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Press Snoop: Busch boys shine under PIR lights.


KURT BUSCH grabbed the lead from pole sitter JEFF GORDON and ran with it for the first 67 laps of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Subway Fresh 500 race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday night's inaugural spring race under the lights.

He turned the races fastest lap of 130.175mph on the second lap. Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, led six times for a record-high of 219 laps. He ended his dry spell of winless races dating back to last September. This marked Busch's twelfth Cup victory. It was also the twelfth victory for Ford at PIR, the most of any manufacturer in its 18-race history. Busch is the third Roush racer this season to win a race; he won $264,000.

Kurt Busch's younger brother, KYLE BUSCH was the top finishing rookie, eighth place in the race, and is now 25th in the points. Kyle Busch also picked up the USG Improving the Finish Award for gaining 19 positions in the race. Young Busch is the rookie points leader.

MICHAEL WALTRIP drove a hard race, led twice for 23 laps and was charging after Kurt Busch for the win. He took the high line, which others say he often does, and he makes it work...most of the time. On the last lap, DEI driver, Waltrip, hit the wall three times, but said it didn't seem to make any difference. His explanation for the hits was 'I ran out of talent'.

Third place finisher, JEFF BURTON saw Waltrip bouncing off the wall, and said Waltrip hits the wall a lot. Burton chased Waltrip, but said he could see he wasn't catching him. Burton said he didn't notice the wind at all until he exited the car.

Waltrip's DEI team-mate, DALE EARNHARDT Jr finished fourth, perhaps mercifully ending the speculation, at least for now, about what is going on at DEI for the two drivers. Earnhardt and Waltrip both are visibly tired of answering questions on the subject.

BRIAN VICKERS finished fifth. BOBBY LABONTE started fourth and finished sixth, pulling him into the desired top 35 points drivers, which will guarantee him a starting spot for next weekend's Talladega race.

All cars cleared NASCAR technical inspection.

The average race speed was 102.707mph. There were 16 lead changes among nine drivers. Nine cautions took up 43 of the 312-lap race.

PIR doesn't give out attendance figures, but someone in NASCAR comes up with a crowd count. Tonight's crowd, braving the iffy weather, numbered 105,000. The grandstands were sold out of their 76,000 seats, and the hillsides and RV parking areas seemed full.

It started raining soon after the race, quickly picking up force. Monsoons are legendary in Arizona.



Related Pictures

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03/11/05 Las Vegas. Kurt Busch a Las Vegas native starts 5th in front of his hometown crowd. Photo Credit: autostock
NASCAR Nextel Cup Series #5 Kellogg`s Chevrolet driver Kyle Busch at Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL-2/20/05 ┬ęDorsey Patrick
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualified for seventh position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualified for sixth position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, qualified for second position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s Chevrolet SS, won the pole position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Harvick is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with his wife DeLana, son Keelan, and the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, poses with the trophy in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jake Crum, driver of the #01 My Freedom Smokes Chevrolet, and Bryan Silas, driver of the #99 Bell Trucks America Inc. Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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