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Kurt Busch wins at Texas; Johnson wrecks early

Jimmie Johnson wrecks at Texas as Kurt Busch wins the latest round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup
In recent weeks, Jimmie Johnson has worn out the already threadbare phrase, 'Anything can happen in our sport'.

On Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, it finally did.

Capitalising on superior fuel mileage, Kurt Busch drove his #2 Dodge to victory in the Dickies 500, after disaster struck Johnson like a lightning bolt and made a race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after all.

Johnson suffered a lap three wreck that sidelined his #48 Chevrolet for more than an hour as his team made extensive repairs. With a 38th-place finish, Johnson lost 111 points of his 184-point lead in the Chase to second-place Mark Martin, who finished fourth and trails Johnson by 73 points with two races left.

Busch won the race at the expense brother Kyle Busch, who ran out of fuel three laps short of completing an unprecedented weekend sweep of races in NASCAR's top three divisions. Busch had won the Camping World Truck Series race on Friday and the Nationwide Series event on Saturday.

After pitting on lap 269 of 334, Kyle Busch was leading and trying to conserve fuel when he ran out on the backstretch on lap 331.

“I'm out! I'm out - coming to you!” he radioed to crew chief Dave Rogers, who had replaced Steve Addington on the pit box after last Sunday's race at Talladega.

That handed the lead to Kurt, who had pitted on lap 271 and had saved enough fuel to make it to the finish line.

Denny Hamlin took advantage of the pervasive gas shortage to finish second, 25.686 seconds behind Busch, the largest margin of victory in a Cup race since the inception of electronic scoring in May 1993. Matt Kenseth ran third, followed by Martin, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart. Those were the only six drivers to finish on the lead lap, the fewest since six cars finished on the lead lap in June 2008 at Dover.

“I knew what we had for fuel mileage — I was confident in our guys' numbers,” Kurt Busch said in victory lane. “They gave me what I needed to win today. We were fast, we were playing cat-and-mouse with Kyle on restarts — you know, it's the first true time that Kyle and I have raced each other hard for a victory like this.

“For us to come away and knock him off his sweep — he was trying to go for it — it's bittersweet. I was rooting for him, but at the same time, this is for us.”

Johnson's heretofore flawless run to a record fourth straight championship hit a major snag after a tap from David Reutimann in turn two started Sam Hornish Jr. sliding up the track into Johnson's #48 Chevrolet.




Related Pictures

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Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates in victory lane after winning Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. (Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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