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Kyle Busch wins in Sonoma

Sprint Cup Series
Sunday, June 22, 2008

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Kyle Busch
Bob Heathcote, AutoRacing1

Kyle Busch is definitely the real deal. He won NASCAR's Sprint Cup race here Sunday, completely dominating the race from shortly before the halfway point to the wild, caution-filled finish.

Three late-race caution flags bunched the field after young Busch had literally left all challengers in the California dust on a sunny California Sunday.

Busch led 75 laps en route his first road course victory, coming from 30th starting position to the front.

It was a typically wild road course race, especially at the end. Kevin Harvick, running near the front as he had most of the afternoon  with three laps remaining, prompted a three-car spin in the horseshoe turn when his brakes locked up. He slid sideways, collecting Tony Stewart and Ron Fellows in the process.

Cars stop on track waiting for green-white-checker finish
Bob Heathcote, AutoRacing1
When a green, white, checkered restart got the field going again for the final time, Busch pulled away from runner-up David Gilliland and third-place finisher Jeff Gordon, who struggled all afternoon with an ill-handling car.

Clint Bowyer was fourth and Casey Mears fifth. Juan Pablo Montoya, who was accidentally spun by Australian Marcos Ambrose, raced back into contention and finished sixth. Ambrose, unfortunately, suffered a mechanical failure while running second and fell out of the race. Rounding out the top 10 were Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Stewart roared from 19th after his accident to finish 11th.

Two-time champion Jimmie Johnson, one of the early-race leaders, finished 16th after an accident put him back in the field.

This was one of those twisting, turning, up and down days for NASCAR's "turning left" stars who are not accustomed to right-hand turns and hills. Several teams brought in road course ringers to increase their chances for a win. Boris Said, Fellows, Max Papis, Ambrose and Scott Pruett brought impressive sports car racing resume's to Sunday's 110-lap, high speed party.

Bobby Labonte lost his grip on the second lap in the hairpin turn and spun off the track, dropping from fourth to 30th position.

Kasey Kahne gets two wheels off of ground
CIA Stock Photo
Johnson passed pole winner Kasey Kahne for the lead on the sixth lap. Several laps later, Kurt Busch passed Kahne, as did Robby and Jeff Gordon. Ambrose was holding on to fifth place in the Wood Brothers Ford.

At 20 laps, it was Johnson, Kurt Busch, Robby Gordon, Carl Edwards, who won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Milwaukee Saturday night, Ambrose, Jeff Gordon, Hamlin, Newman, defending race champion Montoya and Biffle. 

Two laps later, Edwards charged into second place. Biffle was the first of the frontrunners to pit on lap 25, hoping to make only one additional pit stop as opposed to more. Harvick and teammate Burton also stopped early.

David Ragan brought out a caution a few laps after the early pit stops when he rammed a stack of safety tires on the inside of the hairpin turn.

Kyle Busch
Bob Heathcote, AutoRacing1
When racing resumed, Biffle had the lead but spun in the second turn and dropped way back in the field. Kyle Busch took the lead with Montoya and McMurray in tow. Johnson had dropped back to 10th spot. Kurt Busch got an unwelcome bump from Scott Pruett which cost Busch valuable time. Just a few laps later, Denny Hamlin spun in the hairpin dropping him back in the field.

At the 55-lap, halfway point of the race, it was Kyle Busch leading, Montoya second, McMurray third, followed by Stewart, David Gilliland, Edwards, Harvick, Robby Gordon and Elliott Sadler. Ambrose had dropped to 11th.

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 30 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 195/10 112 Running
2 31 38 David Gilliland Ford FreeCreditReport.com 170/0 112 Running
3 5 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont Cromax Pro 165/0 112 Running
4 19 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel's 160/0 112 Running
5 23 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet CARQUEST / Kellogg's 155/0 112 Running
6 21 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Texaco / Havoline 155/5 112 Running
7 9 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Alltel 146/0 112 Running
8 33 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 142/0 112 Running
9 12 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 143/5 112 Running
10 39 20 Tony Stewart Toyota The Home Depot 134/0 112 Running
11 15 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard 130/0 112 Running
12 10 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 132/5 112 Running
13 26 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 124/0 112 Running
14 6 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Stanley Tools 121/0 112 Running
15 20 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 118/0 112 Running
16 2 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 120/5 112 Running
17 18 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 112/0 112 Running
18 25 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 109/0 112 Running
19 11 45 Terry Labonte Dodge Wells Fargo 106/0 112 Running
20 16 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 103/0 112 Running
21 34 00 Michael McDowell * Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 100/0 112 Running
22 41 28 Travis Kvapil Ford California Highway Patrol 97/0 112 Running
23 38 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance 94/0 112 Running
24 37 10 Patrick Carpentier * Dodge Valvoline 91/0 112 Running
25 35 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 88/0 112 Running
26 24 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row/ DenverMattress.com 85/0 112 Running
27 13 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Office 82/0 112 Running
28 40 8 Aric Almirola Chevrolet U.S. Army 79/0 112 Running
29 22 01 Ron Fellows Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 76/0 112 Running
30 32 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 73/0 112 Running
31 17 77 Sam Hornish Jr. * Dodge Mobil 1 70/0 112 Running
32 3 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 67/0 110 Running
33 1 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 69/5 110 Running
34 29 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Johns Manville / Menards 61/0 110 Running
35 28 66 Max Papis Chevrolet Haas Automation 58/0 110 Running
36 27 41 Scott Pruett Dodge Target 55/0 109 Running
37 8 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Camping World 52/0 109 Running
38 36 84 A.J. Allmendinger Toyota Red Bull 49/0 108 Running
39 4 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 46/0 103 In Pit
40 42 44 David Reutimann Toyota UPS 43/0 99 In Pit
41 14 160 Boris Said Ford 7-Eleven Slurpee / No Fear 40/0 94 In Pit
42 7 21 Marcos Ambrose Ford Little Debbie Honey Buns 37/0 83 In Pit
43 43 34 Brian Simo Ford No Fear 34/0 20 In Pit

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