- The Washington Times - Monday, June 2, 2008

DOVER, Del. | Kyle Busch revels in his role as NASCAR’s villain. He enjoys his role as the top driver so much more.

Busch was simply sensational again, dominating the second half of the Best Buy 400 yesterday at Dover International Speedway and racing to his Sprint Cup series-best fourth win of the season.

Busch made it 10 victories total this season, including two in the Craftsman Truck Series and four in the Nationwide Series. He won for the third time in the last five Cup races.

“It was definitely a great race for us there,” Busch said. “We didn’t have the car to beat today.”

And when the Joe Gibbs Racing driver doesn’t find himself in victory lane at the end of a Cup race, he’s pretty close: Busch earned his fifth straight top-three finish and hasn’t finished outside of the top 10 in any of the last seven races.

Team owner Joe Gibbs was in the middle of the celebration on pit road while Busch took a bow from his No. 18 Toyota and saluted his crew.

He’s the points leader after a race in which the standings underwent a shake up because an early race wreck took out several contenders.

Busch heard the familiar boos during prerace introductions that have cemented his status as NASCAR’s least-popular driver. He has some fun in the role and seems to have accepted the fact he’s NASCAR’s latest “bad boy.”

“I want to thank all the fans even if they’re not Kyle Busch fans,” he said.

Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle were second and third. Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top five.

“No good,” said Edwards, who won the race here in September. “Not what we came here to do.”

Busch, Biffle and Edwards were lucky to be out front early and miss the 10-car wreck on the 18th lap that took out five of the top-eight Chase drivers. Elliott Sadler was turned into the wall, and his No. 19 Dodge was smashed into by Tony Stewart’s No. 20 car, triggering a massive pile up that put several cars in the garage and ended all hope of contention.

Denny Hamlin was knocked out of the race, and Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer all returned later with their cars either missing a hood, a fender or running 100-plus laps behind. But they didn’t want to quit and give up a shot at earning needed points, even if all the best the drivers could do was run slow and try and stay out of the way of the leaders.

Kasey Kahne also had his car damaged in the accident and finished 31st after winning last week.

Briscoe avoids crash

WEST ALLIS, Wis. | Ryan Briscoe held off Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon and barely slipped through a late-race crash to win the A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile.

A week after an embarrassing pit lane accident that took out fan favorite Danica Patrick at Indy, Briscoe redeemed himself with his first victory for Team Penske.

“It’s nice, I’ll tell you,” the 22-year-old Australian said. “The car was just magic today. We just came through the field and it felt so good.”

It appeared for most of the 225-lap race that Dixon would run away to another victory, but Briscoe caught the leader and passed him on lap 177. All the drivers up front made green-flag stops before the finish, but Briscoe came out of the fuel stops back out front on lap 207 and stayed there despite heavy pressure from Dixon in the closing laps.

With four laps to go, the lapped cars of pole-winner Marco Andretti and Ed Carpenter came together in heavy traffic, sending both into the wall. Vitor Meira, who started last after crashing Saturday in qualifying, ran over Andretti’s car, flying into the air and then hitting the wall just as Briscoe drove past.

Will wins NHRA event

TOPEKA, Kan. | Hillary Will became the 11th woman in NHRA history to win a national event when she raced to the win in Top Fuel at the O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals.

John Force won for the first time this season in Funny Car, and Ron Krisher took the Pro Stock at Heartland Park Topeka.

Will drove her dragster to a 4.744-second run at a top speed of 304.53 mph, beating No. 1 qualifier Larry Dixon for her first career win in Top Fuel.

Rossi increases lead

SCARPERIA, Italy | Valentino Rossi won the Italian Grand Prix for the seventh straight time and increased his lead in the MotoGP series.

It was the third consecutive victory for Rossi, who also won in France and China.

Rossi finished in 42 minutes, 31.153 seconds over 23 laps on the Mugello circuit in Tuscany.

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