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Well, Kyle Busch certainly made mincemeat of all that pre-race hype, winning his historic third straight at Bristol

 Great night for racing, great crowd, but at the finish it was Kyle Busch in a runaway (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


    By Mike Mulhern

    BRISTOL, Tenn.
    Kyle Busch took no prisoners Saturday night, completing an historic three-race sweep of the week at Jeff Byrd's Bristol Motor Speedway, adding a runaway victory in the Irwin Tools 500 to Friday's controversial Nationwide win and Wednesday's Truck win from last place.
   "I'm out of breath, been screaming so much," Busch said after his third win of the season, 19th of his Cup career, in front of a near-sellout crowd at this 160,000-seat arena. "I've been trying to do this ever since I started my NASCAR career. This might be bigger than my Vegas win, which was the biggest win of my career."
   The romp may refire Busch and the rest of the Joe Gibbs guys, who have been in something of a slump lately.

   Busch in victory (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

    But for most of the rest of the men heading toward the Sprint Cup playoffs this was a night to forget.
   Jimmie Johnson got tangled up in an odd bump with Juan Pablo Montoya midway through the three-hour event. Johnson had to go behind the wall for lengthy repairs and finished 35th, 85 laps down. "I think I left him enough room on the outside," Johnson said. "We were on the straight for a little bit, and all of a sudden I got hooked with force. It wasn't like we'd bumped and banged and I'd squeezed him. I don't think it was intentional; I don't think he was trying to dump me."
   Felix Sabates, one of Montoya's owners, came over to Johnson after the race to apologize: "He said that Juan Pablo felt really bad," Johnson said. "I'm not sure what that may mean.....
   "I'm really disappointed because I felt we really had a shot at winning."
   Denny Hamlin, another playoff driver, also went behind the wall early for repairs, and wound up 34th.
   Tony Stewart likewise had trouble, after battling for the lead early; he wound up 27th.
   Mark Martin never challenged, finished 23rd, and is now all but out of title contention. Clint Bowyer, the man Martin was battling for the final playoff spot, ran fourth.
   Bowyer, though, was the only one of car owner Richard Childress' men running well. Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton were never factors.

  Jimmie Johnson's golden horse shoe appears to be missing (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   David Reutimann and Jamie McMurray were surprises, finishing second and third and both challenging Busch much of the last part of the race.
   "I feel really, really good about the finish....but I don't feel so great right now," Reutimann said, referring to that hospital stop two days ago for food poisoning.
   "If we don't make the chase it won't be devastating, because we've won some big races (Daytona and Indianapolis)," McMurray said. "There is only person we have to pass (to make the chase). That's Clint, and he's running really well."
   To make the playoff cut McMurray would need to gain 100 points on Bowyer at Atlanta and Richmond.
   And Bowyer looks pretty darned strong: "It was a well-needed run," he said. "It was a good way to bounce back.
   "With any luck at all we'll be in this thing (the chase).
   "And Richard Childress Racing is an organization that can contend for a championship. We've shown our potential all season. One of the three of us should bring home a championship. It's the best shot we've had since I've been at RCR."
    The tour gets a week off now, except for those like Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski running in the Montreal Nationwide race.
    And Busch says he and his guys need to regroup before the Labor Day weekend Cup stop in Atlanta: "Atlanta is one of our struggle points. We need to think about some things, and go to Atlanta and run fast.
   "But then we go to Richmond (the final race before the playoffs), and that's one of my favorite places. So hopefully we can win again there."
    On the Ford front, it wasn't a great night. Kasey Kahne scored best, fifth, but was never really in the hunt. Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards were all off too, and hit with a few issues.
    Kahne had good speed, he said. Unfortunately he used a little too much of it once on pit road, and got busted. "But we worked all the way back; that didn't hold us back at all," Kahne said. "I really felt I could challenge when we came out of the pits that final time and restarted eighth. But the front tires just didn't work as good as they needed to. I was a little bit loose in and slid the nose too much, and I couldn't get to the outside of anybody, and couldn't beat them across the center on the bottom."
   Biffle, eighth, called it "a pretty good night. We had a decent car. It wasn't the best car we've had here...I think it was a mistake on the tire. 
   "It seemed this tire didn't have the grip -- and it was really, really hard to pass. 
    "It was definitely interesting out there.  I lost a bunch of ground when Jeff Burton and I got together. I was under him, and I don't know if he knew that or not, but he pinched down a little bit and we got together.
    "Overall...it was a good night in the points. We're thinking about the chase.  I definitely wanted a better night, but an eighth is okay."
    Teammate Kenseth on the other hand says it's not enough just to make the chase, a team has to be competitive in the final 10 races. He rallied back to 10th after a flat tire. "We hoped for more than that, but we lost the handle on the car the last two or three runs.
    "We need to get running better and more consistently in the top-10.  I mean we finished 10th -- but that needs to be your worst finish if you're going to  contend for a championship."

           The results of Saturday's Irwin Tools 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway



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   One of the wonders of the NASCAR world, Bristol at night in August (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mike, I don't give Busch

Mike, I don't give Busch three wins this weekend. I give him two even though Nascar gives him three. He "dumped" the leader in the Nationwide Race to get that win. And, yes, I know other drivers have done the same and I don't agree with that either whether it was Earnharht, Gordon, or Busch. If Nascar is just going to let a driver knock the leader out to win a race and with no repercussions then Nascar is in a sad state. And, what if this costs Brad the Championship which could very well happen since there is no chase in the Nationwide Series. And, there is no question of guilt because Kyle admitted "dumping" him. We don't have to be reminded of what a "great" driver Kyle is but for all his great driving he cancels that out with his being an ass and not showing any respect for other drivers. And, that bump by Brad was caused by Busch's bobble and trying to move up in front of Brad when he wasn't clear. And, if Busch had been behind Brad in the same circumstance the exact some thing would have happened. Yet Busch was outraged and deliberately took Brad out. Just can't believe that there isn't more outrage at what Kyle did Friday Night. The press seems to be more concerned about what a great driver he is and him winning all three races this past weekend. But, I give him two races won. He didn't win Friday's Race even though Nascar gave him the victory. Want to know why the stands at different races are not full? Nascar letting drivers like Kyle make a joke of the rules and showing no respect for other drivers is one of the reasons. Kyle is just a spoiled rich kid brat who treats most drivers like crap but if he gets some of his own medicine pitches a fit and pouts like the spoiled brat he is. His parents sure did a poor job of trying to raise this kid.

I'm still trying to figga out

I'm still trying to figga out why Miss Sprint Cup is wearing racin' p.j.'s in Victory Lane?!?!

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