“It made it easier for me to get off the brake a little earlier and nudge him. But I don't want people to think, 'Oh, I can knock the 48 out of the way because he's not going to wreck me.' That's the last thing I want people to think. He didn't wreck me, and at the end of the day, I guess I didn't owe him a visit to the fence, so it worked itself out.”
To Busch, the move and countermove were the essence of short-track racing—and nothing out of the ordinary.
“It wasn't because he did something that I had to do something, or since I did something, he had to do it back,” Busch said. “Driving down into Turn 3, I saw my window, and it was a perfect time to go for it, because our car was good on the short run, and once four or five laps got on the tires, I knew we were going to have a hard time holding them off and he was still going to be right there.
“So just a classic get-in-the-corner-a-little-bit-deeper-than-the-other-guy. We didn't just flat out wreck them. We didn't cut his tire. We didn't drive over him. It was just a nice nudge that we are all used to seeing and appreciating on short tracks.”
The win, the 52nd of Johnson's career, allowed Johnson to solidify his hold on second in the standings and trim Harvick's points lead to 105. Johnson is tied with Denny Hamlin (14th Sunday) for most victories in the series, each worth 10 points when the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is set Sept. 11 at Richmond.
Notes: Bobby Labonte finished 30th in his first trip in Robby Gordon's No. 7 Toyota. Andy Lally, who replaced Labonte in Kevin Buckler's No. 71 Chevy earlier in the week, came home 37th. … Reed Sorenson ran 24th in his first ride in the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota but spun polesitter Juan Pablo Montoya on Lap 282 to bring out the third caution of the race.