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Kyle Busch Caps Wild Final Lap With A Victory

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, March 24 2013

Kyle Busch and his Joe Gibbs Racing team had a big, exciting day in Fontana. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)

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Kyle Busch led the most laps, emerged from a final lap scrum and went on to win the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday.

The victory was the second in two days for Busch as he won the Nationwide Series race on Saturday.

The victory came when Busch passed teammate Denny Hamlin and former teammate Joey Logano, who were banging doors and fenders and bumpers on the final lap.

Busch said he never could have won had Hamlin and Logano not been racing each other so intensely.

“The forgot about me,” Busch would say afterward.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports finished second. Third was Logano while Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway racing was fourth.

Kurt Busch of Furniture Row Racing was fifth.

Earnhardt left the Fontana, Calif. track with the points lead.

Kyle Busch got the jump on the field on a restart with 26 laps to go. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was stretching the lead when Mark Martin was spun by David Gilliland to bring out another caution a couple laps later.

Kyle Busch restarted from P1 again when the race went green with 20 laps to go. Once again he got the jump. But with 15 to go, another caution flag waved.

On the restart with 11 laps to go, Joey Logano eased to the lead – briefly, as Kyle Busch came back to retake the lead on the same lap. Busch moved out to a five-car lead but back came Logano.

With seven laps to go, Logano pulled even with Kyle Busch – and then ahead to the lead. Following Logano past Busch was Hamlin. Busch fell well behind.

Hamlin and Logano went door to day and finally tangled on the last lap.

As they did, Busch powered past in Turn 4 and went on to get the win.

Behind him, Logano, driving for Penske Racing this season, and JGR’s Hamlin wrecked. After getting out of his car, Hamlin went to the ground. He was taken to the infield care center.

(UPDATE: Hamlin remained hospitalized Monday afternoon with lower back pains.)

After the race, Logano was attacked by Tony Stewart, who was mad about being blocked on the final restart.

“I’m going to bust his ass,” Stewart told reporters after the race.

(This story will be updated shortly)

RACE RESULTS

1. (4) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 200, $334233.

2. (15) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 200, $212340.

3. (6) Joey Logano, Ford, 200, $189210.

4. (24) Carl Edwards, Ford, 200, $176965.

5. (10) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 200, $136965.

6. (2) Greg Biffle, Ford, 200, $144473.

7. (5) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 200, $146631.

8. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 200, $138156.

9. (16) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 200, $119365.

10. (20) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 200, $144148.

11. (19) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 200, $145616.

12. (18) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 200, $146666.

13. (14) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 200, $143816.

14. (23) Aric Almirola, Ford, 200, $136516.

15. (11) Casey Mears, Ford, 200, $126338.

16. (26) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 200, $122488.

17. (22) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 200, $105280.

18. (7) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 200, $128655.

19. (17) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 200, $122225.

20. (31) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #, Ford, 200, $142816.

21. (29) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 200, $108738.

22. (8) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 200, $137405.

23. (3) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 200, $143421.

24. (42) David Ragan, Ford, 200, $112313.

25. (1) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, Accident, 199, $120080.

26. (40) Danica Patrick #, Chevrolet, 199, $88105.

27. (37) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 199, $90705.

28. (25) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 198, $107552.

29. (34) David Gilliland, Ford, 198, $89705.

30. (36) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 194, $90955.

31. (32) David Stremme, Toyota, 193, $88755.

32. (43) Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, 193, $86055.

33. (28) David Reutimann, Toyota, Oil Leak, 192, $85830.

34. (33) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 188, $93630.

35. (13) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, Engine, 184, $128038.

36. (21) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 182, $112479.

37. (9) Mark Martin, Toyota, 179, $93034.

38. (12) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 169, $106524.

39. (39) Timmy Hill #, Ford, Rear Gear, 108, $75310.

40. (30) Josh Wise(i), Ford, Overheating, 103, $71310.

41. (38) Scott Riggs, Ford, Vibration, 66, $67310.

42. (35) Michael McDowell, Ford, Vibration, 60, $63310.

43. (41) Mike Bliss(i), Toyota, Fuel Pump, 44, $59810.

RACE STATISTICS

Average Speed of Race Winner: 135.351 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 57 Mins, 19 Secs. Margin of Victory: Caution.

Caution Flags: 9 for 35 laps.

Lead Changes: 17 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D. Hamlin 0; M. Kenseth 1-10; Kyle Busch 11-30; T. Kvapil 31; Kyle Busch 32-43; J. Logano 44-67; Kyle Busch 68; K. Harvick 69; T. Stewart 70-75; Kyle Busch 76-92; D. Hamlin 93-95; Kyle Busch 96-121; J. Logano 122-132; D. Ragan 133; T. Stewart 134-145; Kyle Busch 146-193; J. Logano 194-199; Kyle Busch 200;.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Kyle Busch 7 times for 125 laps; J. Logano 3 times for 41 laps; T. Stewart 2 times for 18 laps; M. Kenseth 1 time for 10 laps; D. Hamlin 1 time for 3 laps; K. Harvick 1 time for 1 lap; D. Ragan 1 time for 1 lap; T. Kvapil 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 12 in Points: D. Earnhardt Jr. – 199; Brad Keselowski – 187; J. Johnson – 183; C. Edwards – 164; G. Biffle – 164; Kyle Busch – 163; K. Kahne – 159; P. Menard – 154; J. Logano – 146; D. Hamlin – 145; M. Kenseth – 141; R. Stenhouse Jr. # – 139.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, March 24 2013
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