- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2008

From combined dispatches

MEXICO CITY — Kyle Busch won his third consecutive race on NASCAR’s Nationwide Series, holding off Marcos Ambrose by less than a second yesterday in the Mexico 200.

Busch passed Scott Pruett on the 72nd of 80 laps to take the lead. Pruett finished third, followed by Carl Edwards.

There isn’t a driver out there on a better run than Busch, who is second in the Sprint Cup standings and entered this race in third on the Nationwide list. He’s also leading the Truck Series standings.

This was Busch’s 27th career victory in NASCAR’s top three series — but first on a road course.

In a race that included two red flags, he stayed out of trouble on the 2.518-mile course at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez before finally moving past Pruett. Busch is not currently scheduled for a full Nationwide schedule, but with all these wins, will he make a run at the championship?

“The consideration is there, but still, it’s a race by race deal,” Busch said. “We’ll make a decision here shortly. I love winning. I’ll run as long as I can win. That doesn’t bother me a bit.”

Ambrose trailed by 1.139 seconds with two laps left, and cut over 0.3 seconds off that deficit on lap 79. But Busch was able to hold on for a 0.737-second win.

In 2007 at this race, Pruett was in a similar spot when teammate Juan Pablo Montoya sent him spinning. This year — at almost the exact same point in the race — it slipped away again.

“Our tires were just a little too used up at the end,” he said.

Power takes finale

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Will Power led most of the way in the streets of Long Beach, winning the final race of the Champ Car World Series, the last remaining remnant of the 12-year rivalry between the newly unified American open-wheel series.

The race was run with Champ Car teams, drivers and equipment, but the points awarded were for the IRL’s IndyCar Series, which ran a race earlier in the day in Japan because of a scheduling conflict.

Woman wins Champ race

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Simona De Silvestro, the only woman in the 23-car field for Atlantics Championship season opener, earned her first win in the Champ Car developmental series.

Less than 24 hours after Danica Patrick became the first woman to win an IndyCar race, the 19-year-old De Silvestro joined Katherine Legge as the only female winners in Atlantics.

Legge, who went on to drive two years in Champ Car, won three times in 2005, including a victory at Long Beach.

“Danica wins, I win, it’s a perfect weekend,” the Swiss driver said with a grin.

Sainz captures first stage

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Carlos Sainz of Spain won the first stage of the Central Europe Rally, edging Robby Gordon of the United States and Giniel de Villiers of South Africa.

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