Winner: Kyle Busch, driver of the ...
Winner: Kyle Busch, driver of the #5 Chevrolet from Hendrick Motorsports
Top-five finishers: K. Busch, Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle
Race recap: Kyle Busch's NASCAR Nextel Cup victory at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday was one made of milestones. Probably most important is that Busch goes into the record book as winning the first-ever race for NASCAR's newly engineered "Car of Tomorrow." Also of note was that this was the 200th NASCAR victory for owner Rick Hendrick (which includes wins in the Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series) and the 600th Cup victory for Chevrolet. With the win, Busch registered his fourth Nextel Cup career victory.
Busch took the lead for the final time on lap 484, passing Denny Hamlin right before a caution flag came out. He went on to hold off a strong challenge from Jeff Burton, winning by less than a car length, or 0.064 seconds, at the checkered flag during an overtime green/white/checkered flag finish that took the race to 504 laps. He averaged 81.969 mph through the race. There were 15 cautions for 75 laps and 14 lead changes among 10 drivers.
Tony Stewart appeared as if he would be the man to beat, leading 257 of the race's first 290 laps. His Home Depot Chevrolet experienced as fuel pump problem, however, putting him many laps down.
Jeff Gordon moved into the points lead, formerly held by Mark Martin who chose not to race this weekend and fell to seventh. Burton is in second place and three points down, Jimmie Johnson is minus 75, Matt Kenseth is down by 94 and Kevin Harvick is back by 144.
Goodyear quote -- Greg Stucker, director, race tire sales: "We're very pleased with the tire performance in the debut of NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow at Bristol. Our tire recommendation included a harder right-side tread compound to deal with the additional right-side weight of the new car and the higher load transfers expected from the higher center of gravity. Tire wear was excellent and temperatures were under control, even with the abnormally warm weather. As usual, with the close racing at Bristol, we saw a few cut tires and three instances of melted plies in the bead area of the right-front tire caused by excessive brake heat. Overall, it was a very good weekend."
Companion event: Carl Edwards led 147 of 300 laps around Bristol Motor Speedway to win the NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday. The race was painfully slow, with 103 laps being run under the caution flag. With the victory, Edwards assumed the series points lead by 197 over Kevin Harvick.
-credit: goodyear racing