Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Busch Does a Bang-Up Job; the Gibbs Driver Stays Clear of Crashes on the Way to the Talladega Win

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Busch Does a Bang-Up Job; the Gibbs Driver Stays Clear of Crashes on the Way to the Talladega Win

Article excerpt

Byline: DON COBLE

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- For the first time in his five-year Sprint Cup Series career, Kyle Busch finished a race at the Talladega Superspeedway in one piece.

By missing the typical mayhem that comes with racing at the 2.66-mile track, Busch finally found the secret to winning the Aaron's 499 on Sunday.

Busch was in front for the final multicar crash on the final lap of the race, and that wrapped up his victory two miles in advance of the finish line as the caution flag waved.

Busch was a lap down after 62 laps because he missed his pit stall during a stop and had to make a second stop.

He spent the next 100 laps methodically working his way back into contention.

"Fortunately for us, we fought back, and we were able to soldier on from there," Busch said after leading the final five laps. "I'd like to say I'm smarter than I look, but that's not the case. We were getting bumped and banged all over the place.

"I didn't get wrecked today. I am ultimately glad about that. I haven't finished one here yet without some sort of damage."

Car owner Joe Gibbs watched his three cars dominate at different times in the race. He was surprised how Busch managed to recover from his pit road mistake to win.

"For me, the emotions were all over the place," Gibbs said. "At midrace, I thought there was no way Kyle could win."

Crew chief Steve Addington said the key to success was patience -- something the 22-year-old driver admittedly doesn't always use.

"He took his time coming back up through there," Addington said. "I knew we had a fast race car. If we could stay out of trouble, I knew we'd be all right."

Sunday's race was Busch's seventh Cup start at Talladega. He was involved in at least one crash in his first six races, finishing outside the top 10 five times.

"I wreck every time I come here," Busch said. "Why would I be excited about another wrecked race car? Now, I like it here."

This time, it was everyone else's turn to crash.

Tony Stewart, Busch's teammate, led 61 of the first 143 laps, but Stewart's chances hit the wall -- literally -- when he blew a right-front tire coming off the second turn. His Toyota bounced off the wall, and Stewart fell to 31st place. …

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