written on: August 26, 2008 by Mechanic Schools Directory

Kyle Busch put on a dominating performance at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night in the Sharpie 500.

[fanscape news reports] After grabbing the lead on lap 55, Kyle Busch kept his No. 18 M&M's® Toyota Camry out front and at the top of the leader board for the next 415 laps. But a bump from behind by Carl Edwards with 30 laps to go stole away what was certain to be the ninth victory of the season for Busch.

"It was all going fine there till the end," commented Busch during his post-race press conference. "Just a tough break for us and this M&M's Toyota team. Steve Addington and the guys built us a fabulous race car. We could get through traffic way better than anybody, and it was really a cool car to have and be able to work with. Just unfortunate the way things came down at the end, and we'll take it and we'll go on here these next couple of weeks and try to get ourselves a win and in the Chase and throughout the Chase."

From a ninth-place starting position, Busch drove an incredibly steady race all night long, while his pit crew gave him solid stops and always kept him out front. Each of the five pit stops saw the No. 18 enter and exit pit road in the top spot. Only minor adjustments were made to the handling of the car. Crew chief Steve Addington called for small air pressure adjustments in the tires and no more than half a turn in or out on the wedge.

Busch was happy with his car overall but continued to look for ways to get his car to roll better through the center of the corners. He also tried to find a set up that was good on the short runs as well as the long runs. He was able to hold off charges from Edwards for much of the night. Each restart saw Edwards stay on the back bumper of Busch for the first handful of laps and then fade back slightly as the run continued.

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At the halfway point of the race, Joe Gibbs Racing nearly had the top three spots locked down, with Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart running in third and fourth, respectively. Shortly after, Busch had a close call as he avoided Dave Blaney and his No. 22 car spinning just in front of him. A quick caution and ensuing pit stop, and Busch continued on in the lead.

There were a total of eight cautions in the 500-lap race. The final four were called for debris on the track. It was the last caution of the night that hurt Busch the most. With the field tighten back up for the final restart on lap 462, Edwards stayed glued to Busch's rear bumper. Finally, on lap 470, Edwards drove deep into turn one, making hard contact with Busch and forcing him high out of the groove. Edwards took advantage and grabbed the lead, driving away to the checkered flag. Busch battled with his teammate Denny Hamlin in the closing laps and brought home a second-place finish.

It was the second consecutive second-place finish for Busch. Unfortunately for Busch, tonight's race was also the sixth consecutive race at Bristol Motor Speedway where the driver who led the most laps did not come away with the victory.

In addition to Busch's second-place finish, Joe Gibbs Racing saw strong performances from their other two drivers. Denny Hamlin drove his No. 11 Toyota from a 21st-place starting spot to finish just behind Busch in third. Tony Stewart hung in the top-10 all night long and ended with an eighth-place finish.

Polesitter Carl Edwards earned his sixth win of the season, while Busch's second-place result was his 15th top-five of the season. Denny Hamlin finished third. Kevin Harvick picked up the fourth spot and Jeff Gordon finished in fifth.

With two races to go before the Chase, teams will travel west to the Auto Club Speedway in California for the Pepsi 500. ESPN's live television coverage will begin at 7:00pm EDT, with the green flag scheduled to wave at 8:00pm. The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will provide live radio coverage.

Also check out M&M's Most Colorful Fan Contest, prizing includes gear autographed by Kyle Busch, a trip for two to the "Ford 400" race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16th, a Richard Petty Driving Expereince for two with Kyle Busch, and much, much more!!

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