 134, for his second Cup win of the season.

"This is awesome. We should have won here last fall. We should have won here yesterday. We just keep messing up on pit road. The car was good. We made some adjustments to it, and it was really a great day," said Busch.

Busch jumped from seventh to fourth in the points standings. The win was the 14th of Busch's Cup career and marked the first time he has been a repeat winner at a Cup track.

There were some anxious moments near the finish, however, as Busch's other teammate, Joey Logano's car blew an engine with seven laps to go. That brought out the day's ninth and last caution and bunched the field with Busch and Hamlin first and second for a green/white/checkered finish.

Those final two laps, which caused the race to go into overtime, produced no surprises. Busch got a great restart and was never threatened.

Teammate Hamlin finished second about one-half second behind Busch.

"We had a long run car, not one for the short ones," said Hamlin. "The car was good, but we just came up a little short."

Jimmie Johnson's team appears to be gaining momentum after a slow start. He led several times and finished third. He moved from 13th to ninth in the points.

"What a day," said Johnson. "Truthfully, I wish we had another 500 laps to go. I'm really getting to understand this racetrack and what I need to do. The team sat me down a couple weeks ago and got me to understand what I really needed to do."

Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Ryan Newman, Jeff Burton, Juan Montoya and Marcos Ambrose finished out the top-10.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 14th. He qualified 38th, but had to start from the rear of the field after his team changed the transmission in his No. 88. He was never able to run with the leaders.

Greg Biffle, Joey Logano, Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek all lost engines and did not finish.

Top-25 drivers after 5 of 36: 1. J. Gordon-794, 2. Kurt Busch-718, 3. Bowyer-715, 4. Kyle Busch-709, 5. Edwards-665, 6. Kahne-639, 7. Stewart-633, 8. Hamlin-631, 9. Johnson-627, 10. Kenseth-610, 11. Reutimann-607, 12. Harvick-584, 13. Burton-579, 14. Vickers-553, 15. Montoya-546, 16. Allmendinger 532, 17. Sadler-530, 18. Biffle-526, 19. Earnhardt-518, 20. Truex-508, 21. Waltrip-506, 22. Stremme-502, 23. B. Labonte-500, 24. Ambrose-500, 25. Mears-488

Top-10 Nationwide Series leaders after 4 of 35: 1. Edwards- 690, 2. Harvick-576, 3. Ky. Busch- 566, 4. Gaughan-512, 5. Ragan- 493, 6. Leffler-488, 7. Vickers-467, 8. Allgaier-466, 9. K. Wallace-437, 10. Lagasse-423

Next week: Is NASCAR Going to the Ducks

Weekend racing: The Craftsman Trucks and Sprint teams are at the .526-mile Martinsville Speedway, the smallest track on the circuit. The Nationwide teams have an off weekend.

Sat., March 28, Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 250, race 4 of 25; starting time: 2 p.m. (EDT); TV: FOX.

Sun., March 29, Sprint Cup Goody's 500, race 7 of 35, starting time: 1:30 p.m. (EDT); TV: FOX.

Racing trivia question: Which Cup team does Greg Biffle drive for?

Last week's question: How many Busch or Nationwide Series championships has Dale Earnhardt Jr. won? Answer. Two, 1998 and 1999.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at: hodgesnews@ earthlink.net.

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