NASCAR: Kurt Busch tames Martinsville to end 83-race drought

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NASCAR: Kurt Busch tames Martinsville to end 83-race drought
NASCAR: Kurt Busch tames Martinsville to end 83-race drought

Kurt Busch passed Martinsville master Jimmie Johnson for the lead with 10 laps to go Sunday to win at Martinsville Speedway for the first time since October 2002.

Busch was involved, along with Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne, in a pit road incident on lap 44. Keselowski blamed Busch for the incident, and after spending 31 laps in the garage for repairs, Keselowski came back on track and hounded Busch for several laps.

Earnhardt and Busch stayed out while everyone else pitted during a caution on lap 29 and they were first and second when racing resumed. By that time, Earnhardt had raced his way up from his 26th starting spot into the top five in the running order.

Another caution came out a few laps later. Earnhardt and Busch managed to remain in the top 10, usually in the top five, for the remainder of the race.

Early in the race, Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, who started on the front row, and Matt Kenseth, along with Team Penske driver Joey Logano, challenged Johnson up front.

Busch and Hamlin eventually faded and were not factors late in the race. Kenseth also dropped back and, after staying out during a caution on lap 250, fell off the lead lap.

Kenseth got back on the lead lap, and unlike his teammates, worked his way back toward the front to finish just outside the top five in sixth position.

With 90 laps remaining after a caution came out, Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer got off pit road second and third behind Johnson. Edwards ran second to Johnson for several laps before fading to fifth and then spinning to bring out the final caution of the race on lap 459.

During that caution, Bowyer lost several positions off pit road.

When the race restarted for the final time, Busch quickly moved up to second. He took the lead for the first time with 28 laps to go but lost the top spot to Johnson 11 laps later. Johnson was able to hold the lead for six more laps before Busch took the lead for good.

Kevin Harvick finished seventh, Aric Almirola was eighth, Bowyer took ninth and Paul Menard claimed 10th.

1. (22) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 500 laps, 115.8 rating, 47 points, $147,210.

2. (4) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 500, 140.9, 44, $180,546.

3. (26) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 500, 116.8, 42, $114,210.

4. (3) Joey Logano, Ford, 500, 121.2, 41, $142,476.

5. (17) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 500, 110.2, 40, $128,265.

6. (6) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 500, 95.8, 39, $137,456.

7. (18) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 500, 98.9, 38, $127,053.

8. (20) Aric Almirola, Ford, 500, 93.8, 36, $126,106.

9. (12) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 500, 108.5, 36, $123,461.

10. (21) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 500, 83.3, 34, $116,384.

11. (15) A J Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 500, 90, 34, $105,458.

12. (5) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 500, 82, 32, $129,811.

13. (8) Carl Edwards, Ford, 500, 98.1, 31, $101,975.

14. (1) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 500, 79.2, 31, $136,491.

15. (34) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 500, 72, 29, $133,461.

16. (13) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 500, 90.9, 28, $117,900.

17. (7) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 500, 72.4, 27, $120,158.

18. (11) Greg Biffle, Ford, 500, 82.7, 27, $125,450.

19. (2) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 500, 81, 25, $94,475.

20. (16) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 500, 78.5, 24, $93,325.

21. (31) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 500, 60.6, 23, $111,708.

22. (27) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 500, 70.4, 22, $99,375.

23. (25) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 500, 57.1, 21, $107,433.

24. (23) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 500, 63.4, 20, $105,133.

25. (36) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 500, 56.2, 0, $79,950.

26. (39) David Gilliland, Ford, 499, 49.5, 18, $102,058.

27. (28) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 498, 62.7, 17, $108,420.

28. (24) David Ragan, Ford, 497, 50.7, 16, $99,322.

29. (35) Cole Whitt, Toyota, 497, 38.4, 15, $78,500.

30. (38) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 496, 43.9, 14, $82,875.

31. (40) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 495, 38.5, 13, $81,225.

32. (10) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 494, 52.4, 12, $88,575.

33. (29) Travis Kvapil, Ford, 493, 35.8, 12, $77,850.

34. (42) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 492, 36.1, 10, $77,725.

35. (33) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 492, 34.7, 9, $77,675.

36. (19) Alex Bowman, Toyota, 488, 46.3, 8, $77,625.

37. (32) Michael McDowell, Ford, brakes, 474, 35.9, 7, $77,527.

38. (14) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 469, 46.6, 6, $118,508.

39. (37) David Stremme, Chevrolet, 440, 29.1, 5, $69,100.

40. (30) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 409, 49.8, 4, $100,925.

41. (41) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, 408, 25.1, 3, $66,500.

42. (9) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 396, 80.9, 2, $94,314.

43. (43) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, accident, 310, 26.4, 0, $61,600.