Busch makes it look easy in Richmond for latest win
RICHMOND, Va. -- Kyle Busch led four times and for all but 25 laps and even made overtime look easy at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night, earning his ninth career NASCAR Busch Series victory and second of the season.
"It's a lot of fun being able to perform like that," Busch said.
Busch, who also started first, never gave up the lead for more than 17 laps and grabbed it for good on the 160th circuit when Matt Kenseth spun avoiding an accident.
Kenseth, winner of 23 career series races, led for 17 laps when Paul Menard spun out right in front of him. As Kenseth also went around, Busch quickly darted up and through a clearing in the action and produced the final of six lead changes.
"It was hard to recover and I just couldn't quite do it," Kenseth said.
On the weekend when he already has cemented his spot in NASCAR's 10-race Chase for the championship, Busch said the dominant effort was a great way to kick things off.
"We wouldn't want it any other way, that's for sure," he said. "Kenseth had the car to beat and I knew he did. He was the class of the field but our car was right there with him. I didn't expect that. It was great to have the chance to race with him."
Busch's Nextel Cup crew worked the pits for him.
"The win tonight raises the guys spirits for tomorrow. They're going to come in pumped up because they won tonight, but they know that the big challenge is tomorrow," he said. "We definitely want to go out there and get that win."
The Emerson Radio 250 race went back to green on lap 201, following the sixth caution, and Busch had all but ended the suspense by building a lead of nearly 2½ seconds over Carl Edwards until A.J. Allmendinger spun on lap 236.
The green flew again with nine laps remaining, and Busch got a great jump and then some much appreciated help as Edwards and Ryan Newman battled for second place.
With four laps to go, another caution flew because of oil on the track, causing Busch to relinquish another sizeable lead, and the race was red-flagged to allow the cleanup to take place before a three-lap dash to the finish. Besides Edwards and Newman, Busch had to beware of Kenseth and Denny Hamlin, both of whom had pitted for tires with 13 laps remaining. Each had gained four spots in the first six green laps.
On the last restart, however, after a 6-minute delay and a decision to extend the race to let it finish under green, Busch easily pulled away, winning by 0.868 seconds.
"Kyle definitely had a great car and I just couldn't get him," Edwards said after winning his battle with Newman for second. "Maybe if the dude who ran third would have laid off me a little bit I could have got a run on him, but I just couldn't do it."
Kenseth rallied for fourth and Mike Bliss was fifth.
Edwards, the runaway series points leader, extended his margin to 733 points over Kevin Harvick, last year's runaway champion, with seven races left on the schedule.
Edwards posted his 18th top 10 finish in 28 events this season.
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- Lump of coal: Durant (ankle) to sit vs. Spurs
- Veteran Smith: 'Excited to join Rockets'
- Peyton intent on playing for Broncos in 2015
- Chippewas' rally, lateral heroics not enough