Kurt Busch making his Busch Series debut fought off hard charging Greg Biffle on a green/white /checker restart to earn his first career Busch series win. Busch led a race high 70 laps and had to survive a series of late race cautions and the ...
Kurt Busch making his Busch Series debut fought off hard charging Greg Biffle on a green/white /checker restart to earn his first career Busch series win. Busch led a race high 70 laps and had to survive a series of late race cautions and the ever-approaching No. 16 Roush Ford to earn the win.
Busch becomes the fifth driver in NASCAR history to win a Busch race in his first start. He promptly exited the car, belly-flopped into the infield grass and made fantasy snow angels in the green. For once, there was a smattering of applause amongst the resounding boos to congratulate the Penske racer.
"This is awesome," said Busch. "To be able to come out like this out of the box. We got a great set up from my teammate Ryan Newman. It's a great day for this car, and a great deal getting it to victory lane.it was great, these races are never won til they are won.the fans should have enjoyed seeing that race and not knowing who was going to win.but it was definitely a long race today."
Greg Biffle tried to no avail to pass his former Cup teammate, but in the end he'd have to settle to be the runner up.
"Every time I run against that Penske 39 car I get beat," said Biffle. "He had a lot of speed on the restarts and he just beat me, we just couldn't catch him. We were too tight; if I would have been a little freer I might have been able to catch him."
Casey Mears, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth complete the top five.
"Just happy to have a good top five finish," commented Mears. "It's been a tough couple of races in this car. We have to just keep getting better and better."
Denny Hamlin brought the leaders to the green flag but Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick proved to be formidable foes, as the trio switched the top spot several times in the first 85 laps.
On lap 86, Jon Wood caused the first caution of the day spinning in turn four. During pit stops, leader Harvick had some issues allowing Hamlin to get out and restart first. Harvick was in the eighth spot on the restart but his Cup teammate Burton was putting the heat on rookie Hamlin.
Finally, on lap 96, Burton managed to wheel past Hamlin for the top spot with Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle also getting by sending the No. 11 Chevy to fourth.
Burton was out front by nearly a second advantage until lap 122 when Kurt Busch started putting pressure on Burton as the two battled door-to-door for the lead. Burton was able to utilize lapped traffic to keep Busch behind him, until he finally gave up the charge and tucked back into second by lap 125.
On lap 132, Busch began to report that his car was getting a little tight allowing Burton to sail off to a 1.5-second lead. The field bunched back up when the second yellow caused by contact between Paul Menard and David Gilliland waved on lap 134.
Busch beat Burton out after a round of pit stops to garner the lead followed by Burton and Biffle. Lap 152 saw the third caution of the event Jason Keller cut down a tire leaving debris on the racing surface.
The top few cars did not choose to pit leading Kurt Busch up front on the restart on lap 160 but it didn't stay green long. On lap 163, the fourth caution emerged after JJ Yeley hit the wall.
Busch restarted in the lead with 34 laps to go and quickly jumped out to a healthy -car advantage. The fifth caution flag slowed Kurt Busch once again on lap 169. The race restarted on lap 173 with Busch still out front. It would only take until lap 180 for the sixth yellow to fall for contact between Jay Sauter and AJ Foyt IV.
The field restarted on lap 187 with Kurt Busch still showing the way. Greg Biffle was just starting to put the moves on the No. 39 Dodge when Regan Smith smacked the wall causing the seventh caution.
Busch restarted in the lead with nine laps to go with Biffle hot on his heels. Busch was on the white flag lap when Burney Lamar wrecked giving Biffle one final shot on a green/white/checker finish.
The drama increased when on the pace laps of the final caution the pace car hit a piece of debris sending it up and over and into the grill of Busch's Dodge. Neither the team nor the driver knew if the debris had caused any significant damage as the field restarted in overtime.
In the end, the No. 39 Dodge was sporty in the end, grabbing a three car length spread as he took the checkered flag.
There were eight cautions for 37 laps and five lead changes among seven drivers.