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Busch nips Kenseth in thrilling Kansas finish
Kyle Busch survived a pit road speeding penalty and a 13-lap shootout with polesitter Matt Kenseth to win Saturday's Yellow Transportation 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway.
In a race that saw 27 green flag passes for the lead, Busch and Kenseth dueled side-by-side through the closing laps at the 1.5-mile speedway, but Kenseth's bid to pass Busch to the inside on the final circuit fell just short, and Busch's No. 5 Chevrolet crossed the finish line .085 seconds ahead of Kenseth's No. 17 Ford.
Casey Mears came home third, followed by Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray. Denny Hamlin, Paul Menard, Jeff Burton, Brian Vickers and Greg Biffle completed the top 10.
It was a bittersweet third victory in the series this season for Busch, who will leave Hendrick Motorsports for Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of the season.
"It's a testament to this team," said Busch, who was penalized for speeding on pit road under caution and restarted from the rear on Lap 96. "It's going to be sad here at the end, but I'm enjoying it right now."
Points leader Carl Edwards brought out the eighth caution of the race on Lap 151, when his No. 60 Ford clobbered the Turn 4 wall.
Edwards, however, seemed preoccupied with an earlier incident involving Kenseth, his teammate, on the restart on Lap 96. Edwards' left front tire went flat after contact with Kenseth's Ford, and that was the beginning of a succession of problems for the points leader.
Edwards had gone to the outside on the restart, and he and Kenseth made contact in heavy traffic, as Kenseth passed Edwards to the inside.
"The reason I was upset was that I don't think my teammate should race me like that," Edwards said, after climbing from his car and giving Kenseth a sarcastic round of applause. "Hopefully, it's just a one-time thing, a little lapse there."
Kenseth didn't feel he did anything wrong.
"I thought I'd left him enough room," he said. "I don't know what he was doing going four-wide up in the marbles on the restart like that."
Kenseth held the lead for a restart on Lap 164 and had the better of a pitched battle against Busch when Brad Keselowski's right front tire went down and crashed hard into the outside wall on Lap 177.
Busch passed Kenseth for the lead under green on Lap 184 as the cars roared off Turn 4, but Bryan Clauson's spin on Lap 185 brought out the record-tying 10th caution of the race and set up the 13-lap sprint to the finish.
"He got a great run on the restart," Kenseth said. "I was loose for about six or seven laps, but then my car started to tighten up, and I could make a run at him."
In a seesaw battle for the owners' championship, the No. 29 Chevrolet of Richard Childress Racing, driven by Burton on Saturday, reclaimed the lead by 54 points over the No. 60 Roush Fenway Ford driven by Edwards.
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