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Kyle Busch wins race and title

NASCAR Nationwide Series
Saturday, November 21, 2009

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Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Ford 300
John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
In a fitting end to the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, Kyle Busch had two reasons to do a celebratory burnout.

After signing in and putting his car on the grid before Saturday's Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Busch clinched the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship. That was a mere formality. Two hundred laps later, he crossed the finish line 0.482 seconds ahead of charging Carl Edwards to win his ninth race of the season and the 30th of his career.

Brad Keselowski, on the other hand, might have had reason to do a slow burn after Denny Hamlin escalated their ongoing rivalry by spinning Keselowski's No. 88 Chevrolet early in the race.

"It was a tough race, for sure," Busch said. "We weren't the best car here for a long time. All these guys made some great race calls -- (crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) and everybody else. That's why we're a championship team. That's why we made it here tonight, because these guys can fight through stuff."

Two laps after a restart on Lap 163, after pitting for new tires, Busch passed Edwards for the lead and held it the rest of the way, despite a caution for Jason Leffler's contact with the wall on Lap 184.

"We made some adjustments to the car that really brought it to life, and I was able to pass those guys on that restart and get up towards the front and lead those laps, and when that last caution came out, Carl did the exact same thing I just did."

Edwards came to the pits for tires under caution on Lap 186 and restarted eighth on Lap 190. Despite a strong run into the third turn on the final lap, his bid for the win fell just short.

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota, leads a pack of cars, including pole sitter Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Ortho Ford.
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR
"I thought we were going to win the race on that last restart, but the 18 (Busch) was just too fast on those (old) tires," Edwards said.

Jeff Burton finished third Saturday, followed by Joey Logano and Hamlin. David Reutimann, Ryan Newman, Steve Wallace, Scott Speed and Matt Kenseth completed the top 10. Keselowski finished 12th.

Edwards was runner-up to Busch in the final points standings followed by Keselowski, Leffler and Mike Bliss. Justin Allgaier, sixth, won the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award. He was followed by Steve Wallace, Jason Keller, Brendan Gaughan and Michael Annett in seventh through 10th, respectively.

Saturday's race wrote a new chapter in the rivalry between Keselowski and Hamlin, who had dominated the headlines with their on-track and off-track shots last weekend at Phoenix. In the NASCAR Nationwide race there, Keselowski repaid a tap from Hamlin by spinning his adversary.

Hamlin promised retaliation at Homestead, and made good on his threat on Lap 34, sending Keselowski spinning down the frontstretch. NASCAR held Hamlin in the pits for one lap for rough driving, but Hamlin subsequently regained the lost circuit when NASCAR called a debris caution on Lap 91.

Keselowski declined to exacerbate the friction between the drivers after the race.

"I don't hold any grudges, and I'm ready to move on," he said.

Hamlin, on the other hand, doesn't think the drivers are even yet.

"I feel great right now -- it was well worth it," Hamlin said of the penalty. "…The scales are tipped a little bit more in my favor, but they're not tipped that much."

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 5 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Z-Line Designs 195/10 200 Running
2 1 60 Carl Edwards Ford Ortho Mouse & Rat Control / Ortho Home Defense Max 175/5 200 Running
3 3 29 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Holiday Inn / Holiday Inn Express 170/5 200 Running
4 4 20 Joey Logano Toyota GameStop 165/5 200 Running
5 6 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota GodSpeaks.com 160/5 200 Running
6 11 32 David Reutimann Toyota Dollar General 150/0 200 Running
7 2 33 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Copart 146/0 200 Running
8 15 66 Steve Wallace Chevrolet US Fidelis 147/5 200 Running
9 9 99 Scott Speed Toyota Red Bull 138/0 200 Running
10 7 16 Matt Kenseth Ford CitiFinancial 134/0 200 Running
11 10 62 Brendan Gaughan * Chevrolet 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength 130/0 200 Running
12 8 88 Brad Keselowski Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 127/0 200 Running
13 29 27 Jason Keller Ford U.S. Postal Service 129/5 200 Running
14 13 198 Paul Menard Ford Richmond / Menards 121/0 200 Running
15 16 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet NuTone Heating & Cooling Products 123/5 200 Running
16 18 1 Mike Bliss Chevrolet Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 115/0 200 Running
17 38 28 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet U.S. Border Patrol 112/0 200 Running
18 14 38 Jason Leffler Toyota Great Clips / Comcast 109/0 200 Running
19 35 40 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet Westerman Companies 106/0 199 Running
20 20 12 Justin Allgaier * Dodge Verizon Wireless 103/0 199 Running
21 42 15 Michael Annett * Toyota Pilot Travel Centers / Germain.com 100/0 199 Running
22 19 26 Kevin Conway Chevrolet Extenze 97/0 199 Running
23 40 234 Tony Raines Chevrolet Long John Silver's 94/0 199 Running
24 25 09 John Wes Townley * Ford Zaxby's 91/0 198 Running
25 27 122 Parker Kligerman Dodge Penske Truck Rental 88/0 198 Running
26 31 49 Mark Green Chevrolet Juggle.com 85/0 198 Running
27 28 23 Ken Butler III * Chevrolet Aaron's Outdoors Mossy Oak 82/0 198 Running
28 33 24 Eric McClure Ford Hefty SteelSak 79/0 198 Running
29 24 5 Kelly Bires Chevrolet Ragu 76/0 198 Running
30 26 31 Tim Andrews Chevrolet Fuel-Doctor.com 73/0 197 Running
31 41 6 Erik Darnell * Ford Northern Tool + Equipment 70/0 197 Running
32 32 10 Justin Marks Toyota Borrell Electric Co. / Construct Corps 67/0 196 Running
33 12 70 Shelby Howard Chevrolet Foretravel Motorcoach 64/0 196 Running
34 34 81 Blake Koch Dodge Tire Kingdom 61/0 189 Running
35 30 07 Danny O'Quinn Jr. Chevrolet Dynamic Technology 58/0 52 Overheating
36 37 87 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet NEMCO Motorsports 55/0 47 Engine
37 36 47 Chase Miller Toyota Construction Jobs.com 52/0 26 Electrical
38 39 61 Kenny Hendrick Ford Specialty Racing 49/0 15 Transmission
39 22 05 Mark Day Chevrolet 31-W Insulation / Middle Tennessee State University 46/0 11 Transmission
40 17 91 Terry Cook * Chevrolet Dukes Sweet Tea Vodka 43/0 7 Overheating
41 21 192 Dennis Setzer Dodge Dusty's Collision 40/0 5 Vibration
42 23 90 Johnny Chapman Chevrolet MSRP Motorsports 37/0 4 Rear End
43 43 37 Kevin Hamlin Ford MC2 Energy Drink 34/0 3 Transmission

* Denotes Rookie

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