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Edwards bumps Busch for Bristol win

Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin battle for the lead, Bristol, 2008Carl Edwards took victory in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway after passing the dominant Kyle Busch with a bump'n'run in the closing stages of the race, the pair leading 499 of the race's 500 laps between them.

However, after the chequered flag fell, the battle between the two drivers who had fought for the win continued, Busch slamming into the side of Edwards' car on his victory lap, before Edwards repaid the favour and spun Busch.

Afterwards, Edwards said he needed to nudge Busch out the way when he passed him to get through to the lead.

"That was one of those deals where I couldn't get by him," said Edwards. "I had to ask myself, 'Would he do that to me?' And he has before, and that's the way it goes.

"I just kind of ran into him. That's what happened... I have a lot of respect for the guy, and he was real fast, but we can't give up points when they're right there for us to take.

"Let's make it real clear - I'm not apologizing for it."

That Edwards admitted to making the contact didn't affect how Busch felt about the contact: "No, because he does that, and he'll always come back and say he's sorry. He did it at Milwaukee (in the Nationwide race), and he's done it a few other times. It's just his normal fashion. That's fine. I've grown to know that."

The post-race contact between the two drivers saw Busch summoned to the NASCAR transporter after the race to explain his actions.

It all started after a late caution, ironically brought out by debris from the car of Kyle's older brother Kurt, which gave Edwards the opportunity he needed to take the lead, as he hung on to the leader's rear bumper after the restart.

Edwards got close enough to give Busch a bump'n'run to take the lead on lap 470, Busch immediately repaying the favour but unable to retake the lead. From that point on Edwards edged away to take the win.

Busch, who led about 400 of the race's 500 laps, was now under threat from Denny Hamlin, who took second from Busch on lap 472, only to see Busch retake the place eight laps later.

Hamlin then had worries behind as well as in front, with Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon chasing him home to the flag.

Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan completed the top ten finishers.

However, an incident earlier in the race hurt a couple of runners in their hopes for the chase. A multi-car crash caused by contact between Casey Mears and Michael Waltrip led to a red flag after cars were left strewn across the course.

Clint Bowyer clipped Mears as he tried to avoid him, and got away with minor damage. However Kasey Kahne was left with nowhere to go, his race over after his car suffered severe damage, dropping him three places to 14th in the points, 56 points outside the chase with two races to go.

A couple of favourites for the race also had their problems - Dale Earnhardt Jr jumped the start of the race and was penalised, losing a lap which he was never able to get back, finishing 18th.

However, he moved up a place in the points after teammate Jimmie Johnson damaged his car in early contact with Sterling Marlin, Johnson finishing 33rd, 18 laps behind the winner.

Pos  Driver               Make        Laps
 1.  Carl Edwards         Ford         500
 2.  Kyle Busch           Toyota       500
 3.  Denny Hamlin         Toyota       500
 4.  Kevin Harvick        Chevrolet    500
 5.  Jeff Gordon          Chevrolet    500
 6.  Ryan Newman          Dodge        500
 7.  Clint Bowyer         Chevrolet    500
 8.  Tony Stewart         Toyota       500
 9.  Matt Kenseth         Ford         500
10.  David Ragan          Ford         500
11.  Greg Biffle          Ford         500
12.  Jamie McMurray       Ford         500
13.  Aric Almirola        Chevrolet    500
14.  Regan Smith          Chevrolet    500
15.  Kurt Busch           Dodge        500
16.  Paul Menard          Chevrolet    499
17.  Tony Raines          Chevrolet    499
18.  Dale Earnhardt Jr    Chevrolet    498
19.  Juan Montoya         Dodge        498
20.  Brian Vickers        Toyota       498
21.  Ken Schrader         Toyota       498
22.  David Gilliland      Ford         498
23.  Bobby Labonte        Dodge        498
24.  Travis Kvapil        Ford         498
25.  David Reutimann      Toyota       497
26.  Bill Elliott         Ford         497
27.  Scott Riggs          Chevrolet    496
28.  Mike Skinner         Toyota       496
29.  Joe Nemechek         Chevrolet    494
30.  Michael Waltrip      Toyota       492
31.  Kyle Petty           Dodge        491
32.  Elliott Sadler       Dodge        490
33.  Jimmie Johnson       Chevrolet    482
34.  A.J. Allmendinger    Toyota       400
35.  Martin Truex Jr      Chevrolet    396
36.  Reed Sorenson        Dodge        383
37.  Sam Hornish Jr       Dodge        297
38.  Dave Blaney          Toyota       279
39.  Robby Gordon         Dodge        227
40.  Kasey Kahne          Dodge        215
41.  Casey Mears          Chevrolet    214
42.  Jeff Burton          Chevrolet    195
43.  Sterling Marlin      Chevrolet    184
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