Busch dominates Richmond Busch race
As far as Kyle Busch was concerned, a two-lap dash to the finish was no different from the 250 laps that preceded it.
After a red-flag period that lasted six minutes, in a race that went two laps beyond its posted distance, Busch pulled away from Carl Edwards in a green-white-checkered-flag finish to win the Emerson Radio 250 NASCAR Busch Series race Friday night at Richmond International Raceway.
Busch crossed the finish line .868 seconds ahead of Edwards, the series points leader. Ryan Newman ran third, followed by Matt Kenseth, who stopped for four tires under caution with 12 laps left and restarted 10th on Lap 242. Mike Bliss came home fifth, followed by Brian Vickers, Denny Hamlin, Scott Wimmer, Kasey Kahne and Jason Keller.
Busch led 227 of the 252 laps in collecting his second Busch Series win in 15 starts this season and the ninth of his career.
"We wouldn't want it any other way," said Busch, who finished second to Jeff Burton last weekend at California Speedway after surrendering the lead with seven laps remaining. "We had two great chances at Bristol (where he finished fourth) and California and didn't get it done. This is halfway payback, because we want the Cup Series (win on Saturday), too."
Kenseth appeared to have an answer for Busch in the middle stages of the race. On Lap 143, Kenseth powered past Busch at the start/finish line and held the top spot until Paul Menard spun in Turn 1 on Lap 161 and slammed into the outside wall.
Running right behind Menard's lapped car at the time, Kenseth was hard on the brakes to avoid contact, but the driver of the No. 17 Ford spun down to the apron in Turn 2 after checking up behind Menard's No. 15
Chevy. Kenseth lost three spots in the process, and Busch regained the lead.
On pit road during the caution, Kenseth fell to sixth during the yellow-flag stops. The loss of track position effectively ended Kenseth's chance to win the race.
"Kenseth had the car to beat today, and I knew that," Busch said. "But our car was right there with him. He got the lead from us a couple of times. Then he spun himself out over there with the lapped car."
Kenseth said the spin was unavoidable.
"The 15 was so close to me I couldn't stop," Kenseth said, "so I had to turn the wheel a little bit, and my car was so loose it just spun out."
Thereafter, Busch stayed in front, comfortably ahead of Edwards in the second position, until AJ Allmendinger's spin on the frontstretch brought out the seventh caution of the race on Lap 236. After the
restart on Lap 242, Busch opened a 10-car-length gap over Edwards before oil on the track from Derrike Cope's blown engine brought the yellow flag on Lap 246 and the stoppage with three laps left.
Note: Thanks to Wimmer's eighth-place finish, the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevy retained the Busch owner points lead by 40 over the No. 60 Roush Fenway Ford driven by Edwards.