Kyle Busch won his third race of the 2011 season…

Kyle Busch California Dreamin’

Kyle Busch won his third race of the 2011 season…
Tom Jensen Posted March 26, 2011 Fontana, CA

For once, Kyle Busch didn’t have the fastest car, but he still outfought rivals Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick to win Saturday’s Royal Purple 400 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway.

After trailing Harvick and Edwards most of the day, Busch gambled on a late-race two-tire pit stop, moving from third place to first on Lap 134, 5 seconds ahead of the two.

Harvick and Edwards combined to lead 112 of 150 laps, but when the checkered flag fell, it was Busch’s familiar No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota that was in victory lane for the third time in five Nationwide Series races this season.

Edwards finished second in his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, ahead of the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet. Completing the top five were Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Elliott Sadler, teammates of Edwards and Harvick, respectively.

“That was unbelievable,” said Busch’s crew chief, Jason Ratcliff. “We just stole it.”

Busch was equally jubilant to score the surprise victory after lagging behind for most of the race.

“I can’t thank these guys enough, Busch said of his JGR team. “We didn’t have a winning car. We worked all day yesterday to prepare and try to get ready and do what we needed to do. I told ‘em don’t worry and then we qualified seventh and I was like, ‘Well, maybe we need to worry a little.’

“And today, the 33 (Harvick) and the 60 (Edwards) were gone,” Busch said. “It took us a bit to get there, but we had a good enough car that we could keep with them at least where we could make that call and get two tires in order to win the deal.”

 

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