Burton wins final NASCAR Busch Series Race
Jeff Burton won the NASCAR Busch Series owners' championship for Richard Childress Racing when he took the green flag for Saturday's Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Two hundred laps later, he won the race, notching his fifth win of the year and the 27th of his career in the final event in the series under Anheuser-Busch sponsorship.
Burton denied former Roush Racing teammate Mark Martin a chance to win the final series race. Martin, the all-time series leader with 47 victories, finished 1.718 seconds behind Burton but held off current
Roush Fenway drivers Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards, who came home third and fourth, respectively.
Though Edwards had clinched the NASCAR Busch Series title two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway, Saturday brought the official trophy presentation for the final championship before the series takes on sponsorship from Nationwide Insurance next year.
Stephen Leicht ran fifth, followed by Greg Biffle, Tony Raines, Bobby Hamilton Jr., Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose.
"It really means a lot to me to win the last race in the Busch Series," Burton said. "I grew up wanting to be a Busch driver -- that's what I wanted to be. So it really means a lot to me to win the final race with
Busch as a sponsor."
David Ragan's spin off Turn 4 on Lap 169, which interrupted a green-flag cycle of pits stops, left the leaders mired mid-pack for final restart on Lap 177. Burton restarted in first position, but 19th in the running order, followed by Edwards and Kenseth, who had survived a blown tire and a spin on Lap 86 that left him temporarily one lap down.
Over the next few laps, Martin was able to pull up beside Burton but couldn't clear the No. 29 Chevrolet, which Burton shared with driver Scott Wimmer in winning the owners' title for Childress by 255 points
over the No. 20 Chevrolet driven by Denny Hamlin for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Subsequently, Edwards and Martin swapped second position, with Martin securing it on Lap 197. On the final lap at the 1.5-mile speedway, Kenseth overtook Edwards for third.
"We were pretty close tonight, but we couldn't pull it off, with Jeff Burton running the way he did," said Martin, who finished second for the second time in three races in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. "But we gave it our best shot. We got 'em two second-place finishes, but we couldn't get the job done."
Despite failing to finish the race, Ragan left with the consolation of having won the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR Busch Series.