Burton Beats Busch In Wild Finish At Las Vegas

Saturday, March 10th 2007, 2:50 pm
By: News On 6

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Jeff Burton won a frantic last-lap battle with Kyle Busch on Saturday to win the Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, preventing Busch from scoring his first victory on his home track.

Contact between the two cars as they approached the checkered flag sent Busch into a spin, and he crossed the finish line backward before shooting up the track and into the wall. He still finished second.

The Las Vegas native took turns dominating the race with his older brother, Kurt, and was out front when Burton took the lead away from him with 13 laps to go.

But a record 12th caution brought out the red flag to clean up debris from an accident, preventing Burton from running away with the win. Racing resumed with seven laps to go, and Kyle Busch slipped past Burton a lap later to retake the win.

Burton nearly lost control of his car as he came out of the fourth turn and used a huge save to keep it off the wall. But he lost ground to Kyle Busch and had to hustle to close the gap.

He finally got to him on the last lap, and used all of it to make his move.

Burton went for it as they exited the last turn, pulling to the top of the track and making the pass on the outside. Kyle Busch wiggled slightly and his car bounced off Burton's to start his spin across the finish line.

"Couldn't hold the bottom. Couldn't hold the top. Couldn't hold him off," a frustrated Busch said as he walked away from his damaged race car.

"He beat me fair and square. He got a run on me on the topside and I tried to block it, I just didn't get high enough in order to squeeze him in the fence. Congratulations to those guys, they had a better car definitely at the end."

Burton drove to Kyle Busch's damaged car, saw Busch had already exited it and followed him. Busch then went up to the window and shook hands with Burton.

"I take a lot of pride in getting by him, he's one of the top young talents in the sport," Burton said. "I knew if I went under him I would get too loose to pass him. So I just figured `What the hell? I'll go up there and see what happens.' I got up there and it stuck and I had momentum.

"Then Kyle did exactly what I would have done. He tried to get me slowed down to slow my momentum down, and hang a left to try to get to the start/finish line. He just couldn't stop it."

Tony Stewart finished third and continued his weeklong rant against Las Vegas' reconfigured track and the tires Goodyear brought for the weekend.