Race Rewind: Kyle Busch wins Sunday’s race at Sonoma Raceway

“We grew up racing on ovals, but to do that here on a road course, I think that’s just a true testament to our father and everything he’s done for us over the years to get us to the point which we’re at”, Kyle said.

After suffering a crushing blow at Daytona where he broke his leg and his foot, a long healing process, and a recent Xfinity win, Kyle Busch is back in victory lane with a win at Sonoma Raceway’s Toyota SaveMart 350.

The next goal for Busch? “I knew it was going to get painful and I was going to power through it”, he said.

It was a big win for Kyle, coming amid a tough season that began with a serious injury in the Daytona season opener. He missed 11 races but recovered faster than expected and returned to racing late last month. After receiving a Chase waiver from NASCAR, Busch has accomplished the first task necessary to make the playoffs – by winning a race.

Sunday’s race didn’t quite feature the aggressiveness between drivers that there had been in the past, but there were two somewhat avoidable collisions that involved David Ragan.

But he still must rank among the top 30 in points to make the Chase; Sunday’s victory in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 placed him at 37th.

Unlike the other 10 race winners this season, Busch isn’t guaranteed a spot in the 16-driver Chase … yet.

“Certainly it’s feasible”, he said. Busch’s average finish in the five Cup races since his return is 20.0.

“I was trying to think if we’ve ever finished one two, and we did it today”.

“I was like, ‘All right, park it right here and we’ll walk in, ‘” Busch said. Matt and I got hooked up and about gave away our whole day there.

“Then to be competitive at a track with hard, hard braking and to use his left foot to drive to victory lane, I’m very proud of him”. This was his 30th career win and his second at Sonoma, which is known for being a complex road course that isn’t too friendly to inexperienced drivers. There were four cars between himself and those who pit for fresh tires. Johnson, who didn’t pit during the final caution, was a sitting duck for drivers on new tires. He promptly climbed back to the front of the pack, then overtook Jimmy Johnson for the lead with six laps remaining. He is already locked into the chase with 4 wins, and thought he should just take a gamble on the car. Drivers gain points based on how they finish at races, how many laps they lead, and other factors (you can read about here).

“I was kind of on that outside line, and my only chance was to just try to hammer my way up through them”, Bowyer said.

“We weren’t just able to capitalize”, Bowyer said.

Even before Sunday’s NASCAR victory, Kyle Busch could sense something different about this season.

Kyle praised Kurt for pushing Clint Bowyer over the final seven laps. Clint Bowyer finished third in the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Sixth through twelfth are as follows: Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Sam Hornish Jr., McMurray, and Tony Stewart.

Although his younger brother desperately needed a victory, Kurt Busch wasn’t about to give it to him.

Gordon was penalized on a lap 75 pit stop, as a crew member from his team threw a spring rubber over the auto and toward the pit box.

Jeff Gordon placed 16th in his final race at Sonoma, which is located just miles away from his hometown of Vallejo, California. The four-time NASCAR champion, who is retiring at the end of the season, has a track-record five wins at Sonoma. “It is just so many things – the weather, the wine country, family and I love this racetrack”, Gordon said.

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