Busch Doubles Up

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FONTANA, Calif. - Kurt Busch became the first two-time winner of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season with a victory in Sunday's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway over Bobby Labonte and Rusty Wallace.

Busch drove his Roush Racing Sharpie Food to his second win of the season, snapping the streak of nine different winners in the year's first nine events.

"We went on a little slide. No biggie," Busch said. "We just struggled a little bit. Today, we put together a great effort."

Bill Elliott and Jamie McMurray rounded out the Top 5 with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Michael Waltrip, John Andretti, Sterling Marlin and Matt Kenseth completing the first ten finishers.

The win was the sixth of Busch's Winston Cup career. Over his last fifteen series starts, Busch has recorded five wins and three runnerup finishes.

Busch had to race to the checkered flag as the caution lights were displayed when Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin, who were battling for a Top 5 finishing position, crashed on the front straight. Johnson, the defending race winner, went hard into the outside wall while Martin spun through the infield grass. Both were able to finish the race with Johnson getting 16th and Martin credited with 17th place.

The race got off to a rough start when polesitter Steve Park tangled with Ryan Newman on the opening lap as the field raced down the backstretch. Newman's ALLTEL Ford was forced into the outside wall by Park, whose Pennzoil Chevrolet spun into the inside retaining wall after bouncing off Newman. Neither driver was injured but both cars were badly damaged.

The Winston Cup Series now travels to Richmond International Raceway next Saturday night for the Pontiac Excitement 400.

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