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DATE News (chronologically)
04/27/12
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Busch wins for Busch at Richmond  
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota, crosses the finish line ahead of Denny Hamlin, in the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota
Getty Images for NASCAR
By the thinnest of margins, in a breathtaking finish that featured two cars sideways and side-by-side at the finish line, Kurt Busch beat Denny Hamlin to the checkered flag by .062 seconds to win Friday night's Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway.

Busch delivered the first-ever Nationwide Series victory to the team owned by his brother, Kyle Busch. The win was Busch's fourth in the series and his first on a short track. Hamlin came up two feet short after a phenomenal drive from the rear of the field after a pit road mistake.

Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick ran third, followed by defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr. Elliott Sadler finished sixth to cling to the series points lead by two points over Stenhouse.

"To get KBM [Kyle Busch Motorsports] its first win -- this is unbelievable," Kurt Busch said in Victory Lane. "It's harder than you think, putting a program together. You think you can come in here and muscle your way to the top, but you have to think your way to the top."

Busch parted ways with Penske Racing at the end of last season and took a Sprint Cup job with James Finch's Phoenix Racing this year. He and Kyle are sharing driving duties in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota in the startup Nationwide program.

"It was unbelievable racing with him," Busch said of Hamlin. "I was pacing myself and pacing myself, and -- boom! -- he came out of nowhere at the end."

For Kyle Busch, it was difficult to contain the excitement of the first victory with his own equipment.

"This is the most emotional I've ever been for a win," said Kyle, himself a prolific past winner in the No. 18 Toyota that Hamlin drove Saturday night. "Man, this is cool. When you're behind the wheel, it's a lot easier to do. When you're standing here watching the guy behind you close in on you ... Kurt ran him really tough, and then Denny ran us clean."

In a race dominated by Sprint Cup drivers Busch, Hamlin and Harvick -- and featuring the relentlessly promoted Nationwide debut of X-Games gold medalist Travis Pastrana -- the most noteworthy story was the spectacular maiden voyage of 18-year-old Ryan Blaney, who finished seventh in his series debut.

Hurt by three slow pit stops, the last under green, Blaney otherwise would have been a likely contender for the victory in his first Nationwide race.

Hamlin likewise was a victim of a pit road mistake, but one of his own making.

Hamlin missed his pit stall under caution on Lap 117, restarted 24th on Lap 125 and drove up to the third position before pitting under the green flag on Lap 208.

Second soon after the cycle of pit stops, Hamlin harried Busch until the end of the race but ran out of time. Hamlin said he could have moved Busch on the final lap but preferred to have the race decided fairly.

"I could have moved him up and gotten him out of the groove, and it would have been over with," Hamlin said. "But Kyle's a teammate [at Joe Gibbs Racing] and [KBM general manager] Rick Ren and those guys have built a great program, so I wanted it to be fair.

"He won fair and square, and [I was] just one lap too late."

Despite a pit road speeding penalty, Pastrana ran 22nd in his ballyhooed Nationwide debut. Danica Patrick came home 21st.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 10 54 Kurt Busch Toyota Monster Energy 0 250 Running
2 2 18 Denny Hamlin Toyota Z-Line Designs 0 250 Running
3 1 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Fast Fixin' On the Go Sandwiches 0 250 Running
4 6 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Blackwell Angus Beef / Cargill 40/0 250 Running
5 12 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Wurth 39/0 250 Running
6 7 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet OneMain Financial 38/0 250 Running
7 8 136 Ryan Blaney Chevrolet SealWrap 37/0 250 Running
8 19 43 Michael Annett Ford Pilot Flying J 37/1 250 Running
9 3 3 Austin Dillon * Chevrolet AdvoCare 35/0 250 Running
10 5 38 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Great Clips 0 250 Running
11 11 4 Steve Wallace Ford Loanmax Title Loans 33/0 250 Running
12 21 30 James Buescher Chevrolet AccuDoc Solutions 0 249 Running
13 17 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 31/0 249 Running
14 15 11 Brian Scott Toyota Dollar General 30/0 249 Running
15 13 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Brandt 29/0 249 Running
16 9 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge Discount Tire / SKF 0 249 Running
17 20 44 Mike Bliss Toyota BanditChippers.com 27/0 249 Running
18 14 20 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 0 249 Running
19 4 88 Cole Whitt * Chevrolet TaxSlayer.com 25/0 248 Running
20 24 70 Johanna Long * Chevrolet Foretravel Motorcoach 24/0 248 Running
21 16 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 23/0 248 Running
22 25 199 Travis Pastrana Toyota Boost Mobile 22/0 248 Running
23 18 108 Casey Roderick * Ford West Virginia Miners 21/0 247 Running
24 26 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet JD Motorsports 20/0 247 Running
25 27 19 Tayler Malsam Toyota G-Oil 19/0 246 Running
26 33 41 Timmy Hill Ford Poynt.com 0 245 Running
27 40 52 Kevin Lepage Chevrolet Victory Precision Valves 17/0 245 Running
28 43 50 T.J. Bell Chevrolet Gulf Coast Loss Prevention 16/0 244 Running
29 31 124 Tanner Berryhill Chevrolet New Gulf Resources / Dillon Manufacturing 15/0 244 Running
30 28 81 Jason Bowles * Toyota American Majority 14/0 243 Running
31 34 14 Eric McClure Toyota Hefty / Reynolds Wrap 13/0 243 Running
32 38 39 Matt Frahm Ford New Lifestyle Diet / Maui Jim Sunglasses 12/0 243 Running
33 29 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet Clements Automotive 11/0 229 Running
34 37 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 10/0 162 Running
35 30 40 Erik Darnell Chevrolet TheMotorsportsGroup.com 9/0 145 Clutch
36 32 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Racing With Jesus 9/1 90 Handling
37 22 117 J.J. Yeley Toyota AmericashAdvance.com / New Gulf Resources LLC / Excel Therapy Specialists LLC 0 66 Accident
38 23 42 Josh Wise Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 0 12 Susp.
39 42 175 Blake Koch Chevrolet Rick Ware Racing 5/0 10 Vibration
40 36 47 Scott Speed Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 0 9 Electrical
41 39 174 Mike Harmon Chevrolet Koma Unwind Relaxation Drink 3/0 7 Rear Gear
42 35 46 Chase Miller Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 2/0 7 Clutch
43 41 10 Jeff Green Toyota TriStar Motorsports 1/0 3 Vibration

* Denotes Rookie

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