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Kurt Busch Gets Kyle Busch His First NNS Victory

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, April 27 2012

Kurt Busch took the NNS race checkered flag at Richmond Friday night. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

Kurt Busch banged doors with Denny Hamlin for the lead over the final lap and slid across the finish line first by inches to win the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway Friday night.

Busch’s victory was his first of the season and the first ever for a Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota in the Nationwide Series.

“This is cool,” Kyle Busch said, fumbling for words. “This is really cool.”

Also fumbling for words afterward was Hamlin, Kyle Busch’s teammate in the Sprint Cup Series. He said he probably could have moved Kurt Busch out of the way but held back because of his status as Kyle’s teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing.

“I could have just moved him (Kurt Busch) up and got him out of the groove and been over with, but Kyle’s a teammate and Rick Ren (general manager) and those guys have built a great program,” Hamlin said. “I wanted to be fair. He won fair and square. Just one lap too late.”

The victory was the fourth of Kurt Busch’s NNS career and first since he won at the Watkins Glen road course last season. He led 68 laps.

“It’s huge for me and for this team,” he said. “This December, January, February has been rough. To get on top no matter what series it is in NASCAR, you’ve done something special for a day and today was a long day. I’ve never been in the car at eight o’clock in the morning for practice and here we are in victory lane and just got to thank these guys and to have Monster with us – it’s an interesting family feeling right now, because I’ve raced for guys like (Roger) Penske, guys like (Jack) Roush – a guy named Busch owns this race car and it’s a little bit different feel.”

Hamlin, who won the Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway a week ago, finished second – .062 seconds behind.

Kevin Harvick, who lead a race-best 158 laps, finished third.

Fourth was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. while Sam Hornish Jr. was fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Elliott Sadler, Ryan Blaney (who was making his first start in the series), Michael Annett, Austin Dillon and Kasey Kahne.

Travis Pastrana, making his NNS debut, ran lead lap until the second half of the race. His big problem came in the pits when he was penalized for speeding on the final green-flag pit stop. He finished 22nd, two laps off the pace.

“It was awesome,” Pastrana said. “We didn’t really know what to expect. We’re not on pace, but we’re not that far off. So, then we went on a super long green there at the end. I had three goals when I started. One was finish the race. Two was to finish on the lead lap. So, I did the first goal and didn’t do the second goal. My third goal was I bet Ross Cathy, my friend from Chick-fil-A, that I’d donate some money to charity or he’d donate money to charity – either one – if Danica (Patrick) won.

“I knew that was a long shot bet, but we were so close to her at the end. I had to go through the pit twice. I got on the gas at the end when I thought it was the end. I was like, ‘Yeah.’ Then I got out and I was like, ‘Ahh, it was the yellow line, not the white one.’ I was so stewed — just getting antsy at the pit. That was my first green flag pit though. It was pretty cool.”

Finishing just in front of him was Patrick.

RACE RESULTS

1. (10) Kurt Busch, Toyota, 250, $40,100.

2. (2) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 250, $26,900.

3. (1) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 250, $27,075.

4. (6) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 250, $26,418.

5. (12) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 250, $23,043.

6. (7) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 250, $25,043.

7. (8) Ryan Blaney, Chevrolet, 250, $15,460.

8. (19) Michael Annett, Ford, 250, $21,838.

9. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 250, $22,343.

10. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 250, $15,825.

11. (11) Steve Wallace, Ford, 250, $20,868.

12. (21) James Buescher, Chevrolet, 249, $20,768.

13. (17) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 249, $20,668.

14. (15) Brian Scott, Toyota, 249, $23,218.

15. (13) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 249, $21,118.

16. (9) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 249, $14,200.

17. (20) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 249, $20,668.

18. (14) Joey Logano, Toyota, 249, $13,700.

19. (4) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 248, $20,093.

20. (24) Johanna Long, Chevrolet, 248, $20,718.

21. (16) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 248, $19,993.

22. (25) Travis Pastrana, Toyota, 248, $13,450.

23. (18) Casey Roderick, Ford, 247, $19,843.

24. (26) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 247, $19,793.

25. (27) Tayler Malsam, Toyota, 246, $20,193.

26. (33) Timmy Hill, Ford, 245, $19,668.

27. (40) Kevin Lepage, Chevrolet, 245, $13,150.

28. (43) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, 244, $19,543.

29. (31) Tanner Berryhill, Chevrolet, 244, $19,493.

30. (28) Jason Bowles, Toyota, 243, $19,743.

31. (34) Eric McClure, Toyota, 243, $19,388.

32. (38) Matt Frahm, Ford, 243, $12,860.

33. (29) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 229, $19,293.

34. (37) Robert Richardson Jr., Chevrolet, 162, $19,183.

35. (30) Erik Darnell, Chevrolet, Clutch, 145, $19,153.

36. (32) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Handling, 90, $12,650.

37. (22) JJ Yeley, Toyota, Accident, 66, $12,590.

38. (23) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Suspension, 12, $12,536.

39. (42) Blake Koch, Chevrolet, Vibration, 10, $12,420.

40. (36) Scott Speed, Chevrolet, Electrical, 9, $12,380.

41. (39) Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 7, $12,340.

42. (35) Chase Miller, Chevrolet, Clutch, 7, $12,285.

43. (41) Jeff Green, Toyota, Vibration, 3, $12,224.

RACE STATISTICS

Average Speed of Race Winner: 104.07 mph.

Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 48 Mins, 06 Secs.

Margin of Victory: 0.062 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 3 for 20 laps.

Lead Changes: 13 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders: K. Harvick 0; D. Hamlin 1; K. Harvick 2-70; M. Shepherd 71-73; K. Harvick 74-76; K. Busch 77-79; K. Harvick 80-117; D. Hamlin 118; K. Harvick 119-166; K. Busch 167-202; D. Hamlin 203-206; M. Annett 207-208; J. Logano 209-221; K. Busch 222-250.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Harvick 4 times for 158 laps; K. Busch 3 times for 68 laps; J. Logano 1 time for 13 laps; D. Hamlin 3 times for 6 laps; M. Shepherd 1 time for 3 laps; M. Annett 1 time for 2 laps.

Top 10 in Points: E. Sadler – 285; R. Stenhouse Jr. – 283; A. Dillon – 262; S. Hornish Jr. – 232; M. Annett – 220; C. Whitt – 207; J. Allgaier – 192; T. Malsam – 182; T. Bayne – 180; M. Bliss – 174.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, April 27 2012
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