NASCAR driver Kyle Busch wins 2011 spring race in Richmond, Virginia

Sunday, May 1, 2011

File photo of Kyle Busch
Image: Kim Phillips.

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch won his third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spring race at Richmond International Speedway on Saturday during the 2011 Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 in Virginia. Throughout the course of the race there were eight cautions and the lead changed among ten drivers.

Busch, who led 235 laps, was over one second ahead of his teammate Denny Hamlin at the conclusion of the race. Kasey Kahne finished third, ahead of David Ragan and Carl Edwards. Clint Bowyer, A. J. Allmendinger, Jimmie Johnson, and Tony Stewart followed in the next four positions. Brian Vickers could only manage a tenth place finish.

During the race, Ryan Newman collided into Juan Pablo Montoya, prompting Montoya to crash into the SAFER barrier. Following the accident, Newman told his crew, "I can't believe they [NASCAR] aren't going to black flag that 42 car. ... I'm going to take care of it after the race." On lap 236, Montoya collided back into Newman.

64 laps later, a nine car accident, involving Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin and six other drivers occurred. Following the accident, Gordon commented, "I seem to find the worst angles for hitting walls. I wish there was a SAFER barrier there. I seem to be able to find the ones without the SAFER barrier."

After the race, Busch said, "I learned from Denny last fall, and I'm not going to say what I learned. He might know, but we did a good job at doing what we needed to do." Next, Hamlin told his crew chief Mike Ford that he "didn't have anything" for Busch.

Following the race, Edwards remains Drivers' Championship leader with 335 points. Nine points behind, Johnson is second with 326. In third, Busch is 30 points behind, but four ahead of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch are fifth and sixth respectively with 300 and 289 points. Bowyer, Newman, Kenseth, and Stewart round out the top-ten positions for the Drivers' Championship.

The 2011 season continues on May 7 at Darlington Raceway for the 2011 Showtime Southern 500. The race will be televised in the U.S. on the FOX Network at 7:30 p.m. EDT.