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article imageNASCAR: Busch brothers get first-ever 1-2 Sprint Cup finish

By John Duarte     Jun 29, 2015 in Sports
Sonoma - Kyle and Kurt Busch finished first and second respectively for the first time in their NASCAR Sprint Cup careers. The win was a huge boost for Kyle, who is only five races back to competing after a accident that jeopardized his season.
“First Busch brothers 1-2, boys,” Kyle Busch screamed as he won the Toyota/Save Mart 350. “Mom and dad should be proud.”
Also proud was older brother Kurt, who said he can't even imagine what Kyle's battle has been like.
“It was emotional,” Kurt said. “I am very proud of Kyle for what he's done to get back in the car as soon as he did get back in the car and then to be competitive at a track with hard hard braking and to use his left foot to drive to victory lane.”
It was only Kyle's fifth race this season after missing the 11 races due to injuries suffered during an Xfinity Series race on Feb. 21, 2015. Kyle got back to racing. Kurt acknowledged his younger brother's amazing return.
“I know he's been through quite a bit. To have your leg broken, your foot shattered, to never be injured and out of the car,” said Kurt. “I don't know what that feel like, but I do know rehab is very difficult and it is a mental challenge.”
Kyle said the worst part of racing on a road circuit is that he had to use the car's brakes more often than he would have to on an oval track. He commented how his foot “got to about a seven on a 1-to-10 of a pain scale” after practice on Friday and he iced it and felt “pretty good” on Saturday for qualifying. He repeated the procedure Saturday night in preparation for race day.
“I knew it was going to get painful and I was going to power through it,” he said. “But, you know, when you've got fresh tires and seven laps to go and you see the checkered flag waiting for you, you forget about those things.”
He said the most painful part was not dealing with the clutch and the gear changes needed on street-course racing. In fact, Kyle said that he only uses the clutch to get the car into first gear and get it rolling. After that, “we don't even need it to shift (gears).” He felt the most discomfort while braking.
“The most brakes you see is Turn 4, Turn 7, Turn 11 and you see over 1,000 pounds of break pressure,” Kyle explained. “I don't know what that equates to if you were on a leg press, but it's a lot. My foot definitely tells me that it's a lot.”
The season will continue to be a battle for Kyle Busch. NASCAR granted him a waiver that made him eligible to make the list of 16 drivers who will be part of the Chase for the Sprint Cup with the provision that he still had to be ranked in the Top 30 when the regular part of the season comes to an end. Winning a race was a big part of that and he now sits 37th with 10 races to go. He likes his chances of breaking into the Top 30.
“Now having a win, obviously I think that that treats us a little bit better,” he said. “We don't have to put ourselves in a bad spot when we're running third, fourth or fifth to try to get that victory. We can run third, fourth or fifth and that's a good day for us. That'll be just fine.”
Clint Bowyer finished third in the Toyota/Save Mart 350.
With 16 races completed, Kevin Harvick continues to be in charge in his defense of the Sprint Cup title. He leads Martin Truex Jr. by 53 points in the driver standings. Joey Logano is third, 57 points behind the leader.
The Sprint Cup Series schedule returns to Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola on July 5, 2015. The race will be on Kyle Busch's mind as he returns to the track that nearly brought his season to an end, with the horrific accident on Feb. 21. But, you are not likely to hear Kyle admit it.
“I am looking forward to it,” he said. “I'm looking forward to getting out there on the race track and attacking the demon per se and just being able to get out there and get back in the draft and get back in the pack and just work myself to having a good race car.”
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