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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)
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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