Busch wins Bristol

Busch wins Bristol

Kurt Busch battled battery voltage problems and a record-tying number of cautions (20) to score his fourth win of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway. Upon exiting his car, he was immediately apologetic to Sterling Marlin, whom he turned...

Kurt Busch battled battery voltage problems and a record-tying number of cautions (20) to score his fourth win of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Upon exiting his car, he was immediately apologetic to Sterling Marlin, whom he turned earlier in the event on his way to his eighth career win.

Kurt Busch.
Photo by Autostock.
"I can't thank sponsors or any people before I apologize for Sterling Marlin," said Busch. "I got into him and it was a place where he was trying to let me go, and I was trying to get into one and set him up and try and get underneath him."

"I apologize to Sterling; I didn't mean to do that. That somewhat overshadows this obviously, and the probation does. But, this was a night for Sharpie. They had signed on for this race, this is there race..I want to race this car and do anything I can to help this team and get behind them and do what I need to do."

It was an especially sweet victory for Busch, who was placed on probation after Jimmy Spencer punched him post race in Michigan after an on-track incident where Busch bumped Spencer.

"This is by far the biggest win," said Busch of his trying week. "I don't know whether to enjoy it, what to do with it right now, this beats all of my wins. It's so sweet to come here, with all of the hype and all of the things that were going on this week to drag me down, all the tabloids. The things I was trying to stay focused on, was the racecar. We got the job done there."

Media attention was focused on Busch all week, and fans were split on which driver they were aligned with. The crowd of 164,000 fans booed Busch during driver's introductions, and again when he exited his car in victory lane.

Busch seemed nonplussed by the mixed reaction.

"Yeah, well Dale Sr. told me that the guy that gets the most noise wins," said Busch. "The crowd here will envelope you and circumference you and let you know how they feel. That's for sure. That's what Bristol is all about. And the group here there is a bunch of them that are screaming and a bunch of them that are crying."

Kevin Harvick, who was a threat for the win all evening, fell off at the end, finishing second. Harvick let everyone know what side of the Spencer-Busch debate he weighed in on post race.

"We just couldn't get going on the restarts," said Harvick. "The GM Goodwrench car was really good all night, we just for four or five or six laps really had a hard time and felt like all the tires were flat. Just couldn't get going. I hate losing to "rubberhead" (Busch) but I think he's learning what a being a butt hole can get you, when you win the race and everyone in here is booing you."

Jamie McMurray is the night's top finishing rookie, with a third place effort.

Championship leader Matt Kenseth finished fourth, padding his lead in the series standings to 351 points over Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (who finished 9th).

"We just ran out of time," said Kenseth. "Great job by my DeWalt guys, we had a great handling car tonight when we needed it. On old tires we weren't that good.we probably should have pitted and had a shot at the win, but it was great to come back and finish fourth. The damper of the day is that I wrecked Jeff Gordon's day, I feel so terrible about that. He got out of the gas and I ran him over. It kind of wrecked the whole day for us."

Jimmie Johnson rounds out the top five.

Pole sitter Jeff Gordon's night turned sour after being bumped from behind by Matt Kenseth on lap 444. Gordon took the No. 24 Chevy behind the wall with heavy front-end damage, finishing 28th. The poor result slips him two positions to 5th in series rankings, now 532 points out of the lead.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. remains second in points, 351 short of the top spot. Kevin Harvick moves up one spot to third, and Jimmie Johnson climbs two positions into fourth.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Jimmy Spencer , Kevin Harvick , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray