Kyle Busch Wins Car of Tomorrow Debut

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Kyle Busch held off teammate Jeff Gordon on a restart, then beat Jeff Burton in a drag race to the finish line to win the first Car of Tomorrow race Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Busch took the lead with 16 laps to go on a smooth pass around Denny Hamlin in thick traffic and stayed there through a pair of cautions. Busch had driven away from the competition when the 15th and final caution set up overtime.

With Busch and Gordon running 1-2 at the restart, the two plotted their own strategy with their respective crew chiefs.

"Well, good job guys," Busch sighed at the final caution. "We'll do what we can. I can't promise you anything."

"He'll be nice," crew chief Alan Gustafson said. "He'll play nice."

It didn't sound that way on Gordon's channel.

"Tell that 5, if I get a fender underneath him, he better think about the fact that we're teammates," Gordon said. "If I don't get a fender underneath him, I won't move him out of the way."

It never mattered, though, as Burton jumped past Gordon on the restart and quickly pulled onto Busch's rear bumper. Burton looked low and Busch threw a block, then he went high and Busch blocked that, too.

Burton finally pulled alongside Busch as they closed in on the finish line, but Busch nipped him at the flag for his first Nextel Cup victory on a short track.

It was the 600th victory for manufacturer Chevrolet, which introduced the Impala SS this weekend to coincide with NASCAR's debut of the Car of Tomorrow.

The COT spent seven years in development as NASCAR tried to build a uniform car that would cut costs, improve safety and even the competition. It will be used in 16 races this season as NASCAR phases it in through the 2009 season.


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