FONTANA, Calif. – Kyle Busch added a dominating NASCAR Nationwide Series victory to an overpowering truck win earlier Saturday at Auto Club Speedway.
The 23-year-old speedster, who led 95 of 100 laps in winning the Camping World Truck Series race, was out front for 143 of 150 laps on the 2-mile oval to earn his 22nd Nationwide victory. He became the first driver to win races in two NASCAR national touring series in the same day.
Former series champion Carl Edwards beat Busch out of the pits on the last pit stops by the leaders, but Busch powered back into the lead on the restart 16 laps from the end and pulled away.
"It's awesome," Busch said after climbing out of his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. "This is just a blast. It's pretty special to beat guys like Carl and Kevin (Harvick). To win here twice in one day is even more special."
Despite building leads of up to 11 seconds at times during the race, it all came down to the restart on lap 135 after Edwards beat Busch out of the pits by the length of the hood on his No. 60 Ford.
On the restart, Busch nudged Edwards and dove under him as Harvick, in third, made it three-wide for several seconds before Edwards slipped all the way to fifth. Busch easily led the rest of the way, beating Harvick to the finish line by 1.011 seconds — most of the front straightaway and almost the same margin he had in beating Todd Bodine in the truck race.
Busch's JGR teammate Joey Logano held off a determined bid by Edwards to finish third in the Nationwide event.
"You know, it's just racing," Edwards said of the winning pass. "I couldn't see behind me, but it felt like we were just racing real hard. I think I might have got touched, but he was going for the win and that's what the fans pay for.
"Man, Kyle was just in a league of his own tonight, so it was tough to be able to hang with him for most of the night."
The victory came in the first race back for crew chief Jason Ratliff, suspended along with fellow crew chief Dave Rogers for the second half of last season after the Gibbs team was caught trying to manipulate the results of an engine dynomometer test at Michigan International Speedway.
"I've been dreaming about this," Ratliff said. "It's a heck of a way to come back." http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090222/...RY61VAvA0R07QF