Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kyle Busch wins at Fontana, the fifth different driver to win in 2014

A day after Kyle Larson beat him on the final lap to win the Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway, Kyle Busch returned the favor on Sunday, holding off Larson to win the Sprint Cup Auto Club 400.

Busch charged to front after a green-white-checkered restart, taking the lead from his brother Kurt and Tony Stewart. Larson followed him, but could not catch Busch on the final lap.

MORE: Race results | Bowyer mad |

Larson, a Sprint Cup rookied, finished second, followed by Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Stewart, Jamie McMurray, Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger.

The race was plagued by a rash of tires problems as more than a dozen drivers had flat tires, many of them causing spins and crashes.

Jimmie Johnson dominated the race and was pulling away with the lead when he had a flat tire with seven laps remaining.

"We did an awesome job with the race team and did everything we could to win the race," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, something out of our control let us down."

Johnson's trouble handed the lead to teammate Jeff Gordon, who was closing in on him for the lead until experiencing a vibration in his car. He was trying to nurse his car to the finish when Clint Bowyer had a flat tire and spun with two laps remaining, bringing out a caution flag and erasing Gordon's lead.

Kurt Busch and Stewart took just two tires on their pit stops, putting them at the front of the field with Landon Cassill, who did not pit, for the final restart. Busch restarted fifth, but with four fres tires needed just one lap to blast past Stewart and Kurt Busch for the lead. He held off Larson for his second straight win at California and to become the fifth different winner this year.

Busch battled for the lead on Saturday, but Larson held off Busch and Kevin Harvick for his first Nationwide Series victory. Busch said after that race Saturday that the biggest winner was the fans. He had the same opinion after another wild race on Sunday.

“Holy cow, what do you expect when you have a green-white-checkered finish and everyone comes down pit road to put on four tires," Busch said in victory lane. "That’s a Days of Thunder thing right there. ‘What do you mean, there’s two laps to go, everybody is to pit, Cole.’"

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