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Late caution lands McMurray victory over fuming Kyle

Kyle Busch was left fuming as he failed to clinch the win at Charlotte, a key out-of-sync pit stop boosting Jamie McMurray to the front while Jimmie Johnson continues his run of consistent strong finishes just when they matter the most.
It was a lovely evening at Charlotte, North Caroline as Jeff Gordon led the field to the start of NASCAR's last night time race of the 2010 season.

It was an eventful start to proceedings, with a rapid yellow on lap 2 for Ryan Newman who got loose and up into the wall in turn 3, imparting enough damage on his car to put him in the garage for an extended period of repairs. It also caught up his team mate and boss Tony Stewart, and repairs saw him on pit road under the caution and down to 41st for the restart; and Chase contender Denny Hamlin flat-spotted his tyres as he avoided the wreck and was lucky not to do anything more serious.

Carl Edwards was quickly past Gordon for the lead as the green flag came out, but then was quickly overtaken himself by Kyle Busch who, having started in sixth, was looking on strong form already. And Paul Menard was also looking good at the start, taking over second position despite reporting a tight car.

He was able to attend to that during the first widespread round of pit stops under the second caution, which came on lap 24 when Kurt Busch got loose and spun; Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart came close to hitting each other as they came into their pit boxes. Almost everyone opted for two tyres at this stage, and Jeff Gordon pipped Kyle Busch at pit exit to lead at the restart – not that Kyle let him have it that way for very long, back in charge two laps later.

And almost straight away, another yellow – Jimmie Johnson had got loose and spun in the middle of a crowded field. Somehow he kept it off the wall and the rest of the cars avoided hitting him, and he was able to continue after getting new tyres to his immense relief – a retirement this early on would have had disastrous effects on his Sprint Cup chances.

Kyle Busch led the restart but had a three-wide battle to fend off Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano, before the race finally settled into an extended period of calm running. Busch was very happy with the way things were going, carrying a comfortable 2s lead over Gordon; further back, Denny Hamlin had moved up into the top 10 after starting 23rd, and Jef Burton was up to seventh after starting 18th, Juan Montoya, on the other hand, was reporting his engine temperatures because of trash blocking the front grill – he was looking forward to the next round of pit stops to get sorted out; and Kasey Kahne was reporting a worrying vibration.

The pit stops were kicked off by Tony Stewart on lap 75 who was struggling with a loose car at this point; Kyle Busch reclaimed the lead once the stops had cycled through, and the main incident of this sequence of stops was a small fuel fire in Carl Edwards' pit area that was quickly attended to.

But Kyle was no longer as happy as he had been: he reported that his throttle was sticking and that he was having to use the cut-off switch in order to get around the problem. Kyle was furious with the threat to his potential race win and suspected that some pieces of rubber had got stuck in the mechanism, but the throttle improved over subsequent laps and eventually – after 50 laps – all was well again.

The fourth yellow came out on lap 108 for debris, allowing some of these issues to be taken care of under relatively calm conditions, although Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer still manage to make contact down pit road in the process. At the restart, Kyle was still in charge ahead of Gordon, Montoya, Biffle and Logano, and it was Biffle who was immediately on the pace at the restart and threatened to wrest the lead away from the #18 but Gordon soon rallied and retook second place.




Related Pictures

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No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet - Jamie McMurray [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to a sixth place finish Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon finishes third in the Chase for the Cup Championship. This was Gordon`s last race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He has made 796 consecutive Cup Series starts, earned 93 wins, and 81 poles - all behind the wheel of Chevrolets. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, races to the finish line to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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karamozov - Unregistered

October 19, 2010 6:18 PM

Kind of funny how no one generally comments on any NASCAR news here at Crash. It’s like nobody gives a ****e, and i can see why (I'm an american, and personally, i couldn't care less about NASCAR). Thank goodness for F1, MotoGP and WSBK. Those are the real deal.



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