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Busch Returns To The Top With Win In Richmond

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, April 26 2015
Kurt Busch led the most laps en route to his win at Richmond On Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

Kurt Busch led the most laps en route to his win at Richmond On Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

Kurt Busch, who was suspended by NASCAR for the first three Sprint Cup Series races of the season, bounced all the way back on Sunday as he won the rain-delayed Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

sprint-logo-08The victory was the first in over a year for Busch and his second since joining Stewart-Haas Racing prior to the 2014 season. The 2004 series champion led a race-best 291 laps at RIR.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” Busch, who has won two poles and not finished worse than 15th in his six 2015 races, said. “Total team effort. The way everything came together, it just seemed like we were building and building and building toward a great finish like this.”

It was career win No. 26 for Busch, who had to withdraw from the season-opening Daytona 500 and then sit out the next two races after he was accused of domestic abuse.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling when you pull deep from within,” Busch, who was cleaered of the abuse charges, said, “you go through troubles and when you’re accused of something and things go sideways, you’re personal life doesn’t need to affect your business life. And I’m here in Victory Lane.”

Finishing second was Kevin Harvick, Busch’s SHR teammate.

Asked what he would have needed to catch and pass Busch late in the race, Harvick said, “What we really needed was just all the tires to be the same. We put that one set of tires on and went back to 12th or 13th and wound up making up the spots, but it just got us way behind. The track bar broke and we weren’t able to get the track bar back where we needed to.”

Third was Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports.

Rounding out the top five were Chip Ganassi Racing’s Jamie McMurray and pole-sitter Joey Logano of Team Penske.

Logano led 94 laps but also struggled at times.

“We were good on the short run,” he said, “and then after about 10 to 12 laps we started losing speed and losing the center really, losing the turn. Those guys would start driving away and then really late before a green flag pit stop everyone’s tires would be burned off enough that I could start catching back up but I could never catch back up what we lost. Those late race restarts helped a lot and we were able to be aggressive and got a couple spots and came home for a top-five. Overall a top-five is nice. It looked like we were probably a seventh or eighth place car so we got a little more out of it and we will work on it for the fall.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, April 26 2015
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