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article imageNASCAR: Busch wins rain-postponed Richmond race

By John Duarte     Apr 27, 2015 in Sports
Richmond - Kurt Busch lead the field for 291 laps at Richmond International Raceway on Sunday, putting his off-track issues aside and winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series of the year.
The Toyota Owners 400 finally got underway Sunday afternoon after rain had forced NASCAR officials to call off the original Saturday evening start. Busch took over from there. He lead a race-high 291 laps, including all but 15 of the final 306.
“The way that everything came together, it just seemed like we were building, building and building towards a great finish like this,” said Busch. “It's an incredible feeling.”
Busch was on top of the world after winning the Toyota Owners 400, his first trip into Victory Lane after being reinstated by NASCAR on March 11. Busch was suspended indefinitely by the organization on Feb. 21, 2015, when he was slapped with an order of protection from abuse in the on-going dispute with Patricia Driscoll. NASCAR reinstated Busch after the Delaware Attorney General's office concluded there was insufficient grounds to charge him with domestic violence. The driver had maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal and said he was determined to make the best of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season, while keeping his career and personal life apart.
“In wasn't difficult to separate the two. Standing on the truth the whole time, that gave me the feeling of when I do get back to the car, it's going to be easy to focus and I think I've shown that,” Busch said. “It's great to have a victory. It's only April and here we are with momentum building.”
He said the Richmond win is only the beginning.
“Now that we've got this win and we're stamped (into the Chase for the Sprint Cup), it just feels like, hey, now it's business as usual,” said Busch. “We want to win more. We want to win more often. We want to be that universal team that's ready for any circumstance or any situation and that way we can advance through the Chase and be a competitive team for the championship.”
Busch's teammate and defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick wasn't surprised by the win. He said Busch had run well during the final part of the 2014 season and looked poised to ride the momentum into 2015.
“We're happy that he's in (the Chase)” Harvick said. “The last three races of the last season, they ran well and were able to build everything that they needed to go into the off-season.”
Harvick, who currently leads the Sprint Cup driver standings, finished second in the Toyota Owners 400 and continue the string of Top 2 performances that dates back to the final three races of last season. This week's runner-up finish gives Harvick seven Top 2s in the first nine races.
“I think we're a better team than we were last year,” he said. “(We are) just really fortunate to have a team that consists of a bunch of guys that do their jobs week in and week out. I just drive.”
Busch was nothing short of dominant at Richmond International Raceway on Sunday. He lead for 291 of the race's 400 laps. He was happy with the win and all-but securing a place in the final 16 drivers who will be part of the Chase for the Sprint Cup in the fall, but reminded the season is far from over.
“We're all winners in April. It feels good,” Busch said. “(But there's) Plenty of time to do fun things to build the team up, get stronger, learn from all these races coming up and continue forward.”
Jimmie Johnson finished third in Sunday's race.
Harvick's second-place finish keeps him on top of the Sprint Cup standings. He is 33 points of Joey Logano and 42 up on Martin Truex Jr.
The NASCAR schedule will next tackle one of the fabled tracks on the circuit, Talladega Superspeedway, where speeds often exceed 320 km/hr (200 mph). The Geico 500 runs at the Alabama track on May 3, 2015.
More about Nascar, Sprint cup series, kurt busch, kevin harvick, Jimmie Johnson
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