Kyle Busch claims owner's title for JGR
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Kyle Busch kept his perfect weekend alive by winning the Nationwide Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday -- a victory that gave Joe Gibbs Racing the owner's championship.
It was Busch's 13th win of the Nationwide season and career victory No. 43 in that series, second only to Mark Martin's 48 wins. It came on the heels of Friday night's win in the Trucks Series, which also gave Busch the owner's championship in that series.
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Busch headed into Sunday's finale looking for a weekend sweep -- he won three races in NASCAR's three national series at Bristol in August -- but he was thinking about the big picture instead of his own personal accomplishments. JGR teammate Denny Hamlin can win his first Cup title in Sunday's season finale.
"Wish I had something for tomorrow," Busch told his team as he crossed the finish line, "but we'll play the teammate and get them one."
Kevin Harvick, one of three drivers racing Sunday for the Cup title, finished second and was followed by Brad Keselowski, who had already wrapped up the Nationwide driver's championship. He had been hoping to catch Busch to give Penske Racing the owner's title, but instead settled for a series record 26th top-five finish.
Harvick seemed loose and ready to go after the Nationwide race, and said he'd take lessons learned from Saturday night into the title fight. Hamlin has a 15-point lead over four-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson, and Harvick is 46 points back.
Harvick was the only one of the three contenders to run the Nationwide race.
"I feel like I'm in a much better rhythm, as far as the little bumps and crevices, knowing where I need to go and how many laps I need to do things and where I'm at on the racetrack a certain amount of laps after a restart," Harvick said.
"I feel like there's a few things in practice that didn't work in the race that tended to work better on the long runs. I know where the balance for my car needs to be to start the race tomorrow from where we started the race today from practice."
Danica Patrick finished her final NASCAR race of the season with a career-best finish of 19th, but was extremely frustrated after the race because she'd struggled to get around Brian Scott in the closing laps.
"Why am I so upset? I don't know. Because I was working my [butt] off to get by the 09 car, and I couldn't get by him," she said. "And so I'm mad. Because when you're running where I'm running, it's not like I'm running for a win and I was mad.
"I have to find like little victories in everything. So I was faster than him and I just couldn't get by him. It's not like it's that big a deal, it's not like finishing 18th versus 19th is going to change the world."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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THE END OF THE ROAD
The 2010 Sprint Cup season came down to three drivers -- Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick -- with a shot at the championship trophy. Only one was left standing at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Columns• Hinton: Six in a row for Johnson?
• Blount: Hamlin falls short
• Newton: Harvick serves notice
• Hinton: Sunday should be fun
• Newton: Chase for Cup too close to call
• Blount: Sunset dreams at Homestead
• Newton: Are Chase changes needed?
• Hinton: Bowyer still left wondering
• Hinton: Johnson's back to the wall
• Blount: Harvick channeling his inner-E
• Newton: Hamlin one cool customer
• Blount: Is Hamlin jinxed?
• Newton: Hamlin's crew chief ready to roll
• Newton: Chase drama trumps Edwards' win
Racing Live!• Homestead on ESPN.com: Rewind
Blogs• Smith: A candid conversation with Hamlin
• McGee: Trash talk is good
• Willis: Is it Kevin Harvick's turn?
• Newton: Owners kick-start Homestead week
• Willis: Does Hamlin have confidence?
Practice, qualifying and news• JJ qualifies ahead of Harvick, Hamlin
• Earnhardt unsure crew chief change needed
• Denny Hamlin car at fuel disadvantage
• NASCAR open to Chase changes
More weekend coverage• Edwards wins; Johnson rolls to title | Results
• Kyle Busch takes Nationwide finale
• Kyle Busch rolls in Trucks race
• Danica's Double 2010: End of the line
NASCAR Video• Homestead highlights
• Jimmie Johnson celebrates again
• Hard to swallow for Denny Hamlin
• Sprint Cup qualifying
• Have at it boys remix
• Denny Hamlin's long road back
• Hamlin's crew chief Ford ready
• NASCAR Now: Is the pressure off JJ?
• SportsCenter: Tricky for contenders
• The Final Chase: Kevin Harvick
• The Final Chase: Denny Hamlin
• The Final Chase: Jimmie Johnson
• EA Track Preview: Homestead
• Tale of the tape
Podcasts• Jayski: Ford 400 preview
• Rusty Wallace on Mike & Mike
• Denny Hamlin with Doug Gottlieb
• Jimmie Johnson on Mike & Mike
• Jayski: Jimmie, Denny and Kevin
• Jayski: Around the sport
Chats and wraps• Sunday: Garrow on fantasy, 9:30 a.m. ET
• Thursday: Ed Hinton wrap
• Wednesday: Terry Blount wrap
• Tuesday: David Newton wrap
• Monday: Ryan McGee wrap