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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)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Crew members work on the Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, in the garage area during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch. August 20 2014. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing garage at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29 2014. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Green, driver of the #91 SupportMilitary.org Toyota, Matt Dibenedetto, driver of the #40 Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet, Joey Gase, driver of the #52 Chevrolet, and Kevin Swindell, driver of the #93 JGL Racing Dodge, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 9, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, poses with the Coors Lite Pole Award after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 9, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. gets ready in his office at Road America. June 20 2014. (Photo Credit:  Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. gets himself ready for testing. May 6 2014. (Photo Credit: Jennifer Coleman for NASCAR)
Sam Hornish Jr. at Chicagoland. July 18 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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