DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Todd Bodine lost control of his car - but not his instincts - after hitting Jamie McMurray during the final moments of their last-lap duel at Darlington Raceway.
Bodine slid across the finish line Monday to win his first Busch race of the season at the rain-delayed DarlingtonRaceway.com 200 as McMurray's car spun toward the inside.
"I held it wide open," Bodine said. "I knew I was pointed the right way down the race track. I was just hoping it would get there."
It was the second straight dramatic finish at the track. On Sunday, Ricky Craven beat Kurt Busch by a few inches - officially .002 seconds - in the closest finish since Winston Cup went to its electronic scoring system in 1993.
"Jamie's a good friend of mine. I didn't want to wreck him," Bodine said. "You want to race clean like they did yesterday and have it come down to inches."
Scott Riggs was third, followed by Stacey Compton, who tried to steal the race on fuel mileage as the lone driver who did not pit with 25 or so laps remaining. Johnny Sauter was fifth.
Bodine's win closed a thrilling, if somewhat soggy, weekend at the "Track Too Tough To Tame."
Busch qualifying was rained out Thursday, then the cars were parked for Saturday's event soon after the call of "Gentlemen, start your engines," from grand marshal Jack Roush.
When Craven caught Busch in the exciting finish to the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, it was hard to think the Busch cars could heat up a dreary, overcast Monday with their own thriller ending.
But there was McMurray, who did not lead a lap, nosing in front of Bodine with only moments left in the race.
"I knew those guys were going to get pretty ugly with each other," Riggs said. "Both those guys are pretty aggressive."
Bodine hit McMurray, pointing his car's nose at the wall and sending the No. 1 Dodge spinning away.
Bodine said he had no control of the car and simply hoped to clear McMurray and remain in front.
McMurray said his left rear tire went flat after tangling with Bodine.
"I'm not upset with Todd," said McMurray, whose Dodge held on for second. "It's not like he was trying to run me into the wall. He was out of control, just like I was."
And just like Craven and Busch on Sunday, both Bodine and McMurray were respectful and friendly afterward.
McMurray said if his competitor didn't slip, he never would have had the chance at first. Bodine says he would have come up short if McMurray's tire didn't blow.
Compton was nearly the headliner as he passed up a pit stop to gamble on fuel and fading tires. But Bodine, McMurray and Riggs passed him three laps from the end.
"You're a sitting duck out there with old tires," Compton said. "It was only a matter of time, and we just ran out of laps."
For Bodine, who led 71 of the 147 laps, it was his 15th career Busch victory and his first at Darlington. The win also moved him into the series points lead, 37 in front of McMurray.
Bodine also continued a run of Winston Cup success at the Busch series so far this year. Joe Nemechek won at Daytona, McMurray at North Carolina Motor Speedway and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Las Vegas.
The series travels to Bristol, Tenn., for the Channellock 250 on Saturday.
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