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Busch's Win Propels Gibbs to Record-Tying Nationwide Total

Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch
JOLIET, Ill. (July 11, 2008) -- With a 10-second lead after a round of green-flag pit stops cycled through on Lap 155, Kyle Busch drove his No. 18 Toyota to a comfortable victory over Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin in Friday night's Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Busch's fifth 2008 victory, the 16th of his career, gave JGR a series-record-tying 13 victories in a single season, matching in 20 races the 13 wins Richard Childress Racing recorded in all of 2007. Hamlin, who narrowed Busch's margin to 3.120 seconds at the finish, was driving Todd Braun's No. 32 Toyota on Friday.

"It's definitely an awesome feeling to be here tonight," Busch said in Victory Lane. "We weren't that good early in the race, but we made some adjustments, and this car just came to life."

In NASCAR's top three series combined, Busch has 13 victories, six in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and two in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to go with his five NASCAR Nationwide wins.

"It's definitely been a phenomenal year," Busch said. "It's the kind of thing that doesn't come along very often."

Hamlin started the race from the rear of the field on an owner points provisional, because a mechanical problem during qualifying forced the team to make unauthorized repairs under impound. By the end of the race, Hamlin had perhaps the fastest car on the track.

"We really ran that 18 down on that last run," Hamlin said. "He just got too far ahead, and we couldn't overcome the track position."

Brad Keselowski, second in the series standings, ran third and trimmed Clint Bowyer's points lead to 183. Brian Vickers was fourth, followed by polesitter David Reutimann, Greg Biffle, Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Stewart and rookie Landon Cassill.

Note: Stewart started second in the No. 20 JGR Toyota that has won nine Nationwide races this season, but made a rare mistake with a missed shift at the start of the race. Kevin Harvick slammed into the back of Stewart's car, damaging both machines and preventing them from contending for the victory. . . Busch has taken three different cars to Victory Lane this season: the No. 18 Toyota he drove Friday, the No. 20 Gibbs Toyota and Braun's No. 32.

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