Kyle Busch denied teammate Denny Hamlin a weekend sweep at his home track Saturday night by stretching his final tank of gas 107 laps to win at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
Busch won the spring race at Richmond for the third consecutive year, needing only to make it to the checkered flag before his gas tank ran dry. Lurking behind him was Hamlin, ready to pounce for a victory that might have snapped his early season slump.
Hamlin had already won his charity race, held Thursday night, and followed it with Friday night’s win in the Nationwide Series race. But Busch’s car was just a tick better in the Sprint Cup Series race, and Busch led the Joe Gibbs Racing sweep.
“It’s tough when you share notebooks,” Hamlin said. “Every trick in the book, you know they’ve got it, too.”
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Enumclaw’s Kasey Kahne, fresh off surgery to repair a torn ligament in his knee, finished a season-best third to give Toyota the top three spots.
The leaders seemed to have an easy go of it, with most of the fireworks coming far behind them in the field.
Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya were involved in two different on-track incidents, and Newman at one point vowed his payback would come after the race. There was no confrontation, though. Montoya hopped on a waiting golf cart and headed away from the track, while Newman walked to the NASCAR hauler to complain about Montoya’s driving.
John Force moved within one of NHRA Pro Stock great Warren Johnson’s No. 1 qualifying record by racing to his third consecutive top-spot at the NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas. Force earned the 137th No. 1 of his Funny Car career. The other three top qualifiers from Friday also held on to their spots as Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Ronnie Humphrey (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) will lead their categories into today’s eliminations. Will Power of Australia improved to four for four in IndyCar poles this season after earning the 200th for Team Penske at the Sao Paulo 300.