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Edwards big winner in Vegas

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Amanda Vincent is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or

March 7, 2011 | 1,765 views | Post a comment

The brotherly duo of Kurt and Kyle Busch headed to their hometown track this weekend for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway occupying the top-two spots in the points standings. They didn't leave that way, though, as Kyle cut down a tire and hit the wall just before lap 100 and then fell out of the race for good when his engine expired and caught fire on lap 108. As a result, he was credited with a 38th-place finish and relinquished his points lead to eventual race second-place finisher, Tony Stewart.

Kurt did, though, maintain his second spot in points by finishing ninth, despite a spin on lap 102.

"We gave it all we had," he said after the race.

Even though the Busch brothers' hometown of Las Vegas played host, Stewart and Carl Edwards were the stars of the show. Edwards claimed his third win in five races, dating back to the final races of the 2010 season and the fourth victory for Ford in as many events. He also took the points lead away from Kyle Busch.

"The key to winning today was my team, my Ford team," Edwards said in victory lane. "These guys are unbelievable."

Edwards ran second to Stewart most of the afternoon, as Stewart was up front by lap 15 and didn't look back, that is until a David Gilliland caution on lap 150. Stewart was penalized after taking his team's air hose with him when he pulled out of his pit stall, and as a result, had to restart in the back of the lead lap cars.

Edwards assumed the lead after the Stewart pit road miscue and helt the top spot until another caution came out on lap 195. Stewart got back up front by taking only two tires when much of the rest of the field took four, including Edwards.

Despite only taking two, Stewart managed to pull away from the field and looked to be on his way to a win after a dominating performance, but there was a cycle of green flag stops to go before the checkered flag flew.

Since Stewart only took two tires on the previous pit stop, crew chief Darian Grubb made the call for four on the last stop. Several of the other frontrunners who had previously taken four took only two this time around, so Stewart was shuffled back to third, behind Edwards and Montoya, after the cycle completed.

"We just gave one away today," Stewart said.

Stewart was able to get past Montoya for the second position, but ran out of time before he could catch Edwards. Instead, Stewart was forced to settle for second.

"Second sucks," Stewart said after the race.

Montoya finished third, Marcos Ambrose was fourth and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five. Martin Truex Jr. was sixth, Denny Hamlin seventh, Dale Earnhardt Jr. eighth, Kurt Busch ninth and Brian Vickers finished 10th.
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