Kyle Busch takes Atlanta Sprint Cup victory

Kyle Busch takes Atlanta Sprint Cup victory

Cup Series

Kyle Busch takes Atlanta Sprint Cup victory

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Kyle Busch claimed victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup 500-mile night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Joe Gibbs Toyota driver emerged in the lead during the final pit stops and was able to control the closing stages. The win puts Busch’s place in this year’s Chase beyond doubt.

His former teammate Joey Logano made progress through the field during the final stint to take second for Penske, having earlier lost ground with an out-of-sequence pit stop, but Busch remained seven tenths of a second clear up front. Logano’s final pass was on Martin Truex Jr., who coped with both a fractured wrist and a melting support cast on his hand to take third in his Waltrip Toyota.

Both Buschs were in the top four, with Kurt recovering from 32nd on the grid to fourth for Furniture Row, helped in large part by an astounding restart in which he made up eight positions to appear in second place.

Juan Pablo Montoya led much of the first part of the race, but faded to seventh in the end. His fall was not as great as Carl Edwards’, though, the Roush Fenway man looking dominant at times early on only to slump to 18th, unable to regain the ground lost when he stayed on old tires as most around him took fresh rubber mid-race.

Reigning champion Brad Keselowski’s bid to at least be in contention for a second title struck another blow when his Penske Ford ran into engine problems while he was leading. He was eventually classified 35th, leaving him 15th in the points with just Richmond next week remaining before the Chase cutoff.

Championshp leader Jimmie Johnson also had a bad night, getting involved in two collisions and finishing four laps down in 28th. At one stage he looked set to finally lose the lead in the standings, but was granted a reprieve when nearest rival Clint Bowyer had an engine failure when running in a position to jump to the top of the championship.

Polesitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr. immediately slumped down the order when the race began and finished 16th.

Results - 325 laps:Pos  Driver              Team/Car                         Time/Gap 1.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota             3h42m14.000s 2.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford                       +0.740s 3.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota                    +1.840s 4.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet           +3.622s 5.  Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet            +4.137s 6.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet                +6.658s 7.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet       +8.056s 8.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet                +8.690s 9.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet               +8.907s10.  Brian Vickers       Waltrip Toyota                    +9.516s11.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet      +10.462s12.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota                 +10.988s13.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                       +11.103s14.  AJ Allmendinger     JTG Daugherty Toyota             +11.606s15.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford                +11.852s16.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford                +12.780s17.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford                   +13.822s18.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford                  +1 lap19.  Austin Dillon       Childress Chevrolet                +1 lap20.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                        +2 laps21.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet            +2 laps22.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                      +2 laps23.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford                    +2 laps24.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet               +3 laps25.  Mark Martin         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet            +3 laps26.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet                 +3 laps27.  Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                         +3 laps28.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet                +4 laps29.  David Stremme       Swan Toyota                       +4 laps30.  JJ Yeley            Baldwin Chevrolet                 +4 laps31.  Timmy Hill          FAS Lane Ford                     +4 laps32.  David Reutimann     BK Toyota                         +5 laps33.  Mike Bliss          Phoenix Chevrolet                 +6 laps34.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet               +6 lapsRetirements:     Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                      307 laps     Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet              292 laps*     Landon Cassill      Hillman Chevrolet                249 laps     Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota                 231 laps     Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota                   192 laps     Joe Nemechek        NEMCO Toyota                     114 laps     Jose Wise           Front Row Ford                    94 laps     Michael McDowell    Parsons Ford                      92 laps     Scott Speed         Leavine Ford                      22 laps* Running again at checkered flag

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