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“In my mind, I thought he was going to go late, so as soon as I laid back, he took off,” Edwards said.

Edwards rallied to get on Busch’s rear quarterpanel coming out of Turn 4, but unlike last week, he opted not to dump Busch into the wall. Busch admitted getting “dive bombed” by Edwards was a concern, but figured if Edwards did creep up and take Busch out, he wouldn’t win the race either.

“I knew (the possibility) was there, but if I could just keep enough momentum rolling, just keep my car rolling, I felt like any time he’d lay a bumper to me, he’d get sideways too,” Busch said. “I felt like it was all about trying to keep the momentum rolling, keep the car stuck as best I could.”

It was all the daylight Busch needed to continue his mastery of the series. Though Keselowski holds a 205-point lead over Edwards in the championship race, Busch has left little doubt that he’s the driver to beat whenever he’s behind his No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Busch fought back a laugh on Friday while talking about the ongoing feud between Edwards and Keselowski, saying it wouldn’t affect the way he drives.

Of course it helps when you have the fastest car. Busch qualified fifth and then quickly tracked down Bayne to take the lead. He had little trouble pulling away, toying with the field at times before having just enough to stay in front of Edwards.

“You’ve got to have a really, really methodical way about doing it here, and there just wasn’t enough time for him to do it in two laps,” Busch said.