- The Washington Times - Monday, August 11, 2008

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. | If Kyle Busch has a weakness, it’s apparently going to be awfully difficult to find.

After rivals Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon said during the week they thought he was slipping following two straight lackluster finishes, Busch answered by making NASCAR history Sunday. He led 52 laps from the pole and won the Centurion Boats at the Glen to become the first driver in NASCAR’s history to win three road course races in one season.

“That’s pretty neat, pretty special to me,” said Busch, who finished second Saturday in the Nationwide race here. “To be a force to be reckoned with means a lot. This year has just been phenomenal. It’s just crazy.”

Busch, who also clinched the top spot in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup title, has won 16 races in NASCAR’s top three series this season - eight in Sprint Cup, six in Nationwide and two in trucks. His win Sunday completed a trifecta on road courses that includes the Nationwide race in Mexico in April and the Cup race at Sonoma in June.

Busch also joined another select group. Only Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon had swept both Cup road course events in the same year.

“That kid’s awesome,” said Busch’s crew chief, Steve Addington. “I can’t believe we don’t win a race in three or four weeks and we’re in a slump.”

Actually, Busch has won four of the past seven races, and Sunday’s victory gives him 80 bonus points for the Chase, 50 more than Carl Edwards with four races remaining before the postseason. Drivers get 10 bonus points for a victory.

After a 43-minute red-flag stoppage because of a multicar pileup with eight laps left, Busch held off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Stewart, who was bidding for his fifth win here in seven starts. Stewart settled for his second straight runner-up finish and moved within 10 points of Jeff Gordon for sixth in the standings.

“I never could get the runs in the right spots,” said Stewart, who also has finished second twice here in the past three years. “I needed to stay with him to be close enough to try to make a move in a braking zone. We never could get close enough to get an opportunity.”

Marcos Ambrose of Tasmania, who started last in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford, finished third a day after winning the Nationwide race.

“It’s just a great weekend all around,” Ambrose said after only his third Cup start of his brief NASCAR career. “I hope I can give the Wood Brothers a shot in the arm that they need to really get the momentum to move forward.”

Ambrose was followed by Juan Pablo Montoya and Martin Truex Jr.

Kevin Harvick was sixth, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Edwards and Kurt Busch. Matt Kenseth finished 12th to move into 12th place in the standings, 22 points ahead of Clint Bowyer in the race for the final slot to make the postseason.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide