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Busch celebrates title success with win

Kyle Busch wins the NASCAR Nationwide Series title with victory in the season finale at Homestead
In a fitting end to the 2009 Nationwide Series season, Kyle Busch had two reasons to do a celebratory burnout.

After signing in and putting his car on the grid before Saturday's Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Busch clinched the Nationwide Series championship. That was a mere formality. Two hundred laps later, he crossed the finish line 0.482 seconds ahead of charging Carl Edwards to win his ninth race of the season and the 30th of his career.

Brad Keselowski, on the other hand, might have had reason to do a slow burn after Denny Hamlin escalated their ongoing rivalry by spinning Keselowski's #88 Chevrolet early in the race.

"It was a tough race, for sure," Busch said. "We weren't the best car here for a long time. All these guys made some great race calls - (crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) and everybody else. That's why we're a championship team. That's why we made it here tonight, because these guys can fight through stuff."

Two laps after a restart on lap 163, after pitting for new tyres, Busch passed Edwards for the lead and held it the rest of the way, despite a caution for Jason Leffler's contact with the wall on lap 184.

"We made some adjustments to the car that really brought it to life, and I was able to pass those guys on that restart and get up towards the front and lead those laps, and when that last caution came out, Carl did the exact same thing I just did."

Edwards came to the pits for tyres under caution on lap 186 and restarted eighth on lap 190. Despite a strong run into the third turn on the final lap, his bid for the win fell just short.

"I thought we were going to win the race on that last restart, but the #18 (Busch) was just too fast on those (old) tyres," Edwards said.

Jeff Burton finished third Saturday, followed by Joey Logano and Hamlin. David Reutimann, Ryan Newman, Steve Wallace, Scott Speed and Matt Kenseth completed the top ten. Keselowski finished twelfth.

Saturday's race wrote a new chapter in the rivalry between Keselowski and Hamlin, who had dominated the headlines with their on-track and off-track shots last weekend at Phoenix. In the Nationwide race there, Keselowski repaid a tap from Hamlin by spinning his adversary.

Hamlin promised retaliation at Homestead, and made good on his threat on lap 34, sending Keselowski spinning down the frontstretch. NASCAR held Hamlin in the pits for one lap for rough driving, but Hamlin subsequently regained the lost circuit when NASCAR called a debris caution on lap 91.

Keselowski declined to exacerbate the friction between the drivers after the race.

"I don't hold any grudges, and I'm ready to move on," he said.

Hamlin, on the other hand, doesn't think the drivers are even yet.

"I feel great right now - it was well worth it," Hamlin said of the penalty. "…The scales are tipped a little bit more in my favor, but they're not tipped that much."

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News



Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday in Homestead, Fla. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 FVP/Menards Chevrolet SS finishes in fourth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finishes in third place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS finishes in second place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, climbs into his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Larson is 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies for 2nd position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS celebrates with his team after winning the Pole position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Busch is 33rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS won the Pole position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Busch is 33rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson drives the #42 Target Chevrolet through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, poses for a photo with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert after winning the pole during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2015 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 NATIONWIDE Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS qualifies for fourth position Friday, March 6, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #4 Energizer Chevrolet SS qualifies in sixth position Friday, February 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS races to a third place finish with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finishes in fifth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Kellogg/Cheez-It Ford, races Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, and Ryan Reed, driver of the #16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, is interviewed in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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