2009-08-27 / Sports

Kyle Busch Outruns Martin At Bristol

By Gerald Hodges THE RACING REPORTER

Kyle Busch Kyle Busch BRISTOL, Tenn. - Kyle Busch outdueled Mark Martin in a dramatic two-car battle at Bristol Motor Speedway after the final restart of the 500-lap race with four laps left. In doing so, Busch gained his fourth victory of the season.

"Mark Martin - what a class act," said Busch. "He deserved to win this race. I'm sorry he came home in second. I know how he feels. I drove as hard as I could."

Busch showed he is not out of the Chase picture, and Martin strengthened his hold for a Chase spot. Busch moved up two positions to 13th, 34 points behind 12th-place Matt Kenseth.

"He gave me plenty of room, and I got sideways," said Martin, who led a race-high 240 laps. "We finally got a decent finish in a great race car. ... But anybody that thinks I was soft out there on the race track wasn't watching. I raced my guts out."

Martin was honored before the race for making his 1,000th NASCAR start. It marked his 746th Sprint Cup race, 231st Nationwide Series and 23rd Camping World Truck Series event. He is the third driver to achieve this mark, behind only Richard Petty and Michael Waltrip. In all three series, Martin has won 93 pointspaying events.

"I wanted to win the race so bad," said Marcus Ambrose, the third-place finisher. "850 horsepower, hot tires, a concrete track. I just got greedy on the right foot and spun the tires. Last restart I just tried to baby it to make sure I just solidified my position. I managed to get past Greg (Biffle) on the inside there. He was pinched down."

"I'm learning as I go. When you get an opportunity to run at the front like that with six laps to go, you can't learn that anywhere else but when you're out there doing it. You're up against the best. When you make a mistake, you're exposed. But really proud to have finished third tonight and had a good last restart.

"I just tried always to keep my nose clean. I don't want to ruin anybody's race. I want to race as hard as I can. When my night is on, I'm going to race as hard as anyone and take those chances, try to do it clean. I did it at Watkins Glen on Kyle. I did it tonight."

"When I get my chance at the front, I try to do the right thing. I try to race 'em hard but fair."

Greg Biffle ran fourth, followed by Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Matt Kenseth.

Jimmie Johnson failed to win at Michigan last weekend due to fuel miscalculations, and endured more late problems at Bristol. Johnson pitted with the rest of the leaders, but his team had difficulty with the right-rear tire, and he was forced back down pit road.

Points leader Tony Stewart was plagued by early radio troubles, which forced him to pit. He lost two laps and was caught speeding on pit road. Later in the race, his car developed electrical problems, and he finished 33rd

Top-15 Chase contenders with two to go: 1. Stewart-3564, 2. Johnson-3344, 3. J. Gordon- 3310, 4. Hamlin-3141, 5. Edwards- 3110, 6. Kurt Busch-3103, 7, Newman 2995, 8. Biffle-2986, 9. Montoya 2975, 10. Martin-2971, 11. Kahne-2963, 12. Kenseth-2945, 13. Kyle Busch-2911, 14. Vickers- 2906, 15. Bowyer-2833

David Ragan finished ahead of teammate Carl Edwards in Friday night's Nationwide Series race after Kyle Busch was involved in a wreck.

Ragan led the final 56 laps of the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the .533-mile speedway, but Edwards was the big winner, as he trimmed Kyle Busch's lead in the series standings from 339 to 248 points. Busch was the victim of an early accident and finished 28th, 59 laps down.

"It was a fun night to drive such a fast race car," said Ragan, who chose the outside line for the final restart, as the race went four laps beyond its scheduled distance. "The outside had been great all night. I really struggled passing cars on the bottom.

A hard wreck on lap 52 forced Busch to give back much of the gains he made in the Nationwide standings last week when Edwards wrecked on lap 3 of last Saturday's race at Michigan International Speedway.

Busch had just passed Harvick for the lead and was barreling out of turn 4 when Bristol rookie Chase Austin, with a tire down on his No. 07 Chevrolet, pulled down the track into Busch's path. The resulting violent collision sent Busch's Toyota hard into the frontstretch wall. Reed Sorenson's Chevy also was collected in the wreck.

Busch climbed from his car and disappeared into his transporter, as NASCAR red-flagged the race for more than 15 minutes for track cleanup. It was a kinder, gentler Busch who emerged some 10 minutes later.

"I saw a slow car up high, and he came right across the nose, right in front of me," Busch said. "I didn't know where to go except where I was going. I had Harvick on my outside, and he was able to miss it. Pretty unfortunate there that we got caught up in that mess.

Top-10 points leaders after 24 of 35: 1. Kyle Busch-3900, 2. Edwards 3652, 3. Keselowski-3597, 4. Leffler-3353, 5. Allgaier-2843, 6. S. Wallace-2785, 7. Keller-2727, 8. Bliss-2713, 9. Gaughan-2649, 10. McDowell-2608

Kyle Busch ended Ron Hornaday's five-race winning streak, as he captured Wednesday night's O'Reilly 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Top-10 points leaders after 15 of 25: 1. Hornaday-2458, 2. Crafton-2247, 3. Skinner-2153, 4. Scott-2057, 5. Starr-2013, 6. Bodine 1994, 7. Braun-1931, 8. Setzer 1915, 9. Malsam-1991, 10. Crawford-1891

Weekend racing: The Cup teams have an off weekend. The Camping World Trucks are at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland track, while the Nationwide Series teams travel to Montreal, Canada.

Friday, August 28, Camping World Series Chicagoland 250, race 16 of 25; starting time: 8:30 p.m. (EDT); TV: Speed Channel.

Sunday, August 30, Nationwide Series NAPA Auto Parts 200, race 25 of 35; starting time: 2 p.m. (EDT); TV: ESPN2.

Racing trivia question: How many NASCAR Truck championships has Ron Hornaday won?

Last week's question: Which Cup team does Brian Vickers drive for? The No. 83 Red Bull Toyota.

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

Return to top