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Kurt Busch wins at Charlotte

Charlotte winner Kurt Busch does a victory lap in reverse gear, Charlotte, 2010Kurt Busch prevented a Memorial Weekend sweep for Chip Ganassi by beating Jamie McMurray to victory in the Coca-Cola 600.

The Penske driver looked in control for most of the distance but it was the Earnhardt Ganassi racer who seemed to be heading to victory lane following the final stops for fuel.

However, the eighth caution of the day broke McMurray's momentum while holding a two-second lead and gave Busch a final shot at victory after he had led for the majority of the race.

As the leaders pitted for the final time to take on two new tyres under caution, a faster stop for Busch allowed him to jump the EGR driver and place himself fourth for the last restart.

When the green flag waved, Busch quickly overtook polesitter Ryan Newman and then Hendrick's Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon who had stayed out during the final caution. Meanwhile McMurray followed Busch's Dodge through and was just over a second behind him for the last 18 laps as he tried to retake the lead.

In previous runs McMurray had looked unbeatable on the long runs, and he was hoping that would give him a chance to give his team owner Chip Ganassi a second victory for the day, following Dario Franchitti's win in the Indianapolis 500.

However Busch was able to fend him off as there were not enough laps for McMurray to put his long run pace to effect, Busch becoming the seventh driver to sweep the Charlotte races in the month of May after winning the All-Star race last weekend.

"I thought about the Ganassi car behind me. He wasn't getting by us," said Busch, who dedicated the victory to Roger Penske, whose team came a few laps short of fuel of winning at Indianapolis with Helio Castroneves earlier in the day.

"To win the big 600 and the All-Star back-to-back... this is something that will be front and centre in Roger's NASCAR trophy case and I'm happy to deliver it."

McMurray had mixed emotions following the race, feeling happy with a solid second place that puts him only 26 points from the top-12 in the standings, but at the same time sorry for just missing out on giving his boss a second win in the day, after Ganassi flew from Indianapolis to watch his NASCAR team perform at Charlotte.

"I think we had the best car tonight," said McMurray. "Certainly on the long runs, we had the best car toward the end and that is all you can ask for. You can't win every time you have a fast car and the No. 2 [Penske team] put themselves in position and they were able to win.

Kyle Busch led the race early on but had an incident on pitroad with Brad Keselowski which caused some damage to the right front corner of his car. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was also penalised for speeding on pitroad but eventually bounced back to finish a distant third.

Jeff Burton confronted him after the race, complaining about an incident at the final restart which saw the two cars make light contact, Burton suffering a puncture that put the veteran out of contention for a good finish, having looked a challenger earlier.

Martin finished fourth, the highest he ran all race-long, making his strategy work after staying out during the last caution with Gordon, who finished sixth. Last year's winner David Reutimann ran nearly the whole race in the top-five, finishing a strong fifth for Michael Waltrip Racing.

Kevin Harvick was 11th in the end, recovering from an unscheduled green-flag stop for a vibration in the second half of the race. His finish allowed him to remain in the lead of the standings, as the season is now through 13 of the 26 races before the Chase starts.

Pre-race favourites Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson both had tough nights, the latter ending his hopes of a good run against the inside wall at the exit of turn two with a hard frontal impact.

Before that he had already hit the barrier once out of turn four, Hamlin suffering damage to his car as he tried to avoid hitting the reigning champion who moved down the track after bouncing off the wall, Hamlin forced to run over the grass through the tri-oval.

It was yet another tough race for Juan Pablo Montoya, who had looked strong in practice but struggled for balance from the start of the race, losing control of his car early on and damaging it against the same inside wall at the exit of turn two.

Johnson finished the race in 37th, one place ahead of Montoya, but dropped down to seventh in the standings.

Pos  Driver              Car        Laps
 1.  Kurt Busch          Dodge       400
 2.  Jamie McMurray      Chevrolet   400
 3.  Kyle Busch          Toyota      400
 4.  Mark Martin         Chevrolet   400
 5.  David Reutimann     Toyota      400
 6.  Jeff Gordon         Chevrolet   400
 7.  Clint Bowyer        Chevrolet   400
 8.  Paul Menard         Ford        400
 9.  Ryan Newman         Chevrolet   400
10.  Matt Kenseth        Ford        400
11.  Kevin Harvick       Chevrolet   400
12.  Kasey Kahne         Ford        400
13.  Joey Logano         Toyota      400
14.  A.J. Allmendinger   Ford        400
15.  Tony Stewart        Chevrolet   400
16.  Carl Edwards        Ford        400
17.  Sam Hornish Jr      Dodge       400
18.  Denny Hamlin        Toyota      400
19.  Regan Smith         Chevrolet   400
20.  Brad Keselowski     Dodge       400
21.  Elliott Sadler      Ford        400
22.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Chevrolet   400
23.  Martin Truex Jr     Toyota      400
24.  David Ragan         Ford        400
25.  Jeff Burton         Chevrolet   400
26.  David Gilliland     Ford        398
27.  Bill Elliott        Ford        397
28.  Travis Kvapil       Ford        397
29.  Casey Mears         Toyota      396
30.  Scott Speed         Toyota      395
31.  Bobby Labonte       Chevrolet   395
32.  Greg Biffle         Ford        394
33.  Robby Gordon        Toyota      394
34.  J.J. Yeley          Dodge       393
35.  Kevin Conway        Ford        393
36.  Marcos Ambrose      Toyota      375
37.  Jimmie Johnson      Chevrolet   364
38.  Juan Montoya        Chevrolet   306
39.  Joe Nemechek        Toyota       46
40.  Todd Bodine         Toyota       41
41.  Johnny Sauter       Chevrolet    37
42.  Michael McDowell    Toyota       34
43.  Dave Blaney         Toyota       25
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