Eldest Busch takes big prize

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CONCORD, N.C. --- The biggest difference between Kurt Busch's crash and everyone else's in the Sprint All-Star race Saturday night was the way his car rebounded.

He pounded the fourth turn wall twice at mid-race, but his Dodge came on strong in a crash-marred stretch drive to win nearly $1.1 million.

The right side of his race car was flattened and most of the Miller Lite decals were scraped off. But in a wild 10-lap sprint at the end, it came alive by first running through a nine-car crash, then driving between Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin for the lead with eight laps to go. He stayed out there during two more restarts for cautions to give car owner Roger Penske a very successful day.

Earlier, Helio Castroneves won the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

"I was really disappointed with that third segment, but we really went after it (before the final segment)," Busch said. "My crew did a great job. We dodged all the wrecks and ultimately we had the fastest car at the end."

Busch's chances seemed to crash when his car drifted into the outside wall on consecutive laps. He dropped back to eighth place, but he made up a lot of that when he steered clear of the nine-car crash at the start of the final segment.

Martin Truex Jr., who got into the main event by winning the Showdown qualifying race, finished second, followed by Joey Logano in third, Hamlin in fourth and Tony Stewart in fifth. Johnson led a race-best 56 of 100 laps, but he spun off course with three laps remaining to finish 13th.

Reach Don Coble at don.coble@morris.com.


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