The turnaround for Kurt Busch continued yesterday with a dominating run at the Sprint Cup Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma, Calif., that led to his first career road course victory.
Busch led a race-high 76 laps at Infineon Raceway and beat Jeff Gordon by almost four seconds for his first win of the season.
Busch was winless in 10 career starts at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, the only two road courses on the circuit.
“To get a road course win, it’s a big check mark on my list,’’ Busch said. “It’s just really neat to bring home that W.’’
Beating Gordon made it extra special for Busch, who was one of many drivers wrecked by Gordon at Sonoma last year.
“It was a definite boost at the end of the day, to see him finish second,’’ Busch said with a smile.
Gordon congratulated Busch in Victory Lane, but said, “I still didn’t apologize.’’
Carl Edwards finished third.
Yesterday’s race featured several on-track flare-ups, most notably Brian Vickers’s payback spin of Tony Stewart.
Stewart knocked Vickers out of his way early in the race, and Vickers gave it right back later. The bump sent Stewart’s car spinning into a stack of tires, and the rear of his Chevrolet came to a rest on top of the stack.
Stewart didn’t seem angry over the retaliation, but he wasn’t apologetic, either.
“I probably had it coming because I dumped him earlier, but I dumped him because he was blocking,’’ Stewart said.
Clint Bowyer finished fourth, Marcos Ambrose fifth, and pole-winner Joey Logano was sixth.
Formula One — At Valencia, Spain, Sebastian Vettel won his sixth race of the season at the European Grand Prix, building on his already commanding series lead.
Vettel beat Fernando Alonso of Ferrari by 10.891 seconds for his second straight victory along Valencia’s street circuit. It was the German’s fifth win this season starting on the pole and came in stifling 115-degree weather.
Mark Webber was third after starting on the front row and Lewis Hamilton was fourth.
Vettel, the defending F1 champion, extended his championship lead to 77 points with his 16th career victory.