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Kyle Busch Rolls On In Thunder Valley

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, March 20 2011

Kyle Busch visits his home away from home – Victory Lane at Bristol Motor Speedway – after Sunday's Jeff Byrd 500 Sprint Cup race. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Bristol, Tenn. – Kyle Busch’s mastery of Bristol Motor Speedway is still intact.

The 25-year-old driver held off Carl Edwards and led 153 laps on Sunday to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Jeff Byrd 500.

It was Busch’s second consecutive weekend sweep and fifth straight NASCAR win on the .533-mile concrete oval.

Edwards managed to pull alongside Busch on lap 474. But his Ford was unable to clear the No. 18 Toyota.

Busch stretched his lead over the final 25 laps to win by .946 seconds in front of 120,000 spectators.

“It was a lot harder today, that’s for sure,” Busch said of his recent Bristol dominance. “Carl kept me honest there. I made a couple of mistakes, but nothing we couldn’t rebound from.

“He gave me a little shot getting into Turn 1, but we gathered it up and drove through that.

“I drove away from those guys. Once I drove away from them, I could kind of fall back into my rhythm a little bit.”

Edwards, who started on the pole, paced the field for 18 laps. He was surprised that Busch was able to pull away over the final 25 laps.

“I thought I’d be able to race with him those final 15 or 20 laps,” Edwards said. “But he took off and I just couldn’t get back to him to race.

“But while we were racing for the first couple of laps after the restart, it was a blast. If I had known that was the only shot we were going to have, I might have raced him a little harder.”

Five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson led a race-high 164 laps but was relegated to following Edwards across the finish line.

Matt Kenseth finished fourth, just ahead of Paul Menard. Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman rounded out the top 10.

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, March 20 2011
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  • Terry says:

    Any time Toyota can buy #18 a win……it is bad for NASCAR. The guy is not likable and is classless. At least with Dale Sr ….half of the fans loved him. I don’t think 10% of the fans like this character. But I could be and usually am wrong.
    Please ENOUGH of this total wins to compare him with Petty and Pearson….who only ran part time for Pete’s sake.
    When they start adding a batters high school stats to his MLB stats on the bubblegum cards…..then you can count the NNS-Truck BS.