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Kyle Busch takes first career win with California score

Busch dominates to become youngest NEXTEL Cup winner in history

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Sony HD 500 at California Speedway

Sony HD 500 at California Speedway

NASCAR
Updated September 05, 2005
The Sony HD 500 at California Speedway featured a handling battle that didn't feature much competitive racing. The wide race track and long 500 mile grind meant that faster cars could easily make the pass. A late race caution brought out the pit strategy and introduced some doubt but the fastest car still took the win.

Qualifying

Four of the five Roush Racing teammates filled the top two rows in the field lead by Carl Edwards on the pole. Mark Martin started second with Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle rounding out the Roush domination in qualifying. Hendrick Motorsports teammates filled out the third row as Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson qualified fifth and sixth.

Drop The Green Flag

The Roush teammates at the front of the pack took turns letting each other lead as Edwards, Martin, Busch and Biffle all lead in the early going and got five bonus points each for leading the race. When they finally settled down to the race Saturday night's Busch series winner Carl Edwards held the lead over teammates Busch and Biffle.

As the race closed in on the 100 mile mark Carl Edwards had a tire problem and spun leaving the lead to his teammates. His spin dropped him to the back of the field but he had a fast car and plenty of time to make it back to the front.

Storylines

The race had a solemn mood as the terrible tragedy of hurricane Katrina weighed heavily on everyone's mind. Like the rest of the nation New Orleans and the rest of the gulf coast was first in everyone's thoughts. NASCAR has announced that it is working with the American Red Cross to help with hurricane relief.

Handling was a focus of the night as many drivers struggled to find the balance and make their cars work well as the sun set and track conditions changed. Many were loose early in the race and then struggled with tight conditions after the sun went down.

Chasing The Checkers

Kyle Busch was the class of the second half of the race. The caution flew with 10 laps to go and then took the green again two laps later. Pit strategy came into play as some stayed out, some drivers took two and some took four tires. This scrambled the field for the restart.

Robby Gordon restarted in the lead but was no match for fresher tires. Kyle Busch had the lead back before they got to the back stretch on the restart and he was long gone.

Top Ten

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Greg Biffle
  3. Brian Vickers
  4. Carl Edwards
  5. Tony Stewart
  6. Kasey Kahne
  7. Matt Kenseth
  8. Jamie McMurray
  9. Ricky Rudd
  10. Joe Nemechek

The Points

Everyone in the top six are locked into the Chase. The real battle is from Matt Kenseth in 8th to Elliott Sadler in 13th. Two of those drivers will race for a championship over the last ten races of the season while the other three will have to begin building for next season.

  1. Tony Stewart -0
  2. Greg Biffle -209
  3. Jimmie Johnson -258
  4. Rusty Wallace -313
  5. Mark Martin -421
  6. Kurt Busch -456
  7. Jeremy Mayfield -497
  8. Carl Edwards -556
  9. Matt Kenseth -631
  10. Jamie McMurray -641

Next Week

Next week Richmond International Raceway will host short track racing under the lights on Saturday night. This is the final race before the top ten drivers in points are locked in and will have their points reset for the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.

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