Kyle Busch continues to dominate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and earned his seventh win of the season in his No. 18 Toyota with a last lap pass into the lead on his way to victory yet again. Busch was surprised to be in victory lane though...
Kyle Busch continues to dominate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and earned his seventh win of the season in his No. 18 Toyota with a last lap pass into the lead on his way to victory yet again. Busch was surprised to be in victory lane though this weekend, but he continued to prove that momentum plays a huge role in this sport.
"I don't even know where to start really. I mean, we had a decent car all night," said Busch. "It was not probably one of the best cars, but it was close. You know, it was a contender and that's all we needed was just one we could go out and race everybody with and try to make gains."
Busch was able to continue to improve on the car all night and benefited when his biggest competition (Carl Edwards) fell out of the race late with a broken front splitter.
"The No. 99 came up and he was good as he's always been on the mile and a halves this year," said Busch. "But we were able to get up front there and led a lot of laps there toward the end of the race."
Although many of the fans thought the race was going to battle on, Busch had a different outlook after he was passed for the lead in the closing laps. "I pretty much had given up by that point, but another caution came out and we were able to re-bunch up for that final restart," he said. "[I] got a great restart on his rear bumper and pulled to his outside into [turn] one. I had some momentum and got to his outside in three and was able to complete the pass through four and made it to the finish line first."
Busch continues to stretch his points lead and if he continues on the pace that he has set this year, NASCAR may need to re-adjust the playoff season for the start of 2009. If Busch continues at this rate, he may start The Chase with at least 120 bonus points; 90 more than second place. Another victory for Busch though tonight and he continues to impress and stun everyone else on the circuit who are just trying to keep up.
The 'him' that Busch was referring to was our second place finisher, the No. 48 Chevy of Jimmie Johnson. Johnson had one of the strongest cars all night, and passed Busch for the lead in the closing laps of the event but was unable to hold Busch off there at the end. "Not bad till the last lap," said Johnson. "Good performance for the team."
Johnson, who was obviously upset with losing on the final lap, still sees positive for the team in the future. "We've been working very hard to be back in race winning form, and I think the last two or three weeks, maybe even the last four weeks, we've been there," said Johnson. "So, very proud of the effort."
Johnson showed regret with his own decision at the end, "We had a great car there at the end, [got] past the No. 18, got going and the last restart should have given him the inside," he admitted. "There's no way I thought with how good my car was that I couldn't have got away from him through one and two and somehow he got to be outside; and as soon as he broke the plane in my bumper, I knew I was in trouble, and sure enough, I was. If I could do it over again, I would have played more defense on that restart."
Third place finisher Kevin Harvick started in 13th position and put together another solid run for the No. 29 Chevrolet team. Harvick moved up four positions in the driver standings to ninth and earned a solid top-five finish for his team.
"We had a good car all night. We've kind of struggled for last few weeks with good cars and just haven't quite finished where we've run all night," said Harvick. "Tonight we finally got everything to go in the same direction, the right direction, and you know, finish it out."
Greg Biffle, who had been snake bitten in the past few weeks with bad luck put together a long night of racing and turned it into a fourth place finish while leading some laps throughout the evening. With his fourth place finish, Biffle also jumped four positions in the driver standings and now sits seventh overall in his No. 16 Ford.
Grabbing the fifth position was the No. 20 Toyota of Tony Stewart who has been on the hot seat all week after announcing he'll be moving to Haas CNC Racing to form a new team, Stewart Haas Racing. Stewart showed that despite the distractions he is still best in the car and can continue to put together solid results. Stewart jumped from 12th to tenth with his fifth place finish in the driver standings.
Sixth was the No. 83 Toyota of Brian Vickers, who continues to climb in the standings and is up to 14th now. Seventh was the No. 17 Ford of Matt Kenseth who got another top-ten finish in a row and is up to eighth in the points. Eighth was the No. 6 Ford of David Ragan who had a quiet night and brought home a good finish.
Ninth was the No. 1 Chevy of Martin Truex Jr. who lost a lot of momentum heading towards the playoffs after last weeks 150 point penalty from NASCAR for the car not fitting templates during inspection.
Tenth was the No. 12 Dodge of Ryan Newman, the highest finishing Dodge, who is expected to join Stewart at SHR next year.
Jeff Gordon was 11th, A.J. Allmendinger finished 13th, David Reutimann 14th, and Kasey Kahne 15th. With Kahne's 15th place finish, he fell to 11th in the driver standings, down three spots from last week.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had an average day finishing 16th. J.J. Yeley came back from a lap down penalty at the start of the race to finish 24th, and Patrick Carpentier was the best finishing rookie in 30th.
Denny Hamlin had electrical problems early in the race and finished 40th. With his 40th place finish, Hamlin fell five spots, to 12th in the standings. Michael McDowell rounded out the field in 43rd.
After a one week hiatus, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the famous Brickyard 400.