Dream Night for Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch

Busch celebrates in Victory Lane at Eldora. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

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ROSSBURG, Ohio. – Kyle Busch scored his first career victory in Wednesday night’s eighth running of the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway.

Busch survived a wild night in the annual charity race at the historic half-mile dirt oval topping a field of 25 drivers from around the world of racing.

Driving the No. 18 M&M's car prepared by Scott Bloomquist, Busch led the final 15 laps after taking the top spot following a caution brought out when leader Kasey Kahne made hard impact with Bobby Labonte's car.

Kyle Busch"This is cool, this is what it's all about coming to go dirt racing," Busch said. "I just can't say enough about Scott Bloomquist and all these guys on this team. They prepare great race cars every time we come here.

"We ran up front with the leaders all night and after the mishap with Kahne there we inherited the lead and was able to set sail from there."

Busch's win ended Clint Bowyer Racing's Prelude winning streak at two with Jimmie Johnson winning in 2010 and Bowyer last year.

All of the Sprint Cup drivers in the race spent the day at Pocono Raceway testing and will return for another full day tomorrow.

"Bowyer's parked right next to me in the garage area (at Pocono) so I'm sure I'll be getting plenty from him about he would of won it if I didn't crowd him a bit there," Busch said.

Kahne led the opening 12 laps from the pole before getting passed by Bowyer. Bowyer was able to lead the next nine laps but slammed the wall trying to maintain the point severely damaging his car and sending him out of the race.

"He got slowed up with a lap car so I slid him (Bowyer)," Kahne said. "He just tried staying in it and he was on my outside there. I didn't think he would be there at all because I had a big run. He just tried staying in it and I was going to the cushion and we ended up making contact."

Bowyer wound up finishing 19th after his battle with Kahne and Busch.

“I just kind of got used up there," Bowyer said. "It is what it is. I hate it for these guys (crew). I’m here for fun, but these guys work so hard on this car. It was brand new and now it’s pretty much destroyed right there – at least the body, it’s all pretty much cosmetic on these things. I guess karma caught up with us a little bit, which is a little disappointing. But, oh well, it was fun."

Kasey KahneBowyer's exit gave the lead back to Kahne, who stretched out his advantage to 2.5 seconds until disaster struck. The heavy contact with Labonte’s car, which had spun to a stop in Turn 2 destroyed Kahne’s machine and sent him dejectedly to the sidelines.

"Every time I looked up the 44 car was backwards and that time he was up against the wall in the preferred line and as I saw him there's no slowing down, you are on ice pretty much," Kahne said. "I just slid across and nailed him. It's discouraging. I thought we had a good shot at winning, but still I'm glad I was here."

The race supported Feed The Children and the top-10 finishers will see a food truck go to the town of their choice.

Three-time Prelude winner Tony Stewart finished second and will support the local area around the speedway he owns.

"To see the turn out here and I think we'll probably take the portion that we got and help this area with it," Stewart said. "Feed The Children was very generous letting the top-10 drivers have some of the proceeds to donate to whatever areas they wanted, so I think I'm going to keep it right here around Eldora."

Austin Dillon, who was the fastest qualifier on the night, finished third.

"Tonight was a really good night for us," Dillon said. "It was tough racing out there, really. You had to slide – you had to make that move. We were a little loose for the feature. Actually, it wasn’t loose so much as I just couldn’t get a lot of speed coming off the corner. We’re going to work on that. I’m glad we qualified up front and got to run up front. We did our work early in the night and it paid off for the feature."

Four-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion Donny Schatz brought home a damaged car to a fourth-place finish in his first time competing in a Late Model.

“It’s a good thing they are stock cars and they’ve got fender," Schatz said. "I think I hit everything there was and I was bouncing off guys. If you did that in a Sprint car, you’d be laying out in the weeds. It was a fun race. I wish I could’ve had a restart there at the end. When you drive Darrell Lanigan’s racecar, you know you’ve got something really good underneath you. It took me all night to figure out what to do with it when the track finally cleaned off. It was really fun to drive. I didn’t know the STP car was this beat up but, hopefully, we can try again next year.”

Ryan Newman, Aric Almirola, Cruz Pedregon, Dave Blaney, Ty Dillon and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top 10.

Danica Patrick finished her first Prelude in 15th place, three laps down.

“I realized early that I wasn’t really in the mix, so I figured I would take the chance to get comfortable driving sideways a little bit more as I’ve found that that helps in driving a stock car," Patrick said. "I was just feeling it out and I really wanted to bring the car home without balling it up. I sort of did that. It was a good experience for me but, more than anything, I’m proud to be a part of this event. Tony is definitely my role model for charity work."

Only one driver on hand was not able to answer the call for the feature when Kurt Busch damaged his car during heat race action.

Earlier in the night, Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch, Bowyer and Kahne won their respective Heat races.

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