Historic Win For Busch
March 25, 2007 | 6:12 P.M. EST
Busch held off Jeff Burton in a green-white-checkered finish to score his first win of the season.
David Ragan's spin set-up the overtime run and Burton and Busch waged a tight, side-by-side battle for the lead over the final two green flag laps.
But Busch was able to keep his CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet ahead of Burton's Cingular Impala SS to notch the victory.
"Jeff Burton could have dumped me in turns 3 and 4, but I had some brownie points to use up from our Vegas finish," Busch said of the Busch Series battle the duo was involved in a couple weeks ago. "I guess I used them up all at once. It was a great battle for us."
It was his fourth career NEXTEL Cup Series win and the 600th series win for Chevrolet, the first for the Impala SS model as a "Car of Tomorrow" entry. Busch also scored Hendrick Motorsports' 200th NASCAR win.
"Kyle has always raced me clean and I tried to return that," Burton said.
"I could have used the bumper to move him out of the way and win the race, but I didn't want to," Burton said. "I can lay in bed tonight and wonder `What if?' but that's what I chose to do. If you can't pass him without knocking him out of the way, do the best you can. He's driven me clean, and that's what I did with him."
Jeff Gordon, who started from the pole and dropped back with handling problems, rallied back to finish third.
"We struggled yesterday in practice and we fought really hard today," Gordon said. "We're fortunate. We stayed on the lead lap. I'm really happy for Kyle."
Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five.
"This is what this team is made of," said Biffle. "We’ve had about four of these runs now, but this is the first one we’ve finished. I feel really good about it. Pat called me to take four tires and I was about a foot past the commitment line and I didn’t want to try and chance it. It’s unfortunate because I think we could have won possibly. We had a really good car on the short run and the long run, but we’ll never know."
Jeff Green, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears completed the first ten finishers.
Tony Stewart looked to be the class of the field in the early going but ran into trouble.
Under caution with 211 laps to go, Stewart's Home Depot Chevrolet lost fuel pick-up and he went several laps down, before returning to the track to finish 35th.
The NEXTEL Cup Series now heads to Martinsville Speedway for next Sunday's Goody's Cool Orange 500.