Special to Civitas Media
ATLANTA — After missing The Chase last year, Kyle Busch is back and is like a heat-seeking missile looking for that elusive Sprint Cup Championship.
Following his win Sunday night in the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta, the #18 M&Ms Toyota team of Joe Gibbs Racing is well prepared as they head to the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup. The win was Kyle’s fourth of the season, tying him with Jimmie Johnson for the second most wins of the year.
Only Matt Kenseth has more with five. Joey Logano finished second, Martin Truex Jr. was third (driving with a broken hand), Kurt Busch was fourth and Ryan Newman was fifth.
An early spin by Jeff Gordon caused several cars behind him to check up and caused a multi-car incident. Those involved included Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton.
Kahne suffered major damage and had to go to the garage. None of those drivers ever made up the lost laps. With only 50 laps remaining, Joey Logano had more than a three second lead over Ryan Newman, followed by Kyle Busch.
Johnson spun on lap 288 of the 325 lap race, bringing out the seventh of nine cautions. All of the lead lap cars pitted for tires and fuel and Kyle came out the leader. Kyle’s terrific restarts on the two succeeding restarts took him to the checkered flag.
Clint Bowyer, second in the points standings, blew an engine in the #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota late in the race. But with points leader Jimmie Johnson also faltering again, Bowyer remained only 28 points behind heading into Richmond next week. The top 12 teams vying for the 2013 Sprint Cup Championship will be finalized after Richmond.
Sprint Cup standings (after 25 of 36 races)
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Clint Bowyer (-28)
3. Kevin Harvick (-42)
4. Carl Edwards (-42)
5. Kyle Busch (-51)
6. Matt Kenseth (-69)
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-87)
8. Joey Logano (-108)
9. Greg Biffle (-110)
10. Kurt Busch (-118)
Noel Lanier has been covering NASCAR since 1995 and provides NASCAR coverage for the S.C. Regional Newspaper Group of Civitas Media LLC. For more racing images, visit www.northbeachphotos.smugmug.com/