Atlanta: Kurt Busch race report

HAMPTON, Ga. (March 8, 2009) - Though he posted a dominant performance throughout most of the day at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch had to fight to the finish in overtime to capture his first win of the 2009 season Sunday in the Kobalt Tools...

HAMPTON, Ga. (March 8, 2009) - Though he posted a dominant performance throughout most of the day at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch had to fight to the finish in overtime to capture his first win of the 2009 season Sunday in the Kobalt Tools 500.

Starting from the second position in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, Busch grabbed the lead early and stayed at the front, leading 234 of 330 laps. But after a caution flag flew with just three laps remaining in the scheduled 325-lap race, Busch had one more battle to win. The leaders all headed to the pits to prepare for a green-white-checkered flag finish and Carl Edwards left pit lane ahead of Busch after he took on just two tires to seize the lead.

Once he took the green flag, Busch once again called upon the speed he showed all day in the Miller Lite Dodge Charger, making his way around Edwards and holding off series points leader Jeff Gordon to the finish for his 19th NASCAR Cup Series victory.

"This was an incredible race. I have to thank my guys. This car was unbelievable. They say good things come to those who wait," said Busch in Victory Circle after his .332 of a second win over Gordon. "Penske power is back and it feels awesome."

Busch celebrated the win by doing a reverse victory lap with the checkered flag in hand at the 1.54-mile quad-oval.

With his first victory and his fourth top-10 finish in the first five races of 2009, Busch moves up to third in the unofficial Cup Series driver point standings. He now trails Gordon by just 46 points and is a mere three points behind second-place driver Clint Bowyer.

Busch's Penske Racing teammates David Stremme and Sam Hornish Jr. finished 23rd and 37th, respectively.

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action on Sunday, March 22 at Bristol Motor Speedway's Food City 500.

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Kurt Busch , Carl Edwards , David Stremme , Clint Bowyer , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske