Rookie KYLE BUSCH came from fifteenth place on the grid to win his second NASCAR Nextel Cup race Sunday afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway in the Checker Auto Parts 500 race. The RICK HENDRICK driver swapped the lead with dominant GREG BIFFLE who led four times for 189 laps and turned the fastest lap of 131.109 mph on Lap 120 of the 312-lap race. Busch led three times for 63 laps.

It was a good race for both, according to their post-race remarks in which they each complimented the other for a good, clean, fun race. They swapped places at the end and raced each other hard and clean right down to the wire. The Margin of Victory was a mere 0.609 seconds.

The weather was hot and the enthusiastic crowd, estimated at 105,000, were responsive to every move of a favourite driver. I was hard pressed to find a fan who wasn't wearing or carrying some sort of motorsports-related merchandise.

Third, behind Biffle, was JEFF GORDON, which moved him back into the Million Dollar slot - P11 in the overall standings. He led once for 22 laps.

Points Leader TONY STEWART finished fourth and maintained his lead ahead of contender JIMMIE JOHNSON, who finished seventh. There is 52 points separating the two going into the season's last race next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Finishing fifth was Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, BOBBY LABONTE. This is the penultimate race for Labonte with JGR. Next season Labonte moves to Petty Enterprises.

Rookie CARL EDWARDS, who won the last two Cup races and Saturday's Busch Series race, came in sixth.

Pole sitter DENNY HAMLIN finished thirteenth, after leading twice for 23 laps.

KENNY WALLACE, the driver who subbed at the last minute for KURT BUSCH in No.97 Irwin Industrial Tools Ford, started last because of the driver change. Kurt Busch had qualified the car in P17. Wallace finished sixteenth on the lead lap. The decision will be made sometime this next week if Wallace, Roush Rookie Craftsman Truck driver, TODD KLUEVER, or someone else will race that car in the season's finale at Homestead next weekend.

Rookie TRAVIS KVAPIL improved the most positions in the race - 20, to finish tenth.

There were several accidents, but no one hurt. STANTON BARRETT and DALE EARNHARDT JR both cut a tyre; SCOTT RIGGS spun and hit the wall; and MIKE SKINNER and JIMMY SPENCER were involved in a four-car incident.

There were ten lead changes among five drivers, and nine cautions for 44 laps, mostly for accidents; and the race ran for 3 hours, 2 minutes and 23 seconds. The average speed was 102.641 mph.

Kyle Busch was - yet again - the Raybestos Rookie of the Race winner, and he will be the youngest Rookie of the Year when he receives his award at the Cup Banquet in December at the age of 20. The young Rookie is driving the car that for years was raced by TERRY LABONTE, who has semi retired. Kyle Busch said his first-ever NASCAR race was at Phoenix and Terry Labonte was the winner.

It's been a Busch season for PIR. KURT BUSCH won the spring race, and kid brother Kyle won the fall race. It must be difficult on the Busch family to see one brother win this race and the other sit out the race in disgrace. It certainly wasn't easy on Kyle Busch who was asked about it before and after the race. It's open for interpretation just how well Kyle handled the questions.

In the midst of his TV post-race comments, Kyle Busch said he "was behind his brother 100 percent and said the media had said false things about his brother, and he was embarrassed for all the Sharpie/Crown Royal people who took a true champion out of the car."

In the post-race media conference, Busch again accused the media of saying false things about his brother. When a reporter asked him just what was false, Kyle said it was an inappropriate question and abruptly left the post-race media conference midstream. He was later coaxed back "after he composed himself" and said "The only things that are there for us to comment on are whatever Kurt Busch releases at a later time." Then he said he would answer any race-related questions.

Earlier in the day Roush Racing suspended Kurt Busch for the remainder of the 2005 season and won't allow him to drive for anyone else this year. This came after team owner, JACK ROUSH, realized just how embarrassing it was for his team, his sponsors, NASCAR, and the sport in general, that his driver - the reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion - was cited with a criminal traffic violation for reckless driving after being picked up by the local sheriff and escorted to a substation for a test to determine if he was Driving Under the Influence of alcohol. A major sponsor of Busch's car is Crown Royal, a Canadian whiskey company, the first hard liquor sponsor allowed by NASCAR. As the testing machine 'failed' the Sheriff's Department had no evidence with which to charge Kurt Busch with anything but reckless driving.

GEOFF SMITH, President, Roush Racing, said "Well, it's the last straw for Roush Racing. We're officially retiring as Kurt Busch's apologists, effective today."

NASCAR's official statement was tersely stated. "NASCAR fully supports Jack Roush's decision to replace Kurt Busch in the No.97 Ford for the remainder of the season. Based on the facts that are known today, no actions by NASCAR are necessary."

Substitute Driver, Kenny Wallace, cobbled together a driving outfit befitting his stature and age. He taped up a Miller helmet loaned by his brother, RUSTY WALLACE; borrowed a National Guard uniform from the team of Roush driver, GREG BIFFLE, spread out the seat an inch and a half; and got some new shoes. Wallace joked "I'm Kurt's same size, except I have a 42-year old midsection, but it doesn't slow me up. We tried hard to get the Irwin uniform to fit me, but that kid, he's just really skinny."

Kenny Wallace got a huge response from the crowd in Driver Introductions, as did his brother Rusty, who was invited to play in the PGA Phoenix Pro-Am Golf Tournament next January after he retires from NASCAR racing. Also retiring is RUSTY RUDD, and he was presented with a Southwest Kachina.

The next/last NASCAR Nextel Cup race is the Ford 400 next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.