8 March 2010
Kurt Busch wins in aftermath of Edwards-Keselowski wreck
Kurt Busch: We were able to get it right and hit just perfect with the marks today. Even on all the restarts at the end, I just felt like we had the car to beat.
Kurt Busch won two races Sunday: the Kobalt Tools 500 and the 'Carl Edwards 25'.
In a race that went 16 laps - nearly 25 miles - past its scheduled distance, after Edwards retaliated against Brad Keselowski for an incident earlier in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Busch took advantage of a strong re-start to grab the lead during the second attempt at a green-white-chequered-flag re-start and crossed the finish line 0.482 seconds ahead of runner-up Matt Kenseth.
Juan Pablo Montoya, who was closing in on Busch near the end of the regulation 325 laps, finished third but lost his chance to battle for the victory when Edwards hit Keselowski's #12 Dodge on the front-stretch and sent it flying on lap 323.
Keselowski's car landed on its roof in the tri-oval, righted itself and slid into the turn 1 wall. After extensive clean-up, NASCAR re-started the race on lap 332 - without Edwards who was black-flagged on lap 326 - with Busch assuming the lead from Clint Bowyer, who had taken the point on a two-tyre pit stop under caution on lap 324.
Before Busch could take the white flag, however, a seven-car pile-up in turn 3 caused the eleventh caution of the race and set up the second try at the green-white-chequered.
Edwards' aggression toward Keselowski was payback for a lap 40 wreck in turn 2, where Edwards felt Keselowski didn't give him enough room.
“Brad knows the deal between him and I,” said Edwards, who returned to the track on lap 191 after losing 150 laps in the garage. “The scary part was that his car went airborne, which was not at all what I expected.
“At the end of the day, we come out to race, and people got to have respect for one another. I have a lot of respect for people's safety, and I wish that wouldn't have gone like it did, but I'm glad he's OK. We'll just go on and race some more, and maybe him and I won't have any more incidents together - that'd be the best thing.”
The wreck, with Keselowski running sixth at the time, was eerily similar to a collision involving the two drivers last April at Talladega, where Keselowski held his line at the bottom of the track and won the race after Edwards #99 Ford flew into the catch fence, injuring eight spectators.
“He cut down on me on a restart, and I lifted (off the accelerator), and I couldn't lift fast enough for him,” Keselowski said of the lap 40 wreck. “I lifted for him to let him in, but I was there. I don't know what more you could do.
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