Kyle Busch dominates at Bristol

Kyle Busch scored his second win of the season in dominant fashion in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway

Kyle Busch dominates at Bristol

The 23-year-old led 378 out of 503 laps to claim his second career win at the half-mile oval and his 14th in NASCAR's top series. Busch has won a race at every track he has competed in NASCAR this year, and adds a fifth success to his tally of victories in 2009, counting all three national divisions.

The Joe Gibbs driver got revenge from Saturday when he had dominated the Nationwide Series event but lost victory due to a pitroad penalty in the closing stages. This time his pitcrew mirrored what Busch did on the track and he grabbed the lead from Jimmie Johnson on lap 69.

After that, his team-mate Denny Hamlin seemed the only one capable of putting him under any pressure. In fact, Hamlin passed Busch for the lead on lap 316 when both were in traffic, but a few laps later the order was restored by the Vegas native who has moved up to fourth place in the championship.

"It was a good day for us," said Busch. "The [car] was really fast. We knew it was fast. We knew it was going to be a good car coming here from our performance last fall. We fine tuned on it a little bit here and there.

"We need to work on the qualifying package a little bit, but ultimately it doesn't really matter where you start here. You have to bide your time, take it easy when you have a car that's good. It was a very satisfying day today. We had a great run there, I really enjoyed it."

Hamlin kept the pressure on Busch for the green-white-chequered finish, but he never got close enough to his team-mate to attempt a pass. His second place allowed him to make big gains in the points as he now moves six places up to eighth in the standings, heading into his home race next weekend at Martinsville, where he won a year ago.

"We just had a car that was good in the long runs," said Hamlin. "The car was extremely good after 80 or 90 laps but unfortunately we didn't get that long of a run in the end. Kyle had a great car. He had the best car on the short run, we had the best on the long run and it just worked out good for them."

Johnson had his best ever outing at Bristol, one of only six tracks he has never won a race at. He led 88 laps and ran in the top five for most of the day, collecting points that break him into the top 10 in the championship for the first time this year.

"I'm very pleased," Johnson said. "In some ways to be that close to a win and to see the #18 car [Kyle Busch] pull into victory lane, I can now see what the leaders do and I can visualise being in that position someday. Before we were so far off and had some decent runs but really weren't racing for the win. Today we did that, so I'm very proud of all the work."

Jeff Gordon finished the race in fourth place behind his team-mate, while Kasey Kahne had his best finish of the year with a solid fifth. He was running as high as third in the closing stages but couldn't fend off the charge from the Hendrick duo in the end, although he was able to keep Mark Martin behind.

"[The car] went away a touch there at the end," Kahne said. "We made a small adjustment and I don't think that's what it was. We just kind of slowed up there but it was still a good run for us. The guys did a good job in the pits and good calls. We've made gains in the last two weeks."

Ryan Newman finished seventh - also his best result of the year - leading his first laps for Stewart Haas Racing in the early stages having started from the front row. Jeff Burton recovered from 40th on the grid up to eighth place by the chequered flag, closely challenged by Juan Pablo Montoya who scored his first top 10 of the season.

Australian Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top 10 - his first in the Sprint Cup on an oval - ahead of a recovering Kurt Busch, who got damage to the front end of his car in an early multi-car incident, triggered when Todd Bodine got squeezed between the wall and Michael Waltrip's Toyota.

Carl Edwards, winner at Bristol back in August, was not a contender for victory at all and could only manage 15th place as the best of the Roush Fenway camp. Yet again one of the team's cars retired from the race with an engine failure, this time costing Greg Biffle points.

Also retiring with engine issues was rookie Joey Logano, who brought out the final caution of the race with seven laps remaining.

Jeff Gordon has extended his lead in the standings to 76 points over Kurt Busch, who moved up to second ahead of Clint Bowyer.

Pos Driver Car Laps 1. Kyle Busch Toyota 503 2. Denny Hamlin Toyota 503 3. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 503 4. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 503 5. Kasey Kahne Dodge 503 6. Mark Martin Chevrolet 503 7. Ryan Newman Chevrolet 503 8. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 503 9. Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 503 10. Marcos Ambrose Toyota 503 11. Kurt Busch Dodge 503 12. David Reutimann Toyota 503 13. Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 503 14. Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 503 15. Carl Edwards Ford 503 16. A.J. Allmendinger Dodge 503 17. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 502 18. Travis Kvapil Ford 502 19. David Stremme Dodge 502 20. Elliott Sadler Dodge 502 21. Robby Gordon Toyota 501 22. Bobby Labonte Ford 501 23. Reed Sorenson Dodge 501 24. Casey Mears Chevrolet 501 25. Paul Menard Ford 501 26. Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 501 27. David Ragan Ford 500 28. Scott Speed Toyota 500 29. Brian Vickers Toyota 499 30. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 499 31. Sam Hornish Jr Dodge 499 32. Michael Waltrip Toyota 497 33. Matt Kenseth Ford 497 34. John Andretti Chevrolet 495 35. Aric Almirola Chevrolet 494 36. David Gilliland Chevrolet 493 37. Jamie McMurray Ford 491 38. Joey Logano Toyota 490 39. Greg Biffle Ford 326 40. Sterling Marlin Dodge 91 41. Joe Nemechek Toyota 82 42. Todd Bodine Toyota 58 43. Dave Blaney Toyota 33 
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