Busch pounces on Johnson's mistake, gets second win of weekend

Confetti rains on Kyle Busch in Victory Lane after he wins the NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International
Speedway on Sunday.
(Jason Smith / Getty Images for NASCAR)

Busch wins 2 out of 3 events at Dover

Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

DOVER, Del. — Kyle Busch took advantage of a rare mistake by four-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson to pull away for an easy win Sunday in the Autism Speaks 400 presented by HERSHEY'S Milk & Milkshakes at Dover International Speedway.

It was his second win of the weekend. Busch also won the Heluva Good! 200 Nationwide Series race in dominating fashion.

Busch, 25, a champion in waiting, and Johnson, a proven one, waged quite a battle on the high-banked, 1-mile track, the lead see-sawing back and forth between the two each time the race resumed following five caution periods and assorted green-flag stops.

Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson battle
on track.
(Todd Warshaw / Getty Images)

But when Johnson was flagged for speeding while exiting the pits during a round of green-flag stops on Lap 363 and forced to return to pit road to serve a drive-through penalty, the battle was effectively over.

By the time Johnson returned to the track, he was one lap down. And Busch was long gone.

“We snookered him on that one,” Busch told his crew as he streaked past the finish line. “He saw us coming, and he sped.”

Pitting closer to the entrance to pit road, Johnson had completed his stop and was making his way back onto the track when Busch shot out of his pit box alongside him.

Johnson said he didn’t speed up to beat Busch back onto the track but was penalized for speeding before reaching Busch’s pit stall.

“Yeah, I guess I got busted in the segment just leaving, or after, our pit box, the very next one,” Johnson said. “So what I can take from this is that I got a much better launch out of my pit box than I
did on other pit stops and then was speeding in that given area.

“At the end (of pit road), I wasn’t busted. I knew Kyle had me beat when I saw the jack drop for him and he was easing away from me. And I kind of gave up at that point on racing him off of pit road because I knew we needed to be single file on the apron.”

Jeff Burton finished second by 7.551 seconds. Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and David Reutimann completed the top five.

Jeff Burton finished second and Matt Kenseth in third. Both drivers
lead laps,Burton for one, Kenseth for 15.
(Nick Laham / Getty Images)

There were eight race leaders, but once Kasey Kahne faltered—bitten by a broken gear-shifter early in the race—the battle for the win was between Busch and Johnson.

“I think the race off pit road really won it for us,” Busch said, noting that he didn’t know if Johnson sped in an attempt to beat him back onto the track, “but that’s what I’m going with.

“I wouldn’t say that we psyched Jimmie out. I mean, he’s won four championships so he’s pretty much been through all the head games in this world.

“But … it kind of turned our way today. Unfortunately for those guys … they got busted for speeding and we weren’t able to beat them outright and race them around to the end of the race the last 30 laps.

“But I feel like our car was at least good enough where we could at least challenge them for it, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we could have beat him today, with or without the penalty. But he had a fast racecar all day. It was a fun battle there racing him through the last … 100 laps or so.”

Kyle Busch crosses the finish line to get his second win of the
weekend at Dover and second NASCAR Sprint Cup win
of the season.(
Todd Warshaw / Getty Images)

Busch led six times for 131 laps, and the win moved him to second in the point standings. He trails points leader Kevin Harvick, who finished seventh, by 69 points.

Johnson led eight times for 225 laps. His 16th-place finish, however, dropped him two spots to fourth, in the standings.

Austism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes results:

1. Kyle Busch   
2. Jeff Burton   
3. Matt Kenseth   
4. Denny Hamlin   
5. David Reutimann   
6. Greg Biffle
7. Kevin Harvick   
8. Carl Edwards   
9. Tony Stewart   
10. Joey Logano   
11. Jeff Gordon   
12. Martin Truex Jr.   
13. Ryan Newman   
14. A.J. Allmendinger   
15. Mark Martin   
16. Jimmie Johnson   
17. Clint Bowyer   
18. Brad Keselowski   
19. Kurt Busch   
20. Kasey Kahne   
21. Paul Menard   
22. Casey Mears   
23. Scott Speed   
24. Regan Smith   
25. David Gilliland   
26. David Ragan   
27. David Stremme   
28. Elliott Sadler   
29. Travis Kvapil   
30. Dale Earnhardt Jr.   
31. Robby Gordon   
32. Jamie McMurray   
33. Kevin Conway *   
34. Sam Hornish Jr.   
35. Juan Montoya   
36. Marcos Ambrose   
37. J.J. Yeley   
38. Joe Nemechek
39. Bobby Labonte
40. Mike Bliss   
41. Dave Blaney   
42. Michael McDowell   
43. Johnny Sauter
Busch pounces on Johnson's mistake, gets second win of weekend Busch pounces on Johnson's mistake, gets second win of weekend Reviewed by Admin on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 Rating: 5