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Archive for Monday, August 22, 2011

Busch holds off Johnson at Michigan

August 22, 2011

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— Kyle Busch won his 23rd race on NASCAR’s Sprint Cup circuit, pulling even with brother Kurt in career victories.

Now, Kyle would like to match another of Kurt’s accomplishments — winning a series title.

“He’s always still got that carrot over me,” Kyle Busch said. “Certainly, being the younger brother, I’ve had a little bit shorter time being here, but still, it’s great to see both of us be as competitive as we’ve been and as successful as we’ve been.”

Kyle Busch outlasted Jimmie Johnson on Sunday in a green-white-checkered finish at Michigan International Speedway, winning his fourth Cup race of the year. Busch leads the series standings by 10 points over Johnson and is assured of a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Kurt Busch won the series championship in 2004. Now, his 26-year-old brother might be the driver with the best chance of ending Johnson’s five-year hold on the title. There are three races remaining before the 10-race Chase begins.

“Certainly we’ve built ourselves into championship contenders this year,” Kyle Busch said. “There’s a great opportunity for us to win three more races before the Chase starts. We’d love nothing more than to see that, and of course carry on our strong runs through the final 10 weeks. It’s just a matter of being consistent.”

Kyle Busch passed Johnson with about a dozen laps remaining and was opening up a comfortable margin when Kurt Busch scraped a wall, forcing a caution from laps 198-201. The yellow flag erased much of Kyle Busch’s lead, but he was able to fight off a quick move from Johnson after the restart and pull away.

It was Busch’s first Cup win at Michigan.

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