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Busch Comes Home 2nd in Talladega

May 7th, 2012 by
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Kyle Busch finished second in Sunday's race at Talladega. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images.

Kyle Busch finished second in Sunday's race at Talladega. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images.

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&Ms/Interstate Batteries® Toyota Camry, led Team Interstate by finishing second in the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The runner-up finish was Busch’s second top-five and third top-10 in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at the 2.66-mile oval.

Busch planned to stay attached to Brad Keselowski’s rear bumper until the finish line was in sight. Then he hoped to drop alongside and pass Keselowski for the win.

But things didn’t work out quite like Busch planned. Keselowski separated from Busch’s bumper as the duo headed into turn three on the final lap. With the lost momentum, there was nothing Busch could do but trail Keselowski through turn four and down the frontstretch to the start/finish line for a solid runner-up finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499.

“We had a great M&M’s car all day,” said Busch, whose other top-five finish at Talladega came during his April 2008 win there. “Just a phenomenal job by this JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) bunch. They gave me a good piece, and we were running up front there. I didn’t think we got connected soon enough, and they got away from us. And then we did get connected to the 2 (Keselowski), and I drove by them. And then it was just a race between him and I, and somehow getting into turn three and just got disconnected from him. Once that happened, the race was over; it was all his. I’m not sure he did anything. If he did, he’s pretty smart, but I think our stuff just came unplugged.”

Busch’s Team Interstate companions – Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry, and Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry – finished 23rd and 26th, respectively.

With round 10 of 36 complete, Hamlin leads the Team Interstate trio in the championship point standings. He is fourth with 351 points, 27 behind series leader Greg Biffle. Busch stands ninth with 308 points, 70 out of first. Logano is 15th with 259 points, 119 away from the top spot.

 Driver Standings after Round 10 of 36

RANK

+/-

DRIVER

POINTS

BEHIND

POLES

WINS

TOP 5

TOP 10

1 Greg Biffle 378 Leader 1 1 6 7
2 +2 Matt Kenseth 371 -7 0 1 6 6
3 -1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 369 -9 0 0 4 8
4 -1 Denny Hamlin 351 -27 1 2 4 5
5 +2 Kevin Harvick 333 -45 0 0 2 5
6 -1 Martin Truex Jr. 332 -46 1 0 3 6
7 +1 Tony Stewart 328 -50 0 2 3 4
8 -2 Jimmie Johnson 324 -54 0 0 4 7
9 +2 Kyle Busch 308 -70 0 1 3 5
10 +2 Clint Bowyer 302 -76 0 0 1 5
15 Joey Logano 259 -119 0 0 0 2

 

AMA Supercross: Millsaps Grabs No. 2 Spot in Las Vegas

JGRMX rider Davi Millsaps (right) took second place in Las Vegas and finished the 2012 AMA Supercross season in second.

With the 2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross title already clinched coming into Las Vegas, the battle was on for the runner-up series position. JGRMX rider Davi Millsaps was determined to take home that second-place trophy.

Millsaps won the first heat on his No. 18 Toyota/Yamaha/Interstate Batteries machine, while JGRMX teammate Gavin Faith, riding in place of the injured James “Bubba” Stewart, advanced to the main event by winning the last-chance qualifier.

When the gate fell for the main event, Millsaps was just outside of the top-five with Faith, who had a poor gate pick. By lap seven, Millsaps had worked his way into a podium position. At about the halfway point, Millsaps engaged in a spirited fight for second position, ultimately taking the spot and keeping for the remainder of the race. The podium finish, Millsaps’ fifth of the season, secured the series runner-up honors. Faith finished 14th.

450 Supercross Final Point Standings

  1. Ryan Villopoto – 323
  2. Davi Millsaps – 266
  3. Ryan Dungey – 257
  4. Justin Brayton – 257
  5. Jake Weimer – 229
  6. Mike Alessi – 206
  7. James Stewart – 178
  8. Brett Metcalfe – 177
  9. Broc Tickle – 171
  10. Kevin Windham – 166

Also on Saturday, JGRMX announced that effective immediately, the organization and Stewart had mutually agreed to part ways. JGRMX released Stewart from his contract for all racing and media relations responsibilities that were assumed by him at the beginning of the 2012 racing season. “We wish to thank James for his contributions and wish him the very best for the future,” JGRMX said in a statement.

NHRA Drag Racing: Edwards Exits in Round Two

Mike Edwards' Penhall/K&N/Interstate Batteries Pontiac

Mike Edwards' Penhall/K&N/Interstate Batteries Pontiac. Photo courtesy mikeedwardsmotorsports.com.

Team Interstate’s Mike Edwards qualified his Pro Stock Penhall/K&N/Interstate Batteries Pontiac  in the No. 5 spot for the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals in Atlanta. In the first round, he had a near perfect light and never trailed as Larry Morgan spun the tires right at the start. In round two, Edwards faced Ronnie Humphrey, who scored a lightning-quick 0.027-second reaction time and went on to win the matchup despite Edwards’ faster run.

“We feel we are close to breaking back into the winner’s circle,” Edwards said. “We need to have a little luck come back to our side and hopefully we will turn the corner in Topeka.”

Pro Stock Standings after Atlanta:

  1. Greg Anderson 651
  2. Jason Line 579
  3. Allen Johnson 498
  4. Mike Edwards 492
  5. Vincent Nobile 489
  6. Erica Enders 376
  7. Ronnie Humphrey 350
  8. Greg Stanfield 299
  9. Rodger Brogdon 286
  10. Larry Morgan 280
Next week: NASCAR travels to “The Lady in Black,” Darlington Raceway. NHRA drag racing returns May 18-20, and the AMA Motocross season kicks off May 19.
 
By James Pecht (153 Posts)

James Pecht writes about franchising, battery technology, tips, racing and company culture for Interstate Batteries.


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