Busch loses on final lap


BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Travis Kvapil patiently stalked Kyle Busch around Michigan International Speedway, finally passing him with one lap to go Saturday to score his first Craftsman Truck Series win since 2004.

Busch led four times for 38 laps but struggled to control his Chevrolet when Kvapil closed in on him over the final 10 laps. Kvapil, the 2003 series champion, made several peeks around him, only to scoot back in line behind the Las Vegas native.

He finally attempted a pass in the fourth turn, sliding ahead of Busch as they closed in on the start-finish line with the white flag waving above them. Kvapil then pulled away on the final lap to win for the first time since Sept. 18, 2004.

"I knew I was a little better than Kyle, but I just didn't want to get out there too soon," said Kvapil, who started from the pole.

The win was Kvapil's second at Michigan and sixth of his career but first since he joined Roush Fenway Racing to start this season. He replaced Mark Martin, who won six times in the truck last season.

"It feels like it's been forever," Kvapil said.

Crew chief Mike Beam said the team had been feeling the heat to get back to Victory Lane. It took pride in doing it at MIS, which is team owner Jack Roush's home track.

"We've struggled all year; we felt we've really let Travis down," Beam said. "I knew Travis could do this. ... And it's good to win here for Jack in Michigan. They've been putting the heat on us -- this is our Daytona 500."

Busch said his truck was too loose to hold off Kvapil's charge.

"I was all over the place," Busch said. "I just could never find a place that would let me get a good run off the corner. Our truck was good enough, solid enough to win the race, but just not quite good enough to get where I needed to be off the corner."

Las Vegan Brendan Gaughan placed third and was followed by Mike Skinner, Ted Musgrave, Rick Crawford and Todd Bodine. Kevin Harvick, Johnny Benson and Ron Hornaday Jr. rounded out the top 10.

Skinner extended his lead in the standings to 113 points over Hornaday.

* BUSCH SERIES -- At Sparta, Ky., Stephen Leicht took advantage of Nextel Cup star Carl Edwards' late wreck to win for the first time in the Busch Series, passing fellow rookie Brad Coleman with 13 laps left and holding on in the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

Leicht, whose best finish previous was eighth in the Pepsi 300 in April, beat Coleman by 1.851 seconds.

 

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