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Kyle Busch wins inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky

Holds off David Reutimann and Jimmie Johnson
Saturday, July 09, 2011

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Kyle Busch wins first Cup race in Kentucky

Kyle Busch held off fast-closing David Reutimann and Jimmie Johnson in a two-lap stretch run to win Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway—the inaugural Cup event at the 1.5-mile speedway.

The victory was Busch’s third of the season and the 22nd of his Cup career. Reutimann ran second, followed by Johnson, Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards.

Busch regained the lead during a cycle of green-flag stops late in the race, but a caution for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s blown left front tire slowed the race for the fifth time and set up a restart on Lap 260 of 267.

Busch pulled away, with Johnson chasing, but Clint Bowyer’s wreck in Turn 2 bought out the sixth caution on Lap 262 to bunch the field for a restart with two laps left.

During a 105-lap green-flag run that began on Lap 36 after a competition caution and included two rounds of pit stops, Busch opened a lead of more than eight seconds, but his advantage disappeared when NASCAR called a caution on Lap 140 for debris on the backstretch.

Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart opted not to put under the caution and restarted on the front row on Lap 147. Earnhardt, who had fallen off the lead lap during the long green-flag run, got his lap back on a wave-around, and a quick caution on Lap 151 gave him a chance to pit for fuel and tires.

Keselowski and Stewart ran 1-2 after a restart on Lap 158, but both drivers had to pit for fuel early in the next cycle, and Busch reclaimed the top spot when Keselowski brought the No. 2 Dodge to pit road on Lap 186.

When Jamie McMurray’s engine erupted like Vesuvius on Lap 200, bringing out the fourth caution of the race, the lead-lap cars were back on similar pit cycles.

Note: When the green flag waved to start the race, cars carrying fans to the track were backed up on I-71, trying to get to the parking lots. Midway through the event, Kentucky Speedway G.M. Mark Simendinger issued the following statement: “We’ve had an overwhelming response to our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400. We know we had challenges related to traffic. We’re already planning improvements and looking forward to a much better situation for next year’s event.”

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 1 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 48/2 267 Running
2 17 00 David Reutimann Toyota Tums 43/1 267 Running
3 5 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 41/0 267 Running
4 18 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Tornados 40/0 267 Running
5 7 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 39/0 267 Running
6 13 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Crown Royal 38/0 267 Running
7 6 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 38/1 267 Running
8 8 6 David Ragan Ford UPS "We Love Logistics" 37/1 267 Running
9 3 22 Kurt Busch Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 36/1 267 Running
10 26 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 35/1 267 Running
11 14 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 33/0 267 Running
12 9 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot Foundation / Mobil 1 33/1 267 Running
13 4 4 Kasey Kahne Toyota Red Bull 32/1 267 Running
14 15 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 30/0 267 Running
15 2 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 29/0 267 Running
16 19 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 28/0 267 Running
17 12 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies 27/0 267 Running
18 16 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA "Good To Go" Rebate 27/1 267 Running
19 22 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 25/0 267 Running
20 11 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Porter-Cable Power Tools 24/0 267 Running
21 21 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 23/0 267 Running
22 28 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet Quaker State / GoDaddy.com 22/0 267 Running
23 30 51 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Thank A Teacher Today / Security Benefit 0 267 Running
24 10 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Sylvania / Menards 20/0 267 Running
25 25 13 Casey Mears Toyota GEICO 19/0 267 Running
26 24 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Cottonelle Clean Care 18/0 267 Running
27 27 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 17/0 265 Running
28 23 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford Valvoline 16/0 265 Running
29 37 38 Travis Kvapil Ford Long John Silver's 0 265 Running
30 29 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard 14/0 265 Running
31 35 34 David Gilliland Ford Taco Bell 13/0 264 Running
32 39 71 Andy Lally * Ford Cool Works Cup 12/0 264 Running
33 32 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Big Red 11/0 264 Running
34 42 32 Mike Bliss Ford Big Red 0 264 Running
35 20 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Cheerios / Hamburger Helper 9/0 259 In Pit
36 34 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's 8/0 198 Out of Race
37 43 7 Scott Wimmer Dodge Speed Energy 0 90 Out of Race
38 41 37 Tony Raines Ford Front Row Motorsports 6/0 38 In Pit
39 31 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota NEMCO Motorsports 0 37 In Pit
40 36 46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Red Line Oil 5/1 35 In Pit
41 38 66 Michael McDowell Toyota Standard Publishing / "Relentless Hope" 3/0 32 Out of Race
42 40 181 Scott Riggs Chevrolet WhitneysCollision.com 0 28 In Pit
43 33 60 Mike Skinner Toyota Big Red 0 17 Out of Race

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