BUSCH: Charlotte: Race report

Busch Wins at Charlotte By: Thomas Chemris For the second time in three races, rookie Kyle Busch took the checkers in NASCAR'S Busch series, winning the Carquest 300 at the Lowes Motor Speedway. The victory finished a job that the young driver...

Busch Wins at Charlotte
By: Thomas Chemris

For the second time in three races, rookie Kyle Busch took the checkers in NASCAR'S Busch series, winning the Carquest 300 at the Lowes Motor Speedway. The victory finished a job that the young driver started a year ago, as he marked the anniversary of his first series start in which Busch finished second behind Matt Kenseth at the Charlotte facility.

This time out Busch, who claimed his first victory two weeks ago in Richmond, started on the outside pole found himself in the right place at the right time. Running in second, one point five ticks behind leader Joe Nemechek with eighteen laps remaining in the event, Busch benefited when Nemechek spun coming off turn four handing him the lead as the field was slowed under caution. The yellow flag benefited Busch well beyond track position. The laps run under caution were just enough to keep the Lowes Chevrolet running; as it was unlikely the car had enough fuel to make it to the finish under green. The race restarted, and Busch held the point, and then was guaranteed a win as Tony Raines brought out the final caution of the day with two laps remaining.

"I just kept watching the fuel gauge making sure we were all right," said Busch who ran his car on the track apron to prevent stalling. "We were doing pretty good and saving fuel on those last cautions."

Busch did save enough fuel to celebrate in dramatic fashion, burning out on the front stretch, only to emerge from the smoke to stand on his car in a triumphant pose. The post victory dramatics energized fans, and highlighted the fact that this team is hitting its stride.

A disappointed Nemechek was at a loss as to why the car spun. "Coming off four, all of a sudden it just turned around, and I could not save it", said Nemechek. Nemechek's misfortune continued as a top ten finish went away as he ran out of gas in the closing laps finishing twenty- first.

Finishing behind Busch were Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick, Jason Lefler and Tony Stewart.

McMurray who wheeled the Phoenix racing entry for the second time since the team-parted ways with Johnny Benson enjoyed his best series finish since he won at Rockingham back in February.

2001 champion Kevin Harvick was pleased with his performance. He was equally satisfied with the accomplishment of the team he fielded as an owner piloted by Cup veteran Tony Stewart. Stewart, who has never one in the series, was appreciative of the ride.

"I have to thank Kevin, Delana (Harvick), and Kid Rock for this opportunity said Stewart, whose car was sponsored by the Detroit Rocker to promote a new CD.

Pole sitter Greg Biffle finished sixth, and New Jersey's Martin Truex finished fourteenth.

By virtue of the finishing order, once again the top spot in the series p0ints standings changed. Kyle Busch regains the lead, thirty-eight markers ahead of Martin Truex.

Busch is aware of how tough this year's competition has been and does not take the top spot for granted.

Truex "is making it tough on us," noted the race winner. "He's winning every other week", referring to the four victories Truex and Chance Two have scored."

Next week the series heads to Dover to compete on the Monster Mile in the MBNA 200.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Greg Biffle , Johnny Benson , Tony Raines , Jamie McMurray , Martin Truex Jr. , Jason Lefler , Kyle Busch