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Category: Kyle Busch

NASCAR's Jeff Gordon wins at Phoenix, snaps 66-race winless streak

Jeff-gordon_325 Jeff Gordon chased down Kyle Busch, passed him for the lead with eight laps left and won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, snapping Gordon's 66-race winless drought.

With this first trip to Victory Lane since April 2009, Gordon, the four-time Cup champion who turns 40 in August, also tied Cale Yarborough for fifth on the all-time Cup career wins list with 83.

Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet, prepared by the Hendrick Motorsports team, was strong throughout the Subway Fresh Fit 500. But Busch -- who was hoping for a sweep this weekend after winning the NASCAR trucks and Nationwide series races -- gained the lead after a late caution period.

Gordon was four seconds behind but steadily closed the gap with Busch, who said after the race that "I knew [Gordon] was going to get to me eventually. He was on a mission today."

Jimmie Johnson, the reigning Cup champion and Gordon's teammate, finished third and Kevin Harvick was fourth.

They were among the survivors after several accidents earlier in the race, including one that collected 13 driversand another that knocked out Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne.

Another accident was triggered when Busch abruptly veered into pole-sitter Carl Edwards, which sent Edwards' Ford to the garage for lengthy repairs. Edwards finished 28th.

--Jim Peltz, reporting from Avondale, Ariz.

Photo: Jeff Gordon celebrates his NASCAR Sprint Cup victory Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. Credit: Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press

'Big One' strikes in Phoenix as NASCAR race is marred by multi-car crash

Wreck1

The NASCAR term "The Big One" usually is reserved for massive multi-car crashes at Daytona and Talladega, the superspeedways where the stock cars race in tight packs and an accident can wipe out a bunch of cars in one swoop.

But even the cramped, one-mile Phoenix International Raceway saw its version of "The Big One" on Sunday early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, when 13 drivers were collected in a wreck on the back straightaway.

The accident appeared to start when Matt Kenseth made slight contact with Brian Vickers, the driver in teh car next to him, which sent Vickers' Toyota spinning in the middle of the pack. Martin Truex Jr., Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, David Gilliland and Regan Smith were among other drivers involved.

NASCAR made the remaining cars park under a red flag for 14 minutes while safety crews cleaned up the mess.

Earlier in the Subway Fresh Fit 500, surprise Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne also spun and crashed hard into the wall, ending his hopes for another Cinderella finish.

With the race nearly half over, Tony Stewart was leading, followed by Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

--Jim Peltz, reporting from Avondale, Ariz.

Photo: Several cars crash in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. Credit: Jennifer Stewart / US Presswire

NASCAR's Kyle Busch on obscene gesture: 'I regret the mistake'

Kyle Busch said Friday he's yet to fully learn how to control his emotions on the race track but that it's not a factor in his inability so far to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

Busch The 25-year-old Busch, known as "Rowdy" for his aggressive driving and brash personality, also reiterated that he made "a mistake" when he flashed an obscene gesture at a NASCAR official for several seconds last weekend at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Busch was angry about being hit with a pit-road violation and, as he sat inside his No. 18 Toyota, his gesture was caught on his in-car television camera. So NASCAR immediately slapped him with an additional two-lap penalty, ending his hopes for winning the race. NASCAR also fined him $25,000.

"I regret the mistake I made last week," Busch said before he and the other Cup drivers practiced for Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway, the next-to-last race in NASCAR's Chase for the Cup championship playoff.

Busch is seventh among the 12 drivers in the 10-race Chase and a distant 339 points behind leader Denny Hamlin.

"There is a fire that has helped me to win the races that I've been able to win, but it's also cost me in some other times," Busch acknowledged. "I haven't learned exactly everything that I've wanted to learn yet about being able to control my emotions."

But Busch said "I'd have to disagree 100%" that his personality was "a cause for me not being able to contend for a [Cup] championship" because he won the title in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series last year "as the same person I am."

Busch's hopes for a Cup title this season effectively were dashed when he finished 21st at the third Chase race at Kansas and followed that with a 35th-place finish at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana when his engine blew during the race.

"Just unfortunate circumstances," he said. "So it's not where this past weekend's events at Texas is what led us not being able to win this year's championship."

--Jim Peltz in Avondale, Ariz.

Photo: NASCAR driver Kyle Busch waits in the garage before practice Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

 

Exclusive: Joe Gibbs talks about the differences between Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch

2010 Kansas Oct NSCS practice Kyle Busch Jimmie Johnson NASCAR owner Joe Gibbs has two drivers in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

Denny Hamlin is second in the Chase standings, eight points behind four-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

Kyle Busch is in seventh place in Chase standings, 80 points out of first.

The fourth race in the Chase is Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

Go to Haddock in the Paddock for an exclusive interview with Gibbs, who talked about how Hamlin and Busch have different styles of racing.

-- Tim Haddock

Photo: NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson talk in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 2. Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images for NASCAR

 

NASCAR's Kyle Busch on Joey Logano: Actions speak louder than words

Perhaps no other NASCAR driver is better suited to comment on the Joey Logano-Kevin Harvick spat than temperamental Kyle Busch, an aggressive Sprint Cup Series driver who's known for ruffling the feathers of other racers and, in turn, not a few NASCAR fans. Busch also is Logano's teammate at the Toyota team of Joe Gibbs Racing.

Logano And Busch said Friday that while he understood why Logano gave Harvick a tongue-lashing at the end of last week's race in Pennsylvania, Logano's future moves on the track would better determine what type of driver the 20-year-old would become.

"I don't think what he did shows anything," Busch, 25, said of Logano's actions Sunday at Pocono Raceway, where Logano chewed out Harvick from a distance after their cars made contact near the end of the race, sending Logano into a spin and leaving him with a 13th-place finish.

After the race ended, Logano parked his No. 20 Toyota next to Harvick's No. 29 Chevrolet on pit road and tried to reach Harvick, but crew members and race officials kept them apart.

"I think what will show is if he retaliates, that's what's going to show," Busch said at Michigan International Speedway, site of the next Cup race Sunday, according to notes released by Toyota. "Driving up to somebody on pit road and running your mouth to him isn't a whole lot, that's not that difficult to do."

Harvick, meanwhile, told reporters that he tried earlier this season to reconcile with Logano as their on-track skirmishes kept building, but that Logano dismissed his advances.

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