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Johnson, Busch overcome mishaps

Neither Jimmie Johnson nor Kurt Busch had as much to celebrate as race winner Kasey Kahne, but both drivers left Infineon Raceway thankful for having rescued respectable finishes in the face off potential calamity.

Busch had a strong top-five car, until contact from Johnson's Chevrolet sent his Dodge spinning out of control as the cars entered the esses, the section of the 1.99-mile road course that runs through turns eight and nine.

Busch rallied to finish 15th in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 and took some of the sting out of the accident.

“I initially was thinking that it was a pretty tough day out there when you're running fourth, and a three-time champion dumps you,” Busch said. “I was so worried we would go a lap down and finish way back there. He hit the curb and just launched us.

“He came over and apologised right after the race. It was just two champion drivers going after the same spot.”

For his part, Johnson incurred a pit-road speeding penalty on lap 29 and spent the rest of the race working his way up to a career-best fourth-place finish at Infineon.

“I passed a lot of cars, so (I'm) very proud of the effort, very proud of the racecar,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, I got together with the #2 (Busch) getting into the esses and got him into the wall, so I had to find him and apologise. It was just a racing deal, nothing more.”

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News



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Jimmie Johnson [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, leads Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 2, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, races to his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)

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