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Busch is the boss at Bristol

Edwards had expected to have another chance at the lead, but found Busch simply too fast in the end. "I thought we'd be better matched with him," Edwards said. "I thought I'd be able to race with him harder for those last 15 to 20 laps, but he took off, and I was a little loose off, and I just couldn't get back to him to race.

He admitted having fun during the earlier battle for the lead during that final stint: "While we were racing for the first couple of laps after the restart, it was a blast. If I would have known that was the only shot I was going to have, I might have raced a little harder." Did he consider bumping Kyle out of the way like he had in the past? "I don't know that you could really bump a guy and just move him. You might cause a big wreck. You might wreck yourself!"

The old "bump and grind" style of racing seen at Bristol has seemingly been replaced by side-by-side running, just as was seen earlier this season at Daytona. The drivers approved: "The old track lent itself to more contact," Johnson explained later. "There was no outside lane. You would just go in and move the guy off the bottom and take the lane from him ... From a racer's standpoint, we can race finally [on the new track.] This place is fun to race at."

And so the white flag came out for Kyle Busch, and 15s later the win - and the clean sweep - was his. It's Kyle's 20th Sprint Cup career win and his first of the 2011 season; but he didn't claim the extra point for most laps led, as Johnson's 164 laps beat his own 153, but that was unimportant as Busch rebounded up eight places in the Sprint Cup standings following the result at Bristol, after former points leader Tony Stewart could only manage 19th in the race.

Keeping Edwards off the top spot also meant Kyle gave an (unintended, surely) boost to his brother Kurt, who ended up seventh and took over the lead of the Sprint Cup standings by one point over Edwards. Edwards was the first to admit that any annoyance at missing the top spot in either the race or the championship was in fact an embarrassment of riches: "The fact that I'm sitting here frustrated about a second-place run, being one point out of the lead, that's a huge jump from a year ago. When you're running poorly, you'll take anything you can get. I guess we're just so greedy that when you're running well, you want to win every race, you want to lead the most laps, you want to sit on every pole!"

When you have complaints like that, you're having a very good start to the season.

Race result

1. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 2:54:59.000s Running (47/1 pts)
2. #99 Carl Edwards Ford + 0.946s Running (43/1 pts)
3. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet + 1.389s Running (43/2 pts)
4. #17 Matt Kenseth Ford + 4.193s Running (40/0 pts)
5. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet + 4.703s Running (40/1 pts)
6. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet + 4.789s Running (39/1 pts)
7. #22 Kurt Busch Dodge + 4.810s Running (37/0 pts)
8. #16 Greg Biffle Ford + 5.902s Running (36/0 pts)
9. #4 Kasey Kahne Toyota + 6.022s Running (35/0 pts)
10. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet + 6.611s Running (35/1 pts)
11. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet + 6.829s Running (33/0 pts)
12. #5 Mark Martin Chevrolet + 7.439s Running (32/0 pts)
13. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota + 7.451s Running (31/0 pts)
14. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet + 8.003s Running (30/0 pts)
15. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford + 9.009s Running (29/0 pts)
16. #6 David Ragan Ford + 9.595s Running (28/0 pts)
17. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota + 10.461s Running (28/1 pts)
18. #2 Brad Keselowski Dodge + 10.993s Running (26/0 pts)
19. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet + 14.518s Running (25/0 pts)
20. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet + 2 laps Running (24/0 pts)
21. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet + 2 laps Running (23/0 pts)
22. #78 Regan Smith Chevrolet + 2 laps Running (22/0 pts)
23. #20 Joey Logano Toyota + 3 laps Running (21/0 pts)
24. #42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet + 3 laps Running (20/0 pts)
25. #36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet + 3 laps Running (19/0 pts)
26. #38 Travis Kvapil Ford + 4 laps Running (0pts)
27. #34 David Gilliland Ford + 5 laps Running (18/1 pts)
28. #37 Tony Raines Ford + 6 laps Running (16/0 pts)
29. #09 Bill Elliott Chevrolet + 7 laps Running (15/0 pts)
30. #00 David Reutimann Toyota + 7 laps Running (14/0 pts)
31. #43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford + 7 laps Running (13/0 pts)
32. #71 Andy Lally * Chevrolet + 9 laps Running (12/0 pts)
33. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota + 12 laps Running (11/0 pts)
34. #21 Trevor Bayne Ford + 18 laps Running (0pts)
35. #33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet lap 456 Engine (9/0 pts)
36. #83 Brian Vickers Toyota lap 441 (8/0 pts)
37. #13 Casey Mears Toyota lap 427 (7/0 pts)
38. #192 Dennis Setzer Dodge lap 336 Susp (6/0 pts).
39. #7 Robby Gordon Dodge lap 127 Accident (5/0 pts)
40. #46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet lap 97 Brakes (4/0 pts)
41. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota lap 72 Brakes (0pts)
42. #60 Landon Cassill Toyota lap 36 Brakes (0pts)
43. #66 Michael McDowell Toyota lap 35 Brakes (1/0 pts)

* Denotes Rookie




Related Pictures

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Bristol Motor Speedway   [pic credit: Getty/NASCAR]
Cole Whitt on track at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California for testing on March 21, 2014. (Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Parker Kligerman at Las Vegas Motorsport for testing on March 6, 2014. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Whitt at Las Vegas Motorsport for testing on March 6, 2014. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
The front right tire of the #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet, driven by Paul Menard, catches fire during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won the Pole position Friday, April 11, 2014 for Saturday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 26th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick (Photo Credit: NASCAR)

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