Kyle Busch snapped the slump that plagued him the past two weeks, racing to his first Sprint Cup Series win on a road course yesterday at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
Busch, who had a poor qualifying run and started 30th, steadily moved through the field and grabbed the lead away from defending race winner Juan Pablo Montoya on an early restart. Nobody came close to taking the lead from him the rest of the way, but he did have to hold off a pair of challenges on two late restarts.
It was Busch's series-best fifth win of the season, and 11th overall spanning all three of NASCAR's top series. It also was his second road course victory of the season, following a Nationwide Series win in Mexico City in April.
Busch celebrated with his traditional smoky burnout, then climbed from his car for his customary bow to the crowd.
"I am really impressed with Kyle," said third-place finisher Jeff Gordon, his former teammate. "I've been around him, and I didn't think he's a really good road racer. To be able to get their car up front and maintain the position . . . I would not have bet on that.
"Obviously, he's maturing and learning and that's what it's going to take for him to maintain that points lead."
David Gilliland finished a career-best second and was followed by Gordon, Clint Bowyer, and Casey Mears. Montoya was sixth.
Busch won earlier this month at Dover, then embarked on his historic "triple" of three races at three tracks in three days.
Although he finished second in the Truck Series race, the first leg of his journey, he wrecked his Cup car in practice the next day before jetting off to the Nationwide Series race. He wrecked in that event and finished 32d, then wrecked in the Cup race and finished 43d.
He wrecked in last week's Nationwide race, as well, and decided after not to hop all over the country this weekend to compete in the lower series events in Milwaukee.
Still, he was in a bear of a mood all weekend as he struggled to get comfortable in his
"We unloaded here and we were absolutely junk," Busch said. "It was a bad feeling, but these guys worked so hard. It's just phenomenal that we're able to be here in Victory Lane - never before on a road course, in the Cup Series, so this is definitely really special."
IRL - Dan Wheldon celebrated his 30th birthday by winning the Iowa Corn Indy 250 in Newton, his second victory of the season.
Wheldon took the lead out of a caution flag with 60 laps to go after making the risky decision not to pit and held off Hideki Mutoh and Marco Andretti down the stretch. He plans to donate his winnings to the victims of Iowa's recent floods and tornados.
Formula One - Felipe Massa of Ferrari won the French Grand Prix in Magny Cours and moved to the top of the overall standings after his third F1 victory of the season.
Massa overtook teammate Kimi Raikkonen with 32 laps to go and held on to win by 17.9 seconds. Massa leads the title race with 48 points - 2 ahead of Robert Kubica.