Busch wins second Bristol in a row

Busch wins second Bristol in a row

BRISTOL, TN - After losing by a nose last week, Kurt Busch in the No. 97 Roush Ford won by ten car lengths this week. Busch who placed second in three of the last five races, passed Bobby Labonte to take the lead on lap 404. He never looked ...

BRISTOL, TN - After losing by a nose last week, Kurt Busch in the No. 97 Roush Ford won by ten car lengths this week. Busch who placed second in three of the last five races, passed Bobby Labonte to take the lead on lap 404. He never looked back.

He led 112 of the 500 laps to score his fifth career win. It is Busch's second straight win at the track.

Race winner Kurt Busch celebrates.
Photo by Autostock.
"Unbelievable," said Busch. "This is the greatest country in the world. I have to thank all the soldiers and everybody who is overseas fighting for us; that we're able to come out here and compete and produce a race like this.

"It's just a total team effort. It's wonderful. I gotta thank the good Lord for giving us a great car."

Busch's teammate, Matt Kenseth was second, keeping his lead in the Winston Cup standings by 138-point margin.

"We just had a great handling car," said Kenseth. "I don't know what happened in qualifying, I just messed the deal up there. We had a great car all day yesterday, and all day today.

"I'm really, really happy we finished second. But, I really thought we had the car to beat."

After being involved in the thirteenth caution of the typical incident filled race on lap 256, Bobby Labonte was able to rebound and bring the No. 18 Gibbs Chevy home third.

"We had a couple of mishaps there and got behind," Labonte commented. "Everything worked pretty good when we got back up there. Just right there at the end, the car wouldn't go as good, and I think somebody was dropping some fluid down and it got real slippery for awhile, and then it got better after that.

"But still, to come home third. That's pretty good."

Ricky Rudd was fourth, and for the third week in a row, Greg Biffle is the highest finishing rookie with his fifth place in today's race.

"I tell you," laughed Biffle. "I drove my butt off today. It was a long day for us, but I'm surprised I'm not tired at all after 500 laps at Bristol."

"There at the end," continued Biffle. "We were the fastest car on the race track. I was closing in on the No. 17 a little bit, and I think I would have been 3rd or 4th."

Only six cars finished on the lead lap, three of the top-five were Jack Roush owned Fords.

The No. 7 Ultra Dodge of Jimmy Spencer and the No. 24 Hendrick Chevy of Jeff Gordon dominated the race until both cars made pit mistakes during green flag stops that took them out of contention; both slowed to enter the wrong pit road. Spencer finished 12th, Gordon 9th.

Dale Jarrett, Dave Blaney, Michael Waltrip and Ricky Rudd caught up a in an early wreck.
Photo by Autostock.
Multi-car accidents were the story of the day, leaving ? of the field looking like escapees from the junkyard. The first big skirmish of the race came at lap 15, when Michael Waltrip, Dale Jarrett and Dave Blaney were reduced to rubble bringing out the second caution. On the restart, at lap 21, the third yellow flew as Casey Mears, Todd Bodine and John Andretti wrecked. The action died down for a while, until pole-sitter Ryan Newman took a spin clipping last week's winner Ricky Craven and then causing the chain reaction crash of Jimmie Johnson and Steve Park on the backstretch; which brought out caution number five.

Spins and minor incidents continued, but at lap 244, another multi-car melee brought out the day's twelfth yellow. Involved in the collision were, Terry LaBonte, Kenny Wallace, Robby Gordon, Brett Bodine, Kyle Petty, and Ken Schrader. Unlucky thirteen came not even 15 laps later, when Robby Gordon, Jamie McMurray, Bobby LaBonte, and Ward Burton tangled.

Robby Gordon and Ward Burton weren't done wrecking. On lap 424, Burton bounced off Gordon causing Kyle Petty to hit the outside wall to bring out the sixteenth caution. Petty had to be assisted out of his car, and was transported to a local hospital for precautionary tests.

The races seventeenth and final yellow flag unfurled at lap 472, when Mark Martin spun in turn four. As cars checked up behind the No. 6 Roush Ford, Joe Nemechek pile-drived Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart, causing heavy damage on both Chevy's. Stewart finished 25th, Nemechek 27th.

The lackluster finish slides Stewart down a spot on the championship chart into third; Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt, Jr follow with fourth and fifth respectively.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Brett Bodine , Ward Burton , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Todd Bodine , Steve Park , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Greg Biffle , Robby Gordon , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Casey Mears , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Dave Blaney , Mark Martin