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Kyle Busch's fourth win books Chase place

Kyle Busch timed his run to the front to perfection at Michigan, so that not even a late caution caused by his brother could give Jimmie Johnson and the rest of the field a chance.
Kyle Busch blew past Jimmie Johnson to take the lead of the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup race with 12 laps to go, and then coped with a late caution and green-white-chequered restart extending the race an additional three laps without giving Johnson or the rest of the field an opportunity to answer back.

"It's awesome," said a delighted Busch. "That's what we wanted. We wanted to make sure that we could come out here and win races!"

The win gives Kyle his 26th Cup win, tying his brother Kurt's tally in the series. It's also Kyle's first Cup win at the two-mile Michigan International Speedway oval, and puts him through to the Chase post-season championship shootout.

Busch had only qualified in 17th place on Friday and wasn't particularly happy in final practice on Saturday despite ending up posting the second fastest time, but the #18 team worked overnight to find the necessary tweaks: "We struggled a bit, and I kind of got down on things," said Busch of his practice sessions. "We went over things last night and talked a lot about what we could do to the car to make it better, thought smartly about our changes for today, and we came out here strong."

It was pole sitter Greg Biffle who led the field to the green flag at shortly after 1.15pm on Sunday afternoon, starting alongside Matt Kenseth on the front row for the Pure Michigan 400. Biffle looked impressively strong through the opening laps and built up a strong lead over Kenseth before a caution for debris on lap 30.

By contrast, Kyle was fairly anonymous during this time and it was Kevin Harvick who was on the way up and having gained ten spots within the first 17 laps, while Denny Hamlin was slowly sinking back down the running order, dropping out of the top ten having started from the second row using his new engine built by Toyota Racing Development for the first time rather than the Joe Gibbs Racing engine plant.

At the restart it was still Biffle and Kenseth in front ahead of Brad Keselowski, but no sooner had the green flag come out than Carl Edwards was back on pit road and heading to the garage area with engine trouble: "I don't know what was wrong with it. It was running on seven cylinders," said Edwards. "We changed a bunch of stuff and then it was fixed ... It was probably something with some electrical connection or a coil or something."

Edwards was able to return to the race eventually but would finish up in 36th place, 29 laps down because of the lengthy repair time. "We were prepared for this race to go bad," he said. "We were prepared for something - but we weren't expecting that. We weren't expecting a failure like that." As a result, Edwards drops out of the Sprint Cup championship lead that he had shared with Busch coming into Michigan, and is now tied on points in third place.

The next 20 laps were fairly uneventful, although Kyle was now making progress and was up to 12th, and Clint Bowyer was on a charge up over 20 places before a second debris caution came out on lap 53 just after Matt Kenseth had finally succeeded in stealing the lead from Biffle.




Related Pictures

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The start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21 in Brooklyn, Mich. [Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Pure Michigan Ford, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Kroger Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21 in Brooklyn, Mich. [Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21 in Brooklyn, Mich. [Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21 in Brooklyn, Mich. [Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, passes Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, for the lead during the last few laps in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21 in Brooklyn, Mich. [Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/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)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, burn out as Crafton celebrates winning the series championship and Wallace celebrates winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane with the trophy, NASCAR President Mike Helton and sportscaster Krista Voda during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and placing ninth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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