February 25, 2008 - Fontana, CA - Kyle Busch finished fourth in Monday's rain-delayed Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway of Southern California as Carl Edwards claimed the win. Busch leaves California with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) championship point lead. His No. 18 Interstate Batteries Camry led 14 laps and stayed among the top-five on Sunday evening and remained strong when the event resumed early Monday.
As the field closed in on the checkered flag of the 250-lap race, Busch battled with former teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, who finished second and third, respectively.
"We had a great race car, but not quite as good as those guys at the end," said Busch. "Our car was good all day, it just wasn't great. Last night it was definitely pretty cool and we had a lot of grip on the race track -- it was pretty fast. There with older tires and what not, it tends to have more grip. It was cool to race with the 24 (Gordon) and 48 (Johnson) like that -- we aren't teammates anymore, but still we respect each other. That was fun. We'll take a fourth-place finish and a good championship point's day when we can if we don't have the car to win."
Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Tony Stewart, finished seventh placing two Camrys in the top-10 twice in as many races this season. "We had pretty much the same balance from last night to today, so it didn't really seem like the change from day to night affected our car too much," said Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Camry. Stewart sits third in the NSCS championship point standings, just 19 behind Busch.
Brian Vickers gave his No. 83 Red Bull Racing Camry an 11th-place finish. A total of nine Camrys were in this weekend's NSCS race, including David Reutimann (23rd), Michael Waltrip (28th), J.J. Yeley (29th), Dave Blaney (30th), Dale Jarrett (33rd) and Denny Hamlin (41st) who hit the wall early in the race Sunday.
The next race on the schedule for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is March 2 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Tony Stewart sailed to his second NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) win of the season during Monday's rain-delayed Stater Bros. 300 at Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. The driver of the No. 20 Z-Line Designs Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing led 136 of 150 laps at the two-mile tri-oval en route to victory lane.
"This car was awesome today," said Stewart, who holds the Nationwide Series point lead. "It was so fast, all you had to do was run hard, and if I could stay ahead of the No. 99 (David Reutimann) for about 15 laps, I could just keep running my pace. They'd wear their tires out and wear themselves out trying to stay with us, and we'd just drive at our own pace."
Stewart crossed the finish line 2.408 seconds ahead of fellow Camry driver Kyle Busch (No. 32 Beringer Vineyards Toyota) who finished second. Kevin Harvick finished third followed by Reutimann in fourth driving the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Camry. Three Camrys finished among the top-five for the second race in a row. Carl Edwards, who won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rain-delayed event held immediately prior to today's 300-mile event, finished fifth.
"The No. 20 car was very good and I got to him once there and thought we might be able to make a move, but then the yellow came out," said Reutimann, of the fifth and final caution of the race (laps 108-110). "When we went back to green, his car just got better, or our car got worse. It was a good day, I enjoyed the racing and it was fun. I didn't tear the car up, so it's a good day."
California-native Jason Leffler crossed the finish line 11th in his No. 38 Great Clips Camry while Mike Wallace finished 16th in his No. 7 GEICO Camry.
This was the fourth win for Toyota in the Nationwide Series with two wins in 2007 (Leffler and Reutimann) and now two in 2008. Two of Stewart's four NNS wins have come behind the wheel of a Camry, making him the only multiple NASCAR race winner in Camry. The Camry has now led more than 800 laps in NNS competition.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series returns to action March 1 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch came through the field with ease Saturday afternoon at the Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, dominating the San Bernardino County 200 to give Toyota its second victory of the 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.
Busch started 20th in the No. 51 San Bernardino County Tundra for Billy Ballew Motorsports, after persistent rain Friday cancelled qualifying -- setting the starting grid by 2007 team owner points. The 23-year-old Las Vegas native sliced his way to the front early in the race to lead three times for a race-high 51 laps.
"It was a lot of fun to bring the San Bernardino County Tundra home and to get to Victory Lane means a lot," said Busch, following the race. "This win here probably means the absolute most, because in November 2001 I got kicked out of this race track for being under-age and I wasn't able to run in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Here is the start to hopefully a three-peat this weekend."
Busch traded the lead with Todd Bodine late in the race, but worked his way past the 2006 series champion with less than 30 laps to go and never looked back en route to victory lane. It was his seventh NCTS victory in 38 starts, and the 40th for the Toyota Tundra in 102 races since joining the series in 2004.
Bodine finished second in the No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Tundra, following his victory last weekend at Daytona, leading 25 laps for Germain Racing.
"It was a great race for the Lumber Liquidators Tundra," said Bodine, following the race. "Right at the end there I could actually run times faster than Kyle, but every once and a while I would slip and he would pull back away. First last week and second this week -- that is how you win championships."
Johnny Benson finished third in the No. 23 TCUV Tundra for Bill Davis Racing, his second-consecutive third-place finish to open the season. Terry Cook gave Toyota its second-straight top-four sweep, finishing fourth in the No. 60 Wyler Racing Tundra.
Ted Musgrave (sixth), Mike Skinner (eighth) and Phillip McGilton (10th) also scored top-10 finishes for Toyota.
Other Tundra drivers in the field included David Starr (13th) and Justin Marks (33rd).
Busch leaves California with a 20-point lead over Bodine in the unofficial NCTS point standings (365-345) after two of 25 races. Benson is third in the standings with 340 points, and McGilton is sixth with 261 points.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to action March 7 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Toyota NSCS Driver Finishes at Auto Club Speedway
4th, KYLE BUSCH
7th, TONY STEWART
11th, BRIAN VICKERS
23rd, DAVID REUTIMANN
28th, MICHAEL WALTRIP
29th, J.J. YELEY
30th, DAVE BLANEY
33rd, DALE JARRETT
41st, DENNY HAMLIN
Toyota Drivers in NSCS Point Standings -- following Auto Club Speedway**
1st, KYLE BUSCH 335 points
3rd, TONY STEWART 316 points
11th, BRIAN VICKERS 257 points
18th, DAVID REUTIMANN 203 points
25th, DALE JARRETT 184 points
28th, J.J. YELEY 164 points
29th, MICHAEL WALTRIP 160 points
31st, DENNY HAMLIN 157 points
37th, DAVE BLANEY 127 points
Toyota NNS Driver Finishes at Auto Club Speedway
1st, TONY STEWART
2nd, KYLE BUSCH
4th, DAVID REUTIMANN
11th, JASON LEFFLER
16th, MIKE WALLACE
Toyota Drivers in NNS Point Standings -- following Auto Club Speedway**
1st, TONY STEWART 385 points
2nd, KYLE BUSCH 355 points
4th, DAVID REUTIMANN 281 points
9th, JASON LEFFLER 236 points
12th, MIKE WALLACE 206 points
21st, BRIAN VICKERS 165 points
26th, DENNY HAMLIN 147 points
40th, MICHAEL McDOWELL 82 points
** unofficial point standings
Toyota NCTS Driver Finishes at the Auto Club Speedway
1st, KYLE BUSCH
2nd, TODD BODINE
3rd, JOHNNY BENSON
4th, TERRY COOK
6th, TED MUSGRAVE
8th, MIKE SKINNER
10th, PHILLIP McGILTON
13th, DAVID STARR
33rd, JUSTIN MARKS
Toyota Drivers in NCTS Point Standings – following at Auto Club Speedway**
1st, KYLE BUSCH 365 points
2nd, TODD BODINE 345 points
3rd, JOHNNY BENSON 340 points
4th, DAVID STARR 284 points
6th, PHILLIP McGILTON 261 points
12th, TERRY COOK 233 points
14th, TED MUSGRAVE 229 points
16th, MIKE SKINNER 223 points
19th, JUSTIN MARKS 206 points
** unofficial point standings
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